1) Pay more for design
Benefit to client: Save more money on construction
Usually, given more time and money designers can provide Owners with a higher level of detail. Ultimately, more detailed construction drawings result in less unknowns and contractor change orders.
2) Spend money upfront on construction
Benefit to client: Save more money on monthly bills
Spending money upfront on higher-end, premium energy-efficient items can ultimately reduce operating costs. Work with your Architect to see where you can get your highest return on initial investment.
3) Be flexible with the look and feel
Benefit to client: Get what you pay for
Some times clients have preconceived notions on the outcome of their projects, which is fine (I like to collaborate), it actually helps us narrow down the look and feel of the project. However, the professional has undergone many years of training in most cases 8-10 years before earning a license to practice Architecture. If you are serious about your project you should stay flexible and strongly consider your Architect’s suggestions to help work toward achieving the best design possible.
4) Engage your Architect for Extended Construction Administration Services
Benefit to client: Only the Architect can interpret the construction drawings to ensure that the design intent of the project is being met; The additional cost for the Architect will likely result in overall savings to the Owner
Whether it’s a small project or a large one and whether it’s a new build, repair and restoration, or alterations and renovations it is important to have the continuous support of your Architect. The money you spend on professional services will likely pale in comparison to the change orders that may result if the Architect is not involved. Since the Architect has liability, the Architect will be the strongest advocate for the Owner while working with the Contractor to ensure that the intent of the design is upheld.
5) Be Creative
Benefit to client: Stand out from the competition
Sometimes it’s OK to blend in and sometimes it is not. If you want to stand out and be noticed, try to let loose and work with your Architect to come up with something fresh and exciting. Great design doesn’t necessarily have to cost more money.
6) Build a Team and Have “Charrettes”
Benefit to client: Conventional design build methods creates tension between the Owner, Contractor, and the Design Team
Teamwork is extremely important in design and construction because getting a high-performance project requires that builders challenge conventional ways of doing things. Integrated design focusing on a holistic design approach can include what Builders and Architects call a “charrette,” a meeting or series of meetings bringing together the designer, builder, and subcontractors to discuss the project and swap ideas. This approach is much more successful and can save the Owner money since the team is working towards a common goal instead of protecting each entity’s own interest.
7) Don’t Panic: Assign Accountability not Blame
Benefit to client: Integrated design will help achieve greater results
Things can and usually do go wrong in any relationship. When a crisis arises the primary need is to correct the problem, not to affix blame. “Accountability is important—but the most important thing is to find the solution first. It’s best not to panic.”
Also Check Out:
- What Do Architects Do?
- A well documented set of construction drawings NOW decreases additional “hidden” construction costs LATER!
- How Can Architects Produce More Effective Construction Documents?
- How Can Architects Generate More Work and Make More Money?
- My 10 All-Time Favorite Architecture Books
We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.
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Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.