Who does my appointed architect communicate with? Why do my plans take so long to be drawn up?”


You know that one family member who keeps in touch with everyone and initiates all the gatherings? The feisty planner who won’t take nonsense from anyone not willing to participate? The glue of the family? They’re the one that lays the groundwork and makes it easier for everyone else to get involved. Architects play this role in the construction industry, they are central to the process by forming the connection between the client and the final product through constant communication between relevant parties.

For the sake of this blog and probably because it’s more likely to be the case, architects will be likened to the SOA, the Super Organised Aunt. She’s on the phone with a family member while going through her birthday calendar and realises a big milestone is coming up. Without skipping a beat the gears are in motion and she’s scheming up ideas before she has the chance to hang up.

Like the SOA, architects will generally be the clients first contact point. A conversation that immediately sets the wheels in motion to an exciting project before the phone has had the chance to be put down. Once the brief has been covered (Blog 01) and the duration of the stay discussed (Blog 02), then it’s on your marks, get set… go to the drawing board… for both architect and aunt.

Now that there is an outline of a plan, the other family members are consulted and have the opportunity to send through their thoughts and weigh in on the overall concept. Such as the Aunt, the architect submits the drawings to the necessary consultants. The feedback is incorporated into the initial design and the design changes/ is amended accordingly. Although the architect has a general overview of each of the services consulted, they rely on expert advice and approval in order to proceed. This allows for everyone to take responsibility in their field of expertise.

Consultants include and are not always limited to:
_Quantity Surveyor aka the Dad of finances that manages and budgets the costs.
_Structural Engineers aka the uncles that get mistaken for being grumpy but are actually just strict and concerned for the safety of the event.
_Mechanical/ Wet Services/ Fire engineers – see above, also inclusive of similar aunts.
_Civil Engineers aka the momma bear that ensures infrastructure is correctly set up so that navigation to and from is with ease.
_Electrical Engineers aka the teens with their cool new lights and technology.
_Interior Designers aka the creative and imaginative kids that make any house feel like a home.
_Specifications aka the fussy granny.

The SOA delegates responsibilities to the various families according to the roles suggested above. The once rough outline of an event doodled on paper is developed into a comprehensive list of tasks that once accomplished, bring the ultimate event to life.
Two important roles stem from these tasks; the vision and the execution. The vision involves the words on paper being expressed in a manner that enables everyone to share in it visually and the execution involves the physical moves towards that same result.

Therefore, among the consultant coordination that varies due to project complexity, the design team consults the graphics and technical team. The graphics team is a vital one as it involves taking the floor plan and developing it into a conclusive 3D model that enables clients to get an accurate visualisation of their project. Depending on the structuring of the office, this could be the same person or team – design hat off, graphical representational or technical one on. This team adds the colours and textures, and takes the plan of a house and turns it into a tangible vision of a home.

The execution (the carrying out of a plan, not the death sentence) is also handed over to the technical team, or one in the same talented design individual, who takes the preliminary drawings, with all of the client revisions, and coordinates the consultant’s inputs. This is done while adding in all the technical detail required for the builder to fully understand the scope of work thus affording him the opportunity to build as correctly as possible.

Once everyone is on board with the same vision and the necessary technical information to put the plan into motion is accessible, the only thing left that the aunt has to do is supervise and ensure everything runs smoothly. Like any event, there are always hiccups but she’s a resourceful individual with a lot of experience in her field so you trust her to make all the right calls.

She, like the architect, loves her job and will do it over and over even though it takes time and quite a bit of effort. However, in saying that, it’s so worth it because at the end of the day everyone comes together and can appreciate the end result and the part they played in it.