What Does an Architect Do?

Architects create designs for new construction projects, alterations and redevelopments. They use their specialist construction knowledge and high-level drawing skills to design buildings that are functional, safe, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

Architects stay involved throughout the construction process, adapting their plans according to budget constraints, environmental factors or client needs. As such, they operate as part of an overall project design team, working closely with a range of construction professionals from quantity surveyors to building services engineers.

Typical work activities include:

-creating building designs and highly detailed drawings both by hand and by using specialist computer-aided design (CAD) applications
-liaising with construction professionals about the feasibility of potential projects
-working around constraining factors such as town planning legislation, environmental impact and project budget
-working closely with a team of other professionals such as building service engineers, construction managers, quantity surveyors and architectural technologists
-applying for planning permission and advice from governmental new build and legal departments
-writing and presenting reports, proposals, applications and contracts
-specifying the requirements for the project
-adapting plans according to circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction
-playing a part in project and team management
-travelling regularly to building sites, proposed locations and client meetings

For the most part an architect’s working day will be office based. However, site visits and meetings with clients are frequent, so travel can figure prominently.
Working hours are typically standard office hours (eg 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday), but architects may work longer hours, evenings and weekends if there are tight project deadlines to meet.
I should say as an architect, time flies while working when you love architecture, so sometimes it happens you work hours and you see it’s just midnight 🙂