Architects are the modern alchemists that turn ideas into buildings.
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Although they share a calling, not all architects share the same duties. Moreover, the same architect doesn’t repeat the same actions every day, even if they work at the same office for decades. Plus, there is a significant difference between a self-employed architect, one working in a small firm, and one working in a giant corporation.
Architecture is a very dynamic industry, and the life of an architect is anything but boring.
We’ve researched official educating websites and personal architect’s blogs to gather information about the typical day of an architect.
Here is what we’ve learned.
Rise and Shine at 6 AM
The typical architect starts his day early. Their work requires substantial focus and brainpower, so it’s important to give themselves time to wake up, refresh, and start their day fully prepared for new challenges.
Bob Barson is a licensed architect from Texas who runs a personal blog and podcast, and according to him, 6 AM is the perfect time to rise and shine. His morning grumpiness wears off by the time he’s out of the shower and ready to take off.
Coffee Time at the Office
Grabbing some coffee when they arrive at the office and having a cheerful chat with their colleagues is a typical way for architects to start their working day. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards asked architect Amy Johnson from a Washington office about her typical day. She noted how vital those brisk morning catch-ups could be.
Getting Down to Business
Settling at the desk and starting their workday includes reading emails and organizing tasks for the day to stay organized. Like so many jobs today, the work of an architect is mostly done through a computer, and it includes reviewing new proposals, emailing clients and associates, or working on a project.
Architect Amy Johnson emphasized the importance of using the right software to help her and her colleagues work on their tasks hustle-free. For example, she uses a documentation tool called Revit to develop, design, and construct documents. It allows her to revise every drawing and build structure designs in 3D.
Every architect has their preferred tool and method of work.
Architects spend a substantial part of each working day communicating with associates, contractors, and clients over the phone, via email, or face to face. Communication is critical for the calling because an architect needs to coordinate an entire project from start to finish. They must make sure everything is going according to plan and everyone included in the project is doing their job correctly. As far as the client is concerned, the architect is the project leader and a responsible party should things go wrong.
Healthy, continuous communication is an essential part of every architect’s working day.
Research is a critical part of every project management process, especially for architects. For a project to be successful, they need to research many factors, including:
- zoning laws
- accessibility agreements
- building codes
- building sites
- materials and suppliers
- environmental studies
Being well-informed is essential for an architect to make the right decisions when working on a project.
Planning and Design
Although it may not necessarily be a daily task, carefully designing innovative solutions that meet clients’ needs is an essential part of an architect’s job.
Project planning and design include figuring out how to combine the client’s preferences with current legal codes to succeed with their project. The architect needs to coordinate budget constraints, site requirements and efficient architectural practices to create a solid plan. They need to determine how the building should look, what infrastructure systems to install, and what building materials should the construction company use.
During a typical day at work, an architect needs to manage many people and coordinate various project tasks. Architects usually take care of the projects from start to finish and manage every detail in between. They must always stay organized and make significant daily progress toward finalizing the project. It may include ensuring contractors and associates meet deadlines, frequent consulting with designers and engineers, inspecting a project’s progress on site, or negotiating contracts.
Before they start planning, architects must visit the site and learn everything about it, including water resources, sewer provision, electricity line, coil type, etc. They also take photos of the surrounding area to design a structure with proper light and ventilation.
Once the project plans are ready and construction work starts, an architect will most likely visit the site on occasion to ensure everything is going as planned.
Meeting With Clients
Client meetings are crucial, especially in the early stage of the project. Architects meet with clients continuously to revise plans and drawings. Sometimes, clients ask for small-scale models of the design and presenting them with a detailed small-sized version of their building is often a part of an architect’s job.