►A Directory of the Best Commercial Architects◄
Finding and selecting an architect among the Commercial Architects that are available is a key part of succeeding in your institutional or commercial building design and construction undertaking.
The appropriate architect won’t solely assist you in defining the design you have dreamed of, but will consult with your general contractor to assure the project is completed successfully , so you can avoid unneeded costs, making the total process a pleasant one.
Lots of entrepreneurs and executives make the error of not paying attention to the personalities involved when selecting an architect. For the duration of a project, far too many hours will be spent in meetings and conversations that will take place in order to iron out details and make sure there is always a meeting of the minds. Make sure you are comfortable with the individual personalities involved.
These are the ABC’s for selecting the right commercial architect.
A) Reduce the number of Commercial Architects being considered.
Within the United States and World Wide there are thousands of architects, all having their own expertise with firms that range in size from small to large and everything in between. To refine your list, talk to associates in businesses that have embarked on similar projects. Ask for references from the architects you find, and narrow the list to 2-4 architect commercial that you feel have done similar work in the past.
B) Ask lots of questions
Set up face to face meeting so that you may ask lots of questions including:
“Do you have a portfolio that I may view?”
It is nice to receive some sort of feeling from that past work accomplished by each architect under consideration. You want to get a sense that they don’t just work off of a template for each project but create original work that is fresh as they take on new work.
“Is Onsite inspection possible?”
Ask if they would have any objection if you visited with projects that have been completed so you can get a real feel for the work that they have done.
“What would your approach be to designing my project?”
If you have specific ideas that you want incorporated in the design will the architect work with you?
“What’s your method?”
As part of the design process how will you share your ideas with me? Will you show me drawings, models and sketches throughout the project so that am comfortable along the way?
“What makes you stand out from other Architects that do commercial work?”
An excellent architect should be able to identify why he or she is excellent and put it into words so as to give you confidence.
“On a day to day basis who will I be dealing with?”
Are you a member of The American Institute of Architects?
At a larger firm that really is a key question. You will want to meet and know your counterparts not just partner that is trying to get your business. At the smaller firms of course you day to day contact will always be the same person.
“How will you manage the project?”
Your architect must be able to speak up for you in every way and to be able to simplify what might be a complex project so that you as the lay person will be in the loop every step of the way.
C) “What are your fees?”
Fees while not the sole determinant in your selection process certainly play an important role. How are you going to be billed? Hourly or by the job? What happens when there are design changes?
The Final Selection
You should now be ready to narrow your choices to one or two candidates and if not start the entire process over again.
Just ask yourself if you:
Enjoyed speaking with them so far?
Did you like the work presented to you from their past projects?
Were they responsive to all of your questions?
Is the firm the right size for you project?
Reminder | There are many Commercial Architects; it is up to you to choose the one that is right for your project.