Architect’s handbook: 4 golden rules of building design

Real Estate | 4 Sep |

When a commercial project is planned, the owner wants everything done perfectly. There will be a budget that must be met and specifications that are important to the building’s end-user. It is the job of the engineering firm, the architect, and the construction contractor to work together to deliver a well-designed building that meets all codes and specifications within the stated budget. Architects have four golden rules of building design they strive to follow.

Commercial Building Markets

Commercial engineering firms draw customers from many areas such as commercial and retail fields, government projects, the transportation industry, Institutional buildings, industrial sector, and water resources. Companies such as Cochran Engineering offer many services to their commercial customers including civil engineering, land surveying, architecture, environmental and geotechnical services, and construction services.

The Architect’s 4 Golden Rules

Every architect has standards of practice and must be able to fulfill the requirements of whole building design and integrated high-performance design involving efficiency and innovation.

1. The architect must be able to build a design process that includes the users, the owners, and the project contractors and engineers as team members. This set of professionals might include planners, civil and environmental engineers, and landscape architects. The design team might include architects, programmers, and interior designers. Building system experts, construction professionals, owners, financial managers, and local code and fire officials might round out the team. The architect must help all of these professionals work together.

2. The architect’s design must safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare while incorporating cultural factors such as history, theory, technology, and social considerations. The architect must use the training they received in the arts and sciences.

3. Use the best reference materials available for every project. One respected reference book is the Architectural Graphic Standards, 12th Addition. This type of reference helps the architect with guidance pertaining to visual representation for products, materials, systems, and assemblies. It lists current architectural codes and standards. It also has useful coverage on building resiliency, building envelope design, the fundamentals of design, new information on environmental design factors, and material properties. Sustainable design and key architectural design and production processes are also covered.

4. The architect must be able to communicate with the client to form an early picture of what the building should look like and what the important functions of the structure will be. The architect must get a comprehensive list of building design and function specifications along with the budget the design and construction must honor. The most beautiful structure will not be accepted if it does not fulfill the owner’s vision of what the building should look like. A building can win design awards and still not be accepted if it does not fulfill the client’s specifications for functions and space.

The Team Is Important

The successful design and construction of a commercial building depend on a collaboration of the engineering company, the architect, the construction services, other experts, and the client. The civil engineering company must guide the project beginning with site selection, site preparation, though the building design and permitting process, and on to the construction and final completion.

The engineering and construction process may include expertise in areas such as land surveying, site preparation, grading and drainage, property right-of-way acquisitions, stormwater management, parking lot design, signage, utility design, and much more. An engineering company will oversee every detail of a commercial building project so the final project meets all specifications and passes all inspections.

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