The team that the design architect establishes comprises of consulting engineers, including structural engineers, mechanical and plumbing, and electrical engineers. This team-building is the same as a general contractor building his team of subcontractors during the construction phase. Typically architects take a project and go through initial phases such as programming and planning. This phase involves submitting the agreed-upon concept with the client to the city planning department. Once this phase is complete, an overall concept of the structure is documented. Then, architects will engage their structural and other engineering consulting teams in the construction documents production. Once the structural and MEP teams are finished with the design, the architect will submit the plans to the city for a plan check review and approval. For an architect to perform well, architects must be creative to produce innovative yet functional designs. They need strong analytical skills to understand how functional aspects of structures affect the overall design, and they need excellent technical skills to use CAD or REVIT programs efficiently.
Architects working with Structural & Other Engineers
An Architect is a construction design professional responsible for generating plans and designs for structures, including homes, corporate offices, and industrial buildings, and other wide range of structures. They typically begin projects by meeting with clients to learn about goals and requirements. After initial meetings, architects develop preliminary plans that include cost estimates and prospective time lines. Architects may also research sites and perform preliminary studies to confirm the viability of the space or environment.
Structural engineers work closely with the lead architect on any given project during the construction document production phase. This process typically requires efficient teamwork in order to have both drawings coordinated and free of errors. The structural engineering team must also work with the function of the structure set by the architect. Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing engineers work to comply with current energy and building codes in concord with the consulting team. Engineers must constantly exchange models (3D) or CAD files to make sure no MEP conflicts are present in the structure.
An efficient and well-experienced engineering team actually complements the architect’s vision and design. At the end of each project prior to the start of construction, a licensed general contractor will be selected and assigned to coordinate with the consulting team.
This phase is known as the construction administration phase for engineers. Each engineering discipline is involved with this process until his scope of work is constructed and inspected. The assigned architectural team stays involved throughout the entire process until the final occupancy letter is issued by the city officials. All inspections and observation letters shall be collected and reviewed prior to issuing the final occupancy permit.
In summary, hiring the right structural engineers & MEP team for your projects as an architect is the right decision for both the hiring teams and the clients. The consulting teams are the foundation of the architect’s performance and image. Therefore, architects will seek reputable consulting firms that hold a good reputation and service level in the industry.