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What Does an Architect Do?

Architects design structures such as houses, apartment complexes, shopping centers, office buildings, and factories. In addition to considering their physical appearance, they also make sure these structures will be functional, safe, economical, and suit the needs of the people who will use them.

The majority of the time, architects work in an office. There, they meet with clients draft plans, work on cost estimates, file permit applications with municipal building departments, and help clients set up agreements with contractors. Architects also visit construction sites to check the progress of projects and make sure contractors are building them according to their plans.

Architect Duties & Responsibilities

This job generally requires the ability to do the following work:

  • Resolve complex design issues with innovative and practical solutions
  • Modify existing plans and elevations to fit client and sales needs
  • Lead and develop projects from early concept through design development
  • Prepare drawings, specifications, and construction documents

Architects begin designing a project at the planning stage of development. They first meet with the client to determine their requirements for the project. In determining a design plan, architects must consider other items such as the site, environment, culture and history, which may be subject to local and federal regulations, building codes, and local planning and zoning laws. The architect also needs to consider the type of building materials to use that fit the client’s requirements as well as the budget.


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