If you’ve never worked with a commercial architect firm before, you might find yourself wondering what the process of working with a commercial architect is like. What do commercial architects do, and how do you find the right architect for your project? The good news is that HDA Architects has compiled this ultimate guide to answer those questions and more. So, the next time you find yourself searching for “architect designers near me,” you’ll have the information you need to make an educated decision about what architect you want to work with for your project. Whether you need a food service architect to help you create the restaurant of your dreams or are a veterinary practice owner who wants to design a specialized building, read on to learn how HDA Architects can help you.
What do commercial architects do?
Architectural firms work to represent business owners throughout the entire construction process. The architect is the “conductor” of your project guiding you all the way. These architects plan and design the building, create the 3D model and plans for your building, navigate through the permitting process, and oversee the construction itself. They coordinate a number of different people including clients, contractors, engineers, surveyors, and planners to ensure that the work is done properly and in a timely manner. According to HDA Architects owner Peter Hill AIA, the architects’ purpose is to not only serve as designers for a project but as watchdogs for the clients, as well. A good architect will ensure that their client is being treated fairly and will advocate for them if any problems arise.
Commercial architects are also responsible for ensuring that every building they work on is functional while still meeting design expectations. They are required to have a deep knowledge of things like building codes, local regulations, and construction in order to be responsible for designing a building that adheres to safety requirements and legal guidelines. In other words, a commercial architect is a multi-faceted role that orchestrates and oversees all kinds of people while maintaining proper standards.
What is the process of working with an architect?
Now that you know the answer to “what do commercial architects do,” you have the information you need to understand what the process of working with an architect is like. When most people think of architects, they imagine someone sitting at a desk, drafting complex blueprints of intricately designed buildings. While that is part of the job, the reality is that there is also a lot more to the construction process than simply designing a building and then constructing it.
There are six main steps in the process of working with a commercial architect firm. These steps are the following:
- Finding the right architect for your project
- Preliminary research and setting your goals
- Creating the plans (blueprints)
- Bidding & Permitting
Each and every one of these steps is important, because each step builds on the one that came before it. They each require a different skill set, meaning that architects have to have a variety of different skills in order to succeed in their role and exceed expectations for every building they create.
Step 1: Finding the Right Architect for Your Project
Before you can work with a commercial architectural firm on your project, you first have to find one that can fulfill your unique needs. To do this, you want to find an architectural firm that values you as a client, will advocate for you, and has experience in the type of project that you want to do. A great tip for doing this is to review an architect’s portfolio of completed work. This will give you insight into their abilities and experience while also giving you a glimpse of what to expect from your finished project should you choose to work with them.
It’s also a good idea to keep reviews, testimonials, and references of this architect and their firm in mind when making your decision. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and it can help you separate the firms that will care about your interests from the ones that won’t do everything they can to ensure your satisfaction.
Step 2: Preliminary Research and Setting Your Goals
Once you’ve picked the architectural firm you want to work with, the first step is for you to set your goals with them. You’ll discuss the kind of business you own, your requirements for your new building, your budget, and more with the commercial architect. The more specific you can be the better. That will help them fully understand what they need to do to create the desired results for the project. Our goal is not to just meet but exceed your expectations.
Once you’ve talked about your goals, it is time for the architect to work on performing preliminary research for the project. They’ll research things such as local building codes, site conditions, environmental challenges, and more design-centered things such as architectural styles and new trends.
Step 3: Design
This phase consists of beginning to create your new building. During the design phase, architects will start to plan out your new building while taking any limitations such as the condition of the building site or budget factors into consideration. While your ideas will still be just starting to take form during this stage, it will still be exciting to begin to see your project start to come to life. This is an evolutionary process rather than a revolutionary one. A good commercial architect will communicate with you on an ongoing basis. Sometimes daily emails and photographs, design ideas, and concepts. There is a lot of back and forth to get the building exactly the way the client wants it. This also includes the exterior of the building and how your project will intermingle and amalgamate into the fabric of your street, neighborhood or community.
Step 4: Create the Plans (Blueprints)
This is the stage of working with a commercial architect firm that people are the most familiar with. During this fourth step, the architect you work with will put pen to paper (or mouse to computer) and start creating the blueprints and 3D models that will be the reference point for the rest of the project. These detailed plans act as record documents to tell the contractors and the governing authorities exactly what you will build, and how you will build it. They include several disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, & plumbing.
Step 5: Bidding
This phase is the “pricing phase” in which the financial part of the project will be finalized. The architect will consult with possible general contractors who could oversee the construction of your building to determine how much the construction of your project will cost. This will depend on a number of factors such as the price of materials and labor. The architect you’re working with should advocate for you in this stage just as in every other one. They should work to make sure the price you receive is fair for all parties involved and stays within your designated budget for the project.
Step 6: Construction
The last step in the process of working with an architectural firm is the construction phase. This is when your project will take on its final form and become something real. This is also the stage that takes the longest, lasting 6-18 months depending on the size and complexity of the building.
What kinds of projects can a commercial architect firm help me with?
The types and sizes of projects that a commercial architect firm can assist you with depends on the firm itself. Different firms have different specialties, which is why it’s so important to find one that has experience designing buildings for your industry. HDA Architects have several different specialties including:
- Veterinary practices
- Animal shelters
- Dental clinics
- Breweries & Distilleries
- Medical facilities
- Multifamily communities
- Senior living communities
- Industrial buildings
Why should I hire HDA Architects to help me with my project?
If you have been searching for “architect designers near me,” you may be wondering who to hire to help you with your project. This decision is an important one, as you want to be able to trust the architect you work with to create the building that you’re currently imagining. That’s why HDA Architects is involved in every step of the project to ensure that your building is created correctly, efficiently, and with the highest standards in mind. With over twenty-five years of experience creating complex projects, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to exceed your expectations.
If you have been searching for a commercial architect firm to help you create a veterinary practice, medical facility, restaurant, multifamily community, or other commercial building, HDA Architects is ready to help you with innovative solutions and timeless designs. To learn more about our architectural design services and how our architecture firm can help you, contact us today.