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Practice & management

Architects Office Practice Execution & Site Supervision Laws & Contracts Zoning & Building Regulations

Architects office Practice.

Public Relationing Office Organization Office Practice: Personnel Management Financial Management/Accounting office records & filing Codes of Conduct Scales of Charges Professional Legislation Competitions Architects Office Practice

Execution & Site Supervision Architects Site Organization Contractors Site Organization Planning site Operations Works in progress Site Supervision Laws & Contracts General laws relating to building industry Relationship/duties of parties engaged in contracts Forms of contracts Arbitration, Dilapidations and Easements Zoning & Building Regulations

The knowledge gained by you during these five years is very little. There is so much to learn in the technique of an architects profession. The training by itself is quite inadequate. You have to learn about a thousand matters of purely utilitarian nature prices, contracts, byelaws, site, materials, plants, trades, customs, legal rights etc. You have to negotiate with: Clients Builders contractors sub contractors Merchants Clerk of work/foremen Workmen Fabricators material suppliers

All this you have to learn and gain: Either working on your own: a long process. Or working with somebody: try & work with a good principal and try to learn various aspects quickly. Try and learn: 1. Tried office procedures a little careful thought and a determined adherence to a tried procedure will set you free from hours of worries. 2. An idea of prices, estimates, BOQs. may be it is the duty of a quantity surveyor, but you must also be well versed in it. 3. surveying a site and plotting it. Various method of taking the measurements.

4. Contract and their types/their merits and demerits.

5. Inspection of works in progress

6. Various types of certificates and their issuance

7. Legal information
8. Reports on property and their evaluations

9. Insurance etc. and many more

It was during the 60s that the architectural profession started to take the issue of management seriously. This resulted in the publication of many guides/books, research papers etc and are being revised till today. Since 60s there has been considerable changes in our approach to the management of construction projects and despite many good examples of how to manage the processes effectively and professionally, we still see reports urging us to do it better.

A number of reports have been aimed specifically at architects in emphasizing the need for better management of design activities and design offices while also raising questions about how and what architects should be taught. What ever our view, it is difficult to ignore the fact that our fellow professionals leave universities without thorough understanding of how to manage projects and commercial enterprises. It is imperative that in a highly competitive business environment,, architects are to demonstrate professional management skills and leadership competence to their clients and hence retail/regain an important place in the planning and management of our built environment.

As students we spend a great deal of time, effort and emotional energy on learning to design, only to find that on entering the practice, we are suddenly constrained by many different pressures and controls. Clients Specialist Consultants Cost materials Local Development Agencies Contractors Manufacturers and Fabricators etc. Frustration is immediate, not necessarily because there is less time to devote to design but because we have inadequate grounding in the management of design/construction activity.

The role and position of the architect have always been in transition from early efforts to establish the profession to subsequent battles with other actors for influence over the quality of our built environment and market share.

In some cases, architects have deliberately with drawn from or have been pushed out of the construction process providing Design only Services
Here, the architects influence over the design as it progresses though various stages to a completed building may be negligible, as others with different objectives exert control and take decisions that can impact the Value, Performance and Image of completed building.

The stereotype view is that the creative designer lie outside the bounds of managerial control. This is a convenient image for some to hide behind, but the reality is that majority of architects appreciate sensitive and appropriate management.

Creative people do not respond particularly well to tight controls and the tick box mentality of many management approaches. Creativity is usually defined as the ability of an individual to make unusual connections between ideas and/or combine ideas in a unique way. This is a mental process that is influenced by the cultural and social environment in which it takes place. In the context of design management, the cultural and social environment is the design office and its interaction with individual design projects. At the individual level, creativity comprises of three components: Motivation: fundamental to creative work. Expertise & Knowledge: Design expertise and wide range of technical and procedural knowledge. Creative Thinking Skills: Highly developed in architects.

Creativity is not exclusively the product of individual action, but the interconnected action of a community of people. This community of people is relatively stable with in the design office, but more fluid with in the individual projects

Management is a complex area and individuals must develop a wide range of skills & attributes to be effective in the work place. The creative thinking skills encouraged in architectural education are also highly relevant to management. There is a growing recognition of the importance of people and thinking of more creative, dynamic and responsive approach to management. Good managers should know hoe to work with people and systems, they understand the importance of getting the right people for the required job, getting every thing in place before the work starts and providing appropriate leadership.

Building design and construction is a multimillion business requiring the coordination of technological and design management expertise to realize projects.

Even the most simple construction project will require a small array of people to guide it from conception & development through to successful completion. Projects are temporary events that have an often poorly defined start and by comparison a clearly defined finish.
The aim of a project is to bring about change related to the physical appearance of the site and its use.

Projects have a distinctive characteristics in a way that every one is unique. Every project differs from one another to a lesser or greater extent. Construction project teams are most commonly set up for the life of a project and disbanded on successful completion of the building. This creates new relationship for each project and provides the project manager with the immediate challenge of team building and establishing communication between the project participants as quickly as possible.

In contrast to the management of projects, the architect has to deal with the management of design organizations & their symbiotic relationship with the construction sector. Achieving synergy between the management of the design office and of individual projects is crucial to ensure a healthy business.

Due to this unique characteristics, the design needs to be managed in a particular way if creativity is be encouraged and the clients requirement successfully delivered.

How to obtain the works

Unless you get some commission (projects/jobs) you will not have any opportunity to put into practice the knowledge you have acquired. Simply putting a brass plate out side your office and expect a job is not enough. For young architects, this is one of the most difficult things. So it may be of interest to note how to get the jobs. Through friends/acquaintances One of the most useful source so you should always enlarge the circle of your acquaintances

By Competitions Very good method particularly for young architects. You should always go in for competitions, specially, if you have a chance to enter into one where the number of architects is small. It may be difficult to get into limited competitions. Small works/small competitions should not be neglected. And do not take a problem to be a small problem

By specialization It is always advisable to specialize in some particular branch of profession and endeavor to know all what is to be known and become an authority on a subject. Such as the type of buildings: Housing, Health or Recreation. Conservation, sustainable design or energy efficient buildings Be careful not to over specialize and have difficulty in carrying out works outside that type or class.

By Actual Works The manner in which you design and carryout the works entrusted to you (how so ever small it may be) will play a vital role in the success or other wise of your practice. You should in fact do your very best in smaller works because they are: More difficult to solve will bring more work for you. By Solicitors: Evaluation of property with a view to purchase/mortgage Schedule of dilapidations Questions regarding rights/encroachments/easements These may be small jobs but if you do these honestly, you may expect more works

By your own initiative/proposal/involvement In urban development projects Community participation projects as community leader Area development/Improvements Proposals for affordable housing By luck Traveling in an aero plane/train where a potential client was to travel became friendly with him: At the end of the journey you have the project in hand Could be by luck or intentionally