Creative individuals designing the blueprints for the built world
Every built structure, whether it is a private residence, hotel, office building, or bridge requires the services of a licensed architect. Architects design the exterior look and feel of a structure as well as create the detailed drawings that show how the structure is to be built. Other duties may include picking materials for construction and orchestrating pre-construction work such as site selection, due diligence and environmental impact studies. Architects must also create specific technical drawings of where the HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical facilities will be placed inside the structure. Architects might also be requested to design and provide advice on sustainable architecture which includes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. An architect's responsibilities will vary depending of the type of project and the owner. In some cases, architects are responsible for hiring the contractor, negotiating bids and serve as the owner's agent on the project. In other cases, the architect and contractor are hired separately with the architect only responsible for design.
Looking to the future
Technology is quickly changing the face of architecture. Design software has replaced the pencil and drawing table. Three dimensional computer renderings of buildings and virtual "walk-throughs" before a single brick is laid have become industry standard. Sustainability has dramatically changed the real estate development process and has significantly influenced the design process. In today's environment, it is important that an architect minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by improving efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. It is the ability to master the new technology and implement sustainable concepts coupled with the ability to manage projects (delivering on time and under budget) that will set tomorrow's architect apart.