How to Hire a Architect - Mumbai, India

Here is our guide to hiring an architect.  Read on...

1. Understand the technical competence of the architect
No matter how creative the architect's sketches are, ultimately, you want a building that will not leak, rot, fall apart, or need maintenance. Every architect is not as technically competent as the other. A good architect will have a basic understanding of structural engineering,building constructionbuilding services (such as electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, and information systems), quality management, local building regulations, and project management. Not every architect has these skills. Look at the architect's previous work, and ask to see buildings that she has completed. If possible, speak to the owners of these buildings. Ensuring that the architect is licensed to practice in your area is a key step in hiring an architect.

2. Get a feel of the style of work of the architect
Conflicts crop up during the design process when the architect and the clients have different views. Try and get an idea if the architect can see the problem from your point of view, or is flexible. The worst thing you can do to an architect is show him magazines - 'I want this'. Sometimes a client will show an architect two different magazine shots - for the same room! That makes no sense. Instead, look at the previous work of the architect, and, if you like what you see, trust the architect. He should come up with a solution tailored to your needs. Be aware that some architects have their own signature styles, and you will get that style - and nothing else - when you hire them.

3. Be clear about what you want
You must put a lot of thought into what you want. "I want a hospital". What kind? How many patients will arrive in the busiest hour? Will your cafeteria use food cooked from outside or will it have a kitchen? What is your nurse:patient ratio? Put a lot of thought into this, and write out a clear design brief for the architect. This will help you to clarify your thoughts, and is an essential step in communicating what you need to the architect. A design brief contains a list of spaces you need, and a brief note on the functioning and organisation of your project - even if it is a small house.

4. The other consultants you need
An architect cannot design a building by herself. You will also need a licensed structural engineer, and a building services engineer. Click on this link to learn about building services design. The structural engineer will design the structural system of the building, and ensure that it meets local design codes and standards. The same architectural design for a building in different locations can have a different structural design, as this is tailored to local conditions, especially with regard to wind and earthquake forces. The architect may herself hire these additional consultants, and provide you with a single-window service.

Read our page on Stages of a Building Project

More on the way...

CAB guide to hiring an architect
AIA-MN guide to hiring an architect

Learn all about Building Construction


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