Architects play an important role in designing and implementing the project on site. Their role includes but is not limited to as an architect. As Google defines an Architect, they not only design the building but play a larger role in manifesting the design in real life.
The architect often is appointed as the project manager (PM) to ensure the success of the project implementation. Architects may be involved in all stages of a construction project, from the initial meeting with the client through the final delivery of the complete structure. Designing, engineering, managing, overseeing, and communicating with clients and builders are all tasks that demand specific expertise. According to Wideman, “project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources to achieve stated objectives within limits of time, budget, and stakeholders’ satisfaction.”
On the construction site, an architect has many added responsibilities. With managing, supervising, designing, and communicating they also need to ensure that the structure is sound and safe. Here are 10 tips/ways to manage the construction site effectively:
Believe in yourself
This might come across as very cliché, but trust me. It might seem very daunting to think of yourself as a project manager but you’ve got an Architecture degree, and it’s enough to validate your confidence that you can manage the site. Recall what the “Architectural Building construction” lectures taught you or go through your notes if you are in a doubt. Ask questions to your seniors and don’t be afraid to because you are ultimately out there to gain some real practical experience.
Deploy your strengths and skills
One of the most important abilities of a successful project manager is team communication. During the architectural training, one would develop many transferable skills that could be efficacious on the construction sites. The intense workload during the academic years allows an individual to develop impressive teamwork and leadership qualities.
Moreover, one can bring strong negotiating abilities to the table as a project manager with an architectural education. Architects can help resolve any issues with contractors by giving excellent advice and by finding a way to keep all the stakeholders satisfied.
Keeping Track of the Team
As an architect on the site, it becomes apparent that the communication between the architecture firm – contractor- the client will be through him/her. When working on a larger project, an architect cannot work alone, so a team of talented colleagues will surround every architect. Each team member will have a role to play, and tasks will need to be delegated. Projects cannot be realized without this. It’s necessary to update the architectural team with the ongoing events on the site and keep track of the drawings and revisions.
On-site project management
With new emerging technology and trends, many apps are launched for the architects to use on-site. Apps like Project Planning Pro make site management easy. This tool is great for developing smart project plans, inserting tasks, durations, and start dates, or importing existing Microsoft Project files and editing and updating them using the app. Another great app for management is the Site Audit Pro which is developed to conduct inspections, audits, and reports from anywhere and manage them. You can use it to take photos or upload existing images, annotate or remark on them, and distribute reports via email, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
You may keep records and track all variables across your team’s work as a project manager with an architectural background. This vigilance helps you and your company keep on top of a project’s budget while ensuring that all stakeholders are paid on time. You can also help with the design process, ensuring that a project is produced and built with the least number of faults possible. You can use your architectural skills to assist determine which contractors are the best fit.
Record every minute conversation with the contractor, vendor, and client when on the site. This will help to refer if in doubt or keep the architectural team up-to-date with the latest developments on site. This can also help the on-site architect to create a M.O.M. (Minutes of Meeting) and a logbook.
Dealing with Deadlines and Staying on Budget
While the majority of people believe they can operate well under stress, this is rarely the case. Stress is said to cause a loss of productivity by around 41% of stressed workers, which can be quite harmful. There’s no escaping the pressure and stress of working on a project with tight deadlines and a limited budget.
Staying organized is the best approach to deal with this. Keep track of the team, keep an eye on the deadlines, and come up with creative ideas to assist you to stay on budget. If you’re going to miss a deadline or can’t remain on a budget, let your clients know right away.
Take Preventative Action to Address Potential Issues
If architectural design errors go unnoticed, they might have disastrous consequences for the project. Poor calculations can be dangerous during construction, electrical hookups can be an eyesore, and the incorrect placement of doors, windows, and walls can make the design look ridiculous.
Therefore, it’s critical to thoroughly review your projects. Check for problems and errors in every nook and corner. Another area where 3D rendering software might help is in the construction industry. Send pictures to your architectural team every day so that no mistake is overlooked and is rectified before it’s too late.
Yadollahi, M., Mirghasemi, M., Mohamad Zin, R. and Singh, B. (2014). Architect Critical Challenges as a Project Manager in Construction Projects: A Case Study. Advances in Civil Engineering, [online] 2014, pp.1–15. Available at: http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/ace/2014/205310.pdf.
Tobias, M. (2019). Roles and Responsibilities of Architects in Construction Projects. [online] Ny-engineers.com. Available at: https://www.ny-engineers.com/blog/architects-in-construction-projects.