While there is always a silent debate on whether it is better to buy or build one’s own house, you hardly come by any question as to whether one needs an architect for a building project or not. Every building project needs an architect. An architect is anyone who plans, designs and oversees the construction of a building project.
Architecture is not only about drawing. Architecture is a science which involves a building’s ventilation, lighting and ensuring other professionals working on the building are using the right processes making sure foundations have been properly put together and the structures are working. The architect also ensures the building conforms to national building regulations.
A number of people putting up structures tend to employ the services of draughtsmen instead of architects. In Ghana, there is a code which enjoins draughtsmen to design structures which are about 120 square meters (approximately three bedroom houses) while architects design larger buildings. According to the National Building Regulations, buildings in metropolitan areas must be designed by architects with the involvement of other professionals.
Architects are important for every building project. What should anyone look out for when employing architectural services? The question of tips to selecting an architect for a project was posed to Akosua Obeng Mensah, an architect with Orthner Orthner & Associates. She compiled five tips as guidance. They include:
- Ask family or friends for referrals to architects that they have worked with and had a good experience with.
- Find out if the architect you are considering is registered with the Ghana Institute of Architects.
- Check out the architect’s portfolio or pictures of their work either on the internet or by visiting their offices. This will let you know their design style/capabilities before making the final decision.
- Have the architect show you a completed set of drawings so that you can have a fair idea of what deliverables to expect.
- Your relationship with the architect will be a close one. To achieve your dream, you will have to reveal a lot to your architect. Assess the architect through direct contact to ensure that your personalities are compatible and you can work successfully together.
Those are your top five tips to hiring an architect for your building project. Have you worked with any architect in recent times? What was the experience? We would love to hear from you on Twitter and Facebook.