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5 tips for Selecting a Competent Architect

If you are ready to hire an Architectural firm for your Office, Residential building, or Institution (which could be a school or college), you need to know the right steps to select wisely. The hiring decisions of most public agencies, institutions and corporations is often driven by QBS (quality-based selection), where an architect is chosen on the basis of professional qualifications and competence. While selecting an architectural designer or an architectural firm, you too should keep QBS in mind. This will help you get the best-qualified architect for your project.

Whether you want to hire a professional for Architecture of schools and colleges, office complex, industrial unit or residential setup, these5 QBS tips for selecting competent professionals will help:

  • Level of Competence: Check the history and capability of your short-listed architects to perform the required services. Starting from checking their portfolios and requesting images from their past projects to visiting a recent job site, you can do many things to test their level of competence.
  • Similar Experience: It’s always good to hire architects having relevant experience. You can ask about past performance on similar types of projects to assess their level of familiarity and confidence with respect to the task at hand.
  • Familiarity with the Region:Architectural designs and their implementation to meet your specific needs require your chosen architect to be familiar with the local geography, in addition to possessing a license to work in that specific location. Even having adequate knowledge about the local facilities is crucial to get the best results for an architecture project.For example, handling a real estate project in Ghana would need local familiarity that’s different from the demands of a residential unit set-up in Senegal.Therefore, it becomes imperative for you to find if your chosen professional fits the bill on this aspect.
  • Project Management Capability: Architects often work with other professionals in their field, along with consultants and contractors. Sometimes, the architect may handle the architectural designs and drafting tasks, while the consultants may include interiors designers as well as electrical, mechanical and sustainability professionals. When the contractors are at work, it’s the architect’s responsibility to monitor the project and ensure that his architectural designs are followed the right way.Therefore, knowing about the architect’s project management capability is important. Also, you should select a professional who has the time and patience to do the job while handling and managing a team of mulch-faceted people successfully.
  • Approach to the Job: Traditionally, architectural services included three aspects: design; construction documents’ preparation; and construction administration. However, modern architects provide a whole gamut of services including feasibility studies, problem-solving, architectural programming, interior design and facility management – just to name a few. Whether the building type of your project is simple or complex, your chosen architectural service must be visualized and coordinated as an integrated whole, with adequate attention paid to time, quality and cost. Therefore, understanding the entire approach to the job is crucial to optimize value for money.

When selecting an architectural firm for your project, you need to assess the firm’s professionals on the above-mentioned factors. Other important factors to consider are the firm’s:

  • Past 5/10 years’ volume of construction
  • Project team
  • Staff on-board the project
  • Continuity of the staff
  • Leadership
  • Past litigation records, if any
  • Level of coordination
  • Awareness of modern architecture trends, and
  • Design sustainability

So, use all these tips to make an informed decision when choosing an architectural firm for your project.

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