Architect as a project manager

The present-day world is gripped by stress, and everyone is hiring people to toss away a part of this inevitable load off their shoulders. This has lead to a tremendous rise in managerial jobs in today’s times. An Architect’s role in a project is also undergoing constant change, where the responsibilities as a project manager are increasing manifold.

The term project management has gained considerable ground in the last few years. It is important to understand what it is, and how it affects architects. It is a scientific approach to the construction of a project that starts right from the stage of its conception. It incorporates all stages, from design to delivery, and creates a time bound process of delivery, ensuring quality creation. Project management streamlines the operations to optimize time and money. Just like any other management role, it incorporates finances, resources, man power and statutory approvals. The construction industry, being the most capital intensive industry is increasingly relying on such services.

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One of the other substantial causes for the same is the ever-rising demand for turn-key solutions. Everybody wishes to just move into a completed space, without having to face the headache of daily haggles at the site. An architect usually takes over this responsibility on behalf of the client, ensuring that the client has a smooth, burden free time during the period of construction. It is a technically sound decision to have the architect as the project manager, as he will be able to provide rightful inputs on contractor selections, material suppliers, time management and project planning. The experience, knowledge and skill set of an architect is the perfect combination for the job.

The other significant cause is the ascent of specific area consultants. Architects are no longer independent people solely responsible for the design development of a project.  Some of the jobs, willingly or unwillingly, have to be outsourced to specialist service providers for areas such as:

1.    Structural design
2.    Thermal performance analysis and design
3.    Plumbing and Sanitation
4.    Electrical design and automation
5.    Mechanical and allied services.
6.    Interior design
7.    Fire fighting
8.    HVAC

milindpai-blog2In such a scenario, where many different agencies are involved, architects become bridges that compile inputs from numerous agencies to provide a unified composition for construction. All communications thus happen through the architect. Here, the role of a manager overpowers the role of a designer.

As the scale of the project grows, project management becomes all the more vital. In such cases, clients usually hire project management consultants (PMC) first, who in turn, hire an architect for the project.

Large amounts of jobs have been created within the project management industry itself- many fresh graduates in architecture are pursuing higher education in project/construction management for expanded career options. This conditioning right through education stage itself is creating better equipped professionals ready to face the challenges of the industry.

The role of an architect is definitely evolving with changing times- Architects are making themselves ready for the challenges of the future, acquiring relevant knowledge and skills, using better technologies and are committed to time and cost bound delivery of projects and services. Being the manager definitely makes an architect not only the the man in power but also the man responsible and accountable for the successful completion of an architectural masterpiece.

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