How to Choose an Architect

When you are building a new home, you are probably making the biggest investment of your life.
Building or renting a new home for your business can have a huge financial impact on your company.
You need the right professional to assist you.

How to find the right architect for your project
Some experts say that it boils down to finding the right personality fit. “Nothing beats human chemistry”, it is said.
It is not all “human chemistry” though.
Looking for an architect;
• Start looking for an architect by talking to friends and colleagues.
• Look at the SAIA and SACAP websites, which will list architects in your area. There are regional institutes for architects, which can also assist. (All the bodies that regulate the work of architects in South Africa.)
• Architect’s websites are an important source of information. Their photos of completed work, referrals and recommendations will give you a good idea of their specialization and style. Look also at the materials used in the buildings, they should have low maintenance and be suited to the RSA weather. If the buildings are close, visit some of them. (Painted buildings require maintenance)
• Look at the architects’ lists of previous clients.

The architect you choose must be an expert in his field. He has to be focused on a specific portion of the built environment. This architect must be the specialist you need and not a generalist. Here are six types of architect. There are more. You may have to choose one of the following;
Residential Architect; Residential buildings have become progressively identical and boring after the standardization that followed the advent of sectional title town houses and their developers. However, some neighbourhoods still enjoy the merits of beautifully customized residences and this is where specialized Residential Architects operate. Commercial Architect; A well-designed building is aesthetically pleasing (elegant) as well as functional. The function varies according to the type of building that is being designed. A successful design of a commercial or public building is highly dependent on a flowing and self-guiding circulation system.
Interior Designer; Designing and styling the interior of an apartment, an office, or a restaurant require artistic sense and technical knowledge of materials and furniture.
Green Design Consultant; Most architects will design responsibly as far as environmental requirements go. There are, however, specialists who may be needed to construct a building with a “Green Certification”. These specialists are normally appointed concurrently with an architect.
Landscape Architects; The outdoor spaces like parks, gardens, neighbourhoods, campuses, and public spaces are designed by them.
Industrial Architect; These architects design buildings for specific uses, such as factories, warehouses, hospitals, prisons, and workshops etc. They design any building which has an industrial or specific process to be housed.

Be careful when you start a relationship with an architect, as you may have to work with him/her for a long time. “Accept an architect carefully, but refuse him quickly” is the principle.

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