What Are The Duties Of A Commercial Architect – Key Factors To Know Before Hiring One

by Editor on June 4, 2013


A commercial architect mainly focuses on the design and drawing of any building structure that is considered commercial. While they are capable of handling residential projects, their specialty and focus is usually larger commercial projects. Often these projects can range from high rise buildings to hotels, offices, churches,

malls and often they require engineering skills as well. Depending on how complex or involved a commercial architect wants to be, their duties can include a wide range of things. Here are a few things that some commercial architects also involve themselves with, aside from their usual duties around planning and vision.


Many architects themselves actually sit down with the client to do the initial consultation rather than have an assistant or college graduate just out of school do it. The client and architect discuss what type of structure is being built and its functionality along with whether there are any building code restrictions for the area and what the regulations are, along with a rough idea of the costs.

This hands-on approach can be beneficial, as there are no crossed wires in terms of approach or what has been agreed. An architect will, however, still take along an assistant or a student, as the experience will be beneficial when they come to carry out their own projects.


This is where the architect will spend as much time as they need just to do a rough sketch, to present to the client so they have a basic idea of what to expect. Once accepted, then the architect and his team work on the actual detailed structural design and layout, keeping in mind everything that has been agreed so far, in addition to other factors such as the budget attached to the project.

Contractor Acquisition

Once the design has been finalized, the next phase is managing and getting all the necessary paperwork and contracts ready, and acquiring the right tradespeople and vendors for the project. This is where all the contracts get signed and everyone is aware of the expectations involved in the overall project to ensure the project will run smoothly.

Many architects will have a network of trusted contacts within the construction industry, so this stage is often reasonably straightforward.

Project Manager

Most often, the architect likes to get involved in the entire project and the overall management from start to finish. Also, the owner of the structure usually doesn’t have time or even want to hassle and deal with this aspect and is only concerned about getting the building completed in compliance with all relevant legislation.

The architect here will coordinate the entire building process and be involved in overseeing and working closely with all the contractor, engineers and designers. During the course of the project the architect also frequently visits the job site to monitor the progress and give feedback to the owner.

Depending upon how the complex or large the project may be, it may usually involve several architects or a larger architectural firm as it would be nearly impossible for only one architect to handle alone.

About the Author

Robert Reeve is a contractor specializing in the new solar and energy saving industry. He and his brother, who is an architect have begun to focus their energy on ETFE properties and solar panels. Robert enjoys wake boarding, hiking, and developing new and creative strategies to build his business.

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