Why the heck do I need an architect for this? I have heard this brand of question quite often as I work with clients in all types of fields. It is a valid question! The question, I believe, stems from a desire to be cost effective; after all who doesn’t want to keep money in their own pocket? Still, this is the type of question that deserves a response – why the heck do YOU need an architect for that? I will attempt to address these issues as they apply to each of our major market sectors – I would love to hear your feedback!
Since October is a month SH Architecture focuses on our Commercial market, let’s start there. As part of our “solutions-driven” approach to each client interaction, here are seven great ways that an architect can provide meaningful and impactful benefits to brokers:
The sooner you know – Commercial markets will always be reliant on speed and accuracy of information. An architect can develop a program and strategy that can complement a broker’s efforts. This big picture view can tackle the important aspects of leasable square footage, circulation, zoning impacts, the number of offices vs conference rooms and can help a broker focus in on potential fits that will keep the deal moving along.
To stand in the breach – An architect can serve as a perfect positive buffer between landlords and tenants. The architect can protect the interest of each party so that mutually beneficial understandings of design and costs can be reached. This alone can make an architect a broker’s best friend!
Find more room – We are always looking to increase density and efficiency in office spaces. There have been recent trends of open office plans and benching configurations that bear this out. That doesn’t mean that this trend is for everyone; but, an architect can help you maximize what is available with the office plan that you want. Open office or closed offices, architects can help you find more room. While open offices do allow 20 to 30 percent more people to share a space, architects can help brokers to maximize the right mix. Most important – with an architect, you can be assured that design will not be sacrificed, your final layout will be attractive AND efficient.
The right information, right now – There is nothing worse than not having a good feel for market costs for construction or design fees. An architect can provide “hard costs,” such as estimates on construction, as well as “soft costs,” on engineering and permitting fees, for example. The right information at the right time can arm the broker with the information that they need to nurture the deal. An architect’s assessment of cost gives everyone the kind of qualified information that is necessary to make effective decisions that lead to confident decisions.
To validate – An architect can help a broker confirm rentable square footage of a given space or serve a watchdog for a tenant during negotiations. Landlords may also use architects to help get the best use of their property. In any case an architects can provide beneficial third-party validation.
Your friend in the construction business – Have you ever wanted “another set of eyes” on a work order from a contractor? Maybe somebody else to look over a lease? This is another great area that an architect can help. Architects can assist brokers or landlords by reviewing work orders from contractors to ensure that they are getting the best quality construction for the dollar.
The best resource you have – Trust. Relationships. A good architect earns both. An architect will help a broker get his deal closed and will do it seamlessly. Architects also understand confidentiality and the importance of keeping plans under wraps. Architects are a fantastic source of quiet counsel! While we may not be your first call on a project – with all of the support and resources that we can offer, we should be near the top!