Architectural Designer & Technologist or Architect? Not sure who to hire?
For residential building projects, it’s definitely advisable to hire a design professional. Design professionals can help you find the best solution for your brief and finally your project by advising you on where to spend your budget and where to save.
Worried about the planning process? There is a lot to take in whether it is planning, building regs or structural work – they can help you with all of this and can even help you hire a builder, get the right price and check over their work.
Several diverse professions offer architectural design services for residential projects such as extensions, conversions and of course new builds. Although, to commence the design process and to create planning and construction drawings, people usually hire either an architect or an architectural technologist.
So.. What’s The Difference Between An Architectural Designer & Technologist & An Architect?
The services that they offer for a residential project are indeed very comparable. Architects have more of an interest and experience in the aesthetic and spatial abilities of a project. While architectural technologists usually have more knowledge in the science and technology of building. Nevertheless, there are many architectural technologists who are extremely creative and of course many architects who are very technical in their way of working so it is wise to consider each on their own by carefully looking at previous projects and choosing one based on their earlier work.
The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT, ciat.org.uk) labels the members as ‘specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction’. To become a associate of CIAT, technologists need to have either an accredited degree, Higher National Diploma (with specific and additional units) or the S/NVQ4 in Architectural Technology.
The term ‘architect’ is protected by law, which means that only professionals who have successfully completed seven years of training and are registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB, arb.org.uk) can legally call themselves an architect.
Architects are trained in imaginative design in addition to the practical characteristics of construction, so they are able to suggest their clients a wide-ranging service, from design concept right through to the supervision of the construction process; some practices with an Architectural Technologist in charge also offer this service so it is worthwhile to do you research in your area.
What To Consider and Who To Choose?
Technologists connect the break among the creative side of building design and construction design, offering the detail needed to turn imaginative concepts into buildings.
Meet some designers and ask to meet their previous clients before deciding who to hire. Get a feel for what they will be like to work with; will they listen to your requirements or will they just do what they want? By asking their clients you will be able to tell if you are going to be happy with this professional.
It is worthwhile hiring an architect or architectural technologist with good knowledge of your area and who have dealt with your local planning department on several occasions as reputation can have an affect with planning applications. If the planners know of the professional dealing with the application they will know of their knowledge and know they have a good understanding of the planning and design system.
Experience is a key element when choosing your designer. Choose someone who can work to your budget, scale and style.
Before agreeing to anything ask the professional to come and visit you at your property; expect this to be free then you can agree the terms and conditions when you are satisfied.
At SJR Architecture based in Preston and can offer a wide range of services including planning, building regs and work along side builders and structural engineers. The principle designer is an Architectural Designer & Technologist with several years of experience in the Residential Sector.