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The term architecture can be used to mean a process, a profession or documentation. As a process, architecture is the activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures by a person or a machine, primarily done to provide socially purposeful shelter.

Architects are persons legally permitted to practice architecture. Once you’ve chosen an architect, you’ll want to know exactly what role they will play in completing your project. Although the role of an architect can differ between projects and architect firms, there are a few general jobs an architect will do to help you design and build your new home or building conversion.

Firstly, an architect will provide advice on the best ways you can achieve your plans within the constraints set by building regulations and planning permission. During this phase, the architect will also produce the plans to be submitted to the local council's planning department.

Once the plans have been submitted, the architect will then deal with all the correspondence with the regulatory bodies, such as local authorities and utilities companies, as well as preparing drawings required to show how the new building will meet UK building regulations. If any extra permission is required, such as conservation area consent, then the architect will also negotiate this on your behalf.

After the planning permission has been granted, many architects will take on the responsibility of preparing details of the cost of the project and getting in touch with builders for quotes. You should check that your architect is willing to do all this on your behalf, and remember it is ultimately up to you to choose a builder you are happy with.

When you have hired a building firm, you are ready to begin building your new home or office and many architects will offer to oversee this process to ensure all the design plans are being adhered to and that progress is being made at the right pace. It is useful to allow the architect to be involved in this part of the project so they are on hand to make decisions about any unforeseen circumstances that will no doubt arise during the building process.

An architect’s role also includes administering the building contract, submitting financial reports, and giving advice on maintenance regimes, which are done at various stages of the project.


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