If you will soon be hiring a commercial architect, but you’re not sure what to expect it’s not drastically different than working with a residential architect, however there are usually more things to consider because commercial buildings are larger and have different regulations. In this article our team will walk you through the process of working with a commercial architect so you can be prepared and know what to expect. If you have any questions please contact us.
All architectural projects begin with a consultation. At this stage it’s likely that you haven’t yet decided on an architect and it’s normal to hold several different consultations with different firms. This is your chance to discover if the architect will be a good match for your project and we recommend bringing a prepared list of questions to your consultations, such as:
- Can you tell me about your experience with commercial projects similar to mine?
- Can we discuss the estimated timeline and budget?
- What existing relationships do you have with local contractors, material suppliers, and other people who will be involved in this project?
- Do you know all of our local building codes and regulations?
The initial consultation is also when you’ll discuss all the different elements of your commercial building design, including parking areas, elevators, cafeterias, staff bathrooms, and more. Commercial buildings are often more complex than residential buildings because of these elements, and it’s important to discuss your expectations with your architect.
Documentation and Design Development
Once you’ve chosen an architect, there’s still work to do before the actual building can begin, and a lot of that work involves gathering the necessary documentation and completing the required paperwork. This includes any existing permits that are on file, zoning maps, local building codes and regulations, requirements to submit various types of permits, fire codes, health and safety codes, and more.
Your commercial architect will review your existing project plan, make a list of which permits need to be obtained, and seek input from specialists including structural engineers, electrical engineers, HVAC experts, interior designers, and lighting specialists to get a complete picture of your project. After consulting with all parties, you’ll then have a clear idea of your project’s budget and timeline, and your initial sketches can then be developed into detailed drawings, ensuring that your building is to your exact specifications.
It may seem like there is a lot of work to be done before the actual building begins, however it’s important to hire a commercial architect who does their due diligence, obtains all the necessary permits, and brings the required specialists on board to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
If you have any questions about what to expect when you work with a commercial architect, or if you have any questions, please contact our team today. We look forward to hearing from you.