Architects are professionals who work in planning and designing a building or structure. They have the ability to analyze concepts or ideas from their clients, and create unique building designs based on them.
Architect jobs can vary: some specialize in residential or commercial building designs, while others focus on landscaping, urban development, interior design and green buildings. There is also a branch of architecture that deals with industrial facilities. The main specialization areas for architects are summarized below:
- Interior Architecture
- Urban Design
- Green Building Design
- Industrial Architecture
Residential architects design homes, working with homeowners to elaborate custom designs or renovations. Residential architects also work with home developers and builders, who may offer predetermined home designs to their clients.
Most residential architects work directly with their clients, and they are in charge of designing the entire set of plans. They also deliver cost estimates for materials and labor, as well as the time schedule for construction. The main challenge for residential architects is delivering custom designs based on homeowner requirements, which are often subjective and nontechnical.
Commercial architects design office buildings, skyscrapers, hotels, multi-family residential buildings, and other buildings that serve business purposes. Usually, commercial architects specialize in a specific type of building. They are responsible for creating functional building designs that provide efficient circulation for building users.
Circulation is one of the main factors to consider in these buildings, since occupants should ideally be able to guide themselves. Commercial architects must be aware of building codes, safety regulations, local laws and material cost. They must balance engineering, artistic and construction skills.
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Landscaping architects design outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, campuses, and neighborhoods. They design these spaces to be enjoyable for people and harmonious with the environment.
These architects are responsible for the location of buildings, greenery, pathways and walkways. They are in charge in deciding materials for walkways, the type of trees and shrubs, etc. Landscaping architects require a particular set of skills, since they must have knowledge about circulation, horticulture, climate and soil composition.
Interior architects are in charge of internal spaces of buildings, as they name implies. Ideally, they should make the most out of a living space. These architects have a vast knowledge of colors, fabrics, textures, furniture and other interior elements.
Interior architecture is required in both residential and commercial buildings, and popular architects who specialize in this area will have high demand throughout the entire year. It is important to note that not all interior designers are interior architects, but can offer similar services. Interior architects have higher qualifications and licenses.
Urban Design Architects
Urban design architects are in charge of designing entire neighborhoods, districts and cities. Architects with this specialization must combine building architecture and landscaping: they are in charge of grouping buildings and designing nodes, paths, skylines and street networks.
Urban design projects are among the most complex in architecture, since there are so many aspects to consider before completing the design. Urban architects will be serving an entire community, which can be a difficult but rewarding task.
Green Design Architects
Green design architects are gaining popularity, ever since building owners have become more concerned about reducing their environmental impact. These architects design homes and buildings using the most environmentally friendly techniques, and often collaborate with architects from other specializations.
Green building designs deploy measures such as renewable energy sources, eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances and other “green” techniques. Green architects are constantly developing new techniques to deliver designs with a minimal environmental impact. The knowledge fields required for green building design include aerodynamics, natural lighting and shading.
Industrial architects work with manufacturing facilities and other industrial buildings. Since efficiency has a high priority in industrial settings, a key concern is having a building layout that simplifies workflows.
Industrial architects can maximize the usefulness of the space available by optimizing its layout. Plant workers can organize materials and equipment more effectively if the space is easy to navigate. To deliver efficient and functional designs, industrial architects must understand the processes that will be carried out inside.