10 Things to Avoid on Your Commercial Project – Item #9: Building the Wrong Team

Construction is a team sport. Picking the wrong team is not going to win the game and it will likely go into overtime. A great football team is always led by a greater quarterback. When it comes to construction, your architect is your quarterback. An architect is the only team member who has the training and expertise to conceptualize an idea, design and document all the pieces, coordinate all the disciplines and guide the process through construction. He will be your advocate in the process! He will typically know a number of quality contractors who will be able to execute the plans as designed (the design you paid for) in the field.

During design, your architect can help build your team which often includes a number of engineers: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, audio-video/security and acoustical, along with interior designers, lighting designers, landscape architects, and kitchen and bath consultants and any other specialty necessary for your project.

Architects are generalists by training but should not be created equal even though they possess the same license. It is talent, experience and service that make each one unique. Hiring an architect that you met on the soccer field or who designed your friend’s house might seem like a good idea but it will not be the best idea. You want to find an architect who has expertise designing your building typology. An architect who has only residential design/construction experience will not be your best choice for a commercial building project. You’ll want to find an architect who has a good deal of commercial experience from design through construction. Conversely, if you’re building a home, you’ll want to find one who has residential experience.

Let your quarterback build and lead your team to a successful completion of your project!