Understanding Client Relationships - DesignIntelligence
Good client-architect relationship is important for the success of the architectural project. This article discusses client-architect relationships from the perspective of a long view and provides opportunities for architects to develop firm. Four architectural experts relay seven tips on how to build, maintain, and repair trust in an architect-client relationship.
Client-Architect Relationship - Cabinet d'architecte Paris
His work was decidedly unglamorous. Site manholes and handholes were relocated, roofs were replaced and day-to-day officing and code issues were resolved. In short, he was there to do the grunt work no one else wanted to do or recognized was important. The organization tolerated his devotion to this client but barely, thinking he would have been more valuable on a real project.
Then a new local headquarters campus project emerged. They wondered why this long-term client had considered putting out an RFP for design services for the new facility. They appeared hurt and indignant when they discovered that a rival in-town firm had won the coveted prize. What firm principals had forgotten, perhaps a generation or two earlier, was that clients had completed their unprecedented expansion that had begun in the late s and continued through the s and were now changing their buying habits.
Clients were again looking for someone to trust their facilities to, someone that was an expert on the materials that make up buildings and on optimizing their functional uses.
We speak at and attend conferences, play golf, dine with potential clients and seek out any number of ways to get close to decision-makers for the purpose of snagging the all-important project. What we refuse to do is get involved in the seemingly inconsequential but tough day-to-day work. Corporate clients desire architects to understand and handle their space and facility related problems on a consistent basis, many times on a nationwide or worldwide basis. One reason may be that clients are realizing their investment in the RFP and selection process for facility change projects becomes debilitating to their budgets and bottom line.
This becomes a dilemma for our industry.
- Client-Architect Relationship
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- Understanding Client Relationships
The solution requires a deeper commitment than the partnering cocktail parties and facilitated off-site get-to-know-you sessions. True client service requires investment in core competencies and firm structures that establish the importance of continued client service and responds to the different fee earning capability that goes along with those services. To be successful, employees must see obvious firm career opportunities available to them when working for long-term clients.
In addition, clients must be able to see the intent and business response—as well as project response to their needs. Clients role Architects can sometimes assume that clients have a better understanding of the design and construction process as well as their role and responsibilities in the process then they really do.
This can lead to frustration and misinterpretations when the client does not perform the role s that the architect expects. While a lacking of knowledge does not relieve the client of contractual obligations, it may lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts. This blog post is intentioned to create success for both parties We wish with this article to establish an environment in which educating the client about the role of the architect, building design and construction is routine and understood.
This helps both the architect and the client to understand the process from a common perspective. However, it is not intended to be complete or all-encompassing as to the relationship.
Architects provide a service, not products. Those services are focused on meeting the expressed need of the client. And architect is a "clients consultant" whose role is to provide design services and assist the client in securing from the contractor a project that is generally in conformity with the architects design concept and specifications.
Contractors, not the architect, are responsible for building a project. Architects assume responsibility for issues that are under their control, and within reason. For example, architects cannot control contractor activity on the site and cannot be held responsible for jobsite safety or contractor or material delivery schedules. Therefore, a reasonable number of questions from the contractor should be expected.
These are not errors or omissions and its the main reason to keep communication open between the client, contractor and the architect all the way through Construction Administration. It is NOT possible to anticipate every possible circumstance or physical condition that may arise during construction. Change orders are likely to occur on any project.
Client and Architect - developing the essential relationship
Changes to the project program or the architectural design may require the architect to expend additional time, for which the architect is entitled to additional compensation.
Architects have NO control over, or special knowledge of the cost of materials, labor or any other project related expenditure. The key advantage of working with an architect is that he usually will know the most effective response to a particular issue and will continue to question further in order to ensure the correct solutions are found.
In many cases the client will not regularly have had to deal with architectural projects and the complexities of the construction industry. They may have no experience of managing a building project or the procedures and issues involved. In this instance we would either recommend they seek the advice and assistance of a project manager, or if the client prefers, as experienced architects we are also able to accompany them in this area of expertise, with a supplementary budget required to cover the management of the project.
Collaborative discussions in search of the best solutions: Completed fit out of Nike store in Paris It is important to seek the architect's advice but even more beneficial to ask questions.
A questioning nature shows that the client wishes to actively participate and understand all aspects of the project.