I would like to take a brief moment to discuss one of the most important relationships in a construction project, the relationship between the architect and the general contractor. We will assume for now that the client and the architect have a terrific working relationship and the architect has just developed a beautiful and functional design for a project that is exactly what the client wanted. Great start!
But what’s next?
The relationship between the architect and the general contractor is a much talked about, often contentious, usually strained relationship based on mistrust, misunderstanding and lack of communication. This is not a good basis for a successful construction project or a happy client. Historically, the architect designs the project and the contractor tries to figure out how to build the project. Somewhere between an architect’s educational process and the daily routine of designing “pretty buildings”, most architects have the attitude that “if I can draw it, the contractor should be able to build it”. Not always the case!
Many architects go onto a jobsite and start telling the contractor and subcontractors what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do their job to complete the project. Most contractors and subcontractors resent this fact, as they are the experts at their field. The architect knows a little bit about all aspects of construction, but the contractors know a lot about their specific trade. If more (amicable) communication would take place between the two parties, there would be less animosity, less resentment and more of a sense of teamwork. Construction is a team sport, not an individual sport! The more that an architect and a contractor (or subcontractor) can communicate the better and more smoothly a project will run. This is not an assumption, this is a fact…respectful communication is the key to a successful project.
Both parties need the opportunity to express their ideas and concerns and come to a cohesive solution that fulfills the aesthetic needs of the architect, and the practical needs of the contractor. The sooner in the design process that this dialogue can occur, the smoother the project will go, and the less volatility between parties will occur. C3 Architecture & Design works very closely with our chosen contractors to provide our clients with the best possible solutions, with the least amount of conflict possible.
Let us CONSULT with you about your project, CONCEIVE beautiful and functional designs, and CREATE the space of your dreams.
I will end with that thought, but only for now. I will return with more adventures into the Wacky World of Architecture! Have a wonderful day!
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