How to Select the Right Architect for Your Commercial Project

Selecting the right architect requires you to look beyond important baseline considerations like budget and availability. It requires you to dig a little deeper if you want to find the right match for your specific project.


In order to do so, we recommend taking some basic steps to ensure that you pair up with a qualified and experienced commercial architect who is right for your project.


Steps to take when selecting an architect


  • Identify your project’s sector – Architects specialize. You want to select one who has experience with your specific type of project. Will it be a medical build, retail, restaurant, hospitality or residential project? Are you looking to build new from the ground-up? Will it be an interior renovation? Understanding the type of project you want and the specific sector in which it falls will help narrow down your pool of potential architect candidates.


  • Select 3-4 architects who work in your sector – Research and select several architects who have experience both working in your project’s sector and your region (ie an architect in Los Angeles will be well versed in building in an earthquake zone, but might not be ready to design a building for hurricanes in Miami) and invite them to submit a proposal for your project.


  • Create a project matrix – As you begin the selection process, create a project matrix in a spreadsheet to make comparing proposals easier. In the spreadsheet, spell out what is important for your project.


For example, if it’s a plastic surgery center, detail specifically what you want, such as two operating rooms, a post-op room, two treatment rooms for Botox, X number of exam rooms, office rooms, etc. A clear project matrix will help ensure that each architect has the same project details in their proposal. Also make sure the engineers that have to be part of the project are also on the same page and understand any need for anesthesiology equipment, gas, gas tanks, and other special equipment.


  • Evaluate costs – Look at your spreadsheet for a cost comparison among architects. Bear in mind that while cost is an important factor in your decision, it should not be the sole determinant driving your choice of an architect. When you choose an architect for your project, you are married to them for the duration of the project.


  • Interview potential architects – To ensure compatibility in terms of both personality and area of expertise, you’ll want to interview the selected architects and ask your specific questions related to their:
    • Timing
    • Budget
    • Communication style and personality
    • Expertise in your sector
    • Availability
    • References


Finding an architect who’s right for your project and on the same wavelength as you in terms of goals, personality, and experience is essential to your project’s success. You’ll be working extremely closely with them as you design and build your project, which is why it pays to do your due diligence early in the selection process.


At Seacoast Construction, we can help you select the right architect for your commercial build or serve as an owner’s representative to ensure all of your needs are met. For questions, get in touch with our team at Seacoast Construction.


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