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What could be the role of an architect be in a real-estate/developers office ??
What could be his/her contribution to the same??
The role of the architect IMHO, would probably be to help the developer maximize his her profits by offering the built environment the minimum legally code compliant, zone compliant, structures the developer could build next to the Wal-mart d.i.y. kit, that would probably would come in a little to high in cost or else the developer would never have hired the architect to began with
Apart from designing/estimation/inputs of the local bye laws.. would there be any other specific contribution.
speculative design thinking and planning
site and project analysis
programming and area tabulations
code and zoning research
loan pitch presentations and sales packages, media packages
design and construction team building
bidding assistance and contract negociations
preliminary and all other phases of design, master planning assistance
representing the developer to design team(s)
post construction follow ups, building commissioning
just a few comes to my mind...
Perhaps my personal career experience might be of some interest here. I spent about 1/3 of my career working in commercial real estate development. After 4 years in professional practice, during which time I obtained my license, I went back to school for an MBA. I then was hired by a real estate developer as a construction manager. That role evolved to project management, with a broader set of responsibilities. After a while, I grew into a development management role, which encompassed almost the full spectrum of development activities, from land acquisition to major tenant procurement to procurement of financing, etc.
In my experience, architects who join RE firms - and do well - rarely, if ever, spend much time designing and drawing. Our experience with design and construction provides a perspective that is quite useful to the development process. However, development is a much, much broader endeavor than is architecture. I believe architects who want to have a successful career in RE probably need to relax, if not break, the confining shackles of architectural thinking in order to achieve significant success. However, YMMV.
To put it simply, the role of the architect is:
A STAMPING TOOL.
Even with all the architect's expertise, to him we are simply a mild commodity needed to submit CD's to the building dept. We advise developers on building codes, zoning, ADA requirements, fire codes, life safety issues, design, and and the developer still feels the need to question our expertise/experience for the sake of saving a few bucks.
Bullshit. Prove architecture's $$$ value (that's a real thing, I swear), take on better dev. clients, or be your own. Not everyone is just a stamping tool.
And there are women developers...
the ROI on good design is very rarely much more than the ROI on bad design
mdler, you're wrong. There was a multi-decade study done a little while back that clearly demonstrated good design added an average of 25% to asset values in good real estate markets, and reduced vacancy rates by up to 50% during down markets. That's a big win for good design.
Vandell, Kerry D.; Riddiough, Timothy J.; and Lane, Jonathan S.
"Economics of Office Design"
Urban Land Institute Working Paper Series #602
The authors did produce a later paper, in 2003, that called the vacancy rate benefits into question, but market activity since the RE bust started has been supporting the vacancy rate impact findings.
Good design adds value to the bottom line. The difficulty for developers is in knowing what good design is and isn't. Regrettably, architects have really been dropping the ball on that. The architectural profession has been sliding further and further into solipsistic nonsense, producing a lot of self-indulgent crap and passing it off as "avante garde." That makes it difficult for developers to really judge the case for good design as added value.
Speaking dollars and cents mdler, more is more. I certainly agree that not everything is going to be a windfall, but that's not the point...