What can an Engineering company (specializing in electrical) offer an architecture company?


I know very little about the work of architects, so try not to rip on my ignorance, or go ahead... as long as I get helpful feedback lol.

I work with a small engineering firm as a commercial energy auditor(I have a business degree and a sustainability diploma which is buildings and energy). The head of the company thinks it's a good idea for me to pair up with another young guy(an electrical engineer) to find new sources of business.

He mentioned talking to some local architecture firms about electrical design. Find some small jobs and work to bigger ones. The firm I work with has never done this kind of work before but the owner thinks there is a lot of potential jobs in this area.

The dynamic would be that I would be the guy doing the cold calling to find potential firms to work with and the actual engineers to do the main parts of the design.

I am going to start talking to some small local architecture companies soon and I was hoping people here could shed some light on what are some typical services they look for in projects. It would be nice to go in with some knowledge.

I live in Ontario Canada if that makes any difference.

Jul 16, 18 11:49 am
Non Sequitur

I'm an Ontario Architect and one angle I can see you stepping into is energy modeling under OBC SB10 & SB12.  This is probably more on the mechanical side of engineering but we (or the client) always outsources this to large M&E offices given the size of our projects but I can see an advantage to smaller custom residential focused architects if you can provide SB12 energy modeling services.

My 2 cents' worth.  I'm not sure if I am helping or confusing the situation.

Jul 16, 18 12:11 pm

Just electrical? On any commercial project, consultant that provides electrical design will also be expected to provide plumbing and mechanical (MEP). It would be very impractical to subdivide this work even if no single person is qualified to provide all three.

You are better off reaching out to General Contractors who will need very specific delegated design assistance. Anything motorized within the building (think coiling doors, gates, access equipment) will need to be stamped by GC's engineer of record. And that could be you!. 

Jul 16, 18 12:19 pm

Thank you very much for you replies!

Jul 22, 18 9:47 pm

Electrical engineering plans?

Jul 22, 18 10:15 pm

Whether to use one firm for MEP (and FP, communications, security, acoustics...) depends on the architecture firm, and sometimes on the owner's RFP or institutional procedures, and sometimes on state laws for public projects, or projects receiving public funds (such as university projects).  I've worked on many large projects with separate consulting firms contracted for each of M, E, and P.  Particularly in states or with institutional or corporate clients that mandate QBS, it's sometimes not possible to have just one consultant firm for all three, as the consultant for each discipline has to be selected in a separate process based on their own merits in that discipline. 

What type/scale of projects is your boss wanting to target?  If it's residential and small commercial then there are lots of projects that have electrical engineers but no mechanical or plumbing consultant at all - it depends on the areas of competence of the architecture firm.  If it's larger projects that your boss wants to focus on, some firms doing some types of projects will only be interested in a firm that can offer MEP together, as someone mentioned above.  But many architecture firms going after large public projects, university work, and particularly in states with QBS are more accustomed to dealing with and coordinating the work of multiple separate consulting firms for M, E, and P on their typical projects.

Jul 22, 18 10:50 pm

If you can deliver your work in Revit you are already ahead of the pack.

Jan 16, 19 2:45 pm

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