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Construction to architecture: whats better - residential or commercial field experience?

raven_iona

Greetings!

I am beginning my career in the building trades, starting as a carpenter, but my future plan is to become an architect.  I want to begin building a skill set that will be useful on the design side and make me a value candidate for masters programs. 

So, I am trying to decide - should I join a union and work commercial construction or work with a residential contractor? Which path is more relevant? 

About my interests- I am very committed to green construction, sustainability and climate adaptation. Urban design, transportation systems, and the “ecology” of the urban landscape are also interests of mine. I want work with people and machines to design buildings in the future that are considering these constraints. 

 
Aug 15, 19 4:21 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Commercial, hands down. Sustainability is going to become government mandated, whereas residential, less payback, and when you do get to the scale where it does matter, you're back into commercial.

Commercial, unless you are wicked design talent and you do design-build.

Aug 15, 19 7:19 pm
oldwhitehouse

In NYC  anyway, the Carpenters Union School offers a valuable education program for apprentices. In practice the field however, most guys can get pigeonholed to years of metal framing, drywall, suspended ceiling systems, maybe concrete forms. I think it could be years and years to get hands on in the aspects of the industry you mentioned, although the exposure to larger scale projects could be relevant to your goal. As to Home Construction and Renovation?, Again, depending on the contractor you work for  you could be cutting wood and banging nails and possibly never be exposed to the skillset you want to specialize in. My two cents:  Commercial, make Union Money, have benefits, get your Education.

Aug 16, 19 10:17 am
raven_iona

Thanks for the responses, it's helpful to get an outside take. 

Aug 16, 19 2:57 pm
shaundepp

I am starting my career in the Brothers Construction Group, Starting as a

labor, but my future plan is to become an architect. But, I want to
begin building a skill set that will be useful on the design side and
make me a value candidate for masters programs.

Aug 19, 19 4:20 am
3tk

Either way, pick the upper echelon projects - the ones where you'll get to see and execute work that is more than just the standard stuff.  I've seen a lot of high-end residential work where the architects drew something that was not quite build-able but the craftsmen figured it out and got the work done seemlessly.

Aug 20, 19 3:25 pm

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