Why Architects Need Great Contractors and Why Contractors Need Great Architects | BRP Construction

Why Architects Need Great Contractors and Why Contractors Need Great Architects

It’s remarkable when contractors and architects understand how each benefits from the other’s work. They can gain insights into each other’s viewpoints and recognize why they need one another to thrive.

It’s true that the architect comes up with the design vision and creates an architectural plan to meet a client’s needs, but it’s the general contractor who brings that vision to life. Contractors have a wealth of knowledge and pull from their history of construction science and their wealth of experience on the jobsite to make important build decisions. The contractor coordinates the labor, equipment and services and all the materials necessary to build a sound and functional structure. Not to mention the number of responsibilities they have, such as the procurement of building permits, management of onsite personnel, administration of budgets and engagement of specialized subcontractors.

The role of a contractor goes far beyond general project management. One of the primary duties of the general contractor is to certify the actuality and credibility of building features. While the architect is more experienced in design, the general contractor knows what is and isn’t possible when it comes to construction and can identify design features that are not in the best interest of a building project. The contractor can advise the architects who, with all their enthusiasm about the boundless possibilities of design, may at times be overly ambitious or push the limits of capability. The actual construction of these goodhearted designs is not always sensible in terms of budget or schedule and sometimes simply isn’t doable. When this is the case, a design change may be called for. A competent general contractor will identify when changing a design feature is the best option and communicate the need clearly and effectively with the architect so that everyone on the project team recognizes that the compromise is in the best interest of the client.

In the end, architects cannot see their project ideas, designs and visions fully realized without contractor management. Likewise, contractors need architects to create structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing designs before they can get to work bringing these designs to life.

By understanding one another’s roles, maintaining effective communication and respecting each other’s professional perspectives, architects will make smarter design decisions and contractors will build those designs more successfully. This is a win-win for the architect, the general contractor and, not least, for the client.