Experts that pull the strings in a building project

[Photo: Courtesy]
Ever thought of working on a project befitting high-end architectural design? There are various players in the industry that will make up that project team.

Quantity Surveyor: These are the good fellows that give you an indication of what the building should cost and keep the project costs in check through the project. They also value the amount of work done on site over a particular duration, mainly to prevent the contractor from asking for more money than what they are actually due.

Structural and Civil Engineer: One of the most important trades in any project, their job is to ensure that the building is structurally sound meaning it can withstand any and all forces and still stay strong, very much unlike my willpower. Additionally, they design and advise on the civil works of the project.

Service Engineers: They are tasked with designing and supervising the services of the building: Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Solar and so on.

Interior Designer/Interior Architect: The scope and involvement of these varies greatly from project to project. In many cases, especially smaller ones, the architect takes up the role. Personally, I find it extremely useful to have a specialist interiors person on the team as it allows a fair amount of attention being paid to the interior spaces, which are, let’s face it, the most important part of any building.

The Landscape Architect: A Landscape Architect designs the external spaces, creating spaces that are not only functional, but also enhance the quality of life experienced within these spaces. And plant trees and plants. Lots and lots of them, hopefully.

There are a few newer professions on project teams as well (I say newer because they are still marginally represented in the majority of construction projects). Some of these include:

The Project Manager: The PM’s task is to manage the entirety of the project to ensure that all aspects of the project on a day-to-day basis are in sync with the master program, both in terms of progress as well as financials. Unfortunately, this also entails checking up on all the people involved, from consultants to contractors and sometimes even neighbors.

Environmental Engineers: With the growing awareness of the environmental impact of the built environment, its understandable that a specific discipline needed a figurative and literal seat at the project table, and so the advent of the Environmental Engineer. Their functions are many and varied: environmental audits, impact assessments, design suggestions to reduce impact on the environment and even environmental certifications. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

So there you have a short and not exhaustive description of the various players in a building project

By Aleem Manji, founder of the award-winning Narobi-based Aleem Manji Architects.

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