The Architect serves as visionary, creator, coordinator and communicator
of the project's design and construction documents that describe
the design to be constructed. The drawings, specifications and other
construction documentation are prepared by the Architect and then
are administered by the Architect during construction. Observing
the progress of the work and processing changes, requests for payments
and a variety of other approvals and reviews are a part of the Architect's
responsibility. Architects may also provide pre-design services,
planning, programming, interior design and post construction services.
As the primary design professional on a project, the Architect assumes
professional responsibility for coordinating all of the design decisions
in the project.
The term "Architect" is a professional designation. An Architect
is required to pass a standardized licensing test and to be licensed
by each state in which the Architect practices. Architects are educated
in the fundamental aspects of mechanical, electrical and fire protection
systems and may be capable of providing designs for these systems
in small or straightforward projects. However, it is common for
most Architects to engage, as consultants, professional engineers
to design these systems
This entity is responsible for the management of the construction-related
elements of the project for the owner including advice and recommendations
during the pre-design, design and construction. The Construction
Manager typically does not self-perform any of the work. Construction
Management may be stated as that group of management activities
over and above normal architectural and engineering services related
to a construction program, carried out during the conceptual planning,
pre-design, design and construction phases that contribute to the
control of time, cost and quality in construction.
This is a single entity who provides the architecture, engineering
and construction of a space or building. Although the Contractor
and the Architect may be related in a variety of ways, the most
commonly found relationships are: The Contractor may have his/her
own in-house design capability with Architects and Engineers on
the payroll; the Architect can be a corporate affiliate or subsidiary
of the Contractor; or the Contractor and Architect, both independent
firms, can form a joint venture for the project or contract.
This identifies the entity who will provide technical design drawings
and specifications for elements of the work, most typically in the
Structural, Fire Protection, Plumbing, Heating, Ventilating, Air
Conditioning and Electrical disciplines. The Architect usually engages
The distinctive function of the General (or prime) Contractor is
to coordinate and direct the activities of the various parties and
agencies involved with the construction and to assume full, centralized
responsibility for the delivery of the finished project within the
This identifies a single entity who provides both labor and material
to perform a particular element of work or trade item for the project.
The Subcontractor will have a contract with the Prime Contractor
(or Construction Manager or Design-Builder as the case may be).
The Vendor is a provider of a material being incorporated into the
project. A Vendor provides material only (no on-site labor) and
will have a purchase order with the Prime Contractor (or Construction
Manager or Design-Builder as the case may be).
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