Architecture is the art and science of building design. Building construction is the process of assembling materials to form a building. Building design may be legally executed only by persons deemed competent to do so by the state in which the building is to be constructed. Competency is determined on the basis of education, experience, and ability to pass a written test of design skills.
Architects are persons legally permitted to practice architecture. Engineers are experts in specific scientific disciplines and are legally permitted to design parts of the buildings; in some cases, complete buildings. In some states, persons licensed as building designers are permitted to design certain types of buildings. The basic traditional design procedure is executed in several stages. In the first stage, the architect develops a program, or list of the client’s requirements. In the next stage, the schematic or conceptual phase, the architect translates requirements into spaces, relates the spaces and makes sketches, called schematics, to illustrate the concepts.
In the design of a building, our architects are guided by the following principles:
- The building should be constructed to serve the purposes specified by the client.
- The design should be constructible by known techniques using available labor and equipment, within an acceptable time.
- The building should be capable of withstanding the elements and the normal usage for a period of time specified by the client.
- Both inside and outside, the building should be visually pleasing.
- No part of the building should pose a hazard to the safety or health of its occupants under normal usage, and the building should provide exits for safe evacuation or refuge in emergencies.
- The building should provide the degree of shelter from the elements and of control of the interior environment air, temperature, humidity, light, and acoustics— specified by the client and not less than the minimums required for safety and health of the occupants.
- The building should be constructed to minimize adverse impact on the environment.
- Operation of the building should consume a minimum of energy while permitting the structure to serve its purposes.
The sum of costs of construction, operation, maintenance, repair, and anticipated future alterations should be kept within the limit specified by the client.