The architect is ultimately the one responsible for the building’s design, their functional role is affected by every aspect of the project from the specification, budget construction period and other designers input. They’re responsible to ensure it meets all relevant legislation. Their role is effectively defined by the clients brief, this is determines what the architect must design ie a school for 500 children, or a 3 bedroom house. It is then down to the architect to produce the software model of the building and produce the drawings. The architect must also maintain responsibility to ensure their drawings accurately reflect the design. The design itself must then meet all necessary legislation, a good example of this is fire exits and fire routes.
The architect is ultimately responsible for the finished building therefore their role in the design team is fundamental. They are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of building regulations and it is expected of them to compose designs that satisfy these. Whereas the building services engineer, for example, is aware of the regulations in terms of building services they may not necessarily be familiar with the legislation needed in order to facilitate this. An example might be that they have the knowledge of how to design mag-lock doors, but it is down to the architect to ensure that the design specifies this must deactivate in the event of a fire.
The architect will work closely with the BIM manager, BIM enables the collaboration of various design consultants, including building services engineers. In order to understand the collaboration between these 3 job roles, the role of BIM manager must be understood. Every project has effectively one BIM model that is worked on by the various consultants; by the end of the project these can become very complex, often with numerous consultants having access. The BIM manager’s role is to oversee that the model is maintained correctly, and that no unauthorised access or changes are being made. The model must have copies made periodically to avoid a total loss if the system was to be damaged. They interact greatly with the architect as it is those who is overall responsible for the project therefore the BIM manager must discuss any changes with them.
The complexity of BIM models in large projects can be astounding, and the number of designers who are able to access this and modify it can quickly escalate. The BIM manager is responsible for the practical organisation of this, ensuring all members of the design team have access to this. It is also the BIM managers role to ensure that the safety and accuracy of the design is not compromised. It may be the case that a designer wishes to sabotage the design, it is down to the BIM manager to ensure that only the relevant designers have access to their specific aspect of the model, that way one design consultant couldn’t compromise another’s design in order to facilitate theirs. In some cases designs can be classified, for example the design of a prison or of a secure building, it is down to the BIM manager to ensure the design is sufficiently encrypted.
Building Services Engineer
Building services contribute greatly to the creation of a pleasant and healthy environment within a building. They consist of electrical and mechanical services, mechanical being the physical movement of either air, water or people in lifts etc. The engineers behind this must complete calculations based on the BIM model that meets specific guidelines, ie how much air must travel through a room within an hour. In order to achieve these the engineer must design the systems to be use, often containing components in the ceiling. A significant aspect of the design is ensuring that the building services are able to function without compromising other aspects of the building, ie there wont be ducting passing through doors etc. This exploits one of the features of BIM software in that it highlight clashes between various components of the building. This relates to the BIM Manager as they are made aware of clashes and must determine the best option in order to overcome this, often the architect will have significant involvement in this process.
The building services engineer is a very specialist and often complex role. The design must meet very stringent guidelines and legislation, so much so that it is deemed to be a specialist role. Without the designers the necessary legislation for fire safety, emergency lighting etc may not be met and as a result it may be unsafe to exit during a fire. This is an example of why a specialist building services engineer must be consulted, and in doing so helps the building meet necessary regulations.
They are responsible for the financial planning of projects, and sometimes companies. They manage the financial aspects of construction such as payment of valuations, invoicing clients. They also monitor cash flow and are responsible for applying for variation costs. Their functional role is affected by the projects budget, as they must ensure that they procure materials, labour and services in line with the budget and specification. This again relates significantly with the role of an architect as the design that the budget is for must not change too significantly otherwise additional cost may be incurred. The architect may often propose design changes to the quantity surveyor who then calculates the cost this may incur and informs the architect whether it is a feasible option. This aspect of quantity surveying also relates to BIM Manager as they are able to direct the quantity surveyor as to what about the project has changed, and why certain things must be adjusted as a result. This further relates to Building Services Engineering, as often design changes in services result in other aspects of the building being changed, which again can incur cost which interests all job roles I have discussed.
The quantity surveyor controls the entire financial side of a project. They are responsible for initiating sub-contracts, and then overseeing their payments from then on. Without this role projects could effectively run on an endless budget, as the site manager and other members of the team don’t have time nor skills to accurately measure and price the work carried out. The reason this is important is that the project must be built according to the budget, the Quantity surveyor is familiar with this and how the work is broken down, and which subcontractor is doing which. Periodically the subcontractors will invoice the contractor for payment, it is down to the quantity surveyor to assess whether this is accurate and oay accordingly. The overall justification for a quantity surveyor is that without them, sub contractors would apply for payment that no one on site would have the knowledge or skills to accurately assess.
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