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ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE

AND OFFICE MANAGEMENT

Architecture is a social art that touches all human beings at


all levels of their existence everywhere and everyday. This is
the only discipline, which encompasses the four major fields of
human Endeavour : Humanities, Science, Art, and Technology,
actually putting into practice the professional inputs drawn
from them. In sum, Architecture is the matrix of human
civilization - an authentic measure of the social status, and an
evocative expression of the ethos of an era. When conserved,
it is heritage and when in ruins, it becomes archaeology,
reconstructing tell-tale pictures of the past civilizations.
Architects Act, 1972
Section 22
1. The Council may by regulations prescribe
standards of professional conduct and
etiquette and a code of ethics for architects.
2. Regulations made by the Council under sub-
section (1) may specify which violations
thereof shall constitute infamous conduct in
any professional respect, that is to say,
professional misconduct, and such provision
shall have effect notwithstanding anything
contained in any law for the time being in
force.
Architects (Professional Conduct)
Regulation 1989
Applicability

Architect in practice
Architect in employment (including
government )
Firm of architects (all partners being
architects)
Architects (Professional Conduct)
Architect Responsible towards

Profession

Client

Other architects

Associates

Staff

Consultants

Public at large

Law of land

Education of an architect
OFFICE MANAGEMENT

Architectural managementfalls into two distinct


parts,office managementandproject management.
Office management provides an overall framework
within which individual projects are commissioned,
designed and completed.
Both parts have the same objectives but are
typically addressed by separate management
systems.
Office management involves the allocation and
financing of resources, principally premises, trained
staff andcomputer systems, and on establishing and
charging appropriate fees for the services rendered.

Project management focuses on timescales,


developing a design from initial concept to working
drawings, and managing the construction process.
The essence of architectural management is to
ensure that work on a project is cost effective, to
achieve a balance between profitability and design
quality.
Standard management techniques and tools,
borrowed mainly from repetitive industrial processes,
have not always fitted comfortably with the image of
thearchitectas a creative individual, rather than a
professional member of a business team.
The term architectural management has been in use
since the 1960s as building construction became
more complex, because of a shift from standard
traditional construction details, to innovation and
experimentation.
Architectural practicesgenerally employ an office
manager who may have at their disposal an
administration assistant or team of assistants. Project
management is increasingly a role played by an
independent consultant, especially during the
construction phase.
Project managers are typically from one of
thesurveyingdisciplines, leaving only the architectural
elements to be managed in-house by the architects.
Practicing architects typically receive promotions in their
firms to general management positions (GMPs) on the
basis of their track records of professional
accomplishments.
Most frequently, they become heads of operating
subunits, such as studios, disciplines, specialty
practices, geographic offices or regions. More often than
not, they take on these positions in addition to their
professional engagements. As a rule, they are named
principal at this career stage with their firms.
These practicing architects have gained experience as
managers of design teams. In recent years, such teams
have grown in size and complexity, comprising not only
larger in-house groups, but also, and often from early
conceptual design phases on, members of other firms.
TEAM MANAGEMENT
Team management yields management experience.
But presiding over an entire operating subunit of
the firm is different from heading up a design team.
This difference is perhaps best exemplified by large
firms that place into their operating subunits
authority and responsibility not only for unit P&L
performance, but also for the
formation/reformation of unit business
strategy and its implementation.
Solid economic performance joined with great
professional performance by all operating subunits is
particularly critical at a time when, as one observer put
it, the business high tides of past decades in the global
construction industry, in which nearly any professional
service provider to the industry could float, are unlikely to
return any time soon.
Also critical during times of level or falling primary
demand is to have embedded in every operating subunit
an ability to win new commissions from existing as well
as new clients and to execute such commissions to the
delight of clients and at positive operating margins.
Such ability requires leaders/managers at these
operating levels who combine high professional
competence with high managerial capability.
company structuring decentralization, demands of
practicing architects in charge of operating subunits
that they possess a firm grounding in strategic/
organizational/financial management relevant to
professional service firms.
Nothing less should be acceptable to the leaders of
architecture firms than to expect of their operating
subunits not only great professional performance in the
execution of client commissions,
but also solid contributions to
firm-wide financial results.