Architect firms are firms that take on the project of planning, designing and constructing buildings or any other physical structures adhering to acceptable standards of quality, safety, and attractiveness of the buildings and settings.
The Council of Architecture (COA) has been constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, which regulates the practice of the architectural profession in India. The COA regulates the education and practice of architecture profession throughout India and maintains the Register of Architects. Any person who wants to carry on the profession of an ‘Architect’ must:
• Have undergone the education in accordance with the Council of Architecture (Minimum Standards of Architectural Education) Regulations, 1983. • Be registered in the Registration of Architects maintained by COA. • Hold a Certificate of Registration with up-to-date renewals. • Observe professional conduct as stipulated in the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 (as amended in 2003).
Though architecture is primarily the art and science of designing spaces for serving the man’s diverse activities and needs, over the years, the demands on the profession have become more complex and much wider in scope. It demands a balance with the natural environment and the creation of self-sustainable structures using the best that technology can offer so that our already fragile ecology is not further threatened. The scope includes these broad heads:
•Urban Design:This involves planning and designing at a macro, gargantuan level – it is the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. The process gives form, shape, and character to groups of buildings (residential or commercial), whole neighborhoods and the city. •Landscape Architecture: This involves planning and designing open outdoor and public spaces in order to bring about a harmony with utilitarian needs, ecological balance and aesthetic requirements. It therefore deals with office plazas/public squares, highways, parks, housing developments, institutional campuses. •Interior Architecture: This involves the planning and designing of attractive and functional indoor spaces. Probably the most popular, it caters to the decoration needs of homes, commercial properties (like stores, clinics), offices etc. •Architectural Conservation: This involves the process through which heritage buildings, sites and cities are conserved with the aid of specific architectural skills and studies.
Areas of expertise:
Being a highly specialized and competitive profession, most architects offer end to end services so that the client gets the complete bouquet of services under one roof. They specialise in:
•All legislation and regulatory requirements involving any project •Concept design on the basis of detailed surveys and project evaluation •Designs and drawings for statutory approvals •Working drawings, specifications and schedule of quantities for structural, electrical, sanitary & plumbing consultants in the project •Appointment of contractors •Working drawings and details for construction •Approvals for works progress schedule prepared by the contractors. •Approvals for samples of various elements and components •Approvals for shop drawings submitted by the Contractors and Vendors •Obtaining Completion or Occupation Certificate from the Statutory Authorities wherever required.
The key drivers in the growth of architect firms in India are:
•Growth in governmental spending on infrastructure-based projects. •Growth of housing societies and commercial complexes in the private sector. •Growth in general consumer spending on professionally designed and built residential properties.
However, some of the pertinent issues faced by professionals in this domain are:
•Lengthy bureaucratic procedure for statutory approvals. •Vagaries of investments in housing and infrastructure projects.