Is “The Architect Effect” really a thing?

by Ofentse Sefolo
Is “The Architect Effect” really a thing?

Could it be that there is a way for architects and the rest of the construction industry to collaborate from start to finish to deliver the best for their clients?

When 1 850 architects from Europe and Asia were asked to participate in a recent industry study, it became evident that there were indeed several ways in which architects can “regain their influence” in the current construction industry.

Following the interviews, Europe’s largest roofing and waterproofing company, the BMI Group, published a report titled “The Architect Effect” that describes the countless difficulties architects currently face in their attempts to be relevant, innovative and successful in their role.

The advent of “The Architect Effect”
What BMI coined as “The Architect Effect”, is defined as the positive outcomes that happen in a construction project when the architect can play an active role from start to finish. No doubt, this is music to many architects’ ears.

But is this a song that we have all heard before? Or does the report indeed offer architects and the industry at large tangible solutions?

Unlike previous studies, the BMI report surprisingly identifies three industry gaps, with tangible ways in which architects can address the issues to ensure that their role remains central to the construction process.

1. The collaboration Gap: Practical solutions for closing the gap
The first of the three key gaps, the “collaboration gap”, identified that 76% of architects feel like they do not have autonomy or a say in material, systems or technology used in construction projects.

The solution: Architects should find ways to work closely with other project members to drive open and frank dialogue about new materials, solutions and techniques. It also prescribes active networking and the importance of working on skills and aptitude beyond the technical competence.

The importance of shaping great outcomes for clients now rests on the architect’s ability to influence a wide range of stakeholders. The loss of influence is a major threat to “The Architect Effect”.

2. The Information Gap: Information and knowledge sharing
A lack of information and relevant case studies prevents one third of architects to offer feasible inputs about materials and solutions, effectively creating what is known as the “information gap”.

The solution: Ways of overcoming the “information access barrier” include creating internal initiatives and rewards schemes for employees who create good case studies of their own projects, and to extend networking with manufacturers and suppliers by inviting them to showcase their materials or products at your next team meeting.

3. The Innovation Gap: Ideas Innovation
Industry 4.0 is a reality. With emerging technology such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing it was no surprise then that the third gap, the “innovation gap”, was noted as an obstacle by 51% of architects.

The solution: Get closer to the digital information exchange and data environments, as this places the architect in a position of control. In 27% of the architectural projects where a BIM model is used, a main contractor is involved. Despite this, architects remain the leading party for the updating and accuracy of the BIM model. Find ways to expand the architectural frontier of innovation and potential – get out of the box.

Now is the time
BMI weaves various roofing case studies and business case summaries into its “The Architect Effect” report to help readers better understand the “gaps” and the importance of innovative roofing materials.

The report clearly demonstrates the numerous ways in which the role of the architect is changing, but that the direction and form can still be shaped by “The Architect Effect”.

It is a new frontier of innovation and potential, so it makes the perfect vessel for an investigation into the changing role of an architect, the company added.

To read the full report, visit the https://www.bmigroup.com/za

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