Category Archives: Blog

Do You Need an Architect?


In order to determine if you “require” the services of an Architect, there are few considerations to take into account. The final use of the building; the area of the building and the specific design requirements for the internal functions to take place in the building. Also you may want to considered using the services of an Architect to customize the design to your particular spatial needs.

According to the Architect’s Act the following table illustrates which buildings will require the services of an Architect.

Major Occupancy & Use per the current building codes Building requiring the services of an architect under section 60 of the Architects Act.*
Public Assembly Group A (Part 3)
  • any one-storey building with an unsupported span exceeding 9 m or gross area exceeding 275 m²
  • any building of more than one storey with gross area exceeding 235 m²; and
  •  all schools, any size
Hospital, Sanatorium, or Home for the Aged, Institutional Group B (Part 3)
  •  any building with a capacity exceeding 12 beds (excluding veterinary hospital)
  •  any building with gross area exceeding 470 m²
Residential Hotel or similar occupancy Group C
  •  any building containing 5 or more dwelling units
  •  any building containing 11 or more guest rooms
Commercial Group D & E
  •  any building with gross area exceeding 470 m²
Industrial Group F (F1: Part 3)
  • any building with gross area exceeding 470 m²

* The Architects Act is provincial legislation that does more than provide a right to title and right to practice for architects.

The Act also defines architecture and sets out which buildings require an architect by law.

Source: AIBC bulletin 31: buildings requiring the services of an Architect

What Does an Architect Do?


Architects are trained and experienced in the design of buildings and the coordination and supervision of all aspects of the construction of buildings. A designation reserved, usually by law, for a person professionally qualified and duly licensed to perform architectural services, including analysis of project requirements, creation and development of the project design, preparation of drawings, specifications, and bidding requirements, and general administration of the construction contract.

Harris, Cyril M., ed., Dictionary of Architecture and Construction, McGraw-Hill, 1975.

An architect has a variety of tasks during the course of a project

  • The architect talks to the client about expectations, project requirements and budget. This information forms the design brief.
  • The architect analyses the building site conditions, and determines the best location and orientation for the building.
  • The architect develops ideas through rough plans, sketches and models. These ideas are brought together into concept design drawing
  • The architect develops the technical detail for the project with the project team. Detailed drawings and specifications are prepared for the builder
  • The drawings are submitted to obtain local authority building permits. The method of engaging a builder for the project is determined.
  • The architect works with the builder and other project team members to ensure that the project is constructed in accordance with the drawings and specifications.
  • The architect follows up any outstanding work with the client and the builder to ensure all deficiencies are corrected during the warranty period.

Architects responsibilities and tasks vary depending on the complexity, type and size of project, please contact our office if you would like to discuss your particular project.

We will be happy to assist you determine the path to bring your ideas to a built project. or 778-389-4904