Architects use their knowledge of physics to make sure the building is a safe place, and people are comfortable to be inside the building. They don’t necessarily need to actually do the physics calculations, but they do need to understand the concepts in order to meet certain requirements. There are normally engineers and specialists who work with the numbers. For example, physics comes in when architects are trying to design an energy efficient building. Architects use their knowledge of thermodynamics (the study of how energy moves through space) to control the building’s internal environment in a way the building would consume less energy. Another example of applying their understanding of physics is when they are designing a hall or auditorium of some sort and they have to consider acoustics. They must understand how waves of sound travel in order to achieve great acoustics. Finally, architects use various areas of physics to follow safety codes; they could get sued if the building is not safe or breaks a law.
It all starts with a client’s commission or contract. The commission may include the design of a building, or a group of several buildings. Architects make presentations to clients about their ideas. These ideas turn into many drawings and sketches—by hand or even on the computer. Sometimes, these designs include the materials to be used, as well as required mechanical, electrical and structural specifications. After the design is approved, architects usually help coordinate the people involved in the construction of the building. Architects work closely with their clients every step of the way so they can make sure that the building meets their needs, budget and it is finished as scheduled. Because there are no guarantees that everything will go smoothly, sometimes, architects may need to provide creative solutions for problems that occur.
Some day-to-day tasks in an architect’s life include:
Visiting construction sites
Meet with clients
Present to clients
ROLE IN SOCIETY
Architects are responsible for all the structures and buildings that surround us. They help design and build our homes, and many other buildings in our community. Their role in society is to bring ideas to life; they convey the evolution of our society through structures they design, making these structures beautiful yet functional. They come up with creative ways to preserve historic buildings, design buildings to represent today’s society, and think of ways to make their buildings more energy efficient for the future. We can think of architects as artists who are painting a picture that is our society.
Architects could be working for architectural firms, building contractors, government agencies or they could even be self-employed. They spend most of their time in an office, working on computers to make sketches of structures; some may still use large draft tables (large tables with an adjustable top used for any kind of drawing) to create designs. Besides the office, architects spend their time on construction sites, working with constructors to make sure everything goes according to plan, and the construction follows the schedule and is finished by the deadline. Unexpected delays and deadlines may cause a lot of stress in this job. The working hours of an architect greatly vary, depending on whom they work for, or if they are self-employed. Some architects work 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week; or 12 hours a day, 6 hours a week. Architects often work overtime to meet deadlines.
Architects’ income can vary greatly, like their hours. Many factors affect the salary, such as their employer, where they work and how the economy is doing. According to American statistics, the average salary for a graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree is about $41,012 in 2009....
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