For most of its history, architecture has been relatively simple. Architects are hired to help design and perhaps oversee the construction of a building; they are paid and then they leave the owner of the building to enjoy their structure in peace. This traditional model is beginning to see some not insignificant changes, as a growing number of architects are turning convention on its head and offering a more complete service: aftercare that looks to make the customer’s life as easy as possible while enhancing profits in a win-win business exchange.
Settling and Training
The idea of architects offering to train those who use a property about how to use property will have sounded fairly ridiculous twenty years ago, but nowadays many properties come with such a smorgasbord of smart features that training is all but necessary, especially for commercial clients who have staff that depends on the technology that’s built into the property. Architects that train employees as an aftercare package often don’t charge as the training is relatively simple but, depending on the complexity of the technology, there could be anopportunity to partner with other training providers.
Property maintenance is highly important and when an architect partners with companies that can take care of maintenance issues, it makes the client’s life a lot easier, especially as the architect can inform the maintenance provider of key information seamlessly.
This is especially important with commercial clients, as finding good maintenance partners can be the difference between a hassle-free business and one riddled with money-burning issues. There are also countless building codes that commercial clients must be aware of and take into consideration, so when the architect partners recommend a maintenance company that can be trusted, their clients’ relief is often substantial. There are several main areas where this is a particular concern:
- HVAC – there are strict rules relating to HVAC systems due to their influence on health. If these systems are not properly maintained, they can worsen asthma and cause respiratory illness.
- Roofing – businesses must strictly adhere to commercial roofing regulations, standards, insurance, and safety certifications, which can be a lot to take in. When an architect refers their client to a roofing maintenance partner that they can trust, they provide a valuable aftercare service that gives clients peace of mind.
- Electrical systems – if electrical systems aren’t properly maintained, regulations can be broken, which can lead to significant safety issues.
Defects can always arise, whether through mistakes during construction or through temperature, moisture and vibrations interfering with walls and foundations. Some architects are offering a defect control service as part of their architectural offering, which can involve sending over an architect after a year, who will go through a log of defects and arrange for these defects to be controlled and remedied. Those firms that are particularly focused on aftercare will only sign off the Final Completion Certificate and conclude the architectural contract after this defect control practice, which gives both commercial and residential clients complete peace of mind.