So you've decided to break ground on a new building and you've hired your first architect. A trained profession came down to view your landscape and designed a dream house to your specifications. This is a common scenario in residential architecture, and for the lay person it is a scenario riddled with challenging terminology. Without an advanced degree in architecture or design, you probably have no idea how to turn an undeveloped landscape into a beautiful house. The process of design and building is a very complicated one. If you want to be an active participant in the design of your new piece of real estate, you should start by studying these five popular terms of the industry. With some vocabulary under your belt, you'll be able to assist your licensed architect in designing the perfect house right down to the doors and windows.
Zoning Permit - Municipal permit dictating the kind of construction that can occur in a specified location. The permitting process can take years. Your architect should walk you through the process of getting your project permitted. If you are building commercially, you'll have to make sure your land is properly zoned.
Agricultural Reserve - Piece of privately owned land, specifically zoned for agricultural use by a municipality. Most zoning boards will not approve a construction plan that proposes building on an agricultural reserve.
Building Envelope - A section of property where building is approved.
LEED Certification - Sustainable building certification for modern green buildings. LEED certification is awarded for residential architecture that demonstrates leadership in the fields of sustainability and energy efficiency.
Scale Model - Most architects will present their final design in the form of a three dimensional scale model made out of foam board. In some studios, computer programs have replaced foam models.
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Many homes feature superior architecture, while others feature basic designs. Either way, a residential architect is responsible for the plan. Residential architects, professionals who design homes, must attend many years of school to obtain a license or permit in the field. Some specialize in contemporary designs, while others hark back to older times and come up with colonial designs. Some work in big cities and design modern, urban spaces, while others prefer to work with larger tracts of land and design mansions and large houses.
Residential architects are valuable to any new construction or renovation project in that they provide supervision of all components of a building, from project planning and cost estimating to building and construction administration. Historically, architecture has provided us with cultural, artistic, and political symbols of the times. Just take a look at the Roman Colosseum, for instance, a lasting bit of architecture that has stood the demands of time since it was built in 80 AD.
People continually look to a society's architecture style to define it, as these are ways of identifying with a particular culture and time period. That's why architecture as an art form is so important. It also has functional components as well, as homes must be designed in an efficient way. Modern times often call for environmentally friendly designs, with many residential architects utilizing sustainable materials and floor plans during construction to best make use of nature's gifts.
Architects design the entire house, encompassing all rooms, doors and windows, foundations, and even the surrounding landscape. Some specialize in landscape design as well, molding the two interior and exterior components together. They often work out of a studio or within a firm. Licensed architects can make a large salary, depending on how much schooling and experience they have.