• Architectural project management – what you need to know

    Projects in the field of construction can be incredibly complex, with multiple contractors working together and a range of timelines. The role of an architectural project manager is an important one that coordinates all of these activities whilst also setting schedules and working towards budget expectations amongst many other things.

    The role is a demanding one that requires problem solving, excellent time management and personnel management skills in order to strike the correct balance between the needs of the team, clients and contractors whilst also working to construction regulations in order to see the project through to a successful outcome. PM accreditation will also prove invaluable as will a background in the field.

    Responsibilities and duties

    There are a range of duties and responsibilities that are expected of the architectural project manager, these include:

    Developing and reviewing building plans

    One of the first duties an architectural project manager is involved in is the development of business plans in conjunction with the architect and design teams. They will also be involved in site selection and then development and also in identifying any possible issues there may be to construction.

    Estimate costs and offer oversight

    Developing a budget and estimating the costs of the project also fall into the remit of an architectural project manager. Once the project has begun it will be important to monitor progress through site visits, keep an eye on contractors and ensure smooth running of the project to stay on budget and to timeframes.

    Consult with clients

    Much of the role involves talking to clients, from the very beginning of the project all the way through to the end. Excellent communication skills are vital to ensure that the client is always kept in the loop and that their needs are understood.

    Manage contractors

    The project manager role also involves managing contractors. They will do this from the initial selection, to receiving bids and answering any questions during the building process. This part of the role usually means visiting the site to ensure regulations and plans are being followed.

    Overseeing scheduling and timescales

    Large construction projects can be complex and involve a number of contractors. It is the project managers duty to ensure that the appropriate coordination is in place between everyone involved on the project. Maintaining schedules and preventing possible delays is also incredibly important.

    Site planning and compliance

    All aspects of site planning, including environmental and safety regulations fall to the project manager. Being well versed in building regulations and standards can be a real help.

    Skills and qualifications

    It is typical for an architectural project manager to have a Batchelor of architecture degree and a minimum of five years of experience. Project management skills are a plus.

    The following skills are also helpful and will offer someone a much better chance of securing the role that they are looking for:

    • Drafting and engineering experience
    • Architectural experience
    • Experience of personnel management
    • Project management experience
    • Fantastic communication skills
    • Great problem-solving skills

    Salary and outlook

    There is a huge demand for project managers and a shortfall in the supply of individuals with the right qualifications at the moment. There is also a huge need for new buildings, in particular housing. Therefore, there are fantastic job opportunities available.

    This means that many employers are looking to fill roles. With a dearth of suitable candidates they are willing to pay a little more to secure those individuals with the qualifications and experience they need.

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