Building systems integration for enhanced environmental performance

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7 November 2015

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     Culture & Technology

       Architecture is considered as the art that involves designing and the construction of buildings and since Antiquity, the art of architecture has been known to be closely related and associated with history of art (Jaradat, 2012). The reasons why architecture has been closely related to art is that a lot of the public works, such as the religious buildings were constructed with aesthetics in mind in addition to the functionality of the buildings (Jaradat, 2012). The buildings were built with a primary aim of inspiring people and also perfume the function of serving the public. For this reason, the buildings involved the service of various people in the society which included the craftsmen and various artists in the society.

        Furthermore, labourers were also part of the teams that took part in the construction of the buildings ensuring that the artistic features and the functionality of the buildings were brought out as required. The interior of the buildings as well as the exteriors of the buildings were used as showcase for the various fine arts paintings, relief sculptures, frieze, and stained glass (Demkin, & American Institute of Architects, 2008). Furthermore, the decorations included various works of art such as the metalwork and the mosaic. It is also to be noted that the development of public buildings also involved visual arts. From the many centuries that have passed, the primary functions of early architecture were to have a consolidation of security and power within the buildings. Furthermore, the aim of the works of architecture was also to make the gods happy (Jaradat, 2012). It was observed that as the society became richer, the functions that were performed by early architecture also became more important in the society.

        According to Emmitt, (2013), there have been a lot of technological developments that have taken place over the past years which have led to the transformation of how buildings are constructed. The development in technology has changed the way buildings are designed and the types of buildings that are being constructed across the world. There has been great change in the materials that are being used by the process engineers in the construction of buildings (Emmitt, 2013). The materials being used in construction of buildings have made the work of the process engineers easier than it was before the developments in technology. It has become possible for the process engineers to construct any type of building that they want, primarily because of the type of materials that are currently being used.

      While architectures have continued to adopt the ancient designs and styles of buildings, process engineers have been busy embracing changes that have been brought up by developments in technology, as observed by Quatman, & Dhar, (2003). It is observed that over the centuries, what architectures have been doing in the society is relying on the past ancient designs as guidance. A lot of the architectural works have been influenced by ancient designs meaning that architectures have been slow in embracing changes brought about by technological developments. Compared to architectures, process engineers have been in the forefront in embracing technological advancements (Vough, et al., 2013). Process engineers have been able to embrace technological developments through the materials that they use and the equipment used in carrying out the construction works.

        Furthermore, Vassigh, & Chandler, (2011) has observed that architecture has continued to remain immune to the forces of transformation as well as progress over the centuries primarily because the profession has not fully embraced the changes and developments in technology. Architectures have continued to make use of the past designs of buildings to gain inspiration for their work (Vassigh, & Chandler, 2011). It has been observed that architects have been slow in embracing the changes brought by developments in technology compared to the master builders who have been able to make use of technology for new development in building and construction. Furthermore, research has shown that master builders have continued to rise up today in ranks from that of being process engineers to being the primary players in construction of buildings (Marsh, 2000). The master builders have taken the duty of identifying the suitable materials for constructions and the suitable design that can match certain materials. Architects have continued to be reserved in developing new models in construction.

          A lot of reservation has been made by architects for the purpose of maintaining the ancient culture in construction of buildings. On the other hand, master builders have taken the challenges of experimenting with new ideas on building materials and types of designs in construction (Marcus, 1989). The developments in technology have made it easy for the master builders to become more innovative in designing of buildings and the construction of buildings. The use f technology has enabled master builders to construct buildings that were never there in the past centuries through the use of material that is more durable. The lack of change in the culture of architects of getting inspiration from ancient buildings from time to time has been a contributor to the view that master builders have risen in ranks more than the architects (Chappell, & Willis, 2013).

        It has been observed that both in the private and the public sector, the owners and investors in buildings like to ensure that there is accountability in the buildings that they construct. The accountability that is needed is with regard to the materials being used and the quality of building that is being constructed (Jaradat, 2012). To ensure that there is no confusion and that there is total accountability, the process engineers are the ones that take the whole responsibility. The process engineers are tasked with the issue of designing the buildings, allocating the costs and the types of materials that are supposed to be used. Furthermore, the process engineers are the ones that are in the forefront in determining the type of human resource that is need for the completion of the buildings as per the needs of the owners (Jaradat, 2012).

           Therefore, considering that architects are only concerned with the designing, it becomes impossible for the owners of the buildings to hold the architects accountable in case of anything (Vough, et al., 2013). The lack of accountability on the side of the architects has left6 room for the process engineers to take up the responsibility of being accountable. Therefore, the owners of buildings tend to employ the services of the process engineers in terms of the design and the construction of their buildings, leaving the architects out of the loop (Jaradat, 2012). From the perspective of accountability, it can be noted that process engineers are the ones that rise up to the ranks of master builders as compared to the architects who are left to continue undertaking their role of designing (Chappell, & Willis, 2013).

          According to Marsh, (2000), over the years, research has shown that there has been great change in terms of leadership in construction projects. It has been observed that owners of constructions, private and public, both have been observed to employ the services of contractors. The use of contractors to take care of the construction project has led to what is referred to as contractor-led construction, an observati0o made by Rajpatty, (2008). Under the contractor-led construction system, the contractor is at the helm of the construction project and is the one that hires the architects to design the buildings. According to research done, the owners of construction projects feel safe with this type of arrangement where the contractor is at the helm. It provides some form of convenience to the client and offers a one-stop-shop where the client can be able to get everything that is needed to complete their project without having to engage the services of different people. Rajpatty, (2008) observes that the contractor-led projects create a single point of control and responsibility within a project in terms of designing o9f the buildings and the construction of the buildings.

           Furthermore, it has been identified that the system whereby the contractor or the process engineer is at the helm, of a construction projects enhances control over costs and the schedule of the project (Chappell, & Willis, 2013). The client is able to monitor the progress of their buildings as it is being constructed and can be able to trace how the costs are incurred in the project. It has also been noted that clients prefer the contractor-led system in building and construction because it is believed to foster some form of collaboration between the contractor and the client (Marcus, 1989). The end result of the collaboration that is fostered Through the use of the contractor-led system is that there is a process that is less adversarial and the construction of very high quality buildings (Marsh, 2000).

         It can be noted that indeed the roles of that the architects play has changed a lot and the role that process engineers play. The process engineers have continued to rise in ranks due to the accountability that clients require, and which the architects find difficult to provide (Vough, et al., 2013). Furthermore, it has been noted above that the aspect of control over costs and ensuring collaboration has also been part of the contributing factors that have led to the rise in the ranks of process engineers as compared to the architects who seem to be immune to change.

        Furthermore, it has been noted that technology has been a major booster to the rise in ranks of the process engineers in terms of the materials for construction and the equipment used in the construction projects (Chappell, & Willis, 2013). Therefore, the rise in ranks of the process engineers compared to the architects leads to some questions that need to be answered. Are there any impacts that architects bring in the construction of buildings? Is the role of architects becoming obsolete? What need to be done to improve the role played by architects in the construction industry? These are some of the questions that need to be researched to help understand why process engineers have risen in ranks compared to architect.


Chappell, D., & Willis, A. (2013). The Architect in Practice. Chicester: Wiley.

Demkin, J. A., & American Institute of Architects. (2008). The architect’s handbook of professional practice. Hoboken: Wiley.

Emmitt, S. (2013). Architectural Technology: Research and Practice. New York: Wiley.

Jaradat, S. (2012). The Architect’s Role and Interactions in BIM-enabled Projects.Marcus, P. (1989). Building a Construction Contract That Works: The Owner’s Role. Arbitration Journal, 44(1), 3-14.

Marsh, P. D. V. (2000). Contracting for engineering and construction projects. Burlington, VT: Gower.

Quatman, G. W., & Dhar, R. R. (2003). The Architect’s Guide to Design-Build Services. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Rajpatty, S. J. (2008). The Role of the Estimator in Today’s Construction Industry. AACE International Transactions, 1-9.

Vassigh, S., & Chandler, J. R. (2011). Building systems integration for enhanced environmental performance. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: J. Ross Pub.

Vough, H. C., Teresa Cardador, M. M., Bednar, J. S., Dane, E., & Pratt, M. G. (2013). What clients don’t get about my profession: a model of perceived role-based image discrepancies. Academy Of Management Journal, 56(4), 1050-1080. doi:10.5465/amj.2011.0490

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"Building systems integration for enhanced environmental performance" StudyScroll, Nov 7, 2015.

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