Top Challenges Facing Architects in 2023
- Efficiently Specifying Materials
Architects have a lot of responsibilities, including following building codes and understanding customer trends. It can be hard for them to find the right materials for their projects because they may not be able to find all the necessary information on manufacturers' websites. This can cause delays that architects cannot accept. The challenge for architects is getting manufacturers to understand why they need to provide this information more quickly. Architects need to be able to choose materials efficiently for their projects.
- Keeping up with changing technologies
Architects may have a hard time using new technologies like BIMs, CADs, and project management tools because different companies offer them in different ways (or not at all). This makes it hard for architects to use these tools. Until these tools become more widely used and easier to use, they will continue to be a burden for architects.
- Solving for the Affordable Housing Gap
There is a growing need for affordable housing, which can be a challenge for architects who usually work on luxury and high dollar properties. This change in the market has decreased the value of new designs and increased the value of spec builds and large development projects. However, it also presents an opportunity for architects to design affordable housing options and work on adaptive reuse projects. This can help them stay profitable in the future.
- Navigating the Political Landscape
Working with city planners, local governments, and clients on housing and community projects can be difficult for architects. They may have to deal with politics and bureaucracy, as well as balance these responsibilities with their regular work. Architects may also be asked to become involved in local government and contribute to city councils or lobby for the American Institute of Architects. Whatever the route of political involvement, architects need to be able to resolve conflicts and make decisions.
Bridging the generational gap
Mid-level architects have to balance the knowledge and experience of senior architects with the naivety of entry level architects. This can be difficult because there is often a loss of tribal knowledge from senior architects and new architects may not know how the architecture world works. Mid-level architects may have to train and manage new architects while also trying to learn from senior architects. It can also be hard for architects to find and organize product information because manufacturers do not always have it organized in a consistent way. Mid-level architects have to try to reduce mistakes made by new architects and increase their competency.
Coping with Value Engineering
In 2021, building material costs were 13% higher than in 2020. This means that architects have to work harder to please their clients and choose materials efficiently. They also have to find clients who can afford the higher costs of design and construction. Value engineering, which is the process of finding ways to reduce costs without decreasing quality, has always been a problem for architects and builders. However, the combination of rising material costs and supply chain constraints has made it more difficult for architects to specify materials. In some cases, the general contractor overseeing the construction makes the final decisions about materials. This can make it hard for architects to have a concrete role in the building process.
Actively, and deeply, listening to consumers
Architects, builders, and building products manufacturers all need to listen to their customers more. Customers expect their service providers to make their projects easier, which means that architects and builders need to work better together. There is also tension between architects and building products manufacturers because architects feel like they are constantly being sold to rather than being listened to and accommodated. In 2023, architects need to focus on establishing mutually beneficial relationships with builders and other members of the distribution channel.
Playing nice with others
Architects face two main challenges: finding enough clients and having enough cash. In the past, there has been tension between architects and builders, with clients acting as intermediaries. However, in 2023, customers expect their service providers to work together and remove the hassle factor from their projects. Architects also need to find ways to work better with building products manufacturers and avoid feeling constantly bombarded by sales pitches.
Getting Time to Play
Architects often have a lot of work and not much free time. They may struggle to find a balance between work and personal life, and may have trouble finding time for hobbies and other activities that they enjoy.
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Their Work
Architects may struggle to find meaning and purpose in their work, especially if they are not passionate about the projects they are working on or if they feel like their work is not making a difference. They may also struggle with the feeling that they are not achieving their potential or making the most of their skills and abilities.