Most projects experience a budget crisis at one point or another. However, no self-respecting architect would ever shut down the project over a simple disagreement over the proper allocation of the clients finances. No. Architects do not let a small obstacle like money stand in the way of creativity. No. In fact, most of us would see this as a challenge. You have less money? No problem. Here’s what we’re going to do:
IN THE EVENT OF A BUDGET CRISIS and/or GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:
Architects will come up with 2-25 additional design schemes to accommodate the drastic reduction in financing for the project. All of these options will cost more than the original design concept.
Architects will remove all sloped roofs from the project. Flat roofs use less material. We should also add a few skylights.
Architects will change the wood flooring to integral color concrete. Additional structural reinforcing may or not be required to support the extra load.
Architects will suggest getting a revised cost estimate.
Architects will remind you that the granite wall in the lobby is an essential element in the overall design aesthetic that we are striving to achieve.
Architects will imply that the landscape design could be simplified.
Architects will suggest exploring a more cost effective structural system. How do you feel about shipping containers?
Remember that design idea we had early on? That “off-the-wall” ,”out-of-the-box”, somewhat stupid design idea we came up with during the first week we were working on this? You know the design concept that you all completely rejected in that first design meeting? I think you called it “ridiculous”. Remember it? Architects are going to revisit that design concept because we think it might save you money. It won’t.
Architects are going to feel like this is our fault, even if it isn’t. But it probably is.
Architects are going to suggest that we remove some of the “ornamentation” to save some money. “Ornamentation” is defined as anything on the elevations that we didn’t want to put there in the first place. This does not include fixed aluminum sunshades.
Architects will bring the project into budget by making no changes to the building at all. This is what alternates are for.
Also, Architects will send the client a bill for additional services to make these design changes to bring the project into budget. No, we will not see the irony in this.
So, stay calm. Architects are very skilled at navigating these budget issues. Just remember, that regardless of the severity of the budget crisis, under no circumstances will the architecture be shutdown. However, the architecture can be de-funded.