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Get to Know the 9 Design Professionals Who Will Work with Your Architect


As with any big project in our lives, it is never just the work of one person. To create your dream space or structure, your Architect works with a number of Allied Design Professionals. They all bring a different set of knowledge and skills to the table in order to make your project a success—but we might not be familiar with who some of them are and what they do. Below, we will get to know the 8 Design Professionals that will work with your Architect.


Geodetic Surveyor

Your Geodetic Surveyor will survey the lot in order to make sure that the metes and bounds of your property are as reflected and declared in your Title. They will examine the surface features and depict all natural features and elevations of the property. In sum, they will check the topography of the site, the slope, the existing trees, boundaries, water feature, utilities, etc. This lot topography survey is required in the application of your project’s Building Permit.


Naturally, they will come in during the early stages of the project—ideally before the Schematic Design Phase (normal procedure) or before the First Design Phase (EAST Procedure). If a Geodetic Surveyor is not enlisted, your Architect will not be able to effectively plan based on the existing topography of the project site. This means excavation or backfill of the property is not planned properly, which may result in more expensive construction.


Geotechnical Engineer

When needed, the Geotechnical Engineer will investigate your property’s soil condition to get data about its subsurface soil and rock condition. This helps your Architect and Structural Engineer determine the type of construction assembly, foundation, and materials that should be used for the project. Usually, a soil investigation report is required for projects exceeding two (2) storeys.


Your Civil Engineer (more on this Allied Professional later on) will base their structural computations on the Geotechnical Engineer’s soil investigation report in order to optimize the structural design. If not, the structural engineer will make more conservative estimates, which, again, may result in a more expensive overall structure. They will come in during the middle stages of the project—ideally before the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or before the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure)


Civil/Structural Engineer

The Civil/Structural Engineer is your Architect’s main partner in ensuring the project’s structural integrity. Together, they will design the optimal size of footing, columns, beams, and roofing, which directly affects how spaces are planned. For example, you may have seen rooms where parts of columns protrude from the wall rather than being aligned with it, so these protrusions will affect how furniture is laid out. Another example is when your project requires larger beams for better support—how will this affect factors like the design and height of your ceiling? Issues like this, and more, are what they tackle together with your Architect to ensure a sturdy and reliable structure.


They will come in during the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Electrical Engineer

As their name implies, they will work with your Architect in designing the electrical layout of the project. Together, they will determine the structure’s circuit design, power layout, lighting layout, and emergency power requirements. They will also compute the wire size, electrical load, and panel board requirements. Items like power outlets and light switches cannot be placed just anywhere—their quantity and location will need to be planned out in relation to the types of rooms and the appliances that will be placed in the structure.


They will come in during the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Master Plumber/Sanitary Engineer

Together with your Architect, the Master Plumber/Sanitary Engineer will design the plumbing and sanitary layout of the project, namely the Water Supply Layout Plan and DWV (Drain-Waste-Vent) Plan. Essentially, they will determine where exactly pipes will run through or along the structure and what size they should be. They will also identify areas to add a gate valve (a valve to shut off water in particular areas of the house), areas with vents that lead to the roof, areas with downspouts from the roof, pipe cleanouts to make it easier to remove flow obstructions in the future, the size and location of your septic tank, and pipe bends to ensure the smooth flow of waste.


They will come in during the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Mechanical Engineer

They are your Architect’s main partner in the design of mechanical requirements, such as the planning of centralized air conditioning, elevators, escalators, and mechanical vent systems. Usually, you will not need to enlist a Mechanical Engineer if the project will only involve window-type and split-type air conditioning, or if simple range hoods or exhaust fans will be used for ventilation.


If needed, they will come in during the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Electronics Engineer

If you are building an office or a structure for non-residential purposes, you will most likely need to enlist an Electronics Engineer, as they are your Architect’s main partner in the design of CCTV, databases, and other electronic assets. Some local government units have begun to require an Electronics Engineer for CCTV plans.


If needed, they will come in during the Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Landscape Architect

Your Landscape Architect will work with your Architect to develop the project’s Site Development Plan. They will design the hardscape and softscape of the property—that is, the garden design, pavement design, plant specifications, landscape lighting design, pool design, gazebos, as well as the location of outdoor furniture.


When enlisted, they should ideally be involved in the Schematic Design Phase/Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Second/Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


Interior Designer

They will work hand-in-hand with your Architect in the interior planning and layout of the project, so there is actually a lot of overlap between the two industries. They are also in charge of specifying furniture requirements and details like cabinets, cabinet handles, light types, light switches, outlets, fabric for curtains, fabric for pillows/sofas, specific look of appliances, and other aesthetic matters.


Usually, an Interior Designer will begin work during the Schematic Design Phase/Design Development Phase (normal procedure) or during the Second/Third Design Phase (EAST Procedure).


In all of this, your Architect plays a key role as the Lead Professional or Lead Consultant of the project. Your Architect’s design drawings will serve as the main basis for the drawings and documents of all the Design Professionals mentioned above (i.e. Complete Engineering Design, Schedule of Doors & Windows and Finishes). That’s why it’s important for the architectural drawings to be complete and detailed, such that the Allied Design Professionals can clearly understand the design concepts and translations—and adopt and apply them as they do their respective drawings and documents.


As the client, it’s important to be familiar with where the above Design Professionals step in to help with your project, as well as their specific contributions. By knowing them and their functions well, you can decide which ones to prioritize, depending on the needs of your project. And when the job is finished, you’ll also have an appreciation of the amount of work that is needed to realize a successful project—because you know the worth of your Architect and the entire team of Allied Professionals who worked together to make it happen.


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