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The Relationship Between Architects and Building Materials and Products

The Relationship Between Architects and Building Materials and Products
The Relationship Between Architects and Building Materials and Products, © Marc Goodwin
© Marc Goodwin

For the architect, there is perhaps no greater frustration than realizing--at the end of the construction process--that the quality of the materials selected to complete the project, or the way in which said materials were installed, compromise the overall vision of the finished architecture. So it makes sense that architects are becoming more actively involved in the construction process; they understand that it can make a difference regarding their competition. Building materials manufacturers should really take advantage of the detailed-driven architect’s involvement in order to generate a productive relationship that begins way before construction starts. Manufacturers have a great role to play in the creative process.

In the initial design phase it’s crucial that the architect be aware of the variety of products and materials available on the market; with this information architects can suggest constructive solutions that are in close harmony with their conceptual and formal proposals.

During the design process, architects seek inspiration by collecting images of other works, to serve as references for future projects. Many will be inspired by proposals and built projects published on ArchDaily, and they will want to know important data: such as the material supplier of the wooden lattices that characterize the houses of the Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, or how Attilio Panzeri managed to obtain the black concrete that delivers drama to his works. It’s important to understand that the images architects bookmark and save are not only formal references, but they also help by providing certain technical information. Therefore, companies in the construction industry must show their products in context, as part of a finished work of architecture. This will become the best way to disseminate your products: by associating them with the commendable architecture published on specialized sites like ArchDaily. This is how you reach an architect who is looking for inspiration.

Once the initial design stage has passed, the architect begins the journey of choosing the brands that will make her work come to life. In order to obtain a result that meets the expected quality, architects would naturally choose the products with the highest standards and recognition. However, budgets are usually (ok, almost always) limited and depend on the client, not the architect. Given this, the key to choosing the product will lie in its profitability—and this doesn’t necessarily have to do with price, but with the fact that installation is as fast and simple as possible.

There have been times in which project costs unexpectedly balloon due to the incorrect installation of a product, leading to the complete loss of material, delays in delivery time and the corresponding expenses that all of this implies. Ideally, the team of builders should not have to spend too much time being trained in the installation of the materials. For this, something that architects value a lot is having videos that allow contractors and construction works to easily understand the installation process.

In addition, the architect will totally appreciate any and all advice that the technical specifiers of the company—the main connoisseurs of the products—can offer during the design and construction process. Technical information about the product and its behavior post-installation, allow designers to enhance its use and achieve the expected constructive solution. For example, knowing that a coating product is available in two different formats will allow you to innovate in the surface solution, and perhaps lead to proposing a design that takes advantage of different rhythms that aid in composing greater varieties of textures.

Finally, if the result pleases the architect, their team, and the client, they will automatically and naturally become spokespersons for the product. Their experience and reviews they share can be essential to a brand’s publicity. It’s important to know that in the field of architecture, experience plays a fundamental role. Therefore, recommendations deliver greater effect than the message that the brand itself seeks to convey.

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About this author
Cite: Mora, Pola. "The Relationship Between Architects and Building Materials and Products" [La relación del Arquitecto con los Productos de Construcción] 31 May 2018. ArchDaily. (Trans. Barbosa, Javiera) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/895479/the-relationship-between-architects-and-building-materials-and-products/> ISSN 0719-8884

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