After practicing architecture for the past 23 years and recently starting an Architect-Led Design-Build firm called Herron Horton Constructs, both Jennifer and Jeff realized that working as both architect and contractor changes the way a firm does design. Architect-Led Design-Build involves single-source responsibility for the design and construction of buildings. It is an engaged process in which the same people are responsible for the entire building project and where feedback between the method of construction and design is fluid. The architect works directly with the owner (the client) and acts as the designer and builder, coordinating a team of consultants, subcontractors and suppliers throughout the project cycle. The architect shifts roles during the project, from designer to builder, but monitors the project vision and is able to call upon subcontractors’ construction expertise throughout.
Typically, in constructing a building, the design is prepared by an architect and the construction is performed by a contractor not affiliated with the architect. It hasn’t always been this way. Historically, most construction — from the ancient pyramids to the Eiffel Tower — was managed by the same person who designed the structure. It wasn’t until the 20th century, primarily in America, that design professionals (architects and engineers) separated themselves from construction contractors and materials vendors, forming separate professional trade organizations and popularizing construction methods that promoted separating design from construction.
Architect-Led Design-Build is a return to the construction approach in which the architect is the master builder, rather than merely the designer.
We push ourselves to practice better design and build better buildings.