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Architectural Services Defined: Part 4

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If you’re new to Archability, the breadth of services available to clients can be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the field of architecture. To help clients understand the variety of services and select the best talent for their job, this series of articles will give an overview of each service type available through Archability. Be sure to start with the first installment to learn about them all: CAD, Interior Design, Specifications, Design, Landscape, Estimating, Rendering, Planning, Structural, Modeling, Urban Design, M.E.P., Animation, Photography, Web Services, Graphics, Environmental, and more.

Modeling

Architectural modeling is an integral part to most projects in some form or fashion. Models can be physical objects, or they can be 3D digital representations displayed on a computer. Models help translate a concept or two-dimensional drawing into something tangible and easy to understand for most people. Models can be simple ‘study models’ created throughout the design process which helps both the client and the designer understand the various forms, spaces and materials and aids in decision making. Highly detailed models may be created for presentations to investors, community groups or as a commemorative object documenting the long process. Physical models can be made of almost any material, from paper to cardboard to metal and more. The realm of 3D printing is also a viable process for creating models, wherein a digital model is sent to a 3D printer and created by applying multiple layers of material to form the object.

If you need prototypes, or want to understand a complex object or space in three dimensions, modeling may be right for you.

Urban Design

Urban design is a broad reaching discipline that encompasses the design of buildings, landscapes and entire communities. The design of a community is complex and often calls for intense logistical planning and long-term strategies. Urban design requires open communication and planned interactions with key members of the team, including officials, investors, contractors and even the general public. Urban designers must take into account the needs of multiple user groups and simultaneously satisfy broad goals and implement specific interventions. Urban design may show up in the planning and design of master planned communities, large multi-use or mixed use developments, public spaces, transit oriented developments and regional growth planning. Urban designers often employ a team of experts to deal with the individual pieces of the larger whole.

If you have a large, complex project that spans multiple disciplines or needs to satisfy multiple key groups, urban design may be essential for your project.

MEP

MEP stands for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing. These services are typically housed within a single office that provides engineers and professionals to assist on a project under one roof. The integration of MEP systems usually requires close communication and consistent contact with the project designers. Most large projects require the use of mechanical engineers to develop specific systems for HVAC and specialty equipment while plumbing specialists help ensure that the correct specifications are in place to handle the volume of users. Electrical engineers ensure the project has the correct power requirements and components to meet the intended use of the end users. Even on small projects it can be beneficial to consult with MEP engineers to ensure the right equipment and infrastructure is specified with the appropriate amount of space allotted to each discipline prior to construction.

If you have a construction project with complex mechanical, electrical or plumbing  requirements, MEP services may be right for you.

Join us next month as we discover the other services offered by contractors through Archability. If you haven’t yet, be sure to read all about the process and start looking for jobs or posting your projects for bids.

Brinn Miracle is an architectural intern, journalist and residential designer. She writes about architecture and design topics at her blog, www.architangent.com/blog

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