Who Are Commercial Architects?

All buildings are the handiwork of architects, whether residential or commercials. That includes workplaces, homes, factories, and shopping centres. An architect designs building by considering a lot of factors, including physical appearance. Any building designed must be safe, functional, suitable for a specific use it was designed for, and economical.

That’s a lot of work.

Commercial architects are responsible for designing and constructing commercial buildings like factories, offices, retail outlets, hospitals, air terminals,  and sports facilities. A commercial architect doesn’t design residential/ single occupancy houses.

A licensed commercial architect can specialize in one or more types of design or buildings. This requires further training or a lot of experience. However, other professional commercial architects can work in an architectural firm as part of a team where they manage different projects.

Unlike residential architects who focus on residential houses, commercial architects cannot design and build structures meant for residence.

Most architects have offices. Therefore, clients visit them if they need their services. Typically, visiting them means drafting plans, getting cost estimates, filing permit applications with relevant authorities, and negotiating agreements between clients and contractors.

After the construction commencement, architects visit the construction site to check if the project is according to plan.

Note: While designing a structure, commercial architects must design plans as well as scale models. In some cases, they may create blueprints that take into account the layers of construction. That should include plumbing, electrical, cooling,  heating, and ventilation systems.

Remember, building regulations vary from one jurisdiction to another, and it is the commercial architect’s responsibility to comply with building codes, including disabled access. The architect has control over all design elements and respective inputs from start to completion.


The qualifications of commercial architects involve:

a.       A five-year degree – Bachelor of Architecture (BArch). This is for students entering college right from high school. Besides, it also works for students who do have any architectural training. The program focuses on facets like building design, computer-aided design, structural systems, and construction materials.

b.       2-year master’s program – Master of Architecture (MArch). This is a requirement for students having an undergraduate degree either in architecture or any related field. Students having a bachelor’s degree, but in an unrelated field, must pursue a 3- or 4-year master’s degree. In this case, they’ll have to study construction technology, architectural documentation, engineering mechanics, architectural graphics, architectural detailing, and building information modelling.

After the classwork, students have to complete a three-year internship program. Typically, this is hands-on training, after which the aspiring architects can seek licensing with the relevant authorities.

The uniqueness of commercial architects

Commercial architects are rich in skills. This enables them to design functional and good-looking commercial structures. The standout quality is their ability to coordinate the whole project. Ideally, a huge commercial project features different teams, which must work harmoniously. So, it’s up to the commercial architect to keep the team in one place.

There are lots of decisions that will be made during the process. Similarly, lots of problems need solutions, and there is the managing of contractors and subcontractors. All these aspects require a composed individual. Most commercial architects have to keep their problem solving and creativity at high levels by continually learning new trends.

A commercial architect must invest in the latest technology and software to make work easier and efficient in the modern era. Software like Building Information Modeling (BIM) is handy in creating blueprints and design plans.