Today’s comprehensive and enduring built solutions demand a design leader who can wield an extensive breadth and depth of knowledge and skill. The layered history of the professional title itself–from the ancient Greek archi-tekton (“chief builder”) to the Latin architectus (“inventor and builder”), and ultimately to the concept of “master builder”–speaks to the profession’s impressive demands.
Building Design and Delivery Today
Where once a single archi-tekton or architectus could provide the necessary expertise across all elements of building creation, today’s complex and high-performing building designs depend on the collaborative input of extensive teams of designers, engineers, and functional specialists. With so much to know, understand, and apply on a given project, how can an architect ensure that the greater design vision does not become subordinate to singular functional and technical considerations? In short, how can she succeed as a nimble and effective master builder?
Recent advances in technology are enabling architects to do just that, and Sefaira is leading the charge. By empowering architects to lead complex multi-disciplinary teams in the delivery of performance-based design, Sefaira is helping architects succeed as master builders.
The Master Builder Lives!
An architect tasked with delivering high-performing buildings will often have no choice but to rely heavily on consultant input. This frequent strategy demands administrative time and energy, may reduce available fee, and carries significant risk: The process may also fail to support a timely exchange of perfect information and/or the architect may be ill-equipped to push back against input that threatens the overall vision.
Consider the following familiar example: Firm X wins a NetZERO residential project. Their staff is well-versed in performance-based concepts like solar orientation, sun-shading techniques, and fixture flow rates. Unfortunately, they lack the internal resources to calculate and quantify the collective impact of these design elements. They hire a consulting engineer who brings valuable experience and insight to bear, but requires refined inputs to run analyses. Ultimately, the teammates reach an impasse: the engineer’s calculations suggest a building form that departs significantly from the original design intent. In response, Firm X must choose to sacrifice aesthetics for performance, performance for aesthetics, or the client relationship and fee as the design team begins the process from scratch. These are not attractive options.
Sefaira solves this problem by quickly and intuitively raising a design team’s best guess to the level of an informed design decision. The architect can proceed with her work, confident that her incremental design decisions will support a high-performance design in keeping with the overall design vision. In turn, when the consultant is engaged, he will be able to deliver actionable insights that support the greater design vision.
Long Live the Master Builder!
Design is not linear; it requires a dynamic push and pull of multiple variables until all are held in equilibrium. Such a process requires the nimble and informed leadership of a master builder with an adequate depth and breadth of knowledge and skill.
While the involvement of specialists in designing today’s complex buildings is undeniably important, the result of their contribution must be actionable insight, and not frustration nor missed opportunity. Sefaira supports such actionable insight by empowering architects as master builders to lead complex teams with conviction in the pursuit of high performance buildings.