As a student, with a brand-new architectural degree, it is an exciting moment when you begin your journey through the work world. However, as some of you may know, not everything in an architecture school of design prepares you for what is to come in the real world. Here are some examples of tasks I didn't know I would have to learn to do at an architectural firm:
1. As-built drawings
For any remodel it is important to know what the site is actually like. Construction drawings, even if they are available, are not always accurate as many additions may have happened. This means that it is necessary to measure and draw out every door, wall and detail of the space or the building. In my first weeks on the job, I quickly had to learn how to accurately measure out a site with a tape measuring tool, and then create a drawing from the measurements, definitely something I didn’t learn in grad school. This is a drawing I created and it shows how crazy an old building can be:
2. Architecture is not just design
When making drawings of an existing building, even before any design for the renovations begin, I didn't know I had to consider a demolition plan, an as-built plan and making sure the building is up to code.
3. Knowing the code is everything.
Figuring out how codes impact the project is important to know before any decisions get made. This might involve searching in three or more different places to figure out a code. Whether it's a zoning code or a clearance requirement. For example, how many parking spaces does a school need with certain occupancy? Another one might be what clearances does an ADA accessible bathroom require?
There is much more, but I've come to realize that I have already learned so much right from the beginning of my first professional job that I was never taught in school.