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Architect’s Guide to Site Visits and Observations

Photo of an Architect looking at a plan on site.

As an Architect, your job can extend beyond planning, designing and preparing documents for construction. It can continue throughout the project lifecycle, with regular site visits playing a crucial role in ensuring that the design translates seamlessly into reality. In this short article, we will look at the purpose of an Architect’s site visit, what you should expect and some tips to improve the process.

What is the purpose of an Architect’s site visit?

The purpose of an Architect’s site visit is to oversee the construction process, ensuring that the project stays true to the design intent and adheres to quality standards. By doing regular site visits, Architects can monitor progress, identify and address any issues that arise, and maintain clear communication with contractors, engineers, and other stakeholders.

How frequently should you be doing site observations?

The frequency of your site observations will depend on the project size, complexity, and contract requirements. Some projects may necessitate weekly visits, while others may require biweekly or monthly observations. As an Architect, it’s important to determine the appropriate frequency to maintain oversight and ensure that the project stays on track.

What to expect during a site visit

When conducting site observations, be prepared to:

  • Review ongoing work: Assess the quality of completed work and identify any deviations from the approved plans.

  • Address issues: Site visits allow you to identify and resolve any problems, whether they are related to design, materials, or workmanship.

  • Coordinate with team members: Effective communication with contractors, engineers, and other stakeholders is essential for smooth project execution.

  • Document observations: It’s crucial to keep detailed records of your site visits, including photographs, notes, and sketches.

Tips to improve your site observation process

Here are some tips to help you improve your site observation process:

  • Develop a checklist: Before visiting the site, create a comprehensive checklist of items to review, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial aspects.

  • Use technology: Streamline your documentation process by using an app like SiteCam to organize all of your site visit photos and notes. SiteCam is an easy-to-use camera app designed for Architects and Construction professionals. It allows you to capture and store photos with location context, descriptions, and tags.

  • Keep a site visit log: Maintain a record of all site visits, including the date, time, attendees, and a summary of observations and action items. This log can serve as a reference for future site visits and help you track progress and resolved issues.

  • Foster a collaborative environment: Encourage open communication and collaboration between all parties involved, creating a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable raising concerns or proposing ideas.

Try SiteCam for Free

If you want to save time and stay organized, try SiteCam for free and see how a dedicated site photo management app will streamline your site observation process. Sign up here:

Example of how rough-in photos can be managed in SiteCam

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