Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Architect-as-contractor model in building architecture

In the October 10th 2008 Wall Street Journal article, House Designers Don Hard Hats, the author describes the architect-as-contractor model called design-build. This approach is the unquestionable standard in the software engineering world. This article vividly demonstrates some well known parallels between building and software architecture.

Some points to note. The design-build model works only when the design documents are extremely detailed - down to the last screw or caulking decision. There are upward of thirty different architectural views for a $5M project. And of course an architect is playing the role of a developer by participating in the day-to-day building activities.

The article offers interesting reaction to this approach from former customers. Since there has been some isolated discussions in the software architecture community of the separation of high level design from implementation it’s worth a look.

Constantin K.
Firebrand Architect®

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