Video footage of President Ar. Fidelis C. Kabwiri
Kindly find attached the list of paid up Architects and Architecture firms for the Year 2023 to 2024
We wish to inform you that the ZIA President Architect Fidelis Kabwiri in the company of the Vice
President Architect Mineson Simfukwe and Mr. Arthur Muvwanga from the Inspectorate held a meeting
yesterday with the Zambia Police Command which was led by the Deputy Inspector General of Police –
Operations Mr. Milner Muyambango.
The outcome of the meeting was that ZIA and Zambia Police would soon sign a Memorandum of
Understanding for the Investigation and prosecution of criminal offences under the Zambia Institute of
Architects Act No. 36 of 1995.
With this development, we wish to encourage you to continue being vigilant and report all suspected
projects that do not have registered architects to the ZIA Inspectorate.
Additionally, we would like to appeal to all registered architects not to endorse or sign on drawings that
they have not generated, otherwise efforts being made to police the ZIA Act will be in vain.
After a prolonged hiatus, the ZIA website will start re posting to the website as a channel for communication.
Dr Hector Sikazwe, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2021
This is the Last part of our series on the Zambian Architect and what it takes for them to set up a practice. The series is based on the experiences of Dr. Ar. Hector Sikazwe in his years as a professional which span over 25 years in both Private and public sector in Zambia, the United Kingdom and many other countries. He currently runs his own Architectural consulting firm Apex Business management Consultants Ltd, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, where the firm conducts research in novel technologies in the construction industry. Last week we looked at the architectural office and what impact it has on how the architect sets up, Today we close up on the architectural office and the series by starting at looking at the role that Mentors play.
Get A Mentor
When starting an architecture firm, burgeoning Architects should find a successful architect to mentor them. These mentors must be Architects respected and in well keeping with ZIA, the professional body. The Mentor will be able to offer invaluable advice on what works and what doesn’t in the industry. Unfortunately, the Zambian construction Industry is difunctional and highly fragmented that it is very difficult to find anyone ready to be a Mentor.
Finding a mentor
✓ Architects need to contact a few of the most successful firms in the City where the Architect sets up the practice and enquire from principle Architects and directors if they’d be keen to provide Mentorship.
✓ Consult practicing Architects for general advice or help you need
✓ Contact ZIA secretariat for advice
Company legal structures
From the onset, it is important that the choice of the legal company structure for the architecture firm is important. The advice is to speak to a lawyer and possibly an accountant before setting up the firm. It’s advisable to get these things right from the beginning then to fix them later. Putting into place the legal status of the firm will play a bigger role in the future: ✓ A sole trader describes any business that is owned and controlled by one person – although they may employ workers. ✓ A limited company is a type of business structure where the company has a legal identity of its own, separate from its owners (shareholders) and its managers (directors). Even if a company has only one individual involved with it and that person is the only shareholder and the only director, the company is still a separate legal entity.
Liability is a huge issue in the architectural world. Its important that Architects seek advice from commercial lawyers and insurer and ensure they are properly covered for all eventualities. It’s important not to take chance when it comes to company structure and licensing matters.
Office Space Options
Architects need a comfortable place to work from. A physical space where they can set up their table, computer and drawing tools, as well as some comfortable chairs and most importantly a coffee machine for client meetings. Sounds strange, but a coffee maker is important for an Architect’s office. The chosen work space will depend on the size of the firm and particular aesthetic tastes, and location and proximity to the amenities needed.
It’s also important to realize that working from home is an option for many bootstrapping architects just starting out. There are numerous advantages, including lower overhead, comfortable and personal space, and no commuting to work. Some architects work from home while raising kids and, while it’s not easy, that can be very rewarding. If the Architect has a small family, this might be convenient but, in most cases, this would have detrimental effects to the business because clients do not respect those working from home.
However, working from home might be the only possible option. Most homes are not set up to accommodate an architect’s studio. Architects need the right space and light for their setup, and start-up Architectural business need to be aware that they will also be meeting clients at their home. Many Clients are uncomfortable with this and if Architects do not keep their home tidy, or the décor or design is a bit outdated, then it won’t make the best impression on clients.
Some architects solve this issue by working from home but hiring co-working or meeting spaces in day rented offices when they need to meet clients. This can be a great option until a firm has built up the cash flow to rent a permanent office space.
Type of Office
If neither of these options work for the Architect will need to find an office for rent. When choosing an office, the Architect must consider the following factors: ✓ A prime location, ✓ A pleasant work environment, ✓ A good rent price, ✓ A solid rent contract, ✓ A space that reflects personality and design principles of the Architect.
Just like a Carpenter has a toolbox and a doctor a stethoscope, a good Architect has a suite of tools and equipment that help him or her do the best work. Here are some of the essential items Architects need to get your office set up:
✓ A desk – Most architects use a huge desk so they can spread out and work on large paper or multiple projects at once.
✓ Computers that are top notch in specifications to accommodate novel design software programmes. Big Computer screens. Projectors, Scanners, Printers.
✓ A comfy chair.
✓ Smartphone or tablet – These are powerful tools Architects can take everywhere.
✓ Tracing paper – A roll of this paper on hand at all times – even Architects do the majority of their work in CAD, they will find a myriad of uses for it around the office.
✓ Coffee machine or snack dispenser
✓ A range of rulers and scales – Architects use these ALL THE TIME.
✓ Reference material – Books, magazines, council regulations, brochures, guidelines … Architects need a bookshelf of essential reference and reading material.
✓ Pens, pencils, calculators, office stuff – The reason for this should be obvious.
✓ Camera – Architects often use one. At the very least, it’s vital to take pictures of the first few projects completed for portfolios and office displays.
General Office etiquette
As an architect, keeping track of multiple aspects of each job is key to project management. This can be very difficult if the Architect has more than one client at a time. Managing office business workflow in the office is one of the key components of a successful architectural firm.
Workflow management software based in the cloud, designed with the needs of architects and other designers in mind helps Architects
✓ Time Tracking – Track how long each stage of a project takes to complete. Architect can then figure out if they are over- or under-charging for certain aspects of their work.
✓ Project management – create deadlines, break architecture projects down into tasks, highlight significant milestones and create automatic notifications for upcoming due dates.
✓ Invoicing: bulk billing, bill for multiple jobs, invoices generated on actual time, and branded invoice templates.
✓ Create Reports – Learn the ins and outs of the Architect’s workflow through a range of report functions.
✓ Collaboration – Architects, Employees, contractors and clients can now all employ BIM as way of having integrated project management systems.
✓ Cloud-based – Architects can now access all their project data at any time, from any device, anywhere in the world by using cloud-based storage.
Very often, young Architects start their own firms, and then get so bogged down in running the business that they don’t get to do what they actually enjoy doing, designing buildings. This is the risk all start up business owners face. It’s important that the Architect should enjoy strategy, networking, administration and other duties of running a business, and may sometimes need to either outsource those duties to someone else or go back to being an employee. Achieving balance in vital for a successful firm, and a fulfilling business. Unfortunately, it’s something that is different for every person, so it’s not something Architects can learn from watching others. They need to experiment with different ways of doing things until they find a business model and a balance that works for them.
This brings to an end our exciting series on The Architect and startup Business Headache, we pray it has informed and guided young aspirants in the field of Architecture, on the ins and outs of what getting into the Business of Architecture is all about.
Chappell, David; Powell-Smith, Vincent; Marshall, Derek; Cavender, Simon (12 May 2008). Building Contract Dictionary. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-77994-1.
D’Souza, N. (2007). Design intelligences: A case for multiple intelligences in Architectural design. ArchNet International Journal of Architectural Research, 1(2), 15-34.
Demirbas, O., & Demirkan, H. (2003). Focus on architectural design process through learning styles. Design Studies, 24(5), 437-456.
Felder, R., & Silverman, L. (1988). Learning and teaching styles in engineering education. Engineering Education, 78(7), 674-681.
Felder, R., & Soloman, B. (2004). Index of learning styles. Retrieved on 20 September 2009 from http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSpage.html Goldschmidt
Fleming et al., (1996); The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (5th ed. 1999);
G et.al., (2000). Who should be a designer? Controlling admission into schools of architecture. Unpublished Research. Delft, Netherlands: University of Delft.
Langmead, Donald; Garnaut, Christine (1 December 2001). Encyclopaedia of Architectural and Engineering Feats. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-112-0.
Pevsner N., (1st rev. ed., intro. by M. Forsyth, 2009); An Outline of European Architecture C. Harris, Dictionary of Architecture and Construction (4th ed. 2006); P. Goldberger, Why Architecture Matters (2011).
See S. F. Kimball and G. H. Edgell, A History of Architecture (1946, repr. 2002); T. Hamlin, Architecture through the Ages (rev. ed. 1953);
Sikazwe, H. (2018) Ten things about Architects you need to know. SCRIBD USA
Vitruvius, Pollio (transl. Morris Hicky Morgan, 1960), The Ten Books on Architecture. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-20645-9.
Dr Hector Sikazwe, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2021
Today, we continue our series on the Zambian Architect and what it takes for them to set up a practice. The series is based on the experiences of Dr. Ar. Hector Sikazwe in his years as a professional which span over 25 years in both Private and public sector in Zambia, the United Kingdom and many other countries. He currently runs his own Architectural consulting firm Apex Business management Consultants Ltd, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, where the firm conducts research in novel technologies in the construction industry. Last week we looked at what being an Architect is (and what it is not) Today we dive deeper by looking at the setting up of an architectural office.
Setting up office from scratch
Imagine you have just finished reading the details of who an Architect is above and you have your mouth hanging open with disbelief that after 5 years in Architectural school, you realise that is not what you were taught about who an Architect really was. You think about the many hours you spent doing modules that you now realise did not cover the issues of how to become an architect. All that knowledge you thought you had has just gone out of the window. What about the 3D presentation drawings you made using crack software that impressed your peers and now seem crude to the knowledge you now have about the real world and the practice of Architecture that now threatens to implode right under your gaze.
Maybe you’ve just finished school and you’re ready to brave the real world. Maybe you are tired of working for other companies, or maybe you just have an entrepreneurial streak. You have just recently passed your PCE examination. You are now getting that cringy feeling after reading the details of who an Architect person specific is and your heart is pounding uncontrollably. Maybe you are thinking, “I think I have what it takes to start my own company…” Then you get that churning in the pit of your stomach as you ponder on the fact that you don’t actually have the foggiest of where to start. Whatever the reason, you’re thinking its time you hung out your shingle and started your own architecture firm. Before you embark on any business decision – and starting your own firm is a HUGE business decision – you need to ensure you have goals in mind for the future. Your goals set the direction and focus of your business. They allow you to align your business with what you want for your life in years to come.
Set Goals for Your Architecture Firm – and Your Life
Goals for your architecture firm should always be SMART, and they might relate to the size of the firm, the revenue, the type of work you want to do, or where you want the firm to be in a certain period of time. Think about 3-5 goals for your business. They might include:
✓ How large do you want the firm to get?
✓ Do you want to focus on design work, or on managing the business?
✓ What type of projects do you want to take on?
✓ What types of clients do you want to work for?
✓ How much money do you want to make?
The above is probably not that encouraging when one considers the Zambian economic situation. Almost everything in Zambia revolves around Money. This cancer has eroded the Architectural profession to a point near the precipice of extinction of professionalism. Architects are using all the gimmicks of boy scout’s survival tactics if it means circumventing CAP 442 to survive.
Some breach the act with impunity, some inadvertently but most due to sheer ignorance. Unfortunately, Zambian Architects do not devote their lives to reading as a habit. They would rather spend time on social media engaging in the latest social gossip than sitting up sucking in knowledge about the practice of Architecture.
First steps first
You need three things to start your own architecture firm:
✓ An architect (check)
✓ Vision and Determination (check)
? Money (che ……… uh oh). Any start-up Businesses need money to survive, and businesses in the start-up phase need more money than a business that is already established. To start a business, Architects need money to rent office space, buy equipment, obtain licenses, hire office helps like cleaners, administrators, and to make it worse, a vehicle. The amount of money needed will vary depending on the resources available and the type of architectural firm envisaged. Most start by working solo. Saves money, but the most complex as it does not put pressure on survival instincts. When starting as a solo practitioner, the Architect will always have a basic escape plan in case of hitting a brick wall. That would not be the case if one has paying staff who add pressure.
Senior Architects reflect on how they started their own firm and the mistakes they made. They will always suggest that before you begin to think about where the money will come from, it’s important to sit down and:
✓ Draw up a preliminary small budget.
✓ Work out what you need to get the business up and running,
✓ Determine the minimum you need to pay your bills for the first year.
Knowing how much money that is needed is the first step to financing a new architectural start up firm.
Next, the Architect might need to explore avenues to obtain that money. In Zambia, it is difficult to access finance to start a business. Mostly, Architects might need to borrow from friends, relatives, family but the luckiest ones might:
✓ Borrow from a bank.
✓ Use savings.
✓ Borrow from a parent,
✓ Secure funds through a business loan,
✓ Bootstrap the firm until a profit is achieved.
All these options have positive and negative aspects, and young Architects may use more than one form of finance to get their firm started. For example, obtaining a loan of half the money needed from parents, (those who are fortunate to have parents who are well to do) and then take out a bank loan for the remainder. Whatever the choice, it’s important for Architects to research all options, and preferably seek a business advisor before taking the plunge. Many Architects start their business start-up by using savings to fund their business without any external support from investors, grants or finance from the bank. Bootstrapping is hard work, but is one of the best ways to get ahead, as there are no loans to pay back or external shareholders to answer to.
In Part 4 we will continue on setting up a firm by looking at how having a Mentor, may impact your journey, and considering how the ‘office’ influences how your Architectural journey is shaped