Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges
So said the bandidos in the 1984 Michael Douglas/ Kathleen Turner movie “Romancing the Stone, ” also in Blazing Saddles, and they were both paying a misquoted homage to the 1948 Humphrey Bogart movie: “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
Well, perhaps thieves in the middle of a jungle or desert, or unlicensed “designers” don’t need badges, but your Architect should have a few.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre famous scene that started it all:
What sort of “badges” does an Architect need? Here’s few that might make you feel that you are engaging a good professional to design your house & project: (see below):
Architects Creating Homes.
As of the date of this posting, this is the only independent professional organization representing licensed Architects who mainly design residential projects in the world. ArCH is not controlled, managed, coordinated, or funded by, through or with any other parent entity. It exclusively represents the interests of residential Architects and its main purpose is to improve the quality of and practice of residential architecture. Only licensed Architects can become members. So, if you see someone with “ArCH” after their name, that means that 1.) they are a licensed Architect in at least one state in the USA, and 2.) that they subscribe to a professional organization that focuses on the best practices in residential architecture.
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
It typically might take a licensed Architect about 10 years of outstanding practice to obtain their NCARB certification. The process, once begun, can take up to a year to complete, as it requires complete documentation of the applicant Architect’s education, registrations and spotless track record. The track record is documented by individual letters sent to NCARB from previous employers and other Architects who must vouch for your strong, moral and capable previous good architectural work. This certification, or “badge” is sort of like a Medical Doctor becoming Board Certified. It means that you are dealing with an experienced and capable licensed Architect whom has proven themselves to their peers and clients.
Energy Star is a program from the USA Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It was established in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, to conduct engineering research and a technology program to develop, evaluate and demonstrate non-regulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollution. In 2005, Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act. This established at the DOE and EPA a voluntary program to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards. Obtaining the Energy Star Partner certification, for the design of residential projects is difficult, only the most learned Architectural firms can accomplish this. HOME ARCHITECTS is one of the few that have this certification. This architectural firm is a leader in energy efficient design.
This program was started by HOME ARCHITECTS. If refers to a technical specification that the company created and implements on all of its projects, entitled: “Section 01800: Healthy Building Specification.” This specification is the culmination of 30 years worth of research and real world practice, resulting in documentation of practices to be used in the construction of your project that utilize the cleanest and healthiest products and methods realistically possible. This specification begins with the following copyrighted preamble:
“The intent of HOME ARCHITECTS homes and buildings is to have them be healthy places in which to live, work and play. To this end, we ask that you, the Contractor, material suppliers and subcontractors, foremen and laborers join with us to help create this special place for our mutual Client, the Owner. You will see a few things that may be new to you and others that you typically do already. We ask that you help us implement these healthy components, materials, systems and ways of doing things to result in a home that is healthier for the Owner…”
This means: Master of Arts in Architectural Design. This is a professional level degree, which allows the holder to be able to take the ARE (Architectural Registration Exam), once their experience has been documented.
Which means that the person who earned this degree has spent from 6 to 8 years at a major university of higher education in the United States, at an NAAB accredited graduate school. NAAB = National Architectural Accrediting Board. The NAAB aspires to be the leader in establishing educational quality assurance standards to enhance the value, relevance and effectiveness of the architectural profession (and has since 1940).
You can ask if your Architect has this degree. Rand Soellner, Senior Staff Architect of the HOME ARCHITECTS ® has this degree, obtained from the University of Florida Graduate School of Architecture.
So: you can see that these 5 BADGES are a good way for you to understand that your Architect is:
Properly educated at a major university.
Has a professional degree in Architecture.
Has a record of good performance.
Subscribes to energy-efficient design techniques.
Designs healthy residential and other project types.
Certainly, all of us would want this quality of know-how going into our house, wouldn’t we? Our houses are likely going to be the largest investments of our lives. It is logical to want them to be designed by the best Architects available in this highly specialized area of design.
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