What is a Building Designer?

A Building Designer is first and foremost a professional familiar with all facets of the building trade, whose plans and designs represent the particular needs, style and budget of the client. A Building Designer may offer a complete array of professional services to you as the client and may consist of:

  • Residential Design, both single and multi-family, and commercial structures as permitted by the architectural statutes of each state.
  • Conferring with you to ascertain type, size, and ultimate usage of the structure during the initial planning stage.
  • Approaching any design problem based on the practical, functional and economical solutions that will best fulfill your requirements, while translating these factors into a concept that is both aesthetic and utilitarian.
  • Offering recommendations regarding the site, interior and exterior layout, materials to be used, and architectural and exterior treatments.
  • Furnishing you preliminary and detailed designs for the proposed structure, ranging from the initial concept to complete working drawings and specifications that will comply with all applicable building codes and regulations.
  • When the conceptual designs are accepted by you, the building designer may present a contract detailing the extent of the services to be furnished and outline the related responsibilities, fees, and structural, mechanical and electrical considerations.
  • Helping you select contractors and overseeing construction. You may retain a Building Designer to provide all or any part of the planning, design, and construction process as you desire. These services are subject to the policies and services of the individual designer you select.
  • When retained to do so, the building designer may assist you by preparing and publishing bid proposals for construction, and may also interpret and explain bid proposals to you with any recommendations.
  • As your agent, the building designer may as allowed by some states to conduct on-site inspections or observations of your construction, ensuring that all work meets the recognized standards.

A Professional Member of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) is an individual who is actively engaged in the professional practice of residential design either as the proprietor of, or as a design employee of, a firm providing building design services. The AIBD established an autonomous body known as the National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC) to create and administer an examination and certification program. These certified persons are permitted to use the title of Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD).

Certified Members have more than six-years of work experience, have submitted examples of their work, and have been tested on competencies related to performing services as a building designer. For more information on this certification process, please visit NCBDC.com.