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Roles and responsibilities: Architects

General areas of responsibility

A practicing architect:

  • Must hold a valid license issued by the state where they provide services.
  • Safeguards health, safety, property, and the public's welfare with the enhancement of both the natural and built environment.
  • Develops a comprehensive package of design and construction documents, taking all aspects of the project into account and coordinating elements prepared by other design team members.
Design area and subjects addressed by architects
The following examples are general guidelines, and shouldn't be considered all inclusive.
Design area Subjects addressed by architects
Site layout
  • Comprehensive plans
  • Land use laws
  • Grading
  • Landscaping
  • Building layout
  • Barrier free access
  • Parking
  • Arterial access
Building classifications and intended use
  • Occupancy
  • Type of construction
  • Occupant load
Building circulation and egress
  • Corridors
  • Travel distances
  • Exits and exit widths
  • Stairways
Building structural systems Gravity and lateral forces (wind and seismic forces)
Fire safety
  • Use and storage of hazardous materials (toxics, flammables, corrosives, etc.)
  • Fire ratings
  • Fire walls and separations
  • Requirements for sprinklers and fire alarms
  • Smoke control
  • Penetration
  • Product and material specifications
  • Damper types and locations
Interior space planning
  • Interior and exterior finish materials
  • Wall and floor construction systems (durability, water tightness, aesthetics, and fire ratings)
Energy, ventilation, and indoor air quality
(including environmental impacts and compliance with regulations)
  • Sound attenuation
  • Energy conservation
  • Solar energy systems
  • Vapor barriers
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Indoor air pollutants
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities (in compliance with Washington state law)
  • Overall design (aesthetically pleasing and contextually appropriate)
  • Project coordination

Questions? Need help?

Email us: DFCcompliance@dol.wa.gov

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