Budgeting & Architecture // Riley Haney
Throughout the past 4 years of studying architecture we have never had to be aware of the cost of construction. I must say that budgets are eye opening. This is the first time I’ve had to thoroughly research and contact suppliers, keeping track of the total cost of a design idea. With the small budget we have for a current project; researching suppliers is one of the most important aspects, making sure we get the best value possible. I am learning that it is also wise to ask about donations, discounts, or pro bono services. Many companies like to donate materials if it is helping better the community or just to help students out. This just requires a little explanation of the project and relating it back to their company.
With budgeting, organization is a top priority. Not only must the budget be physically organized, the budgeter must keep track of who said what, and at what time. They also need to be able to follow up with phone calls and/or emails. Suppliers aren’t always eager to contact you back from a voicemail or email, especially when you say you’re a student. Once the contact list is kept clean, the budget needs to be organized. Color-coding has become my friend along with software such as Excel. Being able to have each bid side by side in the same document is extremely helpful for not only you but for the client as well. Most clients will not have looked at a budget for a project before so making it look as clean and easy to read as possible is for the best.
In the case of Alma Public Park and Pool where the budget is tight, we want to provide the best we can so we decided to supplement city funds with additional approach. We chose to use an online crowdfunding donation site called gofundme.com. There are many other sites similar to this one but we chose Gofundme due to its popularity?? With whom? All that is required for this is to create an account explaining your project/reason for needing money, and anyone who wants to donate can do so either anonymously or with his or her own account. To better serve Alma, we hope to raise enough money to provide durable, yet movable and multi-use furniture.
Learning how to budget a project is just one of the many reasons I’m glad I took this studio. There are many other things we are learning but budgeting is a very important aspect within architecture that most students don’t get a hand at trying due to the fact that academic projects are usually budgetless. With the help of a few other students we have created successful budgets for multiple projects within our studio that will be built.
Written by Riley Haney