Helpful Online Resources for Architects

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Whether you’re a veteran architect or a rising star, the internet has thousands of blogs, articles, videos, and podcasts for improving your skills and raising your reputation. But with so much information available, you can end up spending more time choosing a resource than learning from it.

That’s why we’ve put together this curated list of the most valuable online resources to help you master your potential as an industry-leading architect.

Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI)

As an industry-leading trade association, AWI publishes industry standards for interior architectural woodworking. In addition, we offer unmissable education and networking opportunities that make it easy for construction industry professionals to grow their businesses. AWI also runs the Quality Certification Program, which offers 35 different licenses to woodworkers and provides compliance and quality assurance for architects.

Key pages:

  • News & Blog – Our extensive library of blogs adds significant value for any construction professional, including pieces tailored specifically to architects.
  • Design Solutions – This quarterly magazine features beautiful examples of fine woodwork with detailed drawings to introduce new techniques and creative concepts.
  • Membership Overview – Discover how an AWI Membership gives you exclusive professional development, marketing, and resource benefits that help your firm reach its potential.

ARCAT

This directory serves as the internet’s most comprehensive library of CAD drawings, BIM objects, and building product information. The site requires no registration, and its resources and learning materials can be used and downloaded for free. ARCAT also provides users with hundreds of Construction Specification Institute formatted specifications, and their SpecWizard 3-part CSI spec writing tool.

Key pages:

  • Architectural Resources – As well as standard learning resources, this page links to YouTubers, discussion boards, trade shows and expos, and useful apps.
  • CAD Drawings – Download free drawings and blocks in dwg or pdf format for use with 2D and 3D modeling software.
  • BIM Objects – Download BIM content in revit or dwg format for use with major BIM or CAD software.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

As the voice of the architectural profession, AIA uses its huge membership power to influence local, state, and federal government policies that impact the industry. They support architects with education, advocacy, community redevelopment, and outreach programs, and provide public education regarding the value of top-quality architecture.

Key pages:

  • Architecture Billings Index (ABI) – Helps non-residential construction firms with strategic planning, business cycle shifts, and other economic concerns.
  • Best Practices – Follows the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition to offer expert advice for firm management.
  • Risk Management – Learn to identify, prevent, and control risk in its many forms, including cyber-attacks, resolving disputes, negotiating contracts, and legal protection.

Archtoolbox

Archtoolbox serves as a technical and professional practice reference with hundreds of detailed articles on project management. It covers all major topics, such as project and team planning, client management, finance management, and more. For those looking to earn professional credentials, Archtoolbox also provides study guides for exams such as the LEED Green Associate Exam or WELL AP.

Key pages:

  • Design & Documentation – Covers architectural concepts, construction documentation, measurement, sustainability, and health.
  • Materials & Systems – Covers all manner of building materials and elements.
  • Professional Practice – Covers architectural references, career development, and project delivery.

Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)

The goal of this well-trusted not-for-profit organization is to improve architects’ performance by developing specifications standards and formats, and delivering professional education and certification. CSI’s focus on the designer, materials producer, and constructor assists in the creation of outstanding facilities.

Key pages:

  • Practice Guidelines – This library of construction references supports project delivery, contract administration, specifications, and construction product representation.
  • Certification – CSI’s certification programs allow construction professionals to deepen and prove their understanding of construction processes.
  • CSI Blog – With educational posts, news updates, Q&A sessions, and more, CSI offers a great mix between industry and personal material.

Business of Architecture

With online classes, podcasts, and learning programs, Business of Architecture acts as an online college for all architects to develop their approaches and problem solving skills. Their most prominent offering is the SMART practice method, which stands for Sustainable, Mission-focused, Autonomous, Rewarding, and Team-based.

Key pages:

  • SMART Practice Method – Solve the complexity of running an architecture firm and build a more lucrative business with this 100% satisfaction guaranteed peer-reviewed program.
  • Free Training – Take this free on-demand course to discover a simple approach to running an efficient, profitable, and fulfilling business.
  • Podcast – Business of Architecture has over 400 podcasts covering topics such as marketing, finances, starting a firm, career advancement, and leadership.

Life of an Architect

Where other resources mainly focus on providing technical support, Life of an Architect offers a personal dive into the obstacles and solutions of architecture. Run by Bob Borson, a licensed architect from Texas who has held many high positions within AIA, it provides an informative individual perspective that’s hard to top.

Key pages:

  • Podcasts – Averaging around one hour apiece, these 100+ co-hosted discussions provide excellent information for managing and working in an architecture firm.
  • Blog – These thought-provoking publications encourage architects to reevaluate their thoughts and take a human perspective on their profession.
  • F.A.Q – An insightful entry that provides personal and well-reasoned responses to many of the questions aspiring architects are likely to ask.
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