Occ. Code 4801300




New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Senior Architects perform architectural work involving the full range of professional activity in the planning, design or technical review of drawings and related details for the creation, construction, rehabilitation or restoration of buildings and facilities.  On assigned projects, incumbents schedule and otherwise coordinate the activities of engineering specification writers, estimators and other occupations providing specialized services to the architectural project.


            Senior Architects may specialize in the architectural review of consultants’ work and advise and consult with project sponsors concerning the feasibility and acceptability of project plans and frequently consult with clients or sponsors concerning the feasibility and acceptability of project plans and frequently consult with clients or sponsors providing technical assistance, advice and guidance on architectural and related matters concerning the program, design and construction states of a project.


            Senior Architect positions are located in several different agencies with the greatest number of positions in the Office of General Services and in the Department of Health.




            Senior Architects perform the full range of professional architectural activities requiring a high degree of technical judgment, imagination and resourcefulness in the planning, design and construction of large projects in terms of functional requirements, structure, mechanical elements and cost.  Senior Architects may also represent agencies concerned with the maintenance of architectural standards on non-State projects such as hospitals, nursing homes, public housing, and local schools where the emphasis is on the advisory review of architectural plans and related documents in connection with State or Federal aid or regulations.  In such assignments, incumbents provide technical advice and consultation to project sponsors and their architects concerning the feasibility and acceptability of project plans.  Modifications to such plans may be recommended to improve operating efficiency and the economy of construction.


            Characteristically, Senior Architects independently make recommendations and decisions to resolve architectural problems in carrying out a project to completion.  Senior Architects must possess a Registered Architect’s license issued by the State of New York which indicates a recognized standard of professional activities in architecture.  Supervision is not a significant classification factor at this level.  However, incumbents, as assigned, function as job captains or lead architects on projects in providing technical direction to a subordinate staff.


            Associate Architect, as distinguished from Senior Architect, provides the full range of supervisory activities to an architectural staff on a full-time basis.


            Other classes providing specialized engineering services in the design or redesign of specific building construction and mechanical features are included in the Building Electrical Engineering series, the Building Structural Engineering series, the Building Construction Engineering series, the Mechanical Engineering series, the Heating and Ventilating Engineering series, and the Plumbing Engineering series.   The Senior level class of each of these series is characterized by the performance of the full range of professional activities associated with occupational field, and the possession of a Professional Engineer’s license issued by the State of New York.


            A Senior Landscape Architect prepares the most difficult site plans, specifications, and estimates for State buildings or supervises subordinate landscape architects in preparing and reviewing plans, specifications and estimates for roadside developments projects and personally prepares or reviews the most difficult of such plans.


            Senior Architectural Estimators estimate the quantity and price of labor and materials in connection with major and diversified construction and repair projects.  A Senior Architecture Specifications Writer prepares architectural specifications of proposed projects and makes recommendations as to their efficiency and sufficiency.




For assigned projects, reviews and evaluates the client’s programs, the criteria for the design of new buildings or the rehabilitation of existing buildings, and prepares written reports and preliminary drawings of all findings and decisions made.


·      Meets and confers with client agency personnel responsible for the project to establish the statement of requirements indicating the nature and scope of the project to be considered in the design.


·      Reviews existing facility building plans on file to obtain drawings of subject property or of any completed projects with similar architectural problems.


·      Inspects the project site to make measurements, sketches, photographs, and otherwise documents the actual site condition to aid in developing the final architectural design solution.


·      Determines project feasibility relative to the scope requirements, the project budget, and construction schedules.


·      Translates client’s project requirements into an architectural program which reflects the scope of the work in terms of such factors as space requirements, purpose of project, money and site limitations, mechanical or electrical requirements, utilities and occupancy.


·      Determines applicable codes and standards which must be adhered to in the design and construction of the project.


·      Confers with mechanical, structural and electrical engineering specialist as well as with specification writers and estimators concerned with the project to set forth project scope and to schedule and otherwise coordinate such support activities.


·      Prepares or directs the preparation of preliminary drawings and supporting information for client’s approval indicating the architectural proposal to meet the client’s needs.


Prepares working drawings translating project scope into plans, elevations, sections and details showing design, location and dimensions of elements of the structure.


·      Develops schematic design for the project reflecting program requirements, aesthetic design, materials and so forth, including the coordination of the schematic design for the structure and mechanical systems for review and approval by the client.


·      Develops preliminary design incorporating client’s comments on schematic drawings prior to the preparation of the working drawings.


·      Following the client’s statement of requirements, preliminary and schematic drawings and other documents, applies standard architectural techniques in preparing, or directing the preparation of, working drawings for the project.


·      Provides drawings, support documents and other necessary information on the project to appropriate engineering specialists as well as to specification writers and estimators providing specialized services to the building project.


·      Schedules and otherwise coordinates the work of the specialists contributing to the project to insure their work is complete and on schedule that it meets the project objectives, and that it is compatible to the construction design.


A Senior Architect designated as job captain or lead architect responsible for the technical supervision of subordinate architects and drafting positions performs the following tasks.


·      Assigns work and provides staff with necessary documents and drawings covering the architectural requirements of the project as they relate to the assignment.


·      Interprets the architectural requirements, prepares working drawing format and constructs details and recommends appropriate technical approach to achieve the architectural requirements of the project.


·      Assists staff in solving architectural problems related to the assignment.


·      Reviews completed work to insure technical accuracy, compliance to instructions and that the work is completed on schedule.


During the construction stages of the project, makes periodic inspections as required to insure full compliance with drawings and specifications and provides advice and guidance in connection with proposed architectural changes.


·      Evaluates requests for changes and provides architectural advice and guidance in connection with proposed changes.


·      Prepares change orders to implement changes in architectural plans.


·      Reviews contractor shop drawing submissions for approval.


·      Periodically participates in meeting with the client and others involved in the project to insure the coordination of all activities and to provide advice and guidance in interpreting the contract document.


After completion of the project, makes final inspection to insure full compliance with drawings, specifications, etc.


·      Prepares report of inspection indicating any corrections required before the project can be accepted.


Reviews architectural designs submitted by consultants for such factors as conformity with contract requirements, codes and standards, for costs, accuracy and for agreement between the architectural and engineering elements.


A Senior Architect representing an agency concerned with maintaining architectural standards of non-State projects, ensures compliance with applicable requirements, and provides advice and guidance to individuals and groups directly concerned with the project.


·      Makes field inspection of existing facility to determine if any alterations are necessary to bring the facility into compliance with appropriate codes and standards.


·      Serves as technical expert on Code, Life and Fire Safety in legal proceedings to correct or decertify structurally non acceptable facilities.


·      Provides technical advice on structural aspects to survey teams inspecting existing facilities for compliance with applicable State or Federal regulations.


·      Meets with applicants during the initial stages of the project to assist by providing technical advice and consultation on the architectural and code requirements and in developing meaningful and efficient plans and specifications for the project.


·      Evaluates the project in terms of adherence to accepted architectural practice and conformity to appropriate codes and standards, considering such factors as the orientation of the proposed structure to the site, the functional arrangement in terms of providing adequate service, and for economy of construction and operation.


·      Reviews plans, specifications and costs of project through all stages of the architectural planning for compatibility and economy of design and adherence to code, and proposes solutions to resolve architectural problems.


·      Advises sponsor on proper bidding procedures and methods.


·      Consults with sponsor, architects and others as to appropriate solutions to architectural problems arising during the construction phase of the project.


·      Reviews change orders to insure compliance with architectural intent and appropriate codes, and makes field inspections of completed projects to determine that the work has been done as specified and meets project specifications.




These activities require frequent oral and written communications with a variety of people.  Within the agency a Senior Architect consults with and provides technical information, advice and guidance to staff and other professional employees designated to provide specialized services to the architectural project.  Such relationships involve frequent person-to-person contact for the purpose of scheduling and coordinating the various inputs prepared by the specialists and providing technical information on the nature and scope of the project as specified by the client.


            Outside of the agency, incumbents work closely with client representatives, owners of facilities, their architects and others assigned to the project, requiring frequent oral and written communications in identifying and resolving architectural problems related to the project and providing technical advice and guidance as needed.  If necessary, coordinates findings, and requirements with Federal technical staff.


            Field trips are made to the project site independently or in the company of other members of Department’s survey teams, engineering client representatives, sponsors, Federal technical staff and others for the purpose of obtaining firsthand observations of the project, to determine the feasibility of proposed architectural changes and, as required, to conduct compliance inspections during all phases of the construction.




            As assigned, a Senior Architect functions as a lead worker or lead architect on a project providing technical supervision over a staff and coordinating the activities of the engineering, specification and estimating specialists contributing to the project.


            Senior Architects are supervised by higher level architects, usually an Associate Architect.  Architectural projects assigned call for a high degree of technical judgment in interpreting and adapting architectural guidelines, and in solving unique or unusual architectural problems that may be related to the assignment.  The finished product is reviewed by the supervisor for architectural design features, technical adequacy and for conformance to objectives.


            Although there are many guides and standard specifications followed in the architectural field, the architect must exercise judgment regarding the applicability of such guides as written to the particular circumstances at hand.




·      Good knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of architecture and of developments in the field.


·      Good knowledge of building materials, their function and physical properties.


·      Working knowledge of construction methods.


·      Working knowledge of applicable codes, laws, rules and standards regulating the design and construction of buildings.


·      Working knowledge of building costs.


·      Basic knowledge of structural, electrical and mechanical engineering as related to buildings.


·      Ability to make and analyze comprehensive architectural designs.


·      Ability to identify architectural elements in building designs for conformance with applicable standards, policies, codes, cost efficiency, program objectives, for compliance with design requirements, and for acceptable architectural practice.


·      Ability to creatively portray architectural elements as a complete design.


·      Ability to express ideas effectively both orally and in writing.


·      Ability to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with clients, technical experts and others.


·      As assigned:


·      Ability to provide technical direction to a team of subordinate architectural and drafting personnel.




            One year of permanent service as an Assistant Architect and possession of a Professional Architects license issued by the State of New York.



Reviewed:  3/03




NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.