Women as Builders

By: Melissa Daniel

I’ve heard of an architect as developer, but an architect as builder? To be honest, I didn’t think there was a difference.  After talking to Francisca Villarroel Alonso, co-founder and CEO of AVArchitects + Builders, the key difference is that a builder “builds” the structure and the developer “develops” the land where the structure will be built. Villarroel Alonso continues,“In other words, a developer may purchase a piece of land and then may have to prepare the land to be fit for building. He or she may have to add sewer, water, gas, electricity, storm water run-offs and even street access for the land to be ready for build. This process may take from 6 months to 2 years depending on the jurisdictions the property is in and the developer carries all the costs during this time. On the other hand, the builder is typically just interested in a “ready-to-go” piece of land already “developed” and ready for build. The builder will erect the structure and act as the general contractor managing all the building trades that make up the building team.”

In terms of architect/builder, one major benefit is that you don’t have to hand-off the plans to another builder or contractor.

In the residential world, this is key advantage for architects to be able to stay in- control of the process during construction. You are not only the advocate for the client but you are the general contractor in charge of the construction process. This reduces the ‘’finger-pointing” significantly since you are the architect and the builder all-in-one”, says Villarroel Alonso.

In terms of women architects as builders, we all can imagine how rare the percentage is considering the statistics of women principal/partner in firms and as developers. “Female architects make great builders because we are natural people managers”, Villarroel Alonso points out. “What better person to manage this team than a woman? We are very detail oriented, great communicators and team players.”

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Francisca Villarroel Alonso is the co-founder and CEO of AVArchitects + Builders.  Recognizing that happiness is of most value to people, Francisca helps homeowners love their homes again. Francisca believes that great architecture can provide a true sense of well-being and she strives to provide design value for their clients by designing beautiful homes that are in alignment with their lifestyle.

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