US Handiss Spotlight - Kyle Moran

Handiss Spotlight: Kyle Moran – Junior Architect

Kyle is a seasoned apprenticing Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture & planning industry. Apart from being skilled with design and drafting software, he is a dexterous designer that has extensive experience in multiple program typologies such as residential, commercial, and hospitality with current practice focusing on classical residential & restoration. Kyle is currently taking the Architectural Registration Exam(s’) in pursuit of New Jersey licensure. He also owns and operates MAD Studios, LLC; a company providing freelance Architectural Visualization and Drafting services.

View Kyle Moran’s Profile View Kyle Moran’s Profile

Q: Please give us an insight on your daily tasks and projects you’re involved in as a Junior Architect.

A: I currently am employed on a full-time basis by an architectural firm that specializes in Classical Residential construction that produces exceptional design work. I specialize in highly detailed construction documentation, and am the primary responsible party for the production of the firm’s construction drawings and project manuals. But, as a member of a small firm, out of necessity I have a range of involvement in all phases of a project from interviewing clients to construction administration and every nuanced responsibility in between.

Q: Can you please tell us about your experience working at your current and previous companies?

A: I have worked at a handful of small companies across New Jersey that ranged from small residential to large scale healthcare typologies. I prefer the intimacy and greater responsibility that smaller firms offer.

Q: You’ve founded MAD Studios. Can you share a bit about it and the services it offers?

A: Currently, MAD Studios is not currently seeking work but does take commissions and opportunities that are presented out of respect and gratitude for the interest. At present, MAD Studios offers drafting, design, and digital visualization services for construction professionals (Architects, Contractors, Designers, etc.) and private homeowners. The reason for not actively pursuing work is, as the sole proprietor, my dedicated focus to my Licensure Examinations. Upon successful completion of such, MAD Studios will be able to offer full Architectural Services. The determination for MAD Studios to operate in a full-time capacity has yet to be determined, nor will it until such time.

Q: What licenses and certificates does an architect need in the US for career growth?

A: At a minimum, an Architect, by law, needs to have earned their state license in the jurisdiction they wish to practice. After, there are NUMEROUS certifications an Architect could pursue to advance their career, with most being dependent on what their career goals are. First and foremost, they need their NCARB certificate. This is achieved with state licensure (and additional application), but the two are independently maintained through their issuing bodies via fees and annual education credits. Any Architect who wishes to employ unlicensed professionals (seeking licensure) or manage subordinates within a larger organization, or receive reciprocal licensure in other States and Territories needs to have this certificate, among other reasons.

Another certification that has become ubiquitous, is LEED accreditation. The profession has adopted as a core tenet, the values, and pursuits of sustainability and environmental protection. LEED, as stewarded by the USGBC, is the construction industry’s largest and most defined certification standard for environmentally conscious construction methodologies and design. Achieving a LEED accreditation (there are a handful of achievable types) certifies your knowledge of their standards, and ability to apply them effectively to a project. LEED boasts a tiered building certification system based on a measured level of Sustainability that a project can achieve. More and more clients are seeking to accomplish LEED projects, or environmentally friendly ones in general, as should Architects suggest their clients to consider pursuing them. A LEED accredited Architect is a valuable selling point at all levels and types of the profession.

A third certification I personally am interested in is the Project Management Professional Certification offered under the Project Management Institute. It is not inherently related to Architecture, or the construction industry, but to any individual that is in a field that has the opportunity to oversee any type of project and its components from start to finish, or during a specific phase or phases. This certification could be valuable to an Architect who would want to be eligible for a Project Architect position within a firm, or one who is pursuing mid to large scale commercial work and wants to sell their abilities to effectively and adeptly manage the complexities of larger construction to potential clients.

There truly are many licensures and certifications that will vary in value to each individual Architect based on the type of work or employment position they are interested in pursuing. Aside from the above, a real estate license, a certificate for knowledge in a specific program, or even certifications in language fluency could all be valuable options depending on the circumstance.

Q: What are the main codes and standards you follow as an Architect? And did you learn those by practice or through courses?

A: In my current position we almost entirely use the International Residential Code, 2018 version. It is imperative to also be knowledgeable of the current IBC, and to have basic knowledge of the NEC, IPC, and ASHRAE.

Handiss is where architects, engineers, and technologists connect for freelance and contract work. Sign up for free to get hired or to hire professionals from the AEC industry. 

You can view more Handiss Spotlight interviews on our blog.