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The building designer skill is used in the construction of certain buildings. Its corresponding labor is architecture. Building designer has no influence on the speed with which such buildings are constructed; its only effect is to influence the quality of designed buildings, which has only modest benefits.
The building types that require architecture are:
When building structures that require architecture, it is the architect who carries the building materials to the site and clears it of debris. The architect's time can be minimised by placing appropriate stockpiles near the selected location and by removing any debris in advance. The building is then built in two stages: the first performed by the architect, and the second by a mason (if the building built from stone or glass, though glass buildings will grant Jeweler experience), a carpenter (if it is built from wood), a metalsmith (if it is built from metal bars or blocks), or an adamantine worker if it's made of adamantine.
Speed of construction
Building designer skill does not increase the speed with which buildings are designed, nor does agility: a no-skill building designer and a legendary designer will both design buildings at an identical rate. The rate of construction is likewise unaffected by the level of the secondary skill (masonry, etc.), but is dictated solely by agility. This makes building designer experience of very limited value, having only an effect on the designed building's quality.
Buildings which require a variable amount of materials (namely, aqueducts, bridges, and roads) will be built at a rate proportional to the amount of material used and will also take longer when constructed from rough stone. Buildings which require a set number of materials to construct (such as a trade depot or a support) will all be built at the same rate, once the needed materials are all assembled.
Aqueducts, bridges, and roads will take longer to build than those that require a set number of materials, even when comparing, say, a one-tile road (one stone) to a three stone trade depot.
Building a "designed" building grants 30 points of experience in building designer to the architect and a varying number of points in mason/carpenter/metalsmith/jeweler/adamantine worker to whomever finishes the structure (this may be the architect as well, if he or she has the appropriate labor enabled).
The architectural experience will be awarded at the end of the "designing" stage, but the masonry (or other) experience will be awarded gradually as the dwarf constructs the building. The amount of experience granted depends on the amount of time spent constructing - for example, constructing a 10x10 tile road will grant more experience than a wood furnace.
Building designer skill influences the quality of "designed" buildings (those listed above). The quality of the building is determined by the skill of the architect and the skill of the builder (mason/etc.). The game assigns two values that can be viewed with the building list. When determining the overall value of the building, these two values are simply added together to form an overall value multiplier ranging from 2 to 24.
Buildings that do not involve an architect do not have any quality (aside from "built" furniture -- tables, statues, doors, etc.).
Building quality has only two effects in-game: high-quality buildings can occasionally trigger a happy thought in dwarves who notice them, and higher-quality buildings will boost your fort's overall architectural wealth (as displayed in the "created wealth" section of the status screen). The first effect is usually easy to achieve by using high-quality furniture, however, and the second effect is minimal unless you make your buildings out of high-value materials (such as platinum or artifact components).
Destroying a masterwork structure (whether via cave-in or building destroyer) will give an unhappy thought to its designer and/or builder (depending on whether the design or construction are masterful), though dismantling it will not.
Bowyer · Carpenter · Engineer · Wood cutter
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