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architectural design process

DESCRIPTION OF ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES

AND THE PHASES OF THE DESIGN PROCESS FOR A ‘FULL-SERVICES’ CONTRACT


SITE ANALYSIS & SCHEMATIC DESIGN: (15% of Architect’s time spent)

An in-depth study of the building site which analyzes the landscape, climate, sun angles, vegetation, views, relationship to other buildings, road access and any other elements which will affect the design of the building.  In this phase we also analyze the relevant Zoning Ordinances and Building Codes which will affect the project. 


Programming (determination of owners spatial, functional and budgetary requirements) and conceptual design phase.    We explore the setting of the building and related improvements on the site; relationships of spaces in the building; basic building form and appearance.   Through meetings involving the Owners and the Architect the merits of the various schemes will be discussed and a scheme (or combination of schemes) will be selected for further study in the next phase. A preliminary cost estimate is prepared at this time based upon size of the building and the approximate cost per square foot of construction. 


DESIGN DEVELOPMENT: (20% of architect’s time spent)

Refinement of schematic design phase including scale drawings of floor plans, exterior building elevations, building sections and any other critical building elements.  An updated site plan is also presented in this phase.  Additional refinements to the design to meet Owner’s needs are addressed in this phase.  The cost estimated is updated to reflect the evolution of the project.


CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS: (40% of architect’s time spent)

Detailed drawings of the building in 1/4” and larger scales.  Includes floor plans, building exterior elevations, building sections, wall sections, details, and window, door and hardware, plumbing fixture, electrical fixture schedules.  Structural drawings, including footing and foundation plan, floor framing plans, roof framing plans and details will be prepared with the consultation of a structural engineer.  These are the plans used for bidding and permitting.


AGENCY APPROVALS, BIDDING & CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION:

(25% of architect’s time spent)

Providing the local Building Department with plans and specifications and working with them to obtain zoning approvals and a building permit.  Providing the Owner with a list of recommended Contractors, meeting with Owner and Contractors, distributing drawings, overseeing the bidding process, answering any questions which might arise, and, when bid is awarded, assisting the Owner in contract negotiations with Contractor.  The Architect will assist the Owner and Contractor in determining a firm bid for the cost of construction and also in defining a process for handling contingencies and changes in the scope of the Contractor’s work.  


Observation of construction, verifying compliance with the drawings, answering questions regarding the drawings, solving unanticipated problems, reviewing change order requests and pay requests from the Contractor.  The Architect will function as Owner’s representative in matters of construction and compliance with the drawings.  Site visits will be undertaken on a regular schedule and at critical steps in the construction process.  At the close of the project the Architect will review all of the work done to assess completion and will submit to the Owner and Contractor a “punch list” of items which remain to be done prior to approval of final payment to the Contractor.

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