Architectural services broadly include six phases: programming, schematic (or conceptual) design, design development, preparation of construction documents, bidding (or negotiation), and construction administration. The work is usually carried out in easily defined phases during which time the client has the opportunity to ensure the project is proceeding satisfactorily. Whether the building type is easily executed or complex, the architectural services are conceived and coordinated as an integrated whole, with strict attention paid to quality, time, and cost.
Typically, projects go through the following six phases. However, on some projects, several of these steps may be combined or there may be additional phases.
The client and architect discuss the requirements for the project (size of the project, use and function of the spaces, etc.), testing the fit between the owner’s needs, wants and budget.
The schematic design phase typically starts with the investigation of the site; its size, physical properties, views, zoning requirements, etc. We identify priorities and opportunities in order to maximize efficiency and realize the potential of the project. We prepares a series of sketches and documents to describe the initial design.
We prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in greater detail. Major materials, building systems and room finishes are all defined at this stage.
Once the client has approved the design, the architect prepares detailed drawings and specifications, which the contractor will use to determine construction costs and build the project. The drawings and specifications become part of the construction contract.
Using the construction documents, the client selects and hires the contractor. The construction contract may take different forms such as fixed price, cost-plus or construction management The architect can assist you in selecting the appropriate contract type that will satisfy your needs. The architect can help you prepare bidding documents as well as invitations to bid and instructions to bidders.
PHASE 6: CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
While the contractor will physically construct the project, the architect can assist the client in making sure that the project is built according to the plans and specifications. The architect visits the site to observe construction, review and approve the contractor’s applications for payment, and generally keep the client informed of the project’s progress.