Programming (documenting concepts and existing conditions)- Gather information about your specific needs and requirements. Measure the existing conditions. Identify further parameters of the project, such as site requirements and potential zoning issues. Establish a budget. Review potential Code issues and requirements, evident at the onset of the project. Draw the existing conditions on CADD and provide to the Owner the results.
Schematic Design (developing the concepts)- From the information gathered above, a series of rough sketches will be prepared (2 to 4 options depending upon the complexity of the project) that show a conceptual approach to the design ideas. These drawings may be prepared by hand (not CADD) and illustrate the general arrangement of the rooms or spaces and other pertinent design ideas. From these sketches the Owner will choose the design elements that best meet their needs, to be incorporated into the next phase.
Design Development (refining the design)- Upon approval of the prior phase, more refined drawings will be prepared incorporating the ideas generated in the above process. Drawings in more detail showing floor plans and elevations will be presented for review. Additional options may be presented and details started to better illustrate the design intent. Outline specifications are prepared listing materials and finishes being proposed. This phase can take a couple of meetings to refine. It is possible to obtain pricing at the end of this stage if one has established a good working relationship with a Contractor.
Construction Documents (documenting the design)- Once the above phase has been approved, and major decisions have been made affecting the design, the process of preparing drawings and specifications needed to bid, obtain permits and construct the project will be prepared. These drawings take a fair amount of time to create and once created cost the most to alter if changes are requested. We should meet at least once during this process to review the progress.
Bidding and Hiring a Contractor (establishing a price)- As an Owner, you select and hire the Contractor. The Architect may assist in the selection process given their general knowledge of how pricing is structured. Two to three Contractors are usually asked to submit their pricing and from this list a contractor can be selected on the basis of the pricing and credentials submitted. The architect may suggest some names of Contractors, help distribute the contract documents and help review the pricing received from contractors, but it is the responsibility of the Owner to obtain potential contractors, evaluate the bids, make the final decision and effectuate the deal.
Construction Observation (observe construction)- The Contractor will physically construct the project and is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules and procedures. During construction the architect will, at intervals appropriate to the progress of the work, observe the construction process helping to ensure the project is built according to the plans and specifications and to see that it generally complies with the design intent. The architect may also review materials submitted for compliance with the specifications, resolve detail issues, and design modifications that arise as a result of unforeseen conditions. The Architect will generally inform the Owner of the projectís progress in relation to conventional expectations. The architect may also review the Contractorís request for payments if requested by the Owner.