This is page gives a review of some of the issues involved with a typical project. Yours may differ, depending on your specific objectives.
For more information, you can refer to the American Institute of Architects publication, “You and Your Architect”. The AIA has helpful information about the design and construction relationship as well.
Generally, there are three phases for each building designed and built using the traditional Design-Bid-Build Project Delivery Method:
- Design Phase: gather information, establish priorities and review costs of construction.
- Drawing Phase: prepare the actual documents, i.e. construction drawings and specifications, used for bidding and building.
- Construction Phase: bid the project, negotiate the construction contract. This is followed by the actual construction of the project.
Each of these three phases consists of other tasks:
Schematic Design - data gathering takes place, goals are established and concepts generated.
- Owner’s objectives identified and quantified – this becomes the Project Program
- Zoning Code and Municipal Requirements
- Building Code Requirements
- Initial Design Concepts
Other items an architect will review that are provided by other professionals
- Boundary, utility and topographic surveys.
- These are required, as they help determine land usage, compliance with local codes o determine if there is sufficient land to accommodate the Project.
- Soils Reports:
- A geotechnical engineer is retained by the Owner to conduct subsurface investigations to identify the soil types, suitability and the type of loading that can be placed on the soils. This step is vital because the engineer’s recommendations may affect the overall cost of the Project as well as support the premise as to whether or not the Project is feasible.
The Project is further defined, concepts explored and materials and systems reviewed and incorporated into the Design.
- Multiple schemes may occur, but one is usually developed into the scheme most reflective of the Project goals.
- Interior and exterior materials are reviewed and selected.
- Building Code issues are identified and accommodated as are systems, including:
- During this Phase, the Architect may be involved in presenting the Project to the local Municipal Government officials for review, comments and approvals. This may consist of the following:
- Architectural Boards of Review
- Planning Commissions
- City Councils
- Building Departments
Construction Documents is the Phase in which the Architect and his/her team of consultants prepare detailed drawings and specifications for the purpose of bidding and construction. Extensive discussions occur between the Architect and the Project Engineers. The final output may be a series of construction document drawings and a Project Manual which includes specifications.
The Construction Documents typically consists of:
- Site Planning and Design:
- Site/Civil Engineering
- Landscape plans
- Storm Water Retention plans
- Grading and layout
- Foundation Plans
- Floor Plans
- Interior and Exterior Elevations
- Ceiling Plans
- Details, Wall Sections, Building Sections
- Schedules, construction type schedules, references and notes
- Project Manual and specifications
- Structural – foundations plans, framing plans
- Mechanical – HVAC (heating and cooling) systems
- Interior Design
- Finish materials – design and selection
Qualified contractors review the Construction Documents and prepare bids for consideration by the Architect and Owner. During the bid period, questions by the Contractor are answered by the Architect and drawings may be modified to include updates.
- Prepare Bid Forms, administration of the Bidding period
- Answer questions and clarify project documents
- Prepare Addenda – additions to the Project Documents as a result of clarifications or other reasons
- Review of submitted Bids
- Award of Contract
- Prepare Construction Contract between the Owner and the Contractor
The Architect observes and documents the construction process, reviews pay applications and other construction related business.
- Attend Construction Project Meetings
- Pay Application Review
- Review Punch Lists
- Answer construction related questions
- Review construction product submittals
- Conduct and document Substantial Completion review
- Conclude Project Close out Review