Description of Architectural Phases
Payment for initial meeting and to explore scope of project; non-refundable.
Feasibility Study or Research
Feasibility Study or Research is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed project, typically relating to an existing site or facility involving research into parameters such as zoning & deed regulations, utilities, wildlife & environmental conditions, soils & vegetation, flood zone and storm water concerns and similar factors which can affect the project’s feasibility. It does not include, but may recommend, further detailed investigation such as surveys and environmental impact studies involving wetlands, endangered species or hazardous materials.
Architectural programming is the research and decision-making process that identifies the scope of work to be designed. This phase often includes the assembly of information such as surveys, existing plans and “as-built” drawings if needed and development of design objectives and relationships.
Schematic Design is the initial design scheme that seeks to define the general scope and conceptual design of the project including scale and relationships between building components. The schematic design phase usually includes some rough sketches for the owner’s approval.
Design Development phase takes the schematic design and the requested modifications and revises the design as necessary and starts to “pound out the details”. A rough order of magnitude cost estimate may be completed by a contractor as part of this step if requested by the client. The goal is resolve as many design and cost issues as practical before beginning construction documents.
Construction Documents, often referred to as “blueprints,” are the actual working drawings and specifications that describe the project in sufficient detail for the contractor to begin the bidding process and to construct the building. The client reviews the Construction Documents prior to the final Permit Set.
Permit Set are the final construction documents signed and sealed ready for the contractor (or owner) to pull a building permit.
Construction Administration is the phase during the construction process where the architect supports the general contractor to assure conformance with design intent and addresses any field conditions as they arise.
Delays in Design
Continuous progress is cost-effective. Should there be a delay in the design process, the Architect reserves the right to surcharge a “reactivation” fee.
Description of Related Services
Most projects require a recent boundary survey of the property identifying property lines and easements and at times additional survey information such as topography and vegetation may be needed.
Sometimes, the services of outside consultants may be needed to help assess any environmental concerns such as wetlands, endangered species, or suspected environmental hazards such as buried toxic waste (“brown fields”).
Many projects require the services of a civil engineering with regard to the site design and development relating to issues such as storm water retention and detention, erosion, traffic flow, environmental impact, potable and fire water supply, sanitary service and required landscaping.
If beyond the scope of the architect, particularly in non-residential construction, a structural engineer may be used to design the structural aspects (foundations and structure) of the building. This could also include truss design, which is often provided by the truss manufacturers.
Mechanical Design includes three different types of engineering involving (M) mechanical systems such as heating and air conditioning, (E) electrical systems and (P) plumbing systems such as water supply, sanitary, gas and compressed air.
Fire & Life Safety:
Fire Protection Design
Sometimes provided as part of the MEP service, consultants are used to help design the fire sprinkler systems and the associated smoke and fire alarm systems. Often these services are provided by the fire sprinkler sub-contractor.
A general contractor may be employed during the design process at to help “value engineer” a preliminary cost estimate for the project.
Level of Service
Occasionally, a traffic engineer consultant may be needed to assess the level of impact the proposed development may have on the existing roadway system and/or how the site will access the abutting roadway system; such as with FDOT.
Landscape architects may be used whenever there is extensive landscaping or development of the site outside of or between the buildings.
Architects are also licensed to practice Interior Design; however, Interior Designers are not licensed to practice architecture. Occasionally, Interior Designers may be recommended to the client to coordinate the interior finishes of the project.
As needs arise, other consultants such acoustical engineers, forensic engineers, roofing inspectors or manufacturer’s representatives are used to help meet the client’s needs.