Architecture Engineering Planning Forensic Services


Every building project requires different architectural services given the varying nature of the project. Typically, however, the process can be broken down into four major phases. While the specific tasks that fall within each of these phases may vary as we adjust our services to the specific characteristics of each project and the precise needs of our clients, the overall process and the full range of services that each client should expect to receive are as follows:

This first phase is most critical to the project as we develop a complete understanding of the project and the client's goals and needs, beginning with:

• Conferences, research, analyses and studies to determine the scope of the project and, if necessary, to assist with site selection and evaluation.

• Review of client's needs, research, visit and analyze existing or comparable facilities, and review project feasibility, budget constraints, and any "wish-list" items.

• Site analysis including surveys, climatic data, soil testing and locating utilities, drainage or flood information and, where necessary, documentation of the existing conditions including accurate field measurements, examination of existing materials and construction, room layouts, elevations, structural and non-structural elements, mechanical and electrical systems, drainage and sewers and other relevant data.

• Analysis of the pertinent and applicable building codes, ordinances, zoning requirements, and other legal requirements.

We then develop the project program based on all initial data and site information that has been collected and begin to explore possible approaches to the project, initially in a conceptual or schematic manner, with:

 • Development of the overall project program incorporating both needs and constraints.

 • Preparation and presentation of schematic or diagrammatic sketches including floor plans, elevations and/or models that illustrate alternative approaches or solutions to the project.

 • Review schematic designs with the client and incorporate feedback to develop revised solutions or new alternatives that will converge, as result of an iterative process, upon the final project design.

As the process begins to approach a more refined solution and the exact constraints of site, existing conditions or building and budget are incorporated, we may begin to consider other aspects into the design process including:

 • Energy studies and initiation of LEED-certification process

 • Preparation of applications and documents for, as well as appearance before, historic preservation, zoning, site-plan or appearance commissions or boards that might influence or approve the building project

 • Review and select the types and quality of materials, workmanship, and structural, mechanical and electrical systems to be employed.

These and other constraints result in a definitive design for the project that incorporates all these decisions into the final form and scope of the project and conclude with:

 • Refinement of the schematic design based upon reviews and the selection of materials and systems to include more precise elevations, floor and site plans, building sections, and building systems

 • Reassessment of probable project cost, adjustments to the design and final review and approval by the client.

The second phase continues the overall process with the development of the documents that will become the basis for the project construction as well as forming the basis for the contract and approvals by legal authorities. It is here that drawings, specifications and other information take the approved definitive design and translate them into the final documents to be used for the project. This phase includes.

 • Preparation of construction documents consisting of working drawings and detailed specifications, indicating, in detail, the design, type, extent, and location of materials and finishes, assemblies, and furnishing or special equipment.

 • Preparation of all associated structural, mechanical, electrical or other drawings and coordination of these documents with the architectural drawings, as well as collaboration with engineers, technicians and specialists to facilitate proper integration of the structural, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, sanitary, electrical, fire prevention and control systems

 • Preparation of bid documents, instructions to bidders, and other bid forms and documents

 • Incorporation of any LEED-certification requirements

Once the construction documents are complete, the third phase seeks out bids for the work as well as selecting the contractor and finalizing a construction contract. This phase can vary from private-sector work where bidding and negotiation may be less formal to public-sector projects that may be governed by law as to the method for bid-award process.

 • Advertisement or public notification of competitive bids in accordance to governing statutes, ordinances or laws

 • Solicitation of competitive bids from pre-qualified contractors.

 • Pre-bid conferences including site visits for contractors and sub-contractors bidding the project.

 • Formal clarification of the bid documents and issuance of any addenda or other changes to the bid documents.

 • Analysis of bids or proposals including verification of bidder qualifications, project histories, project management capability, and financial rating and recommendations for their acceptance

 • Value engineering and negotiation of final agreements for the work

 • Assistance with or preparation of the construction contracts, agreements and permit applications.

The final phase incorporates both the construction of the project as well as ensuring that the quality of the work of the contractor, as well as the systems and materials used and installed meet the requirements established by the drawings and specifications for the work. The services in this phase are not restricted to the contractor or project manager, but also involve substantial participation by the architects, on behalf of the client-owner, including:

 • Convening pre-construction, pre-installation and construction progress meetings to review the proposed work, schedules, interface and coordination of trades and work and to review and potential or observed problems, delays or other issues.

 • Reviewing shop or fabrication drawings, data sheets, manufacturer's specifications, samples and tests to determine their compliance with the construction documents.

 • Making periodic observations or site inspections of the construction progress at intervals deemed necessary to ascertain that the work is being executed in substantial compliance with the contract documents

 • Preparing and issuing any change orders or other modifications to the contract documents including any new or revised drawings, specifications, details or other instructions.

 • Reviewing the contractor's payment requests, affidavits and waivers of lien, and issuing certificates to authorize proper payment in accordance with work performance and materials and systems installed.

 • Inspecting the completed work, identifying any items that have not been completed or that may require correction or repair and re-inspecting any corrected work before issuing a certification that the terms of the construction contract have been satisfied.

 • Assistance with the application for any LEED-certification

 • Conducting post-occupancy inspections of the work to verify that the project continues to meet the performance requirements of the contract.