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How it all comes together

The Beginning

FIRST, WE RECOMMEND MAKING CERTAIN THAT YOU HAVE A REGISTERED/LICENSED ARCHITECT FOR YOUR PROJECT. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE TERM “ARCHITECT” IS SOMETIMES USED LOOSELY, AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE SURE THAT YOU ARE HIRING A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL. EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS. CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR AN ARCHITECT’S LICENSE IN FLORIDA.

ONCE YOU HAVE SELECTED AN ARCHITECT TO CONSIDER, SET UP A MEETING TO DISCUSS HIS EXPERIENCE IN THE BUILDING TYPE YOU ARE PURSUING. REMEMBER, YOU ARE INTERVIEWING THE ARCHITECT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE FIRM AND ITS TEAM OF ENGINEERS (CIVIL, STRUCTURAL, MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING ARE TYPICALLY A PART OF THE PROJECT TEAM) ARE CAPABLE OF PROVIDING THE VISION YOU DESIRE AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOU WELL. DURING THIS MEETING, YOU WILL BE PROVIDING THE ARCHITECT WITH A GLIMPSE OF YOUR VISION FOR THE PROJECT.

UPON YOUR APPROVAL, THE ARCHITECT WILL CREATE A PROPOSAL WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT – HIS UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR VISION FOR THE PROJECT AND WHAT IT WILL INVOLVE. THIS PROPOSAL SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE DETAILS INTO THE PROCESS, AS WELL AS A FIGURE FOR THE COST OF ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES.

ONCE A PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTED, THE NEXT STEP IS AN AIA (AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS) CONTRACT, WHICH PROVIDES LEGAL INFORMATION TO PROTECT ALL PARTIES INVOLVED. UPON YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONTRACT, THE ARCHITECT WILL BEGIN THE DESIGN AND DOCUMENTS PROCESS TO PROVIDE PLANS FROM WHICH THE CONTRACTOR WILL BUILD, TO MAKE YOUR VISION A REALITY.

NEXT, A PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTION NEEDS TO BE SELECTED. THERE ARE TWO PATHS WHICH WE BELIEVE BENEFIT ALL OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT – OWNER, ARCHITECT AND CONTRACTOR:

DESIGN/BUILD:  THE OWNER CONTRACTS WITH THE ARCHITECT AND THE CONTRACTOR TOGETHER AS A TEAM. THAT TEAM WORKS TOGETHER FROM INITIAL DESIGN CONCEPTS THROUGH THE COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION TOWARDS OWNER'S BUDGET, MAINTAINING DESIGN INTEGRITY, AND QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION.

DESIGN/BID/BUILD:  THE OWNER PROVIDES HIS VISION TO THE ARCHITECT, AND THE ARCHITECT MAKES THAT A REALITY THROUGH THE DESIGN PROCESS. ONCE THE DESIGN PROCESS IS COMPLETED, THE ARCHITECT SUGGESTS REPUTABLE, CAPABLE, LICENSED CONTRACTORS FOR THE OWNER’S APPROVAL. THE DESIGN IS PROVIDED TO THE SELECTED CONTRACTORS AND THEY SUBMIT THEIR BID TO THE OWNER BASED ON THE FINAL DOCUMENTS. THE ARCHITECT AND OWNER THEN OPEN THE BIDS AND THE OWNER TYPICALLY SELECTS THE CONTRACTOR BASED ON THE LOWEST BID.

FINALLY, THE FUN BEGINS! IF YOUR PROJECT REQUIRES MASTER PLANNING, THE ARCHITECT BEGINS WITH A RECENT SURVEY OF THE SITE AND YOUR VISION FOR THE IMMEDIATE FACILITIES AND POSSIBLE FUTURE FACILITIES (SUCH AS ADDITIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS FOR GROWTH OR ADDITIONAL BUILDINGS SERVING OTHER PURPOSES). THE SITE IS ANALYZED FOR PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR CIRCULATION, APPROPRIATE BUILDING LOCATION AND ACCESS FROM THE STREET.

MASTER PLANNING WILL ALSO SHOW THE PHASES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS FROM THE INITIAL BUILDING(S) TO FUTURE BUILDINGS IN ORDER OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.

AFTER MASTER PLANNING IS COMPLETE, WE MOVE INTO THE DESIGN PHASES.

Design Phases

IN THIS PHASE, THE ARCHITECT AND OWNER MUTUALLY DETERMINE THE CONDITIONS AND CONSTRAINTS OF THE PROJECT. THE ARCHITECT WILL CHECK BUILDING CODES AND OBTAIN OR PREPARE DRAWINGS OF EXISTING CONDITIONS. THESE RESULTS PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR THE ARCHITECT TO PROVIDE A PROGRAM (LIST OF NEEDS/WANTS AND SQUARE FOOT ESTIMATES TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BUILDING).

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN, RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SITE AND BUILDINGS ARE ESTABLISHED. THE ARCHITECT PROVIDES A CLEARLY DEFINED CONCEPT DESIGN FOR THE OWNER'S NEEDS WITH THE APPROPRIATE SOLUTION.

THE ARCHITECT PREPARES ROUGH FLOOR PLANS SHOWING GENERALLY THE LAYOUT IDEAS AND ADJACENCIES OF AREAS AS WELL AS THE BUILDING PLACED ON THE SITE WITH AREAS FOR PARKING AND DRIVES WITH DROPOFF POINTS, ELEVATIONS (EXTERIOR PICTURES OF THE BUILDING), AND MATERIALS.

EXPANDING ON THE PREVIOUS PHASE TO DEVELOP DETAILED FLOOR PLANS, ELEVATIONS (EXTERIOR PICTURES OF THE BUILDING), AND BUILDING SECTIONS (CUTS/SLICES THROUGH THE BUILDING TO SHOW THE INTERIOR AND FORM OF THE STRUCTURE).

THE ARCHITECT VERIFIES WITH THE APPLICABLE BUILDING CODES AND WITH DESIGN TEAM ENGINEERS (CONSULTANTS) TO DESIGN THE STRUCTURE, MECHANICAL (HVAC/PLUMBING) SYSTEMS, AND ELECTRICAL/DATA SYSTEMS. THESE PROCEDURES GIVE A GREATER DETAIL TO THE DIRECTION OF THE DESIGN AND ALLOW FOR A CONTRACTOR OR CONTRACTORS TO BEGIN TO DEVELOP A PRELIMINARY COST OF THE NEW FACILITIES.

ONCE THE OWNER HAS APPROVED THE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT PHASE, THE ARCHITECT BEGINS THE FINAL DOCUMENTATION TO PROVIDE TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR PERMITTING. THESE DRAWINGS PROVIDE ROOF PLAN(S), DETAILS, MILLWORK (CABINETRY/BUILT-IN FURNITURE, ETC . . . ), ENLARGED FLOOR PLANS (IF NECESSARY), REFLECTED CEILING PLANS (LIGHTING LAYOUT), SCHEDULES (DOORS, DOOR TYPES, WINDOWS, FINISHES AND MATERIALS), AND LIFE SAFETY PLANS (EXITING FROM THE BUILDING AND OTHER CODES INFORMATION). THE SPECIFICATIONS (BOOK FORMAT MANUAL TO PROVIDE MORE DETAIL AND INFORMATION FOR MATERIALS AND FINISHES) ARE ALSO INCLUDED, IF NECESSARY, FOR THE PROJECT.

Design is Done - Now What?

THE COMPLETED DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS ARE GIVEN TO THE CONTRACTORS TO DEVELOP A COST FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FACILITY. THE COSTS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE OWNER AND REVIEWED WITH THE ARCHITECT FOR CONFORMANCE WITH THE PROJECT PARAMETERS. THE LOWEST QUALIFIED BIDDER IS TYPICALLY SELECTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK AND THAT CONTRACTOR CONTRACTS WITH THE OWNER.

THE CONTRACTOR PROVIDES THE SIGNED AND SEALED CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS TO THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES TO REVIEW. DURING PERMITTING THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES ARE REVIEWING THE DESIGN DOCUMENTS AND MAKING CERTAIN THEY MEET CODES AND ORDINANCES. A PERMIT IS ISSUED AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT CAN BEGIN.

DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE THE CONTRACTOR WILL PROVIDE THE ARCHITECT WITH SHOP DRAWINGS. THESE ARE DOCUMENTS PROVIDED BY CONTRACTOR, SUBCONTRACTOR, SUPPLIER, MANUFACTURER, OR FABRICATOR TO ILLUSTRATE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS DETAILS AND/OR SYSTEMS. THESE ARE REVIEWED BY THE ARCHITECT AND MEMBERS OF THE DESIGN TEAM TO CONFIRM THAT THE CONTRACTOR IS PROVIDING THE OWNER WITH QUALITY PRODUCTS THAT ARE SPECIFIED IN THE CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS.

DURING CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION THE ARCHITECT AND DESIGN TEAM MEMBERS VISIT THE SITE PERIODICALLY TO OBSERVE THE MATERIALS AND SYSTEMS REQUIRED BY CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS. THE ARCHITECT MAY ALSO REVIEW AND APPROVE THE CONTRACTOR'S APPLICATIONS FOR PAYMENT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE CONTRACTOR IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSTRUCTION METHODS, TECHNIQUES, SCHEDULES, AND PROCEDURES.

WHEN THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IS ISSUED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY CERTIFYING A BUILDING IS SUITABLE FOR OCCUPANCY. THE OWNER'S VISION IS NOW A REALITY!

DISCLAIMER:

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY, AND MAY NOT APPLY TO YOUR SITUATION. THE AUTHOR, PUBLISHER, DISTRIBUTOR, PROVIDER, AND ARCHITECT PROVIDE NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES ABOUT THE CONTENT OR ACCURACY OF CONTENT ON THIS SITE. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IS SUBJECTIVE. ALL LINKS ARE FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT WARRANTED FOR CONTENT, ACCURACY, OR ANY OTHER IMPLIED OR EXPLICIT PURPOSE.

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