By "non-residential" we mean commercial, institutional, civic and educational projects - pretty much anything that isn't residential (hence the name). At any rate, please note that the deliverables listed below are common examples, but each project is unique and may have different requirements.
Programming and Concept Options
When we begin a project we will consult with you and your organization to determine project goals and requirements. The ultimate goal is the creation of an architectural program for the project. The program is simply a list of the project requirements and functions that need to be accommodated along with written descriptions associated with each item. The program is a written document that might be anything from a single page to a bound booklet. It will include estimated square footage of each usage type and any other elements needed to achieve the project goals. While many of the decisions regarding the program need to be determined by your organization, we can provide programming consulting as needed.
After we’ve documented the needs of the project we will explore multiple ways of achieving these architectural goals. Many of these alternatives will prove to be unfeasible but some will show promise and those we will develop into a series of Concept Options that we will present to you.
At the end of this phase you can expect a finalized program document as well as a packet containing multiple concept options. In order to move forward we’ll need a decision from you regarding which option (or hybrid option) is deemed worthy of further development.
During Schematic Design (SD), we will continue to develop and refine the Concept Option selected in the previous phase. In addition to developing the initial sketch, SD also is the research phase of the project when zoning requirements or jurisdictional restrictions are discovered and addressed.
The goal through all of this is to produce a Schematic Design Set that includes a site plan, floor plan(s), sections, elevations, and other illustrative materials such as precedent images, renderings, or models. Typically the drawings include overall dimensions, and a construction cost is estimated by your chosen contractor. The design then moves forward to the Design Development phase.
In the Design development (DD) phase we use the initial documents from the Schematic Design phase and take them one step further. If SD was about developing the right design, DD is about making that design real. We begin working with our consultant team to integrate mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, landscape and architectural details. We also coordinate site requirements with your civil engineer. This phase results in drawings that are similar to those in SD but much more detailed. They include dimensions and door and window details as well as outline material specifications.
Like the Schematic Design Set before it, the Design Development Set represents a point within a larger process and can also be thought of as the halfway point in the completion of the design process. As such it allows you one final opportunity to make final adjustments to the design before things are finalized. If the process has works as intended, these changes should be minor.
The next phase of the process is known as Construction Documents (CDs). Once everyone is satisfied with the status of things at the end of DD, we move forward with adding additional detail to the drawings. The final Construction Document Set can be understood as the set of instructions the Contractor will need to obtain the required building permits and build the building in question. In addition to the drawings, we also typically produce specifications or written descriptions of the materials and workmanship the design requires.
Once CDs are satisfactorily produced, they are ready to be sent out to contractors for pricing or bidding. The level of detail in CDs may vary depending on the Owner’s preference. If the CD set is not 100-percent complete, this is noted on the CD set when it is sent out for bid. This phase results in the contractors’ final estimate of project costs.
Bidding and Negotiation
The first step of this phase is preparation of the bid documents to go out to potential contractors for pricing. The bid document set often includes an advertisement for bids, instructions to bidders, the bid form, bid documents, the owner-contractor agreement, labor and material payment bond, and any other items necessary for the creation of accurate bids. For projects that have unique aspects or complex requirements, we may elect to have a pre-bid meeting for potential contractors.
After bid sets are distributed, both the Owner and architect wait for bids to be submitted and then we will help you select a winning bid. Any negotiation with the bidder of price or project scope will then be done before the contract for construction is signed. The final step is to award the contract to the selected bidder with a formal letter of intent to allow construction to begin.
Our involvement during the construction of the project used to be called “Contract Administration” (CA) and some projects still require the architect to "administer" the process. Most of the time it is more appropriate for us to perform "Construction Observation" on your behalf. At any rate, we’ll work with you to determine what our level of involvement should be and outline those expectations in the Owner-Architect construction agreement. CA services begin with the initial contract for construction and terminate when the final certificate of payment is issued. The architect’s core responsibility during this phase is to help the contractor to build the project as specified in the CDs as approved by the Owner. This includes reviewing all products and materials as specified in the Construction Documents. Questions may also arise on site that require the architect to develop architectural sketches, or drawings issued after CDs have been released that offer additional clarification to finish the project properly. Different situations may require the architect to issue a Change in Services to complete the project.