Design and construction projects involve several steps. Typically, projects go through the following six phases. However, on some projects, several of these steps may be combined or there may be additional ones.
STEP 1: Programming/Deciding What to Build
The building owner and architect discuss the requirements for the project (project goals, site planning, use, space distribution & function, entitlements, budget, etc.) testing the fit between the owner’s needs, wants, and budget.
STEP 2: Schematic Design/Rough Sketches
The architect prepares a series of sketches, known as schematic design, which show the general arrangement of rooms and of the site. 3-D models may also be presented to help visualize the project. These sketches are agreed upon and approved before proceeding to the next phase.
STEP 3: Design Development/ Refining the Design
The architect prepares more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape. Outline specifications are prepared, listing the major materials and room finishes.
STEP 4: Preparation of Construction Documents
Once the design development has been approved, the architect prepares detailed drawings and specifications, including necessary engineering, which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project. These drawings and specifications become part of the building contract.
STEP 5: Hiring the Contractor
A contractor is selected through a bidding process. The architect can prepare bidding documents as well as invitations to bid, and instructions to bidders.
STEP 6: Construction Administration
While the contractor will physically build your project, the architect may assist in making sure that the project is built per the plans and specifications. The architect can be hired to make site visits to observe construction, review and approve the contractor’s applications for payment, and keep the owner informed of the project’s progress. The contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules and procedures.
Want to learn more about how JL Architects can help with your project? Call us; 610-429-4470.
Kipp Happ, Associate AIA