General Architectural Service Outline

The list below offers a broad view of architectural services available; exact scope of services based on individual Client needs.


Pre-Design (PD):  "Look before you leap" 


Programming phase; preliminary research to determine Clients functional needs,  aesthetic goals and general construction budget.  Review proposed building use, spatial needs, user/staff interview, building code, zoning, site analysis/photo shoot (looking at the opportunities and restrictions of the site).  This is sometimes known as the “problem discovery” phase, because the proper identification of this information is where the Client and Architect find a basis of critique for the pending design solution.


·         Develope Architectural Program

·         Secure Topographic Survey of subject property

·         Obtain Preliminary Title Report from Title Company



Schematic Design (SD):  “Get the big idea”


The first stage of design: prepare the Client brief, which is a record of the Client’s requirements and goals for the project as developed in PD.   Concepts are explored which look at spatial, circulation and functional relationships of the building.  Prepare schematic diagrams, floor plans and elevations giving a general view of key components and scale of the project.


·         Provide Client the opportunity to verify that the Architect has correctly interpreted the Client's desired functional relationships between various activities and provides the Client with a general indication of the exterior design dialogue.

 ·         Marketing



Design Development (DD):  “Bring the idea into focus”


Transitional phase in which the design moves from SD phase to the contract document phase.  Preparation of drawings, rendering and other presentation documents to crystallize the design concept.   Architect to review key building systems with technical consultants such as electrical, mechanical, structural, civil or others as necessary.  The design drawings that result may be used for selling an idea,  gaining Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) preliminary planning approval and for obtaining budgetary advice from a builder.


·         AHJ Design review

·         Builders cost estimate

·         Lender preliminary review

·         Working Drawings and Specifications are completed and ready for Bidding and Negotiation phase


Construction Documents (CD’s): “Engineer and detail the project for construction”


Once the (DD) drawings have been approved by Client and other key parties, the Construction Documents are prepared and developed for submission for a building permit and issued to the various Contractors to obtain bids for the work.  CD phase, consisting of Working Drawings and Specifications, finalize design details and fully integrate the Architectural and Interior Design elements with the Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection systems for the project.  Once completed, the Construction Documents provide information to secure the Contractor’s bids, apply for Building permit and serve as the contractual basis for a construction contract between Owner and Contractor.


·         Coordinate and finalize Architectural and Consultant drawings

·         Complete the Working Drawings and Specifications ready for AHJ plan check and permit application

·         Assist Client with punch list, final walk through and project closeout


Bidding & Negotiation (BN) :  “Arriving at a contract for construction”


Generally, the shortest phase of architectural process.   If the project is to be bid, competitive bids are solicited from a number of Contractors after the CD’s are completed.  Client has option of accepting one of the bids as given, rejecting all bids, or negotiating a modified bid with one of the bidders.  Client is not obligated to accept the lowest bid, nor obligated to accept any of them; traditionally, the Client is seeking “the lowest, responsible bid“.  Prepare Bid Form and “Instructions to Bidders”

·         Prepare the Bid Form and “Instruction to Bidders”

·         Prepare addenda or clarifications as necessary during BN

·         Private or Public Bid Opening

·         Review Bids for conformance with “Instruction to Bidders”

·         Select a Contractor


Contract Administration (CA):   “Executing the plan”


Periodic visits of job site to review the progress of construction and observe the Contractor's execution of the work in order to verify that it is in substantial conformance with the CD’s.   This phase includes answering questions, problem resolution, reviewing minor change requests and any adjustments required to complete the project.  Review Contractor pay/draw requests according to agreement with him, and advise Client if the progress payment requests are in line with that agreement and the progress of construction. 

·         Architect may act as liaison between Client and Contractor

·         Periodic construction observation

·         Review shop drawings and material submittals

·         Construction question clarification

·         Change order review and negotiation



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