Importance of Design & Design Process
Although all professions are based on a balance of technical and indeterminate knowledge, some stress one over the other. Architecture emphasizes an artistic, relatively inexplicable domain of expertise - design - that is at the core of the Architect's identity. Design requires rational knowledge of how buildings are put together, how they will function, historical models for building types, materials, mechanical systems, structures, and so on.
-Three classic design goals are highest quality, lowest cost, and shortest time. Everybody wants all three, but priorities vary. Some clients have fixed budgets, non-negotiable deadlines, or inflexible quality standards.
-Traditionally, design is a professional service, with the Architect offering professional advice and acting as an agent of the Owner. With this in mind, an Architect providing continuing service is in a position to monitor the status of the project. If portions of the building construction are improperly interpreted, the Architect can point that out to the Owner to have the appropriate corrections made.
DESIGN PROCESS: The Architect's Design Services shall include normal structural, mechanical and electrical engineering services, which usually consists of five phases:
1.) Schematic Design Phase: The Architect shall provide Schematic Design Documents based on the mutually agreed-upon program, schedule, and budget for the Cost of the Work. The Documents shall establish the conceptual design of the Project illustrating the scale and relationship of the Project components. The Schematic Design Documents shall include a conceptual site plan, if appropriate, and preliminary building plans, sections, and elevations. At the Architect's option, the Schematic Design may include study models, perspective sketches, computer modeling, or combinations of these media. Preliminary selections of major building systems and construction materials shall be noted on the drawings or described in writing.
2.) Design Development Phase: The Architect shall provide Design Development Documents based on the approved Schematic Design Documents and updated budget for the Cost of the Work. The Design Development Documents shall illustrate and describe the refinement of the design of the Project, establishing the scope, relationships, forms, size, and appearance of the Project by means of plans, sections and elevations, typical construction details, and equipment layouts. The Design Development Documents shall include Specifications that identify major materials and systems and establish in general their quality levels.
3.) Construction Documents Phase: The Architect shall provide Construction Documents based on the approved Design Development Documents and updated budget for the Cost of the Work. The Construction Documents shall set forth in detail the requirements for the construction of the Project. These Documents shall include Drawings and Specifications that establish in detail the quality levels of materials and systems required for the Project.
- ) Bidding or Negotiation Phase: The Architect shall assist the Owner in the development and preparation of:
Bidding and procurement information which describes the time, place, and conditions of bidding.
Bidding or proposal forms, including the form of agreement between the Owner and Contractor, and the Conditions of the Contract for Construction (General, Supplementary, and other Conditions).
The Architect also shall compile the Project Manual that includes the Conditions of the Contract for Construction and Specifications, and may include bidding requirements and sample forms.
Contractors may be chosen by Competitive Bidding, or through a Direct (Negotiated) Selection method.
- Competitive Bidding: This method seeks to find the lowest reasonable price for the project through competition for the work. Bidding can either be open to any Contractor or limited to a few invited Contractors.
- Direct Selection: This method is generally used when the reputation and performance of the Contractor are preeminent. Performance considerations may include an accelerated schedule, particularly complex work, or the need for exceptional quality. The Owner and Architect select one Contractor from a list of Contractors who have suitable experience and who are interested in doing the work. After making the selection, the Owner and Architect negotiate the terms of the Construction Contract, including selection of alternate materials and construction methods, time of completion, payment schedules, and price. When all terms and conditions are satisfactory to all parties, the Owner and Architect award the contract.
- ) Contract Administration Phase:
- General Administration: The Architect shall assist the Owner in preparation of contractual agreements between the Owner and the Contractor. The Architect's responsibility to provide the Contract Administration Services commences with the award of the initial Contract for Construction and terminates at the issuance to the Owner of the final Certificate for Payment. The Architect shall be a representative of and shall advise and consult with the Owner during the provision of the Contract Administration Services. The Architect may have authority to act on behalf of the Owner.
- Evaluations of the Work: The Architect, as a representative of the Owner, shall visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of the Contractor's operations, or as otherwise agreed by the Owner and the Architect. This enables the Architect to become generally familiar with, and to keep the Owner informed about, the progress and quality of the portion of the Work completed. He shall endeavor to guard the Owner against defects and deficiencies in the Work, and to determine in general if the Work is being performed in a manner indicating that the Work, when fully completed, will be in accordance with the Contract Documents.
- Certification of Payments to Contractor: The Architect shall review and certify the amounts due the Contractor and shall issue Certificates for Payment in such amounts. The Architect's certification for payment shall constitute a representation to the Owner, based on the Architect's evaluation of the Work, and on data comprising the Contractor's Application for Payment.
- Submittals: The Architect shall review and approve or take other appropriate action upon the Contractor's submittals such as Shop Drawings, Product Data and Samples, but only for the limited purpose of checking for conformance with information given and the design concept expressed in the Contract Documents.
- Changes in the Work: The Architect shall review properly prepared, timely requests by the Owner or Contractor for changes in the Work, including adjustments to the Contract Sum or Contract Time. The Architect shall prepare Change Orders and Construction Change Directives for the Owner's approval and execution.
- Project Completion: The Architect shall conduct inspections to determine the date of Substantial Completion and the date of Final Completion, shall receive from the Contractor, for the Owner's review, written warranties and related documents required by the Contract Documents and assembled by the Contractor, and shall issue a final certificate for payment based upon a final inspection indicating the work complies with the requirements of the Contract Documents.