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7 steps to a successful project

1  Pre-Design

Deciding what to build


Owner: Hires the architect or, in house, develops project scope, goals, budget, and schedule as well as information about how the facility will be used. The owner will obtain certain documents and tests, such as, soil, surveys, and land deeds.


Architect: Learns what owner wants and needs, often through interviews with key staff and management and visits to the current site and new site. Tests the fit between what the owner wants to build and the budget. Alerts owner to potential problems. Analyzes the owner's program.

2  Schematic Design

Rough sketches


Architect: Prepares sketches, models, drawings and a preliminary estimate of construction cost. Discusses the design and alternatives with the owner. Makes revisions as directed by the owner. Consults with engineers and other consultants as needed.


Owner: Reviews schematic designs. Asks questions. Requests revisions if needed. Approves schematic designs when satisfied that they meet the buildings goals.

4  Construction Documents

The blueprints


Architect: Prepares, with the engineers, the detailed working drawings and specifications that the contractor will use to establish final construction prices and to build the project. These drawings and specifications become part of the contract between the owner and the contractor. Assists the owner in filing documents for the approval of governmental authorities for building and zoning permits.


Owner: Files documents for the approval of governmental authorities to obtain building and zoning permits. Reviews construction documents and preliminary construction cost estimates prepared by the architect. Approves construction documents when satisfied that they meet the project goals.

5  Bid / Negotiation

Hiring the contractor


Architect: Answers questions and clarifies drawing and specifications for the owner and contractors. Assists the owner in obtaining bids or negotiated proposals from contractors. Assists owner in awarding contracts for construction.


Owner: Chooses contractor selection process. Hires and negotiates contract with contractor.

3  Design Development

Refining the design


Architect: Establishes and describes the size and character of the entire project in more detail. Drawings may include sections as well as elevations showing exterior treatment, site plan with grading, and general landscape. Prepares outline specifications listing major materials and room finishes as well as general description of mechanical and electrical systems. Shows owner carpet, furniture, lighting, and other samples as appropriate for scope of work contracted. Works with mechanical, electrical, and structural engineers and other consultants as needed. Further refines the estimate of construction cost.


Owner: Reviews drawings to determine how closely the design development documents meet the original program and budget criteria. Reviews selection of floor, wall and ceiling finishes, door types, windows and furniture. Makes sure all questions are answered. Approves design development documents and estimates, when satisfied that they meet the building goals.

6  Construction

Managing the building process


Architect: Serves as owner’s representative during construction. Visits the site at intervals agreed to by the owner, to help verify that the contractor’s work is consistent with the contract drawings and specifications. Reviews and certifies payments to contractor. Processes change orders. Informs owner and contractor of work that requires correction.


Owner: Reviews reports from architect and contractor on progress of the project. Pays contractor.

7  Post Construction

Maintain quality


Architect: Architect provides 1 year observation report and recommended maintenance and repairs.


Owner: Maintains the facility and makes repairs as needed.

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