Phase I begins our co-creation of a vision, and story, for the project. Through the steps, this vision is elaborated in graphic and physical form.
During the Resource Inventory and Feasibility Study steps, we identify the Client’s desires as well as the regulations, budget, and geographical and cultural context that will inform the design. Based on the information we gather, we create a set of guidelines and considerations to address during the design process.
An in-depth Site Analysis reveals site features, topography, wildlife, and vegetation, and built environment, as well as a breakdown of soil, wind, and climate data. Existing structures and utilities on site are investigated. As part of our approach, we integrate new structures within the existing landscape by embracing natural or built site features.
For group or community projects, our workshops are particularly helpful for generating a focused and inspiring a common vision of the project for all those involved. Our participatory process enables all stakeholders – from owners and primary members to the larger community of participants – to have a voice. For international projects in particular, this step helps bring people from various backgrounds together to create a shared vision.
Using the information gathered in earlier steps, as well as a client questionnaire and diagramming tools, the Programming step establishes the priorities and criteria for success for the project. The multiple functions of the space, and the relationship between those functions, are defined. A base square footage is determined, and a scale. The Programming step results in a written summary.
Based on our shared vision between Client and Architectural Team, we propose a Conceptual Design in the form of graphics, illustrations, and conceptual 3D models that expresses the story of the structure as well as its relationship to the surrounding environment.
The vision is elaborated through Schematic Design. Real sizes and scale are assigned, and orientation and on-site integration are defined. The scope of our Schematic Design services extends from large-scale master planning to detailed design work, such as furniture and finishes.
After determining a shortlist of Builders appropriate for the project, interviews take place. The chosen Builder prepares a Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate for the project. Together, we analyze each component of the cost estimate, conferring with the General Contractor, Subcontractors, and Suppliers, to evaluate all options and arrive at a pointed construction cost estimate.
Phase II “zooms in” to the design, elaborating the project into hardline CAD drawings. Precise materials are determined in collaboration with the client and with specialty consultants.
In the Design Development stage, we continue to work closely with the Client, while beginning the process of synchronizing the design with documents from the various Consultants involved. The design is further elaborated and defined, in order to assemble all details and specifications needed for the Construction Documents stage.
Our team directly coordinates with Consultants across a variety of specialties, while keeping the overall vision and "coherent whole" of the project in focus. Depending on each project's specifics, Consultants may include: Structural Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Lighting Designers, Greenhouse Specialists, Soils Engineer, and others.
During the Interior Design stage, our team coordinates with the Client and Consultants to create interior elevations and 3D models, and to determine a palette of a materials and selection of suppliers for cabinets, plumbing fixtures, flooring, countertops, appliances, etc.
A complete set of Construction Documents will reflect the exact design coordinated with documents from the various Consultants. Depending on the specificities of each project, those documents may include: Site Plans, Floor Plans, Elevations, Sections, Structural Plans, Mechanical Plans, Lighting/Electric Schematics, Interior Elevations, Wall/Floor/Roof/Detail Sections, Architectural Details, Stairs Details, Window and Floor Schedules, Plumbing Fixture Schedules, and Interior Finish Schedules.
The General Contractor will receive bids and proposals from Subcontractors. During the Bidding & Negotiation process, we confer and collaborate with the General Contractor to review the bids coming in; analyzing options, and considering how the approach to the project might be modified or adjusted as-needed.
Phase III is defined by our Contract Administration service. During this stage our team serves as a liaison between client and consultants, oversees construction progress, and remains available to respond, with additional clarification and documents, to issues and questions that may arise.
With regular site visits, our team serves as a representative of the Client/Owner on site. We are familiarized with the project’s construction pace and progress, available for consultation to the General Contractor and their Subcontractors, and able to coordinate Consultants as-needed for site intervention.
During Construction Accounting, our team overviews monthly draws from the General Contractor and their Subcontractors. We confirm that billing is performed in relation to the progress of work, and compare costs to estimates. We review the Builder's accounting for unplanned or unexpected costs, as well as the project's progress and schedule.
ASI/ Architectural Supplemental Information documents provide additional information requested by the General Contractor and Subcontractors. Our team is available to respond to RFI/ Requests for Information, and to coordinate documents with shop drawings from fabricators, specifications, and cut sheets, from Suppliers and Subcontractors.
A Change Order alters a previously determined aspect of the design. To accommodate Change Orders during construction, we view the C.O. as a “mini project” inside the larger one, and start from step one with a Cost Estimate, to Design Development, through to Construction Documents. An example might be the addition of an elevator inside a walk-in kitchen pantry, where previously only stairs had been planned.
We collaborate with Contractors and Consultants throughout the construction process and during physical assembly to fully develop and optimize the design through to the final realization of the project. Our goal for every design is only realized when the Client moves in and starts to live the vision. Our structures both reflect those who use them and provide a framework for continued evolution, for a positive unfolding of life.