The services that an architect typically provides include concept design development, preparation of construction documents, and construction administration. Architects also provide a wide variety of additional services including feasibility studies, architectural programming and project management.
Depending on the level of service requested of an architect the following are typically offered by either the architect or their consultants:
- Project Inception - This the where the planning of a project starts. Working together with the architect, the client shares their project needs, ideas and goals.
- Schematic Design– During this stage the architect begins by preparing preliminary design sketches and concepts based on the client’s requirements and budget which help explore and illustrate possible options. The architect reviews the different options with the client going over the various pros and cons and responding to client input.
- Design Development– Once a schematic design is agreed upon and there is a clearer definition of the scope and quality of the finished project the design development phase begins. Additional cost projections help determine whether or not the design conforms to the preliminary budget, or what, if any, adjustments need to be made.
- Construction Documents– A continuation of the design development phase working drawings and specifications are developed after design concepts have been decided. These construction documents are what is required by the local municipalities in order to obtain building permits. They are also used to solicit bids from the various contractors that will be required to build the project.
- Bidding and Negotiation– An architect can advise on the choice of contractor by evaluating competitive bids. The architect assists in the bid evaluation and assists in the preparation of the contract between the client and the contractor.
- Construction and Contract Administration– The architect consults with the client and advises during construction. On-site visits help determine if construction is proceeding in general accordance with the construction document and design intent. It is also the architect’s role to advise if the materials and workmanship meet acceptable standards.