Let's Start Dreaming
Here we gather information such as program, budget, and desired time frame. This is also the phase where we make broad stroke decisions about how a project will feel, which views will be maximized and how the project will relate to the site.
WHERE ARE WE STARTING
Existing condition documents are critical to our success. In order to understand the “bones" of a proposed addition or renovation project our team photographs, measures, and documents the existing areas where we will be working. These documents not only allow us to identify additional consultants that may be required, but they also guide us toward successful design and away from costly pitfalls.
SITE ANALYSIS, CODES & ZONING
THE REALITY CHECK
Think of this as existing condition documents for the site instead of an existing building. We examine the property's existing site plan to determine the current zoning and to study the sun paths and view paths as well as any required setbacks. We also ask questions like: Is this a new building site? What are the existing improvements on the site and how are they situated? Our team will visit the site to observe the view paths. We will analyze the site plan to determine the current zoning, setbacks, flood plains and assess any processes that may be required.
SKETCH IT UP
After the initial programming and site design phases, we will compile all of the required and desired elements into a set of conceptual sketches. As the word ‘schematic’ suggests, these conceptual sketches aim to show the relationship between parts in an informal and loose manner. The schematic drawings may include a number of different iterations or schemes, each having a unique feature or focus. During the schematic design phase, many ideas will be brought up, discussed, reviewed and refined. It may take several attempts before arriving at a particular concept which seems to best embody all of the goals and requirements. Schematic design is the stage that is often the most exciting for clients. They can begin to see sketches and quick physical models of their dreams coming to life. As the project is visualized through sketches, models and inspiration images, clients can quickly get an idea of how their building will start to look.
Think of design development as the point at which decisions are made and concepts are solidified into actions. During the previous course of schematic design, clients may be presented with a handful of viable options which each have various pros and cons. It is during the design development stage that we scrutinize with our clients the options and select the best one for further investigation. Once a schematic design has been identified as the best solution for the given problem, the project begins to take much clearer form. Design development is the part of the process which forces all decisions to be evaluated for their practicality and execution. In this step we start to research and explore products that may be incorporated into the project. Based on correspondence with the client, we identify the selected aspects of the schematic designs and incorporate them into one working design. At this point, selections begin for exterior finishes, doors, and windows as well as finishes for each space. At the end of this phase is a good time to begin interviewing potential builders of the project.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
The dimensions, technical information and material specifications required are placed on the documents describing the scope of work. These are the documents that are issued to general contractors for the bidding process and submittal for building permit approval to permitting authorities to apply for building permits.
BIDDING & NEGOTIATIONS
BUILDING THE BEST TEAM
We make the bid package and project site available to bidding contractors. There are several builders with whom we have enjoyed great success over many projects. We are delighted to provide that list for our clients and suggest the builder and contractors that would be the best match for your project. Working together with the client we review the bids received and offer guidance on builder selection. We recommend the use of an AIA contract that has been thoroughly reviewed by the client's attorney.
A WATCHFUL EYE
After the design has been documented, permitted and awarded to the winning contractor, construction begins. We conduct periodic site visits to follow the project’s progression, and answer any questions that may arise during construction. If any changes are needed, we provide documentation which goes into the project records. At the client's request, our team approves applications for payments from the contractor throughout the duration of construction, based on the amount of work completed as observed during site visits.