An architect and client need to mutually agree upon a set of goals and parameters that will guide a project's development. A methodical assessment of a client's lifestyle, values and processes is a key step. The definition of an overall vision, site constraints, zoning and code regulations, and budget are integral parts of initial conversations.
This phase is used to explore a project's potential. Client and architect work together to identify and develop a diversity of potential solutions for a given project. Space planning, sketches, physical models and 3-D renderings are essential tools. The end goal of this phase is the definition of a unified concept that will steer further development of the project.
With an overall direction already established, spaces take shape and character in this phase; proportions are defined and materials are selected. Lighting, Mechanical, Plumbing, Structural and other supporting disciplines are integrated into the project. Sustainability influences all decisions.
A project's design intent is precisely and comprehensively defined in a set of construction documents. Integrated drawings and written specifications ensure that all relevant constituents mutually understand the goals and details of a project. Bid sets are assembled for competitive or negotiated pricing and permitting requirements are addressed.
An open dialogue between contractor, architect and client must complement the construction process. Regular site visits, shop drawing reviews, material approvals, schedule analysis and payment sign-offs are key to a project's success.