FM Architecture is a full-service architectural firm, experienced in all aspects of project delivery. We recognize that the construction process can be an extremely stressful ordeal, if not handled properly. We aim to make the experience as pleasant and successful as possible. We tailor our services and scope of work to the individual project. No two projects are exactly alike, no two clients are exactly alike. Services available are offered in stages.
Pre-Design involves the planning and programming that goes on before the actual design of a project can begin. At this stage:
Architect/Client relationship is established.
A Program is formulated outlining the client’s specific needs, spatial relationship requirements and functions, and other items which require consideration once design commences.
Existing conditions are investigated and documented in detail (if applicable).
Building Code and Zoning issues identified
We can help you see the “light at the end of the tunnel” when dealing with local Planning and Zoning Departments.
Property-Related Coordination involves the coordination and application of the subject property to the local jurisdictions to make it usable for the Owner’s intended purpose. We usually suggest the additional assistance of an attorney for larger projects. At this stage:
The site may require submittal and coordination of the Rezoning application.
The site may require a formal Site Plan Approval submittal.
Other Zoning regulations and ordinances may need to be negotiated.
Schematic Design involves the initial stages of the design of the actual project. In schematic form, the project takes shape. Spaces are juxtaposed according to the Program and the building takes on a form.At this stage:
Programming information is incorporated at this stage.
Basic Space Planning and spatial relationships are developed.
Initial plans and sketches are presented.
A preliminary cost estimate is developed.
Detailed elemental costing is done by quantity surveyor before planning submission. Even small changes at the latter stage (like window size and position or change in building height) would require redoing and resubmitting planning approval together with submission for building license. This will save you from significant additional costs and project delays. It is the right time for the first comprehensive project revision against budget and established cost control.
Design Development involves further refinement of Schematic Design.
At this stage:
Drawing refinements are made, indicating more detail.
Building systems are further resolved.
Outline specifications are generated.
Cost estimate is refined.
Construction Documents involves the final stage of putting the project down on paper. Documents for the Construction Contract are produced. These range from the actual building documents (i.e. blueprints), specifications, project manual with contracts and other documents and tender documents (if necessary). A final cost estimate is produced. Different clients and projects require different levels of detail at this stage.
The architect assists the owner in bidding the project and selecting contractor(s) in the “tendering and Negotiation” phase of a project.
At this stage:
A list of potential bidders is compiled.
The architect may organize and administer the tendering process (if any).
Negotiate with the Builder on behalf of the Owner if required.
Assist in preparing construction contracts between Owner & Builder.
Permit Review and Approval involves the application and administration of the permitting process. At this stage:
Plans are submitted to the Authorities having Jurisdiction (local inspections, departments, etc.).
Comments (if any) are addressed.
Building permit is approved. The fees charged for the permit and review process are typically paid for by the Owner, either directly or through the Builder.
Construction is where the “fun” begins. This is when dirt is pushed around, concrete is poured, steel is erected, brick is laid, roofing is applied and “Certificate of Occupancy” is obtained. This does not happen as a matter of course or by accident. A successful construction project depends on careful management and observation. Being the only person familiar with over all building design, the architect may prevent minor design variations at inception escalating into costly alterations at the end.
In architecture there are no prototypes and the construction site is the only place where the architect can test the product or resolve project discrepancies and ambiguities. This often over-looked phase of architectural design is frequently viewed by owners and architects as a waste of time and money. It has been our experience that it is anything but a waste.
At this stage:
Representation of the client’s interests during construction.
Shop drawing review of necessary building components.
Provide the builder with additional details and information or issue Architect Instructions.
All proposed design amendments and alterations during construction must be firstly addressed to the architect for coordination and approval.
Make periodic visits to the site to observe construction.
Attend regular progress meetings.
Review contractor’s Applications for Payment – Progress payments.
Project closeout procedures and documentation.
Post-Occupancy services are requested of architects where it is important to the Owner to maintain a period of observation and administration for a certain amount of time following the completion of construction. At this stage, the architect performs:
Warranty walk through with Owner and Builder.
Post-occupancy surveys, evaluations and reviews to help determine the success of the project.
Additional services beyond those listed include:
- Master plans and urban design
- Interior design and fit outs
- Furniture, furnishings and equipment specification
- Computer 3-dimensional imaging
- Architectural rendering
- Model building