During the Schematic Design stage for buildings, a list of spatial requirements (number of offices, conference rooms, and special spaces) will baseline the design. The goal during this phase is to acquire a complete and accurate understanding of project requirements. For example:
- A code analysis will establish specific zoning and environmental restrictions. Based on the Program and Code Analysis - A preliminary design sketch of a site plan (the proposed building located on the site), floor plans (layout) and elevations (exterior views of the building) will be produced. - Then an Outline Specification; a list describing the proposed products and materials to be used on the project will be prepared - Depending on the size and complexity of the project, multiple schemes will be prepared and discussed to focus on the benefits and/or drawbacks of each scheme.
Use of several different presentation methods such as 3D perspective drawings and/or models is encouraged. Upon completion of the Schematic Design phase, a preliminary cost estimate for each potential scheme is prepared.
This stage should demonstrate compliance with the relevant codes and zoning, the space program identified in the programming phase, functional requirements, adjacencies, and the massing should respect the context for the project. Engineering systems must be defined in a narrative form in this phase. Building envelope should be defined and should respect and relate to the context of the project. A design narrative should be included describing the design approach and the rationale for it. The cost estimate should be consistent with the programming phase and be included in the report.
Engineering systems must be defined in this phase and incorporated into the architecture. This includes civil, structural, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical, fire protection, and security. All building elements and components must be selected, defined, and incorporated in this phase of the work. This includes building envelope, interior construction, service spaces, and elevators. Outline specifications should be produced and included in this package.
This stage includes the production of working drawings that identify all the necessary details. Engineering disciplines should be well-coordinated and incorporated into the architecture. The drawings should also be consistent with the specifications. The notes on these drawings should result in a single interpretation of a specific set of data and become the basis of a competitive price proposal.
Modifications can be incorporated at any stage in the project. However, the more advanced the design, the higher the modification cost. Hence, it is best to conduct thorough programming and schematic design phases to avoid any modifications during the design development phase and the construction document phase. Modifications during construction will have to be negotiated with the Architect firm through construction; the Architect firm will prepare a cost estimate for the modification. The contractor will be required to submit a modification (variation order) cost.
Modifications are common in every project, so the project manager should anticipate them and budget at least 10 percent of the construction budget as post award allowance. The project manager should expect a higher level of modifications in renovation projects due to unforeseen conditions.
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