A Designer and team will produce a design from the client’s initial brief through to the start of construction, the client appoints an architect, through a chosen selection process like interviews. Once a designer has been chosen and all pre agreement procedures have been completed appraisal and briefing will commence.
Appraisal, this is when a client’s requirements are set by the designer through asking key questions such as, whether the clients existing building could be extended or adapted to suit his/hers requirements or a new build is needed, how large the budget is and how the project would be funded, the desired or crucial hand over date etc. This is the Identification of the client’s requirements and needs, any factors that could affect development, and also to allow the client to decide whether he/she still feels it is viable to carry on.
This in turn would allow a suitable procurement method to be chosen with the aid of the designer for example traditional. The clients initial brief may have many unseen obstacles that need to found and addressed so what is known as feasibility studies are conducted, these could be anything from taking soil tests to collecting local data like foot and road traffic.
This can be told to the client before charges have been made and accurate estimations can be determined. A statement of need will be written up, this includes the client’s requirement s, budget and time scale, visits to the proposed sites will most certainly be needed during these early feasibly studies taking notes and pictures and starting important legal procedures like creating and health and safety file with relevant information added as project grows.
During these stages that in RIBA would be A-B appraisal and strategic briefing constant relaying of information is needed between architect and client to ensure no misunderstandings are made leading to legal disputes, so the amount of cost incurred by other professionals like bore hole specialists will need to be agreed with and confirmed in writing with client also the design teams charge for these stages or total payment in instalments will need to be confirmed.
Even a relatively small build will require other team members such as a services engineer, and is the beginning of what is known as team assembly, this is very important to establish early on and will progress even further in other stages organised by the lead consultant. When requirements and constraints are weighed up to determine whether the project is actually feasible with the cost implications included, this could be done by the clients own team, the design team or to ensure no bias has been made a private team could solely carry out stage B of the plan of works .
But typically the designer will be able to do these feasibility tests like soil tests and working out the legislative and legal constraints. It is important to note at this stage partnering agreements? should be finalised to stop any disagreements further down the line and quality control systems put in place. Once other members of the design team start to join or earlier, professional indemnity insurance should be taken out to protect the parties involved. Appraisal of clients needs/requirements should also be completed but address possible constraints and missing factors, agreeing on main objectives for project.
Now the team will be expanding quickly as the client may be new to construction constant informing of the needs and reasons for other professionals like a Q. S is required, also things like legal statutes, local and national legislation relating to his project need to be shown to client as well as the client’s responsibilities under CDM. All of this work carried out will be compiled into a strategic brief to be signed off by client, once signed off proposals can commence where a project brief will develop to be used to create a design.
Before the strategic brief is signed off the architect along with other members will decide if the clients requirements can be accommodated within budget and a starting point for creating a design has been reached. When the strategic brief has been signed by the client an evaluation will be needed to find any issues, again if the design team charges for these stages or the overall payment method hasn’t been agreed this will need to be confirmed as well as the clients statement to carry on the project further to proposed designs.
Further specialists will need to be appointed at this stage too like planning and structural specialists and their findings incorporated into the project brief or changing the project brief due to their advice or findings, they will also aid in collating relevant legislation and health and safety regulations relating to the type of building. Methods and channels of communications can become tangled or not known by this stage as more members and specialists have joined the team, so it is important for everyone involved to know who to send their findings to.
Throughout these processes risk assessments will be taken for relevant activities where there is danger like maybe a site survey all this would be part of the H&S file. As well as communication, meetings will need to be planned to ensure the busy individuals involved are all available to develop the build and give input. Further site tests and inspections will be needed maybe to resolve issues found in appraisal or acquire more information. Cost planning, consultations with relevant authorities and their approvals will be needed.
Cost planning will require the lead consultant to tell the Q. S all the info he/she has so an initial cost plan can be made, this will project the amount of money available to the amount of money required at different key financial stages. Approvals from authorities could be a application for outline planning approval not a complete O. K from the planning board but an agreement on the design so far, or approvals from highways, NHS, drainage anything relating to the building in question.
A schedule of activities or something similar will be written stating the amount of rooms, desired location to other rooms or features, activities performed etc. Now is the time for scheme design to commence this is where the client will get to see drawings showing the appearance, types of materials and special arrangements made to suit his requirements and that he/she is happy to continue. At this point applications for full planning permission and building and building regulations can be made if possible although not essential.
At this point in the design for planning apps etc experts information should be looked at so it can be incorporated into the design now stopping lengthy changes, a more detailed cost plan can be revised by the Q. S to given to the client, a programme/schedule of works can be started, all this should be shown to the client by maybe models or computer walkthroughs, graphs and diagrams showing rooms, their size locations etc to give an accurate representation to the client, this is what is also known as the outline proposals.
When the client has agreed on the outline proposals in written confirmation detail design/final proposals can start, by turning the drawings already made into more detailed designs indicating desired floor finishes lighting etc given by the client. When these drawing and specifications are completed a design freeze will be placed if not done earlier, the client will be made aware that any further alterations will have significantly higher costs than before. By now the project brief should have been developed detailed proposals agreed and a cost plan created, as well as the procurement method i. e PFI design and build.
When the client has decided major materials and features like the bricks used for example plans can be made for the delivery to site, all these details and drawings can be given to the planning officer who can then advise further as well as building control (maybe regarding foundation type and depth. ) All the specification notes like the clients desired wall paper, advisors input on ventilation, concrete type etc will allow the Q. S to write up bills of quantities. These final proposals are turned into technical instructions for contractors by expanding technical features like window on the drawing or in written form.
All information from design members, client, authorities and specialists need to be looked at to ensure nothing no matter how small has been overlooked. Now the client should be informed on the appointment of the contactor and how that will be done, work can already begin for instance demolition or decontamination this will be discussed advanced orders of materials can also be made. If not already discussed inform client on the need for people on site like a clerks of works, but this could be included with contractors responsibilities and price.
Before tender documentation is sent out typically later on, meetings with contractors can be arranged to give the client an idea of where each firm is strong and weak, and also whether the contactor is interested. Other issues will also be discussed namely complications and their advise on these matters could be useful. Now pre tender and costs estimates usually in cost per sq m are made and bills of quantities with schedules and drawings revised where changes have occurred, the architect will hand over all the drawings and other relevant documents collected to the Q.
S to prepare the bills of quantities. Communication between architect and Q. S will be frequent as many confusions and problems can found at this point so Q and A sheets may be passed to one another. Provisional sums may need to be included later on as unforeseen costs arise and standard checklists used so nothing is missed. A final list of tenderers should be agreed with the Q. S and client, ideas on which contractors to choose could be made by asking their previous clients their thoughts and opinions.
Once decided preliminary invitations should be sent so they can be prepared for the formal documentation when tender action is reached. Usually at this stage 15% of the fees are due the architect should ensure the client pays all outstanding bills before the project progresses. So now all detailed and technical drawings, schedules, specifications, bills of quantities, health and safety material should be finalised. Pre tender meetings may be held to discuss critical parts of the build with the contractor, inform them of the clients requirements and issues that may not be raised in the documents given for tender.
The documents required for tender are assembled into two sets of the bills of quantities and specification, a set of the drawings and schedules, two copies of the form of tender and a return address to be sent to contractors. When tender packages have been sent and received the Q. S will go over them with a fine comb to find any mistakes or over sights, and make amendments to relay to the designer who can then advise the client on the best contractor to appoint.