p r e c e d e n t d e s i g n w o r k s offers a standard yet comprehensive six phase approach to design. It is a carefully defined and deliberate approach to design that begins with an understanding of expectations, budget and program. Undivided attention is given to each client to allow for a personalized experience that realizes good design practices and results in a beautiful and functional home that is able to respond to your lifestyle.
1. Pre-Design/Programming (PD)
Deciding what to build and establishing a budget sounds like a rather simple task. Yet, all too often when I engage clients into the design process they have a poor understanding of local building costs and what their budget will ultimately dictate. To eliminate this I take the time to sit down with the client to establish a program that sets budget parameters and realistic expectations before proceeding into the schematic phase. This is usually a very informal but informative process that gets a few of the 'elephants' in the room out in the open so that a solid working relationship built on trust and understanding can begin.
2. Schematic Design (SD)
Exploration of various design options is the importance of schematic design. I try to tell my clients to throw out all the standardized plans and to free their minds to a creative process that take into consideration a carefully defined program. This phase of design is exploratory by nature my goal is always to make it an enjoyable experience in problem solving. Setting a precedent is a must and is used to relationship of the program to volumetrics and stylistic considerations. Schematic drawings usually include 1/8" = 1'-0" sketch format drawings that include plans and elevations, as well as an overview of site considerations that respond to the program. One or two meetings with the client usually identifies a design that demonstrates a clear understanding of the program and an aesthetic that has a direct response to the precedent.
3. Design Development (DD)
Developing and refining the chosen design from the schematic plans and elevations is the primary purpose of Design Development. Layering of additional drawing types and notes regarding the design are added to the drawing set which outlines materials, structural systems, hvac options, finishes and additional amenities. It is logical at this point to fine tune a project estimate for review. If a general contractor has already been chosen this is a great time to get together to discuss buildability of the design and to get feedback regarding any portion of the design that may need further consideration.
4. Construction Documents (CD)
Detailing the design within a set of construction drawings is always the most time intensive phase of the design process taking up to 50% of the design process. The finer details of the project are developed which is critical to success of the building project. Information pertinent to the building disciplines such as architectural, structural, electrical/mechanical and HVAC is coordinated and prepared for either bid or construction.
5. Bidding or Negotiation (BN)
Putting the construction documents out to bid and selecting a general contractor can often be a useful phase but often a client will already have chosen a general contractor to work with. This isn't always the case so bidding out the building project can be an insightful process that ensures that the homeowner is getting an honest and accurate assessment of the contract cost.
6. Construction Administration (CA)
Professional and attentive oversight of the entire construction phase is a lost art. By the time the building project gets underway most designers/architects have either lost interest in the project or find the next client more appealing. For me construction administration is an exciting time that is the culmination of months of work. It's a chance to experience the creation of real space that is no longer just an idea. It is my task to ensure that the project is being built according to the construction drawings and specifications et forth. Weekly 'team' meetings and site visits are held for the duration of the construction phase with both the general contractor and client in attendance. If details need clarification, if the general contractor would like to recommend a material substitute or an idea, or if there are any issues that need to be addressed via design, this is the venue to keep things moving along so that the project can stay within budget and on-schedule. The reward of any project is the day when my clients have fully realized a dream. Finis Opus Coronat!