What does an architect do? What value does an architect bring to projects? Below we go in depth about our design process.
Business owners and homeowners gain value in dollars and quality when working with an architect.
At LEAP, we use design phases to develop a successful project. In order to build a successful project, the design process is divided into phases to ensure smart decisions. These include:
2. Concept Design
3. Schematic Design
4. Design Development
5. Construction Documents
6. Construction Administration
7. Project Close-Out
A LEAP architect enhances families’ lifestyles, helps businesses increase profits, provides energy efficient designs, and designs healthy spaces for people.
1) Programming by an Architect
Construction is expensive, and we make sure dollars are spent in the right places. So, in programming, needs are identified and prioritized. We use spreadsheets, diagrams, interviews, and sample projects in order to generate documents that become the foundation for the design.
How can architects help businesses grow?
A client was relocating their salon to a location with much more foot traffic compared to their previous address. A LEAP architect helped them to identify their priorities. It was noted during programming to capitalize on the new location by increasing the number of people to come into the establishment from the sidewalk (typically, salons generate income through appointments with clients – however, this owner wanted to improve product sales).
Mystique. The design of the interior space was developed to entice people inside. How? Seen through the glass entry, lighted panels of bright blue are deep within a warm, enticing space. As people walk by, there attention is grabbed by their curiosity and, like magic, the salon’s foot traffic increased four-fold.
Storefront space utilized large graphics to help viewers at a distance or within cars understand services offered, but the interior design combined the colored panels with good lighting, complimentary materials, and combined them with a calculated walking path to ensure customers had a curated experience.
2) Concept Design Process
Prior to drafting plans, sketch concepts are developed to quickly explore how the owner’s and business operations’ daily rituals can be enhanced by site analysis, spatial adjacencies, circulation, and square foot analysis for preliminary cost estimating so the design is on the right track to meet budget requirements.
This image is a sketch concept design produced for an entrepreneur who contacted LEAP to help develop a coffee shop / incubator space out of shipping containers.
3) Schematic Design Process
When designing an addition, a new building, or an interior space, 3D modeling is used at LEAP to help visualize how the concepts explored can be a constructible object, and explore ways to add value by increasing energy efficiency with proper window locations, shading, and over-all geometry design.
In Schematic Design, we explore options in three dimensional computer models, and make decisions informed by budget and aesthetics, and also present cost-benefit analyses of mechanical systems versus insulation costs.
4) Design Development
Once a schematic design is selected, then materials, systems, equipment and fixtures can be designed and located. For example, in Schematic Design we may not know what the siding material is, or what the interior flooring will be; but in Design Development selections for all the products and materials used for construction will be selected with a set budget and allowances to help track the final construction costs. Also, structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and site engineering are coordinated. Schedules and details are developed to show the make and models of all lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, finishes, door and window specifications, hardware and other design requirements needed for contractor pricing and a cohesive design
5) Construction Documents
Drawings are now developed to show details and assemblies coming together to inform contractors about how to build the design.
The final design documents benefit the Owner since the contractor is bound to follow this “set of instructions”.
Clients know what they’re getting, and builders understand the expectations.
6) Construction Administration
Architects need to be involved not only in the design process, but during construction to answer questions from the contractors, be available for unforeseen conditions (especially in existing buildings), review shop drawings for structural systems, review quotes from vendors, and visit the site to ensure the building is being constructed to meet specifications.
7) Project Close-Out
An architect will create “punch-lists” to ensure project completion by the contractors, submit a letter of completion to the local municipality for the final Certificate of Occupancy, and also document the final construction.
Along with the design process, the architect also helps clients procure zoning and building permits, assists owners in bidding to contractors, develops budgets with implementation schedules, and stands in the owner’s corner to assist with questions during the entire process through construction.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.leaparchitecture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/eric_davenport-blog-profile.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Eric Davenport, a native Up-State New Yorker, began LEAP Architecture in 2003 at age 23 while designing projects for Haitian education efforts and working to achieve efficient agricultural-based solutions for Haitian families. Eric’s projects in New York include both commercial and residential architecture specializing in energy efficient and net-zero buildings.
Questions about your next design project? Contact Eric.
Have questions for the architect? Ask them here…