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Information on Architectural Services:

Myths about Architects 

3 reasons to hire connections architectural  

Guide to Architectural Services

Typical services 


Once you better understand the Owner/Architect relationship, you'll be ready to begin your project:

You and your Architect  

You and Your Architect


Table of contents


You have likely just browsed, perused and reviewed the prior links to get acquainted with connectios architectural and the services we offer as well as the roles connections architectural and owners play with each other in embarking on a project.


This document is best understood if it is printed.  At the bottom of the column at the immediate left is ample room to take notes, make observations, and follow along with this document.


Design and construction are inherently exciting. There are few things more satisfying than a successful project. The secret to success lies in the professional, business, and personal relationships between you, the owner and connections architectural, the architect. You and Your Architect provides guidance on how to establish and benefit from those relationships.


Experience tells us that successful projects; those that achieve the desired results for owners, users, and architects; result from informed clients working with skilled architects to form sound professional, business, and often personal relationships. These relationships are formed early on and are nourished by clear communication, mutually understood expectation and willingness of both client and architect to understand and accept their responsibilities for realizing a successful project.


Building in today's marketplace is a complex undertaking requiring many different products and skills. connections architectural understands the complexities and works with you to design an appropriate response to your requirements. In turn, it is our duty to work within the building industry and watch out for your best interest in transforming the design into a building.

Getting Started

The best way to begin a new project is for you; the owner; to reflect on what you bring to it: knowledge, experience, needs, desires, aspirations, and personal opinions. You also bring the resources to realize your expectations.


Naturally, every owner starts from a different place. Some have had vast experience with design and construction and know what they want and how to go about getting it. Many owners have much less experience.


Whatever your situation, it makes sense to begin with some self-examination to assess what you already know about your project and what you will establish with your architect's help. The questions outlined below can be used as a guide.


You don't need firm or complete answers to these questions at this point. Indeed, we will help you think them through. A general understanding of where you are, however, will best help you begin to work with us immediately.


What activities do you expect to execute in the project? Are you ready to translate these activities into specific spaces and square footage areas, or will the design program (the collection of parameters from which design is derived) emerge in working with us?


Has a site been established, or will this decision also be a subject of discussion with us?


Have you, or perhaps others, fixed a construction schedule or budget?


What are your design aspirations? What thought have you given to the design quality or amenity you are seeking in this project?


What are your overall expectations for the project? What are your basic motivations as a client, and what role does this project play in achieving your overall goals?


How do you make decisions? Will a single person sign off on recommendations? Are committees necessary?


How much information do you need to make decisions? Do you require a lot of detail?


Do you have the resources to do this project? Where will they come from, and what strings may be attached?


How much experience do you have in design and construction? Have you done this before? If so, where have you been most successful, and when were you disappointed?


These and other questions need to be asked and considered to effectively begin a strong working relationship with connections architectural.



Why connections architectural is the right firm for you

Whether you are building your own home or designing a commercial complex, connections architectural is the right architect for you.


First-time clients, even experienced clients facing new situations, always have many questions about our firm. Some of the more common ones are addressed here.


When, in the life cycle of a project, should I bring connections architectural into the picture?


As early as possible. We help you define the project in terms that provide meaningful guidance for design. We also perform site studies, help secure planning and zoning approvals, and perform a variety of other pre-design tasks.


Therefore, an initial meeting can serve two purposes. To meet and get a feel for each other and to get a general opinion on your ideas. Setting up an appointment is simple and you have nothing to lose.


What can I realistically expect to learn from an initial meeting? How can I structure it to make it as informative as possible?


You can learn how connections architectural will approach your project. Ask us how we will intend to gather information, establish priorities, and make decisions. Ask us what we see as the important issues of consideration in the project. Evaluate our interest in your project: Will your needs be a major or minor concern? Evaluate the firm's style, personality, and approach: Are we compatible together?


How should I follow up?


Tell us what you intend to do next and when you plan to make your decision. Return to the material you've seen so far- the resume, the portfolio, this web page. Re-establish the reasons why you contacted us in the first place. If you reside near connections architectural projects, you may want to visit them and see them in use. Notify us as soon as possible. Remember, conditions change. We may not be able to offer the same project team if you must take several weeks or months to decide. However, we will always work with you to schedule the right people as soon as possible.


On what should I base my decision?


Personal confidence is paramount. We will go over all the factors with you: design ability, technical competence, professional service, and cost. Once you are ready to begin the process, we will enter detailed negotiations of services and compensation. connections architectural's standard form documents offer an excellent starting point for contract negotiation.


Some say that I should select a builder or contractor before selecting an architect. When is that good advice?


It really never is unless you are a builder or contractor yourself. It always works best to select the architect first. You are hiring connections architectural to help you understand how to make the builder or contractor an effective member of the building team. Remember, we serve as an agent working on your behalf.


What about competitive bidding?


connections architectural always provides you with a service proposal during your selection process. We encourage you to visit other architectural firms, if that is your choice, and believe that our service proposal can serve as a basis for understanding the services you should receive.


This will help you recognize that factors in addition to cost -such as experience, technical competence, and variety of work- will be important to your decision. In addition, if you are considering soliciting proposals from more than one firm, you will want to make sure that you can provide all the information required for definite proposals, ensuring that the proposals you get offer the same scope of services as connections architectural's, so that they can be evaluated on a consistent basis.


Important issues to remember:


You are engaging the services of a professional. You will be working closely with connections architectural throughout the life of the project, and our relationship may extend to future projects. Investing in a relationship with us assumes that you will take as much care as you would to select a financial or legal adviser.


This will also be a business relationship. You will find out how we do business, how we work with our clients, how responsive we are to your management and decision styles, and how well our work stacks up against your expectations.


Ask questions. Respect connections architectural as a professional firm who will bring experience and specialized knowledge to your project. At the same time, don't be afraid to ask the same questions you've asked yourself: What does connections architectural expect from the project? How much information do we need? How do we set priorities and make decisions? How will engineering or other consultant services be provided? How will we provide quality control during design? What is our firm's construction-cost experience?


Be frank. Tell us what you know and what you expect. Ask for an explanation of anything you don't understand. The more on the table at the outset, the better the chances are for a successful project. Remember, a good architect is a good listener. Only when you have outlined your issues can we translate those issues to the project's schedule and budget.


Selection Is a Mutual Process


connections architectural is as careful in selecting you as you are in selecting us. We are as interested in a successful project as you are, and we can assure you know that good architecture results from fruitful collaboration between architects and clients.


Design as a Condition of Selection


What happens when you ask connections architectural to design a project as a condition of selection?


Even the simplest of projects are very complex. Each situation is different, including people, needs, site, financing, and regulatory requirements. Many of your needs and expectations become specific only in the process of design. As the project proceeds, priorities are clarified and new possibilities emerge. Our knowledge, experience, and skill become part of the project and contribute still more possibilities. These facts suggest that back-of-the-envelope designs done as part of our initial meeting are no substitute for the complex, time-consuming, and intensive dialogue and inquiry that characterize architectural design.


Sometimes you will know just what you need. If you feel you are one of those owners, seriously consider engaging us on an hourly consulting basis to review and test your knowledge. Detailed professional evaluations of existing buildings can be valuable in uncovering problems and possibilities that may affect your decision. The process of adapting an existing building design to a new site may be more complex than it appears, considering, for example, topography, drainage, other soil conditions, solar orientation, views, traffic patterns, and community issues. All issues you might think you know a lot about but may not. Or you may be overlooking crucial issues.


In some circumstances, a design proposal may be required for a project to move to the next step. Consider your chances of obtaining funding for the project much stronger if you use the services of an architect. connections architectural has provided many organizations with design proposals to encourage funding on projects.



Identifying the Services You Need

You may already have an idea of the scope of professional services required for your project, but most owners want to work with us to identify what is needed. Different projects require different combinations of architectural services. An early task is to identify those services essential to the success of the project.


The Important Choices


Most of our projects require a set of basic services: preliminary (usually called schematic) design, design development, preparation of construction documents (drawings and specifications), assistance in the bidding or negotiation process, and administration of the agreements between you and your builder or contractor.


Some of our projects require other services. For example, predesign work may be essential: facilities programming, surveys of existing facilities, marketing and economic feasibility studies, budgeting and financing packages, site-use and utilities studies, environmental analyses, planning and zoning applications, and preparation of materials for public referenda. Projects may also require special cost or energy analyses, tenant-related design, or special drawings, models, and presentations.


Not all services are provided by us. Sometimes owners have considerable project planning, design, and construction expertise and may be fully capable of undertaking some project tasks themselves. Other owners find it desirable or necessary to add other consultants to the project team to undertake specific tasks. Here discussion will be necessary to establish who will coordinate owner-supplied work or other services provided beyond the scope of our agreement.


There are two effective approaches to establishing services.


The first is to establish a set of basic services-a standard grouping of services common to many projects. When you use this approach, a second category of additional services is used to cover pre-design services as well as a wide variety of special studies or services that some projects require (like those mentioned above).


The second is to use the designated services approach, which asks owners and architects to select an appropriate complement of services.


The standard-form owner-architect agreements for both of these approaches, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, and its condensed version, Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Construction Projects of Limited Scope, embodies the basic services approach. Then there is Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Designated Services. It is used to employ the designated services approach. In fact, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Designated Services provides a range of 83 separate architectural, interiors, and construction management services from which to choose. The owner pays only for the services necessary for the project's success, and the architect can effectively measure the firm's time and resources.


Deciding on Services


The best strategy is for us to sit down together and identify the services needed. Some advice:


Using the list of designated services, a representation of which appears on pages eight and nine as an initial discussion guide. Doing so provides a chance to talk about all possible service options.


Recognize that even when a number of services are designated at the outset, other services may be required once you are under way. For example, you may require zoning approvals or you may wish to do economic analyses of a new energy-saving system. Other services may be added to an existing agreement at any time.


You may opt to set aside a design contingency budget under the joint control of you and your architect to fund design changes and refinements once construction begins.


Construction contract administration services are a case of spending a penny to save a dollar. When you've taken care to see that a building has been designed as you want, you certainly want it built as it was designed. connections architectural can observe the construction work for its compliance with drawings and specifications, approve materials and product samples, review the results of construction tests and inspections, evaluate contractor requests for payment, handle requests for design changes during construction, and administer the completion, start-up and close-out process of your project. Getting the building that was designed; and on budget; is important. Attaining that goal requires considerable experience, time, and effort.


Unfortunately, disputes occasionally arise between you and your contractor. Most disputes arise during construction, which, for you, is an important consideration. In such a situation, according to standard forms, connections architectural serves as an impartial mediator/arbiter between you and your contractor. The standard forms also call for arbitration and, sometimes, independent mediation, both of which are provisions to find solutions outside of a courtroom.


An agreement for post-construction, building evaluation; perhaps a joint inspection by you and your architect six months after the building is occupied-will help to serve as a checkup that the building is being used and maintained properly.


The specifics of your project will guide your choice of agreement form. The designated-services approach requires a little more effort up front, as it involves the decision of which of the 83 possible services to include. However, designating services brings discipline and clarity to the process of deciding who will do what. 


What If There Are Too Many Unknowns?


Sometimes, too little is known about the project to determine the full extent of professional services in advance and proceed to a contractual agreement based on designated services. If this is the case, consider engaging us to provide project definition and other pre-design services first, with remaining phases and services to be determined later.


List of Design Services Provided By connections architectural


As the owner, you will find it helpful to review this chart with your architect to acquaint yourself with the various phases of design and construction and the services available for each. With that knowledge, you will be able to work with your architect to select services that are appropriate to your needs.


This chart lists types of services offered by architects. The chart groups services under seven broad classifications that track the possible phases of a project as delineated in Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Designated Services. This agreement contains an expansive listing of available services and allows the parties to identify in detail the specific services required for a given project.


Additional Services contained in expanded list of services:


  • Project Administration Management Services
  • Pre-design Services
  • Site Development Services
  • Design Services
  • Bidding or Negotiation Services
  • Contract Administration Services
  • Project Administration
  • Programming
  • Site Analysis and Selection
  • Architectural Design/Documentation
  • Bidding Materials
  • Submittal Services
  • Disciplines Coordination/Document Checking 
  • Space Schematics/Flow Diagrams
  • Site Development Planning
  • Structural Design/Documentation
  • Addenda
  • Observation Services
  • Agency Consulting/Review/Approval
  • Existing Facilities Surveys
  • Detailed Site Utilization Studies
  • Mechanical Design/Documentation
  • Bidding/Negotiation
  • Project Representation
  • Owner-Supplied Data Coordination
  • Marketing Studies
  • On-Site Utility Studies
  • Electrical Design/Documentation
  • Analysis of Alternates/Substitutions
  • Testing & Inspection Administration
  • Schedule Development/Monitoring of the Work
  • Economic Feasibility Studies
  • Site Utility Studies
  • Civil Design/Documentation
  • Special Bidding
  • Supplemental Documentation
  • Preliminary Estimate of Cost of the Work
  • Project Financing
  • Environmental Studies and Report
  • Landscape Design/Documentation
  • Bid Evaluation
  • Quotation Requests/Change Orders
  • Presentation
  • Zoning Processing Assistance
  • Interior Design/Documentation
  • Contract Award
  • Contract Cost Accounting
  • Geo-technical Engineering
  • Special Design/Documentation
  • Furniture and Equipment Installation Administration
  • Site Surveying
  • Materials Research/Specifications
  • Interpretations and Decisions
  • Project Closeout
  • Post-contract Services
  • Maintenance and Operational Programming
  • Startup Assistance
  • Record Drawing
  • Warranty Review
  • Post-contract Evaluation

As the owner, you will find it helpful to review this chart with us to acquaint yourself with the various phases of design and construction and the services available for each. With that knowledge, we will both be able to select the services that are appropriate to your needs.



Negotiating The Agreement 

Owner-Architect agreements spell out what we both bring to the professional relationship and what you can expect from it.


The formal agreement between us is an opportunity to assure that we both envision the same project, requirements, and expectations. Before committing these requirements and expectations to paper, follow these five steps presented below to identify any items that may have been missed.


Establish project requirements


Write down your project requirements as either a short statement or a very detailed compilation. Address these points:

  • Project scope: What is to be designed and built?

  • Project site: Where will (might) it be built?

  • Levels of design quality and amenity.

  • Role of the project (in the owner's life, business, community, etc.).

  • Schedule requirements or constraints.

  • Target date for completion.

  • Budget estimate and sources of financing.

  • Codes, regulations, and required design reviews. 

Describe project tasks and assign responsibility for each one


We will identify the predesign, design, construction, and post-construction tasks that must be undertaken to achieve project objectives. The chart on pages eight and nine, taken from Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Designated Services, represents the potential scope of designated services and provides a useful starting point for this discussion. Both parties should then identify the services required for the project and who will be responsible for each.


Advice: To help produce a complete schedule, include all necessary tasks, even if they will be done by others (say, a regulatory agency's review).


Develop a First-Cut Schedule


Place the tasks and responsibilities on a time line, estimating duration for each task. Identify the tasks that if delayed for any reason will delay completion of the project. Compare the time line with the target completion date and adjust one or both as appropriate. 


Advice: The owner, architect, and other key team members who must live with the project schedule should be involved in its development. 


Take a Critical Look at the Results


Is the schedule reasonable, particularly given the project's requirements and budget? Have you allowed yourself enough time to review our submissions, receive regulatory agency approvals, seek your own recommendations and approvals, and make your decisions? Many project schedules don't provide enough time for decision making. 


Use This Planning Work as a Basis for Establishing connections architectural's Compensation


Ask us to provide you with a compensation proposal that is based on the tasks and schedule outlined above. 


The Owner-Architect Agreement


If you've done your homework, the written agreement should follow without difficulty. Although a certain amount of negotiation is inevitable, we should both be of common mind on the key issues of project scope, services, responsibilities, schedule, construction budget, and compensation. Some advice on this subject: 


Use a written contract. No handshake or letter agreement is firm enough to cover thoroughly all the roles, responsibilities, and obligations that we must carry out. 


Use the documents. These standard forms of agreement mentioned above have been carefully reviewed and modified over many years. Widely used by and accepted in the construction industry, they present a current consensus among organizations representing owners, lawyers, contractors, engineers, and architects. They are coordinated with one another to work as a complete set. For example, the architect-consultant agreement serves as the subcontract for the owner-architect agreement, and the owner-contractor agreement, usually negotiated later, extends the architect's services into the construction phase. 


Do not expect connections architectural to warrant or guarantee results. As a provider of a professional service, we can only be required to perform to a professional standard. Perfection would be nice, but it is unrealistic and uninsurable. Courts recognize this, and so too must responsible clients like you.




Appropriate professional compensation is important to meeting your goals; cost and value go hand in hand. 


Experienced clients always recognize that adequate compensation is in their best interest as it assures the type and level of services needed to fulfill their expectations. You may have questions about how to arrive at the appropriate compensation for your project. Some of the more frequent questions are answered here. 


How much should I expect to pay connections architectural?


That will depend on the types and levels of professional services provided. More extensive services or a more complex or experimental project will require more effort by us and add more value to the project. You should budget accordingly for architectural services. And what methods of compensation are available? 


These are the most common:

  • A stipulated sum based on our compensation proposal.

  • A stipulated sum per unit, based on what is to be built (for example, the number of square feet, apartments, or rooms).

  • A percentage of the construction cost. This is our most common method of compensation. 

  • Hourly rates. This method of compensation is useful at the beginning of a relationship before committing to full services.

  • A combination of the above. 

It is worthwhile to note that Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Designated Services provides six separate methods of compensation that can be tailored to the types of services being provided. 


My project is one characterized by repetitive units (bedrooms, apartments). Does it make sense to use these units as a basis for compensation? 


Sometimes-for example, when the probable number of units (or, alternatively, the highest and lowest probable numbers) is known. 


Percentage of construction cost has been a simple and popular method of compensation. Is it recommended? 


Again, it depends. While the percentage method is simple in concept, it requires a rigorous determination of what the construction cost includes. The result may be too high or too low, given the complexity of the project and the professional services required. Finally, this method may penalize us for investing extra effort to reduce construction cost on behalf of the owner. 


What does a stipulated sum include? 


This is a matter of negotiation with us, but generally it includes our direct personnel expenses (salary and benefits), other direct expenses chargeable to the project (such as consultant services), indirect expense or overhead (costs of doing business not directly chargeable to specific projects), and profit. The stipulated sum does not usually include reimbursable expenses. 


When does it make sense to consider hourly billing methods? 


Again, this is a matter of negotiation, but it makes good sense when there are many unknowns. Many projects begin with hourly billing and continue until the scope of services is defined and establishing a stipulated sum is possible. It may also make sense to use this approach for construction contract administration and special services, such as energy and economic analyses. 


What are reimbursable expenses? 


These are out-of-pocket expenses incurred by us on behalf of the project that usually cannot be predicted at the outset, such as long-distance travel and communications, reproduction of contract documents, and authorized overtime premiums or consultants and specialists that are brought in. These are usually billed with an additional modest multiplier to cover overhead costs and lost interest on these types of expenses. Detailed in the owner-architect agreement, they are usually outside the stipulated sum or hourly billing rate and normally billed as they occur. 


What about payment schedules? 


Once the method and amount of compensation have been established, ask us to provide a proposed schedule of payments. Such a schedule will help you plan for the financial requirements of the project. The schedule is commonly set-up with monthly payments or by phase completion. 


What other expenses can the owner expect? 


The owner-architect agreement outlines a number of owner responsibilities, some of which will require financial outlay. These include site surveys and legal descriptions, soil-engineering services (for example, test borings or pits), required technical tests during construction (for example, concrete strength tests), an on-site project representative, and the necessary legal, auditing, and insurance counseling services needed to fulfill the owner's responsibilities. 


What happens if we both can't agree on compensation? 


Keep the lines of communication open so that each will understand the other's basis for negotiation. Often, differences result from incomplete or inaccurate understandings of project scope or services. Perhaps some services can be performed by us on an hourly basis or by the owner. Perhaps coordination of owner forces, special consultants, or other team members mandated by the owner are adding to our costs. When everything is mutually understood and there is still no closure on the details or method of compensation, both have no choice but to discontinue negotiation and unfortunately go separate ways.



Keeping the Project on Track 

Both of us can take specific steps to help meet your quality, time, and budget goals. 


Design and construction are team activities. Many individuals and firms come together to do a project. They usually will not have worked together before and may not work together again. They collaborate to produce a complex and often unique result on a specific site. As the project unfolds, hundreds of individual design decisions and commitments are made. Needs and conditions change, and work is modified. A strong and healthy relationship between us is essential to keep the project on track. 


Recognizing your Responsibilities


The owner-architect agreement and general conditions of the contract for construction provide clear guidance on what is expected of the owner. General Conditions outline several responsibilities. Your architect will assist you in clarifying them. 


The owner must provide: 

  • Design objectives, constraints, and criteria, including space requirements and relationships, flexibility, expandability, special equipment, and site requirements. 

  • Budget (including contingencies for bidding, changes in the work during construction, and other costs that are the owner's responsibility) and a statement of available funds for the project. 

  • A legal description and survey of the site (including available services and utilities) as well as soils-engineering services and professional recommendations (including test borings or pits, soil-bearing values, percolation tests, air- and water-pollution tests, and ground-water levels). 

  • Necessary services during construction, including testing services and (on some projects) an on-site project representative. 

  • Timely information, services, decisions, and approvals. 

  • Prompt notification of any observed faults or defects in the project or nonconformance with the contract documents governing the project. 

  • Legal, accounting, auditing, and insurance counseling services needed for the project. 

Recognizing Some of the Fundamental Realities of Building


As a nation, we spend more than $300 billion annually for new construction and renovation in the U.S.. Architects and their clients have had the opportunity to gain some collective wisdom from these projects-wisdom that may be of value to you in project planning and follow-through. 


Project scope, quality, and cost are inextricably related. Any two of these variables can be fixed and controlled in design; the marketplace takes cares of the third. You will need to establish priorities among them and set acceptable ranges for each one. 


connections architectural always challenges the program, schedule, and budget. Even when these have been developed through painstaking effort, it is in the client's best interest to encourage this challenge. In this way, we come to understand project requirements. The analysis may also reveal existing or potential problem areas. 


As design proceeds, important issues will surface. Our services bring you increased understanding of the project and the project changes as a result. Each milestone, usually marked by the end-of-phase submissions written into the owner-architect agreement, should be used to assure continuing consensus on project scope, levels of quality, construction cost, and budget. It may also be necessary to adjust the required services at these points. 


The secret to successful projects is effective project management by both owner and architect. A summary of what the owner can do to keep the project running smoothly through design and construction is presented below. 


Project Plan Insist on a project work plan, preferably as part of the process of negotiating the project agreements. Ask that the plan be updated on a regular basis and after any major change in scope, services, or schedule. 


Team member Be part of the project-planning process and all project meetings. Be sure that your own deadlines, as well as your own decision processes, are reflected by that plan. 


Client Representative Identify a single person to represent you and to speak for you at planning sessions and project meetings. The scope of the client representative's authority should be understood by all involved. 


Internal Coordination If yours is an organization where several people or departments must be involved in the project work, make it clear that the client representative speaks as the boss. Conflicting advice or requirements will inevitably cause problems later. 


Meetings Plan on regular meetings of the project team and participate in them. Meetings should have clear agendas. Persons with assigned tasks should have them done in time for the meetings. Be sure that the architect prepares minutes that clearly identify what was decided, what items now require a decision, and who is responsible for the next steps. Minutes should be circulated to all team members. 


Documentation Require that contacts us (for example, phone conversations and data-gathering sessions) be documented, and the results shared with appropriate members of the project team. This system keeps everyone informed of what's being discussed and decided outside of formal project meetings and presentations. 


Phases The standard forms of agreement designate three major design phases and submissions by the architect: schematic design, design development, and construction documents. You may wish to include additional submissions, recognizing that each adds time and cost to the project. Use these milestones to review what has been done and approve it as the basis for moving forward. 


Decision Process Be sure that both of us understand the process by which decisions will be made: Who requires what information, whose approval is required, how much time should be allocated for review of submissions? Diagram the process if you are unsure. 


Decisions Make decisions when they are called for. Keeping the project on hold while the team awaits your decision increases the possibility of changes in conditions that may upset the delicate balance between project time, cost, and quality. 


Agreement Modifications Keep the owner-architect agreement up-to-date. Modify it when project scope or services are changed. 


Questions When you have questions, ask them. Pay particular attention to design submissions, since the work of each phase is further developed in the next phase. All questions should be resolved before the construction contract documents phase begins, as changes beyond this point will most likely result in increased time and cost. 


Problems Address problems when they arise and before small ones become large ones. Regular project meetings provide a natural opportunity. 


Bringing the Builders on Board


At some point, the project team must be expanded to include the firm or firms that will build the project. There are two basic approaches: 


You may select the contractor or contractors based on the construction contract documents prepared by us. Public entities generally must engage in an open competitive bidding process. Other owners may choose open competitive bidding, competitive bidding by a few invited firms, or negotiation with a single selected contractor or builder. 


You may choose to include the contractor as a member of the design team. The contractor may be paid a fee for consultation during design. A method of compensation for the construction work is negotiated when the design has progressed in sufficient detail to serve as a basis for a cost proposal. 


However and whenever contractors are selected, we will prepare the bidding documents and the owner-contractor agreement forms as part of the construction contract documents. It is sound practice to engage our assistance in the bidding or negotiation process and recommending of construction contractors. 


Maintaining our Professional Relationship


connections architectural's services should not end with the award of construction contracts. It is highly advisable to retain the us to: 


Observe the construction work, evaluate it for compliance with the contract documents and help to determine that the project is being built as designed. This service is especially important. The contractor's failure to construct what has been designed can have major consequences for you. 


Review shop drawings (detailed drawings of specific building components) and product and material samples to confirm the contractor's understanding of the design intent. 


Make design changes that result from owner decisions, design refinements, or unexpected conditions in the field. 


Provide a variety of other important services for the owner-checking 


contractor payment requisitions against the progress of the work, providing final inspections and certifications for the owner, and assisting with building start-up and user education. 


Keep an eye on your bottom line. As the team member who has been involved with your project from the outset, your architect is capable of helping you control your construction budget throughout construction and initial occupancy of the project. 



So we arrive at the bottom line. The need to complete projects that respond to owner needs and aspirations. To accomplish this within schedule and budget, and contribute to the quality of our communities and our lives within them. 


The concept of your project should, by now, be quite advanced. We hope that you now fully understand the role of the architect has , the services connections architectural offers, and the responsibilities you have in completing a project like yours. 


Our intent is to provide this document as a reference and educational tool for you and our fellow architects to use as part of our belief in the Information Super Highway and its role in electronic communication. We think it is the fair thing do do and we are available at your convenience. 


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