Architecture and Planning Services
Often times client’s ultimate vision, goal and need do not match their resources at the time. That is when AFHJ can help in planning the project by developing a master plan that breaks down the project in phases, in order of priority, that are attainable and compatible to client’s resources. A Master plan can be just that as an initial phase of the project. This accompanied with presentation drawings can communicate the full vision of the project, which often times is used in fundraising for the project.
Schematic and Design Development includes preliminary design and cost estimate reflecting the initial vision of the project. In schematic phase the conceptual design of the project includes sketches and images of the floor plan, massing and elevations of the project. Once the initial concept and preliminary budget of the project is approved further detailed study happens in the Design Development phase. In this phase materials and systems are determined in more detail along with an updated cost estimate. These cost estimates will include input from subcontractors and are more reliable, never the less, they are still estimates. At this phase of the project final scope is determined and modifications are made to fit the budget.
Program of spaces includes a list of spaces required for functions of the facility. Each of these spaces is sized according to use and the layout of the space, some of which may have to follow certain standards and recommendations, including the local building codes and ordinances. The spaces along with the unassigned spaces such as circulation, wall thicknesses and support spaces, will be calculated based on a percentage of the overall square footage, developing the gross square footage of the building. The outcome of this will be a narrative that will include a list of spaces and sizes, as well as information about how each space is used and how it is related to another space for functional purposes. There will also be detailed information as how each space is uses and any specific requirements each space has. At this point a very general cost estimate based on historic compatible market information is presented. This can serve as a guideline for modifying the scope of the project, but it needs to be mentioned that this is not a detailed cost estimate, so any changes at this phase of the project has to be done in an order of priority, so that once a more detailed cost estimate is developed the final scope can be determined.
When a dream exists but the client is unsure of the outcome of the project, a feasibility study can help reaching a decision. A feasibility study will include a narrative of the goals of the project; a program of spaces to help determined the size of the project, and a preliminary cost estimate to determine the potential scope of the project. Oftentimes different options are presented with different outcomes. Options are not evaluated solely on the basis of the cost, but on basis of return on investment, payback time and life cycle analysis, depending on the type of project. This may include a small addition to a home, or a large mixed use development. In commercial projects factors such as income from the property over time will play a role in the feasibility of the project. These factors are determined with input from client, architect’s research and input from any relevant consultants. This can even include feasibility of the level of sustainability that is desired for the project.
In addition to sensible decisions made regarding energy efficiency of a building, sustainable design elements related to a Green Building Design may need to be evaluated. A team is assembled that will include all the expertise needed to evaluate these factors and the level of sustainability the client wants to achieve. Creativity comes into play in finding solutions that may not be the run of the mill solutions to the challenge presented. These creative solutions will mainly be adaptation to local site conditions, available resources and use of indigenous materials. Sustainability is not limited to design, materials, and systems, but also to methods of construction and construction management practices.
Construction Documents and Construction Administration
Once the scope is approved the documents required for bidding of the project are prepared. These include detailed construction drawings and detailed specification manual. This will follow with construction administration phase of the project.
Project Delivery Methods
Working with Construction Manager, Design Build, or Traditional Bidding Method; each method has advantages for different types of projects. AFHJ has worked with all methods of project delivery.