As Built Drawings
As Built Drawings are created from on-site measurements and visual inspections of the project space. Having an accurate record of an existing space will help reduce cost increases due to unforeseen site conditions. As built drawings also assist clients in establishing usable & rentable square footage.
A Functional Program is not only a list of spatial requirements, for example the number & square footage of areas but also consolidates information on adjacency, furniture layout, equipment requirements, sound attenuation & areas for expansion/growth. It will be the document that guides the design throughout the planning stage.
Design Standards are similar to a Functional Program in that they establish the requirements of a project, however, they are not specific to a particular location. National companies looking to standardize their office environments will benefit from a National Design Specification Standard document since it will not only ensure consistency but also save time during the programming phase.
Where a Function Program cannot be accommodated on a single storey of a building, a Stacking Diagram can ensure staff adjacency requirements are met over multiple floors. In essence, it is a graphical depiction of the Functional Program divided between a number of levels. This exercise will help establish if a building footprint is suitable for a client prior to embarking on more detailed planning.
Area Block Plans
Area Block Plans are a means to establish overall fit within a space and are quite high level. This step is typically only done on larger projects during the building selection process.
Schematic Plans detail the fit, adjacency and overall planning strategy. Common areas such as washrooms, mechanical, electrical, stairs and vertical penetrations are specified during this phase. Specific details such as furniture layouts, millwork or glazing sizes remain at a high level.
Proposed Plans are similar to Schematic Plans in that they illustrate layout and adjacencies, however, they provide a much greater level of detail. As this is the last planning stage prior to construction documentation, door & glazing sizes, millwork & furniture layouts, building code path of travel requirements and accessibility considerations should all be established in this phase. Multiple proposed plans are created for every project. The revision process is an integral part of establishing the optimal plan.
Material, Finishes & Color Selection
Proper Material, Finishes & Color Selection will not only create an aesthetically pleasing space but also ensure that material suitability, durability and longevity are considered in the selection process. Multiple options are presented with client branding & culture in mind. Material presentation boards can be produced if required.
Design Concept & Visualization
On simple projects, a material presentation board may be sufficient to understand the ‘look’ of a space. However, on many projects, material assignments and the design of key feature areas need to be developed in greater detail prior to proceeding to construction documentation. The Design Concept & Visualization phase will use a combination of 3D visualization techniques, including rendered views & walkthroughs to illustrate multiple design concept options. Like with Proposed Plans, the revision process is an important way to fine tune the ideal design option.
Once a plan, material scheme & design concept is approved, the project proceeds to the Construction Documentation phase. Construction drawings provide the construction team with specifications and clear direction on how the project should be built. The more detailed and accurate the drawing set, the lower the risk of costly changes during construction.
Tendering a project is an effective way to ensure that costs are realistic and competitive. Although open call tending is practiced in the construction industry, our recommendation is to go with an invite only tendering process. In this process, 3-5 specific construction companies are invited to bid. The invitees will be chosen from a list of verified companies that the team has had firsthand experience working with. Alternatively, a sole source or construction management approach can be taken if there is a trusted contractor that the team is comfortable going to directly to for pricing.
A good Contract Administrator will ensure a project is being completed on time and on budget and act as the client advocate during construction. Effective Contract Administration also ensures that any questions are properly answered & documented, changes have appropriate approvals, and that the project is being constructed in accordance to contract drawings and/or the design intent.
Contract Administration covers only a small aspect of Project Management. All phases require management of time, schedule and budget. As well, no project is completed in isolation. All projects require clear communication and proper coordination between client, consultant and contractor. The responsibility of the Prime Consultant is to ensure all these aspects of a project are managed efficiently and effectively.