Design and construction projects involve several steps. Typically, projects go through the following six phases. However, on some projects several of these steps may be combined or there may be additional ones.
Your requirements are yours alone. Your needs and desires are different; and the resulting design solution will be as well.
The Owner-Architect Agreement Owner-architect agreements spell out what you and your architect bring to the professional relationship and what you can expect from it.
The more detailed information you give, the easier it will be for the architect to address your needs.
Your architect should be able to provide detailed answers to each of the following questions. Remember! Your comfort and convenience, not to mention your budget and design goals, are the highest priority, so be sure to interview more than one architect before making your decision.
- What does the architect see as important issues or considerations in your project?
• What are the challenges of the project?
- How will the architect approach your project?
- How will the architect gather information about your needs, goals, etc.?
- How will the architect establish priorities and make decisions?
- Who from the architecture firm will you be dealing with directly? Is it the same person who will be designing the project?
- Who will be designing your project?
- How interested is the architect in this project?
- How busy is the architect?
- What are the steps in the design process?
- How does the architect organize the process?
- What does the architect expect you to provide?
- What is the architect's design philosophy?
What is the architect's experience/track record with cost estimating?
- What will the architect show you along the way to explain the project? Will you see drawings or sketches?
- What services does the architect provide during construction?
- How disruptive will construction be? How long does the architect expect it to take to complete your project?
- What sets this architect apart from the rest?
- How does the architect establish fees?
- What would the architect expect the fee to be for this project?
- If the scope of the project changes, how will additional fees be determined?
- Do you have a list of past clients that the architect has worked with?
When selecting an architect, a public owner's primary concerns are to get the best available professional services for the taxpayers' money and to conduct a fair and equitable selection process.
The QBS Wisconsin program is provided as a public service by AIA Wisconsin and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Wisconsin. The "Wisconsin QBS Manual" provides a step-by-step guide for implementing a qualifications-based selection process.
It is important to find an architect who is a good match with your goals, your concept of the project, your personality and your budget. Choosing the right person from the start allows you to enjoy the process as much as the finished product. The following steps in the selection process can make all the difference in creating a successful partnership.
Working with an architect can save time and money while making your new environment more functional, comfortable, and sustainable.
Whether you have extensive experience with design and construction or are coming to both for the first time, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions before interviewing prospective architects.