As modern architects, we have the technology to support communicating with our clients no matter where they are.
We usually kick off a project design with nothing more than a survey and Google aerial views. There are only two instances where it’s important for us to see the property before we begin building design.
These items are just different kinds of infographics that help us quantify what our clients need and want, and how all of the spaces relate to each other and the environment around them.
A simple diagram to help bring sense and order to a building program.
Where infographics drop off is where design development begins. Now that we’ve confirmed what we need and want and how it all works together, we can arrange it all into a practical and usable plan. We begin considering major entrance and exit elements, fire egress, accessibility, and room sizes.
Now the plan begins to take shape. This is when clients get most excited. When the idea of a building actually becomes a tangible plan with rooms, windows, doors, and volumes of light and space. It is much easier to imagine the spaces once they are drawn out as spaces.
Constant interaction with clients is key during this phase of design. Having the client as an integral part of the team allows the opportunity to test and re-prioritize configurations openly as a cohesive group working for the common good of the project.
Sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Art and Construction Documents in the same sentence. But there is an art to it. It must be organized in a way that makes sense and is readable. It must be thorough and well coordinated with engineering. It must completely describe all work to be done.
Many permit comments are clarifications for information that could not be easily located within the drawings. And pricing, whether negotiated or bid, will be incorrect if the scope of work has not been clearly and completely described within the documents.
Having a solid set of Construction Documents is labor intensive at a time when most clients are chomping at the bit to get construction started. Taking the time to document the work properly now will save everyone time in the long run. And when you save time, you save money.