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Are you planning a building project? The best time to bring in an architect is as early as possible in the project. Long before plans and specifications are developed, there are many crucial decisions to be made. What impact will site selection and zoning constraints have on your project?
Architects can help you evaluate your options. Predesign services provided by an architect can save you time and money. Architects play key roles in economic feasibility studies, obtaining project financing, and developing project budgets and schedules.
Step 1 : Research Firms
Find out the names of firms that have designed projects similar to yours that you like
Consult ArchiPages, the statewide directory of AIA firms in Illinois, at your local library, or order it from AIA Chicago
Search the Internet
Step 2 : Request Information
Seek qualifications and references, including illustrations of recent work
Step 3 : Review and Evaluate
The size of the firm
How long it has been in practice
Special expertise in this project type
Their ability to work within budget and schedule constraints
Knowledge of local building codes and zoning regulations
The ability to work with other specialists, if necessary
Visit at least one project of each architect under consideration
Call client references
Step 4 : Interview Firms
Allow at least an hour for the interview
Make sure that the people you interview are those who will actually be working on your project
Decide on location for the interview: at your office, the architect can gain a better understanding of you and your project; at the architect’s office, you can see how the architect and staff work.
Step 5 : Make the Selection
Availability of key staff
You will also be looking for an architect who:
Understands your situation and is asking the right questions
Makes you feel comfortable
You will be working with the architect for a long time and it is important that you trust the architect’s judgment and ability.
The key to successful design projects is careful management of the process, wise selection of the players, and good communication. A thorough understanding of your goals, needs, and risks will enable you to build relationships and assemble the right team of design and construction professionals for your project. An architect can guide your way through your construcion journey and direct you toward solutions you may have never considered.
1. Whom will I be dealing with directly? Is that the same person who will be designing the project? Who will be designing our project?
2. How will you approach our project?
3. How will you gather information about our needs and project site?
4. How will you establish priorities and make decisions?
5. What do you see as important issues or considerations in the project? What are the challenges of the project?
6. What is your design philosophy?
7. What are the steps in your design process?
8. How busy is your firm?
9. How interested are you in this project?
10. What sets your firm apart from the rest?
11. How does your firm establish its fees?
12. How do you organize a project?
13. What do you expect us to provide?
14. What is your experience in obtaining local government approvals?
15. What is your experience with cost estimating?
16. What will you show us along the way to explain the project?
17. How do you handle change orders? Who pays for changes?
18. If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified?
19. What services do you provide during construction?
20. Do you have a list of clients you have worked with?
The documents produced by the AIA are the most widely used standard form contracts in the construction industry. They facilitate communication among all the parties involved in construction, which makes it easier to produce a high quality project in a timely and economical fashion.
AIA documents are fair.
AIA documents reflect industry practices, not theory.
AIA documents reflect changing construction practices and technology.
AIA documents reflect the law.
AIA documents are flexible.
AIA documents are easy to interpret.