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Although every project presents with different challenges and issues the structured and systematic design process followed allows for the initial exploration of a variety of broad design solutions before focussing on the detailed resolution of the preferred design. Typically there are four phases in this process


1. Sketch Design Phase ( approx. 15 % of overall fee)

The project brief is established and an understanding of the client preferences and goals is obtained. A realistic project budget, which matches the project brief, is discussed.
A land survey and existing conditions survey is completed.
A variety of initial concept sketches and options with indicative estimates of costs are explored.
Sketches are developed, including plans and elevations at 1:100 scale.
Upon completion of this stage the overall project character, the various spaces and how they relate to each other has been established.

1A. Planning Permit Application

If required, the planning permit application can be lodged at this stage. The application will generally include an existing conditions drawing, site analysis drawing, design rationale report, photographic survey, proposed site plan, existing and proposed floor plans, existing and proposed building elevations, basic materials schedule, overlooking diagrams and shadow drawings.

2. Design Development (approx. 15 % of overall fee)

The design is developed in more detail to look at how the individual spaces work with furniture layouts etc. The detailed design of areas such as bathroom and kitchens is produced. A preliminary selection of internal materials and colours is developed.
For Institutional projects room 'data collection' sheets are prepared identifying all fixtures, fittings and equipment. The client is usually requested to provide all equipment details at this stage to ensure that adequate provision is made for engineered services (power, data, air conditioning) as well as structural support.

3. Contract Documentation (approx. 40 % of overall fee)

Documents are prepared for both tender or pricing by builders. This stage involves the liaison with associated consultants such as the services and structural engineers. The drawings produced for pricing include all necessary dimensioned building plans, elevations, sections, electrical and lighting plans, detailed design of bathrooms and kitchen, cabinet designs, window and door design and external works. A project specification which fully describes the work to be carried out is also provided. The Building Permit application can be lodged at this stage.

4. Contract Administration (approx. 30% of overall fee)

A number of builders are selected at this stage to tender on the project. As architects we can provide a list of recommended builders however other builders suggested by clients may also be included. Tenders are called and reported on, negotiation of the final tender price carried out, contract documents are prepared for signing and arrangements for the execution of the contract are made.
Once the builder is engaged and work has commenced on site the contract is administered and the progressive inspection of the works is carried out. Other duties involve the supply of additional information, checking of progress claims for payment and the issuing certificates. The assessment and negotiating of variations and cost adjustments, dealing with claims for extensions of time and other matters included in the contract also form part of the project administration.
The architect acts in the role as independent advisor, liaising on the client's behalf with the builder and other suppliers.

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