Standard full services for a construction project include four distinct phases:
Owners and users are vital members of the design team. Meetings during this phase are working sessions where suggestions and responses are welcomed. After careful analysis of the space program and design issues, we develop and present a number of alternative design concepts for your project. We also provide our objective evaluations of the different solutions. We provide expertise on code and ADA issues. Costs are discussed throughout the design process. We advise on materials choices and design approaches which may affect construction costs and schedules. We bring in consulting engineers as required and coordinate their efforts. From the initial concepts, we strive for consensus to develop one idea into a schematic solution.
The selected design is next developed into construction drawings and specifications. The same key individuals assume responsibilities from design through construction, ensuring design intentions can successfully be realized. Technical issues are resolved with conscientious research. Progress sets can be made available for review. An estimate of construction costs can be prepared. Well-documented drawings, careful attention to details, and astute materials selections during this phase contribute to high quality results while minimizing unexpected costs and changes.
We prepare complete bid sets, including bid forms, instructions to bidders, general and supplementary conditions, technical specifications, and drawings. During bidding, we conduct site inspections and answer bidders' questions through addenda. To conclude the bidding phase, we qualify and tabulate bids, check references, and make recommendations for awarding construction contracts. In the public sector, we ensure bidding proceeds in accordance with MGL Chapter 149.
We believe in working cooperatively with the General Contractor toward the common goal of a successful project. During construction, we make site visits and conduct job meetings with the GC and the Owner's representative. We help the GC interpret documents and solve field problems. We review and process shop drawings, samples, requisitions, and change order requests. As the project nears completion, we prepare punch lists of incomplete work. Throughout the construction phase, we advocate tenaciously and effectively for the Owner to ensure a high quality project comes in within budget and on schedule.
WE ALSO OFFER THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL SERVICES
Before design can begin, often current and future needs must be identified and quantified. For the ultimate design to be effective, the programming process must involve repeated and close interaction between users and the designer. This can be accomplished through a number of different methods: questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation of activities, and an inventory of existing spaces, equipment, and furnishings. Programming investigations will reveal the types and sizes of spaces required as well as preferred adjacencies and characteristics of the spaces.
Existing Conditions Evaluations
Before work is considered for an existing structure, a general assessment of the building is invaluable. Structural deficiencies must be identified. Inspections of the building enclosure or envelope include the roofing, exterior walls, windows, and flashing systems. If the building envelope and the structure are basically in good condition, other repairs and renovations are usually worth the investment. Building systems can be assessed by our engineering consultants. Hazardous materials may be present and have to be tested. Code violations, including life safety and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB), must be identified and evaluated. Anticipated new functions may have major impacts on code compliance. Fire separations and assemblies, egress components, and fire detection and suppression must be reviewed carefully.
For Owners interested in advancing the cause of environmentally responsible design and construction, we can explain and help implement sustainable strategies and technologies. A LEED Accredited Professional from our office can assume primary responsibility for the LEED certification process, guiding the project team through the comprehensive credit and point system that establishes the voluntary national standard for high performance sustainable buildings.