Gontram Architecture, Inc. is a full-service architectural firm, experienced in all aspects of project delivery. We recognize that the construction process can be an extremely stressful ordeal, if not handled properly. We aim to make the experience as pleasant and successful as possible. We tailor our services and scope of work to the individual project. No two projects are exactly alike, no two clients are exactly alike. Services available are offered in phases.
Pre-Design involves the planning and programming that goes on before the actual design of a project can begin. At this stage:
- Architect/Client relationship is established.
- Client’s budget and needs are identified and analyzed.
- A Program is formulated outlining the client’s specific needs, spatial relationship requirements and functions, and other items which require consideration once design commences.
- Existing conditions are investigated and documented in detail
- Building Code and Zoning issues identified.
We can help you see the “light at the end of the tunnel” when dealing with local Planning and Zoning Departments.
Property-Related Coordination involves the coordination and application of the subject property to the local jurisdictions to make it usable for the Owner’s intended purpose. We usually suggest the additional assistance of an attorney for larger projects. At this stage:
- The site may require submittal and coordination of the Rezoning application.
- The site may require a formal Site Plan Approval submittal.
- Other Zoning regulations and ordinances may need to be negotiated.
Schematic Design involves the initial stages of the design of the actual project. In schematic form, the project takes shape. Spaces are juxtaposed according to the Program and the building takes on a form.At this stage:
- Programming information is incorporated at this stage.
- Basic Space Planning and spatial relationships are developed.
- Initial plans and sketches are presented.
- A preliminary cost estimate is developed.
Design Development involves further refinement of Schematic Design.
At this stage:
- Drawing refinements are made, indicating more detail.
- Building systems are further resolved.
- Outline specifications are generated.
- Cost estimate is refined.
Construction Documents involves the final stage of putting the project down on paper. Documents for the Construction Contract are produced. These range from the actual building documents (i.e. blueprints), specifications, project manual with contracts and other documents and bidding documents (if necessary). A final cost estimate is produced. Different clients and projects require different levels of detail at this stage.
The architect assists the owner in bidding the project and selecting contractor(s) in the “Bidding and Negotiation” phase of a project.
At this stage:
- A list of potential bidders is compiled.
- The architect may organize and administer the bidding process
- Negotiate with the General Contractor on behalf of the Owner,
- Assist in preparing construction contracts between Owner &
Permit Review and Approval involves the application and administration of the permitting process. At this stage:
- Plans are submitted to the Authorities having Jurisdiction (local inspections departments, Department of Insurance, local health department, etc.).
- Comments (if any) are addressed.
- Building permit is approved. The fees charged for the permit and review process are typically paid for by the Owner, either directly or through the General Contractor.
Construction is where the “fun” begins. This is when dirt is pushed around, concrete is poured, steel is erected, brick is laid, roofing is applied and “Certificate of Occupancy” is obtained. This does not happen as a matter of course or by accident. A successful construction project depends on careful management and observation. This often over-looked phase of architectural design is frequently viewed by owners and architects as a waste of time and money. It has been our experience that it is anything but a waste.
At this stage:
- Representation of the client’s interests during construction.
- Shop drawing review of necessary building components.
- Make periodic visits to the site to observe construction.
- Attend regular progress meetings.
- Review contractor’s Applications for Payment.
- Project closeout procedures and documentation.
Post-Occupancy services are requested of architects where it is important to the Owner to maintain a period of observation and administration for a certain amount of time following the completion of construction. At this stage, the architect performs:
- Warranty walkthroughs with Owner and Contractor.
- Post-occupancy surveys, evaluations and reviews to help determine the success of the project.
Additional services beyond those listed include:
- Computer 3-dimensional imaging.
- Architectural rendering.
- Model building.