Some clients come to the firm with only a vague notion of what they want, while others have highly developed ideas and lists of project requirements. The architectural design team begins each project by sitting down with the client, listening to what they envision for their project, openly sharing ideas, and developing feasible options for creating a balance of beauty, utility and longevity. From new construction, to renovations and additions, historic preservation, and sustainable design work, these initial discussions result in a realistic scope of work, as well as a preliminary schedule and budget.
In addition to identifying which services Harrison Design Associates (HDA) will provide, consultations are an excellent opportunity to identify or begin working with other design professionals, artisans or builders who will be required for the project. HDA’s architectural team has a long history of successful collaborations with some of the finest allied professionals in the country and recognizes that the most successful projects involve active and open communication among all team members as early in the process as possible.
During the schematic design phase, ideas generated in the initial consultations begin to take shape on paper in the form of preliminary site plans, floor plans and elevations. For renovation and preservation projects, the team measures and photographs the existing conditions to prepare accurate “as-built” drawings for use throughout the design process. While the firm uses classical proportions and hierarchies as a foundation for design, the client’s desires and the context of the setting are the main factors used in determining the style, materials, and details of any project. The schematic design phase is a highly interactive process where the team and client discuss and fine-tune ideas to arrive at a concrete plan, budget and schedule that reflects the client’s vision and expectations.
After the client approves the plan and style of the project, the architectural team uses a combination of hand sketches, computer-aided design (CAD), and 3-D rendering software to generate accurate representations of the final project. The level of interaction and collaboration is particularly high during design development, as this phase marks the start of interior architecture and material selections. As each element evolves, the plans and elevations often require adjustments or modifications to ensure a final product that is functional and aesthetically appropriate. In addition to communicating with the client about design issues, the team will also provide updated budget and schedule information, to ensure that the client is informed regarding every aspect of their project.
The Construction Documentation phase represents a culmination of the decisions and selections made throughout the design process. The degree of documentation varies from project to project according to the criteria of local governing bodies, the scale and intricacy of the design, and ultimately the desires and comfort level of the individual client. Some clients are only interested in a rudimentary set of documents that addresses all basic requirements, while other clients request highly detailed drawings for every aspect of the design. At the start of this phase, the architectural team consults with each client to determine the level of documentation that most suits their specific needs and expectations.
Based on the client’s needs, jurisdictional requirements and the complexity of the project, HDA is able to assist clients with the following services:
Site Review and Feasibility Studies
Clients routinely ask for assistance in reviewing the merits and options for building on a particular property. The team will walk the site, review surveys, share knowledge of site conditions and governmental regulations and provide advice for the optimum placement and size of structures.
Bidding and Negotiation
HDA often assists clients in obtaining and reviewing competitive bids from qualified contractors. Once the client makes a final contractor selection, the architectural team is able to aid the client in the preparation of a construction contract.
Interior Architectural Design
Often for ease of coordination and design continuity, clients request that the architectural team remain actively involved in the development of the interior architecture. Services range from the creation of interior elevations to the design of millwork, cabinetry and associated details.
With an understanding of construction practices and the design intent of the project, we frequently act as a client advocate providing on-site reviews and guidance throughout the construction phase. Services may include review of shop drawings, processing Requests for Information (RFIs), review and approval of applications for contractor payments, as well as on-going comparisons of project progress against the budget.
HDA is well versed in the latest sustainable practices and energy efficient technologies. The team, which includes several LEED Accredited Professionals, is able to guide clients through the spectrum of options ranging from specifying renewable materials and non-toxic finishes; to incorporating solar panels, water reclamation techniques and energy automation systems; and ultimately to designing comprehensive strategies for obtaining a desired level of LEED certification.
HDA is able to assist client with filing documents required for governmental authorities having project jurisdiction.
Depending on the type of project and scope of work, HDA can aid clients in retaining the services of a qualified cost estimator.
The firm’s Interior Design Studio provides comprehensive interior design services including furniture design and layout, finish and paint selections, and the fixtures and appliance layouts and selections. For additional information, please see Interior Design Services.
HDA’s Landscape Architecture Studio offers a full array of services including site planning, garden and hardscape design for pools, terraces, retaining walls and garden structures. For additional information, please see Landscape Architecture Services.