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The Architect's Process For Success in Construction

Architect's Process For Success in Construction,


Architects, and designers alike main goal is to create the overall appearance and function of a home or said structure. Meeting the high demands of local and provincial authorities, whilst exceeding the function and aesthetic goals of our clients. Starting in the research of local bylaws, site geographic limitations, radon radiation, soil analysis, thermal efficiency, solar paths, sound pollution, environmental impact, community plan guideline and so on. These demands must be and have been met through the well defined methodology in precise strategic planning of the design process.


Before we can further discuss the methodology of planning for success in construction, it is mandatory to understand who can be involved to assist in effectively creating the most efficient final outcomes. Theses key members being geotechnical engineers, land surveyors, structural / civil engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, local building authorities and general contractors. With knowledge of the roles of these key members within the design and construction, architects and designers are able to build more efficiently and effectively in relations to the scope. Thus resulting in high quality, more affordable and sustainable structures and aesthetic outcomes.


Recapping, the architect and designer's main goal is to effectively develop the scope and manage all factors in relations to the said project. Starting from the early stages of design, specification drawings to the management of construction. In the following we will be discussing the most common purposes and the roles of key members in construction.

 

Geotechnical Engineers & Land Surveyors


Geotechnical Engineers & Land Surveyors, although categorized in the section of civil engineering, for this discussion they will be talked about separately, due to their specific roles, common involvement in city planning and the foundation design of a structure.



The roles of a Geotechnical Engineer & Land Surveyors:

Project Planning - Design Material Analysis, Economics, Planning Investigations, Urban Planning, Environmental Factors.

Mapping - Topographic Survey, Surveying, Soil mapping, Site Selections,

Exploration - Engineering Aspects, Conducting Field Exploration Planning, Observation, Etc. Selecting Samples For Testing Describing and Explaining Site Conditions,

Engineering Geophysics - Engineering Application,

Classification and Physical Properties - Soil Testing, Earth Materials, Soil Classification, Soil Description,

Earthquakes - Response of Soil and Rock Materials to Seismic Activity Seismic Design of Structures, Seismicity, Seismic Considerations, Earthquake possibility,

Rock Mechanics - Rock Testing, Stability Analysis, Stress Distribution, Regional and Local Studies,

Slope Stability - Engineering Aspects Of Slope Stability Analysis and Testing, Grading in Mountainous Terrain,

Surface Waters - Design of Drainage Systems, Coastal and River Engineering, Hydrology,

Groundwater - Mathematical Treatment of Well Systems, Development Concepts,


Drainage - Regulation of Supply, Economic Factors, Lab Permeability.


Architects and designers use these engineers, for planning, due to there expertise in precision measurements, soil testing and evaluation of the site before construction. This is in order to develop a plan of the most suitable location of which the building will be located. Evaluating the longevity of the environmental, legal and economic impact. Most specifically insuring that the foundation of the structure is in no legal violations and is safe to support the live/dead loads of the duration in the expected lifespan.



Structural Engineers

In construction a structural engineer is mandated when the said structure or any structure member is no longer able to fit within the section 9 of the BC building code (2018). This is a common practice and mandatory when dealing with custom homes with large spans/tall ceiling, structures larger than 600 square meters and taller than 3 stories.

Roles of a Structural Engineer:

Documentation - prepare structural reports, designs and drawings on complex structures.

Calculations - make calculations about pressures, loads and stresses for when buildings fall inside and out of section 9 BC Building Code.

Evaluate - consider the strength of construction materials and select appropriately.

Consult - provide technical advice on safe designs and construction.


Inspect - properties to evaluate the conditions and foundations.

Civil Engineers

In the involvement of complex road construction, civil engineers are commonly used. Although the definition of a civil engineering covers a vast margin of engineering related to any civil construction, in the following will be discussed of the uses of a civil engineers specifically to road works and other transport/public services. This is most common for land developments to homes in remote locations where road works is required, (roads, sewage, water, electricity, drainage, highways, bridges, and other transport/public services.) A civil engineer many or may not be required base on location, project size, project goal, and local jurisdiction requirements.


When are Civil Engineers most commonly used:

Transport/ Road Works/ Public Services - NOT LIMITED TO: Pipelines, Trains, Airports, Bridges, Freeways, Roads, Ports, Super Structures, Water Networks, Dams, Power Grid, Sewage, drainage, hydraulics etc.


Note: Civil Engineering is a vast subject, with many subsections within (structural, geotechnical, transport, architectural, water engineering etc.)



Interior Design


A sub section of architecture, specialized in flow of interior spaces. Working with all interior finishes, designing millwork, (custom cabinetry) organization of space, interior lighting, custom kitchens, bathrooms, colour science, etc.


When are they used:

For well organized, custom interiors, lighting, finishes, interior specifications etc.


Note: Depending on jurisdiction and local authorities, interior designers are limited to only interior design, thus are not allowed to all architectural practices.



Landscape Architects

Landscape Architects, are specialized in creating light and flow of exterior spaces.


When are they used:

Creating magnificent exteriors, from gardens, paths, railings etc.



Local Building Authorities


Buildings must conform to the code to obtain planning permission, usually from a local council. The main purpose of building codes is to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures.


When are they implemented:

  • Pulmonary Approval,

  • Stating legal requirements,

  • Final Approval,

  • Building Inspections.


General Contractors

Responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. A general contractor often hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work.


When are they implemented:

  • Creating Accurate , Cost Estimates Based From Architectural Drafts,

  • Performing Construction Based On the Architectural Drafts,

  • Gathering Materials and Equipment Required For Construction,

  • Organizing subcontractors and other manual labor professions,


 

Methodology of Planning For Success in Construction


With the knowledge of what the key members in the design and construction process, Architects and Designers are able to implement them into the project for either aesthetic or for legal approval. In knowing the purpose of these possible assisting members, we will now be looking over in simple terms of the methodology of planning for success in construction.


Basic View of the Design to Construction Process



Research Design Permit


In the reference above is how others have described the design process. Whilst in the reference bellow is a more realistic approach of how I have personally able to create all of my projects, from extensive land developments, new construction to renovations. Understanding where a project is within this diagram is key when preventing stagnation and keeping high level of efficiency.




 

Land Developments



Land Development requirements change depending on geological location and local government documentation requirements. In the following will be discussed of the standard process, this is subject to change.




Preliminary Research

In basic terms, research, must be conducted to understand the sites legal requirements to determinant what is possible. Discovery of limitations, (setbacks, maximum building height, riparian zones etc), and determinant what infrastructure must be put into place to make the project feasible. In this phase, discovering who may be required to assist in the project according to the scope.


Preliminary Design

Capturing the basic idea of what the client wants/needs. Determining how many homes, where new roads may be placed, size of roads/lots etc. After determining the wants and needs these rough designs of the site must be refined to meet the legal requirements and standards. Not all details of the project are required at this point only the general scope must be presented.


Preliminary Approval

Once the preliminary design is complete, local government officials will either accept or decline. They may give advice on what documentation or changes they require to move forward to the permit.


Physical Research


For new construction, land developments it maybe requirement for a registered and Licensed Land Surveyor (Geotechnical Engineer) to take detailed measurements/ documents of the existing lot lines and structures, (homes, pipelines, roads, river, lakes etc.).


Schematic Design

No projects are ever the same, thus schematic design requirements will change project to project depending on the scope. Luckily, during the previous research and development that has taken place during the preliminary approval, it should be well documented by the local official what is required to gain a permit.


For Land Developments, the physical research, (legal land survey) must be documented and referred to and include the existing lot(s) plan and the purposed land development in detail.


Information that may or may not include (NOT LIMITED TO):


SITE PLAN,

  • LOTS,

  • NORTH ARROW,

  • SCALE,

  • EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE,

  • RIVERS,

  • LAKES,

  • ROADS,

  • HIGHWAYS,

  • BRIDGES,

  • PIPELINES,

  • PROTECTED LOCATIONS,

  • RIPARIAN ZONES,

  • FLOOD PLANES,

  • GREENERY,

  • SETBACKS,

  • RIGHT OF WAYS,

  • PUBLIC SERVICES, (ELECTRICITY, WATER, DRAINAGE, SEWAGE, ETC.),

  • PRIVATE SERVICES,

  • EXISTING STRUCTURES,

  • MEASUREMENTS,

  • SCHEDULES,

  • REFERENCES TO CIVIL ENGINEER DOCUMENTS, (IF REQUIRED),

  • CIVIL ENGINEER DOCUMENTS ((ROADWORKS),(IF REQUIRED)),

  • GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER DOCUMENTS, (IF REQUIRED),

  • SOIL TEST RESULTS (IF REQUIRED),

  • REFERENCE'S TO SITE SURVEY,

  • SITE SURVEY,

  • DEFINITIONS,

  • OTHER LEGAL REQUIREMENTS,

Permit

Once the site has been properly researched and documented, the local government officials may give legal permission allowing construction to begin. Construction


Architects and designers, assist in ensuring the contractor builds to the correct specifications they may also assist in planning for the most efficient execution. In most cases the permit is required to be on site.

Legal Inspections


Local Legal Authorities will overlook and inspect the construction to ensure that the site and structures are following all of the legal requirements and not endangering public safety.


Completion


 

New Construction



New Construction requirements change depending on geological location and local government documentation requirements. In the following will be discussed of the standard process, this is subject to change.


Preliminary Research


In basic terms, research, must be conducted to understand the sites legal requirements to determinant what is possible. Discovery of limitations, (setbacks, maximum building height, riparian zones etc), and determinant what infrastructure must be put into place to make the project feasible. In this phase, discovering who may be required to assist in the project according to the scope.


Preliminary Design


Capturing the basic idea of what the client wants/needs. Determining budget, developing rough design of what the home may look like, floor plans, sqf, exterior aesthetic looks. After determining the wants and needs these rough designs of the home must be refined to meet or exceed the legal requirements and standards. Not all details of to project are required at this point only the general scope must be presented.


Preliminary Approval


Once the preliminary design is complete, local government officials will either accept or decline. They may give advice on what documentation or changes they require to move forward to the permit.


Physical Research


An example of this in practice for new construction or land developments is the requirement of a registered and licences land surveyor, (Geotechnical Engineer) to take detailed measurements of the existing lot lines and structures (homes, pipelines, roads, river, lakes etc.). Soil testing for foundations, wells and drainage may also be required.



Schematic Design

No projects are ever the same, thus schematic design requirements will change project to project depending on the scope. Luckily, during the previous research and development that has taken place during the preliminary approval, it should be well documented by the local official what is required to gain a permit.



For new construction, the physical research, (legal land survey) must be documented and referred to and include the existing site plan in detail. Other professional that might be required are structural engineers for when your building or elements of your design fall out side of section 9. If building commercial buildings it may fall into section 3 of the building code. Section 3 requires a structural engineer, for large commercial buildings a licensed Architect is most likely required. Other common designs that maybe are well, roadwork design and other required infrastructure.



Information that may or may not include (NOT LIMITED TO):


Architectural Drafts:

  • TITLE BLOCK AND DRAWING INDEX,

  • SITE PLAN,

  • FLOOR PLANS,

  • ROOF PLANS,

  • REFLECTIVE CEILING PLANS,

  • EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS,

  • BUILDING SECTIONS,

  • WALL SECTIONS,

  • VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION,

  • ENLARGED PLANS AND INTERIOR ELEVATIONS,

  • SCHEDULES,

  • ELECTRICAL PLANS,

  • STRUCTURAL PLANS,

  • FOUNDATION PLANS,



Permit


Once the site has been properly researched and documented, the local government officials may give legal permission allowing construction to begin.


Construction

Architects and designers, assist in ensuring the contractor builds to the correct specifications they may also assist in planning for the most efficient execution. In most cases the permit is required to be on site.


Legal Inspections

Local Legal Authorities will overlook and inspect the construction to ensure that the site and structures are following all of the legal requirements and not endangering public safety.


Completion


 


Remolding/Renovation



Remolding/renovation legal requirements change depending on geological location and local government documentation requirements. In the following will be discussed of the standard process, this is subject to change.

Note:

When remodeling or renovating, it is often required to obtain a permit if the following work is conducted (NOT LIMITED TO), electrical, plumbing, gas and structural. From home additions, kitchen remodels, simple structural repair to moving an outlet a permit is most likely required. This is to ensure that the building code is being followed, reducing the chances of fires, floods, explosions, electrocution and structural failure. If this is not done, you may receive fines/other punishments as it is increasing public health risk and your personal heath and well being.


Preliminary Research


When starting a renovation/remodeling project it is important to gather all of the relevant materials, being past renovation documentation, to the official building plans when the home was built. This information maybe found either from the home owner or can be sourced by the local building authorities. Research the local bylaws and the building code in your province or state.



Preliminary Design

Must identify the clients want and needs of the remodel, high level of detail is not required at this point, as both the designer and client most likely have not come to a full conclusion. Experimenting is encouraged and acceptable at this point, coming up with new ideas showing different possible out comes, assist the owner and yourself to make the best final product.


Preliminary Approval


Once the preliminary design is complete, local government officials will either accept or decline. They may give advice on what documentation or changes they require to move forward to the permit.


Physical Research

In a home renovation, a interior/exterior survey is most likely required. It is imperative the the survey that is conducted is precise. It most likely be more costly of a renovation when only doing rough measurements on the official documents, this is due to the fact that contractors and sub-contractors rely on these detailed measurements. If measuring is not completed correctly, expensive cabinetry will not fit, light fixtures will not line up, health and safety might be at risk.


What to measure, (general):

  • Floor Plans,

  • Staircases, (Rise/Run/Amount of Stairs),

  • Ceiling Heights,

  • Current Electrical Locations,

  • Plumbing Fixtures,


Further Measurements,


Take detailed considerations to the known locations where the remodel will be taking place. Also be know that remodels are often expanded due to clients wants and needs. Take the time to insure that all measurements are within an acceptable limit, (1mm or better than 1/16").


Note:

In the case of the home not documented, meditatively contact the building authorities of possible solutions to see if you may proceed with the renovation. If given approval, follow there instructions.


Schematic Design

What is normally legally required is the existing structure and what changes will be made. This will include Architectural Drafts. Interior designing may also be included depending on the scope.


Architectural Drafts,

  • Existing Structure,

  • Changes That Will Be Made,

  • Structural,

  • Electrical,

  • Plumbing,

  • Site Plan,

  • ETC.

Interior Design,

  • Documenting New and Existing Interior Finishes,

  • Schematic Design of Said Piece, ((Shower, Millwork (Custom Cabinetry), Cabinetry, Bathroom, Kitchen, Etc.)),

  • Matching of Interior Spaces,

  • Etc.


Note,

When documenting old and new finishes or furniture, it must be labeled "RERE" for Remove and Replace after demolition. In simpler terms, it tells the demotion team, not to destroy or throw away and to put it pack/put in safe keeping during the remolding.




Permit


Once the site has been properly researched and documented, the local government officials may give legal permission allowing construction to begin.


Construction

Architects and designers, assist in ensuring the contractor builds to the correct specifications they may also assist in planning for the most efficient execution.


Legal Inspections

Local Legal Authorities will overlook and inspect the construction to ensure that the site and structures are following all of the legal requirements and not endangering public safety.


Completion


 


Conclusion



"Architect's Process For Success in Construction"


Although construction may seem as a daunting experience, following and developing personal protocols that allow for both creativity, accuracy is a must for long term success and efficiency. If you have any questions about the construction process or suggestions to further discuss, feel free to contact Kalem Phillips. The information has been provided on the Contact page.


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