I. Programming and the Planning phases: We begin together to identify project goals and program, exam and analyze location, understand inner space constraints and opportunities as well as environmental and sustainable influences and possibilities, and form a project roadmap.
II. Idea Exploration [Schematic Design]: This phase begins with an exploration of design ideas, functions, options, and iterations through a constant client-designer feedback loop. The schematics are the most inspirational and creative phases of the design process. We explore economic study, personality, and character of space, forms, and material qualities through models and sketches. This phase ends with a selected design direction and an outline specification defining the basic scope of the project in preparation for schematic cost estimating. Schematic design is when a designer communicates the three-dimensional and decorative ideas about the space to the client.
III. Reality Check – Budget, Approvals, and Contractor Interviews: The schematic design drawings are used to solicit early pricing estimates from contractors. This becomes a budget reality check and allows us to begin working with a single interested contractor to help control the budget as design proceeds. A-MDM normally assists clients with contractor interviews and selection. If there are any special zoning requirements we would also begin working with local planning officials at this early stage.
IV. Making it Real [Design Development]: During this phase, the interior design is further refined with the client and building systems (structural engineering, sustainability, lighting, ventilation, etc.), and construction materials are further decided and developed in accordance with local building and energy codes. At the end of this phase, we normally ask the contractor to refine their estimates to help track the budget and allocate design resources properly.
If there is any bank financing involved for the project we would also begin providing them the necessary information at this stage.
V. Nuts and Bolts [Construction Documents]: Continuing together with client feedback A-MDM develops the detailed construction and specification documents to permit and build the project. Materials, finishes, products, and other requirements are finalized during this phase. In the end the construction documents are provided to the contractor for final pricing, timeline, and the owner-contractor agreement.
VI. Permitting and Approvals: The contractor submits the construction documents to the building department to obtain all necessary permits for construction. A-MDM will address any questions or comments from the contractor or local permitting officials during this phase.
VII. Getting it Built [Construction Administration]: During construction A-MDM acts as the owner's representative agent. We assist the client and contractor regarding the interpretation and clarification of documents and/or design intentions. We make regular site visits to review progress, workmanship, and quality. We approve contractor shop drawings, respond to a request for additional information, and determine the direction for any necessary changes. A-MDM normally reviews construction progress prior to certifying owner/bank payments to the contractor and maintains the authority to reject work that does not conform to the design documents. Consistent communication must be maintained throughout the construction process.
VIII. Finishing Up [Project Closeout]: Upon substantial completion of construction A-MDM will inspect the work with the owner to check conformance with the design documents and verify any work to be completed or corrected by the contractor prior to final payment.