Untold Story of Architecture Phase
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+ Comments Untold Story of Architecture Phase - 2009-11-08 15:02:52

Architects profession regarded as one of sexist job, but it requires tremendous labor intensive mouse clicking one’s hand. There are four different phases which requires different communication skills and special knowledge. However, it has not been well told to the public. Acknowledging this fact; A/O conducted a numerous questioning to the fellow architects and came up with a comic story line. The following might be the simplest way to tell unknown stories to client and even architects who has experienced all four different phases. Those are SD (Schematic Design) DD (Design Development), CD (Construction Document) and CA (Construction Administration).

Schematic Design
This is the stage when architect’s design intents are introduced to a client. Usually, owner of firm comes up with conceptual ideas. They do a concept sketch with client and employed architects, especially specialized graphic “cad monkeys” produce a set of drawings about how’s building is going to sit on site, and how building is going to look like. Basically, it is set of pictorial communication drawing between a client and architect. Sexy images with cool looking suit are requirement.

Design Development
DD is about drawings for architect’s own and coordination drawings with other consultant such as structure, lighting, acoustic, landscape, MEP (mechanical, electric and plumbing) whoever are on board. Architect should know where to ask right consultants. In DD phase, everything should be coordinated as much as possible. Also 20+ years of technically oriented architect should be on board for design team to orchestrate coordination early as possible unless otherwise later on, architects are going to point fingers each other – “damn you”

Construction Document
It is usually called as a construction document. However, this is a “contract documents” between client and contractors. It should show all the design intent - details of everything. At this stage, “specification” comes along with contract which tells about all the recipes of buildings and how to play the game when it is under construction; for an example, expensive material always rules. Usually, young architectural designer who just got out school tends do a drafting for “the master of detailer” for 20 hours a day for about 3 months in worst case scenario. They realized they have been fooled and begin to think about other professions.

Construction Administration
At this stage, people think that architects just check up the drawings and site. But, that is just a glimpse of it. This is about all about fine tuning process between contractors with architect with another drawing set which is called “shop drawings.” Realistically, this is another set of construction document. Sometime, a number of prime-contractors go up to nineteen along with more than one hundred sub- contractors. Suddenly, architects become a king of food chain. But, even within circle of architects who has not had experience, they think that phase is not cool moment. They are totally “dumb.” Moreover, architects are beginning to know the work they did in CD does not work. Believe it or not, a super control freak architecture firm tends to spend more than 40% architectural fees in this stage.

There is another drawing which majority of architects are never going to see it after “shop drawings.” It is a “fabrication drawing.”