The 6 phases of an architectural project

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This post is dedicated to all you who have a project in mind but do not know very well how to proceed in the world of architecture, or at least it is not entirely clear in your mind.

If you’ve always had the dream of building your own house or if you have a burning desire to become a great promoter / builder and raise large hotels and luxury villas from their foundations, this is something you must know.

So… How is an architectural project developed?

Well, the architect’s work is developed in phases, usually being 6, although some of them can be joined into one, or simply to ask the architect not to do that task.

Let’s see what would be the phases of a “complete project”:

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PHASE 1. DEFINITION OF CUSTOMER NEEDS AND ARCHITECT’S FEE PROPOSAL

Or easier, this phase answers two questions:

What do you need? and How much is the architect’s fee for it?

As you can see, it is a phase prior to any project and you will always go through it.

You have to know that, although there are architects of all colors, flavors and fees, this is usually free, at the end of the day is a prior communication between the architect and the developer.

An example:

1.- You have saved some money and have always wanted a detached house with two floors, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 living-open kitchen, 1 small garden, 1 garage and a beautiful sloping roof. Also you don’t want to spend more than € 250,000.

2.- A little later you find your ideal architect, since you have done your homework on how to choose an architect, so that you tell your plans about the house. *

3.- The architect then gets down to work. Analyzes the legal constraints and urban planning in force, it is important to know whether your dreams are feasible accordance with the rules and after verification that they are, he makes a planning deadlines in project development, calculates its fee proposal, and then writes everything and presents it through a written contract.

4.- You accept the agreement and proceed to the second phase.

 

* Note: The customer usually deliver at this stage a topographic plan and / or Geological and, if necessary, the Architectural plan of the existing buildings.

 

PHASE 2. PREVIOUS STUDIES OR PRELIMINARY PROJECT

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This is a creative phase, the architect, with your help if you desire so and considering the your needs from the first phase, develops a first project, elementary and more or less schematic. Usually it is delivered a preliminary project, consisting on floor plans and elevations with different proposals.

At this stage it can be made models and / or basic three-dimensional simulations of the proposals for the promoter, so you can understand better if you are not used to read plans. Ideally, in order to proceed to the next stage, you may choose one of the proposals as a “final design” but later modifications may be made.

 

PHASE 3. BASIC PROJECT / LICENSE APPLICATION

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In this phase the architect get his team ready and develop the so-called Basic project (PB), consistent with the requirements proposed in previous phases. The PB, as its name suggests, is a project that does not go deeper than necessary to make the request for the license, but must contain at least some technical information such as:

 

1.- Descriptive and constructive memory.

2.- Proof of CTE compliance (Technical Building Code), for this phase usually consists of the DB SI (Fire Safety)

3.- Site plans, floor plans, elevations …

4.- Summary budget (important for determining the cost of the license)

 

By delivering the PB, begins the process of license approval by the respective City Council.

If all goes well, within a specified period of time depending on each municipality, the license will be granted and we may proceed to Phase 3. *

 

* Note: It’s not strange that phases 3 and 4 come together into one.

 

PHASE 4. EXECUTION PROJECT / MEASUREMENTS AND BUDGET

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Well, we already have a license or it’s being processed, now the architect must keep working and developing the so-called Execution Project. It is very important the degree of detail and accuracy of this project since:

for obtaining a closed price with a construction company it’s vital to have a detailed Project that defines each material and constructive system in every millimeter.

This also means that measurements have an affinity of 100% with the plans to avoid problems in the future and for the design to be complete (which does not imply an expensive project, but experience tells us that to build something good, expensive or cheap, you have to have a good project), this is fundamental and it is really our specialty in AM Architecture.

In summary, an execution project consists of:

1.- Descriptive Memories.

2.- Constructive memory.

3.- Compliance with the CTE

4.- Compliance with other regulations and provisions.

5.- Anexes.

6.- Execution plans.

7.- PPTP (Technical specifications).

8.- Measurements and budget.

9.- Use and maintenance of the building.

 

PHASE 5. CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SELECTION

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This is a delicate phase, where you will select the builder of the work.

The architect, upon your request, will collaborate at this stage, helping in the analysis of the technical capacity of the various candidates, as well as in the analysis of the budget and deadline for the completion of the work.

After many years we do not get tired to remind our customers that the price is not always the most important factor for choosing a builder, but it is important to combine a broad set of factors for which the promoter is not always qualified.

At this stage the you will also choose a technical Architect or “aparejador”, who will be responsible for the work execution.

In practice, both the construction and architectural firms will offer this service though as advice, we recommend that you hire a surveyor who is not related to any of them.

 

PHASE 6. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND WORK EXECUTION

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Finally, the last phase, in which all the work done so far materializes. Note that the assurance that your project is strictly executed is the duty of your technical architect and architect.

In this phase, the role of the architect is quite wide, from the clarification of builder’s doubts in the interpretation of the project, make additional project documentation, to assist in verifying the quality of materials and execution of work, etc.

The final document of the project and its construction is called “Certificate of end of work”, once signed and approved … the works have been completed and certify that the building is ready for use and enjoy!

 

If you have any doubts, we wait for you on comments… remember we will answer everyone!

 

I am Architect, I started my career in Marbella (Málaga) and I set up my second study in Fuengirola. Currently I help people all around Andalucía to design and build the house of their dreams, accompanying them until the end in this small jungle that is the world of construction.
I will give you all my experience, not only in house designing, but also in the search for construction companies and other professionals that involve most of your budget and I’ll help you choose the best for the best price, for you to save big money.

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