Architecture Design

HM Studios’ architectural design team works on a range of commercial and residential projects, from consultation to turn-key architecture projects. Our designs incorporate functionalism, constructability, and beauty and are a reflection of the functional and stylistic needs of the user and client. We are an agile architectural practice, with a unique blend of exceptional experience, design quality and project leadership.

Architectural Services List

– Urban Planning and Design

– Architectural Design

– Structural Design

– Interior Design (learn more)

– Landscape Design

– Electromechanical Design

– Estimating and Specification

Design Phases

Our industry has been around for a long time, and with that has come some standards for how we practice. Although technology and codes lead to occasional changes, the general principles stay the same. The most important thing to understand is that getting a project designed and built is a process, it takes time. Decisions are not made all at once, but throughout the course of a project.

  • Programming

    Identifying user values, goals, and objectives

  • Conceptual Thinking

    Conceptual-design services vary depending on the complexity of a project and the experience of the owner. Most owners need our experience and research capabilities to determine the project’s requirements.

  • Schematic Design

    Schematic design begins in rough form as sketches, floor plan studies, and 3d visuals. Several owner/designer meetings are typical during this phase to make decisions and determine a direction for the design to evolve. At the end of this phase it is common to have the following documents:

    1. Site Plan A drawing depicting the buildings location on the site and zoning regulations.
    2. Floor Plans Drawings of each floor showing the size and locations of the various rooms/functions.
    3. Key Elevations Drawings of appropriate building sides (elevations) to convey conceptual design direction for the project.
    4. Key Sections Building cut through drawings depicting the heights and relationships of the various floors and roof.
    5. Area Analysis A summary of the sizes of the various rooms/functions in the building.
    6. Renderings or Model 3D renderings or a physical model depicting the overall look of the building.
    7. Preliminary Cost A rough estimate by a contractor of the cost of construction based Estimate on the current building design.

    The preceding list of drawings may still be rough in nature at the end of this phase. Their intent is primarily to determine a design direction with which to proceed into the next phase.

  • Design Development

    The design development phase includes finalizing the size of the rooms and spaces, refining the look, selecting materials, determining the systems, and deciding on door and window types and locations. This phase may also include several owner/designer meetings, which are critical to finalizing decisions so the detailed documentation can begin in the next phase.

    SYSTEMS CONSULTANTS
    During this phase the systems consultants design and draw up their portions of the work. For a list of potential consultants, see the consultant coordination section of this guide. Our job is to coordinate the work of these various consultants and implement their drawings into the design.

    DOCUMENTS
    At the end of the design development phase the documents from the schematic design phase have been updated in further detail. It is common to also have the following documents:

    Outline Specification: Preliminary written description of the project’s major systems and materials.
    Key Interior Elevations: Drawings depicting the relationship and material choices of the project’s interior rooms.
    Reflected Ceiling Plans: Drawings of the ceiling depicting locations of lighting, equipment, & level changes.
    Interior Schedules: A preliminary list of the type and location of interior finishes.
    Key Details: Preliminary Large scale drawings of specific elements within the project.
    Systems Consultants’ Drawings: May include structural, civil, and mechanical drawings.
    Revised Cost Estimate: A revised estimate by a contractor of the cost of construction based on the current building design.

  • Construction Documents

    The construction documents phase (blue prints) involves adding a level of detail and technical information to the design documents so a contractor has a set of instructions to build the project as designed. It also includes selecting and finalizing interior finishes, plumbing fixtures, appliances and decorative light fixtures. This phase is when the architect and consultants work through the technical aspects of the project.

    DOCUMENTS
    At the end of the phase the documents from the schematic design and design development phases should be updated in full detail. Additional documents will also be created and can vary depending on the scope of the project. A completed construction document set is highly technical and extensive and may include:

    Site Plan: A drawing depicting the buildings location on the site.
    Floor Plans: Drawings of each floor showing the size and locations of the various rooms /functions.
    Key Elevations: Drawings of appropriate building sides to convey conceptual design direction for the project.
    Key Details: Large scale drawings of specific elements within the project
    Key Sections: Building cut through drawings depicting the heights and relationships of the various floors and roof.
    Outline Specification: Written description of the project’s major systems and materials
    Key Interior Elevations: Drawings depicting the relationship and material choices of the project’s interior rooms.
    Reflected Ceiling Plans: Drawings of the ceiling depicting locations of lighting, equipment,& level changes.
    Interior Schedules: A list of the type and location of interior finishes.
    Consultants’ Drawings: May include structural, civil, and mechanical drawings.

  • Bidding & Negotiation

    When it comes to hiring the contractor the owner typically has two choices:

    1. NEGOTIATION
      You may have already selected a contractor based on qualifications, capabilities and/or referrals. If this is the case, the contractor will put the drawings out to bid with multiple subcontractors at this time. Typically, 90% of the project is competitively bid. The contractor will then select the best bids from the subcontractors, and put together an overall project bid. The owner can then negotiate the terms with the contract including their fee and if there is a guarantee max price.
    2. BIDDING
      If you did not get a contractor involved in the design phase, the next step is putting the drawings and specification out to bid with two or more contractors. We will help preselect contractors who are a good fit for your project. We will then assist the owner in evaluate the contractor’s bids. Please note bidding is still an option even if you selected a contractor during the design process. However, if you end up selecting another contractor, it is customary to pay the contractor for the time they put up front in the design.

    WHICH METHOD IS BETTER?
    There are positives and negatives to both processes. Either way, it’s important to determine the method of contractor selection early in the process. HMH can help you determine which method is right for you.

    PERMITTING
    During this phase the project is submitted to the local building department for a plan check, which is the process by which city agencies review the submitted documents for compliance to the zoning and regulation codes. The owner will be required to pay a fee to the city when the documents are submitted. The time frame varies depending on your project’s size, complexity and the speed of the local jurisdiction.

  • Contract Administration

    THE OWNER’S AGENT

    Construction administration is as important as all of the other phases. There is a lot of information the contractor and sub contractors need to process. During this phase, we act as the owner’s agent and provide the following services:

    OBSERVATION SERVICES
    We will set up regular meetings with the contractor to observe the work for general conformance with the construction documents. We will also work with the contractor to answer questions and resolve design issues that naturally arise during construction.

    REVIEW SUBMITTALS, SHOP DRAWINGS AND WORK WITH FABRICATORS
    There will be many products that will be purchased for you home that need to be reviewed in detail, we review these for consistency with the specifications, and make additional selections and decision as needed. We also work with fabricators such as the cabinetmakers, finish carpenter, tile installer, etc. to refine minor details during construction.

    SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTATION
    As needed, we will provide supplemental documents to clarify design intent for the contractor.

    HANDLE REQUESTS FOR CHANGES
    The contractor, architect, or owner may need to change something during construction. The architect can administer this process and prepare the necessary document revisions.

    PUNCH LIST
    The punch list takes place when the contractor states that they are finished with construction. It is the contractor’s punch list and we aid the contractor by walking the site and pointing out items that do not meet the drawing standards.

  • Agency Representation

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)

  • 3D Computer Modeling & Rendering

  • 3D Animation & Walkthrough

  • Cost Budgeting & Control

  • Marketing Materials

IT ALL STARTS WITH AN IDEA