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At the first stage, the architect receives an initial statement of requirements, budget and details of lease if there is any. Site visits and investigation, land survey are carried out to collect sufficient information on soil condition for foundation, surrounding buildings and environment, availability and location of building services. He then makes preliminary calculations of development potential as allowed by statutory regulations. Possible course of action is outlined and the need for a quantity surveyor and other consultants is advised. The architect has to consent with client to the basis of charging fees in order to avoid confusion in the later stages. Sufficient detail regarding client's brief should be developed for subsequent stages to begin.
At this stage, the architect mainly deals with the client may also consults government departments to obtain information regarding land matters, lease conditions and town planning. After all the analysis, he will come up with a Schedule of Accommodation summarizing the users, areas, volumes and specific requirements base on client's needs.
Further to initial inception, the architect receives amended statements, budget and other information and makes a detailed investigation into the restrictions imposed by relevant authorities and government statues, which may lead to modification or conversion of the lease conditions when necessary. Preliminary sketches are prepared to illustrate the initial idea of the overall form. Approximation of the cost, statement on the need for consultants, outline of timetable and suggestion on procedure of contract are also prepared by the architect.
Depending on the nature of the project, the architect may have to check as well the availability of services like MTR, site and surroundings like topography and vegetation, access, vicinity usage, any common right with adjoining property, licensing requirement, geotechnical issues, existing structures and design possibilities. Different parties like client, government departments (Lands, Planning, Building, Water Supply, Drainage Services, Fire Services, Electrical and Mechanical Services), geotechnical and structural consultants, land surveyor, quantity surveyors on cost estimation, and even contractors (if Design and Build contract is employed) may be involved in this stage.
After analyzing information collected, the architect produces sketch design to illustrate the proposed solution. Collaboration on design proposal is carried out with quantity surveyors and consultants, and the construction cost is estimated. Various aspects regarding the design including user requirement, environmental, social and psychological factors should be concerned by the architect, with reference to similar buildings.
A further developed design should be achieved at this stage, with drawings and outline specifications showing internal spatial arrangements, materials and external appearance, through adequate communication and coordination with quantity surveyors and consultants. A project report, cost estimation and cost plan prepared by the quantity surveyor, and project timetable should be approved by the client. The architect should have well prepared the plans and calculations ready to be submitted to relevant statutory bodies and the Building Authority regarding general drawings, site formation, demolition and hoardings. If necessary, the architect can modify zoning or other use in the Statutory Town Plan, under the Town Planning Ordinance to the Town Planning Board. In addition, master layout plans will be required to be submitted to the Lands Department depending on the scale of the project.
The architect is dealing with the client, statutory bodies and Building Authority on plans submission, Lands Department on master layout plan issues, quantity surveyors, consultants, adjoining owners and government on property matters and Town Planning Board on town planning issues.
Once the drawings are ready, they are submitted to the Building Authority in this stage and further amended for approval. Design and estimates input by consultants, specialist subcontractors and suppliers are incorporated into the design and specification. Besides, tender drawings including location, assembly, component, details and schedules, and specification are prepared in details for pricing. These drawings may later be used as construction drawings while some are further developed into shop drawings by the contractors. Information for bills of quantities should be obtained and the quantity surveyor has to cost check and prepare production drawings. Architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical drawings and the bills of quantities will then become the main part of the tender document.
All the contractual matters, insurance and surety bond should be advised by the architect to the client. Suitable contractors are selected and recommended to be included in the tender list, the contract and appointment of the contractor is prepared and advised. The architect works closely with the client, quantity surveyor, Building Authority, government, specialist subcontractors, suppliers and consultants in this stage.
At the last stage, the client gives out instruction on acceptance of tenders, the architect gets the consent to commence work from the Building Authority, supplies information to the contractor, arranges possession of the site, examines the contractor's programme which enables planning and coordination, and gives instructions to contractors. The architect should carry out site inspection, observing, noting and testing periodically. If there is no quantity surveyor, he should valuate the work done and materials from time to time.
Relevant certificates are issued by the architect. When the building is physically completed, he has to accept the building on behalf of the client, issue Certificate of Practical Completion, provide scale drawings illustrating the main drainage lines and obtain drawings of other services, and advise initial maintenance guidance. At the end of the defects liability period which is usually 6 months to 1 year, a schedule of defects is prepared. And a Certificate of Making Good Defects is issued when the defects are made satisfactory. A priced Bill of Variation should also be prepared if a quantity surveyor is not employed. The government, client, quantity surveyor, architect, consultants and contractors are mainly involved.