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Regular Design Services

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What are Regular Design Services?

These are the basic services a Registered and Licensed Architect (RLA) can provide to any prospective client. Simply put, this is the typical bread and butter of being a professional architect.

Regular Design Services, as defined by the United Architect of the Philippines (UAP) Standards of Professional Practice (SPP) Document 202, is when the architect "translates the Owner's needs and requirements to spaces and forms in the best manner of professional service".

Given any architectural or construction endeavour, an architect shall be the prime professional an owner shall consult given his diverse design expertise and knowledge about building systems, features, and applications.

The architect then will be responsible for communicating and collaborating with other specialized professionals in their specific areas of expertise to develop the optimal composition of the structure with regards to the client's needs. In short, the client need only to communicate and work directly with the architect, and he will be the one to take care of all technical requirements for the project by working alongside other allied professionals.



What is the scope of Regular Design Services?

Referring back to the UAP SPP Document 202, the answer is as follows: "The Architect's work starts at the inception of the project when the Owner outlines his requirements to the Architect. The work covers the various aspects of the project, from analysis and study of the needs and requirements - to the preparation of the necessary instruments of service, and finally to the supervision during project implementation. It ends only when the general contractor or builder turns over the completed project to the Owner." 

Being the prime professional of the project, the architect must oversee everything in the building process right from its inception, up to its completion.

Previously, we understood that the architect, in providing his regular design services, takes into account the client's needs and requirements for the project. In order to do that, the architect must already be playing an active role in the project's formation. This part in the design process is called the Project Definition Phase, and it is when the clients declare all of their needs and requirements for the building endeavour, as well as consult with the architect to formulate a conceptual framework that will help in organizing different ideas, as well as tackling design problems resulting from said requirements.

Based on the parameters of the project and the established conceptual framework, the architect then prepares schemes to present the client as his solutions. This is called the Schematic Design Phase.

Once a client has chosen a presented scheme for their project, the architect will then develop this scheme to come up with a more refined version, finalizing the overall character as well as the kinds of architectural, engineering, and speciality systems to be used. This stage is called the Design Development Phase.

Again, once approved by the client, the architect will then collaborate with the different allied professionals to prepare their respective design and construction drawings, as well as specifications, as communication tools in constructing the project as it was designed. These documents are also needed in obtaining a building permit, along with forms to be accomplished by the respective professionals. This stage is called the Contract Document Phase.

While waiting for the processing of the building permit, the client can now look for a contractor to build the project, or choose to hold a bidding process. The Architect shall assist the client throughout the bidding process, such as preparing the Bid Documents, conducting pre-bid conferences, analyzing the bid results, and awarding. This stage is called the Bid or Negotiation Phase.

Once the client and the contractor have entered into a contract, the construction may commence, and the architect must make periodic site visits to ensure the quality and integrity of the work in accordance with the Contract Documents. If ever there are deficiencies in the contractor's work, the architect shall inform the client. The architect also has the power to evaluate the construction progress in accordance with the contract documents to determine the amount of payment due to the contractor. This stage is called the Construction Phase.

Once the contractor has completed their contractual obligations and finished constructing the building 100% according to the Contract Documents, they can successfully turn-over the project to the owner, and the scope of the architect's Regular Design Services also ends.


Next Steps...

Now that you know more about the architect's standard professional service, you are now mentally prepared on what to expect in undertaking your project. The items discussed above are by no means comprehensive but can be explained further by the architect by scheduling a meeting to discuss it in the context of your project.