Sustainable/ green architects in Concord, CA


Once construction documents (CDs) are complete or close to completion, the architect can help the client bid the project with contractors. Some clients may have a contractor they wish to work with or will prefer to bid the project on their own.

The purpose of the bid is to obtain the most competitive pricing possible from various contractors to provide services to construct the building. Some clients will base the winning bid on the lowest bid or purely on a perception that a good working relationship can be obtained with a particular bidder.

Regardless of the bid process, the architect will need to prepare a "Bid Set" of documents. A bid set is not necessarily 100% CDs (it can be). 100% CDs is what are normally refered to as the final drawings. These are what the contractor will use to build and the final building permit will be based on

Construction Administration (CA)
Is a process whereby the architect will assist the client administer the construction contract to ensure that the design intent contained within the contract documents are followed.

Many residential clients tend to forgo the architects services during this process to save money. However it should be noted that the architect works for the client to maintain the quality of the project and to ensure what is built is true to the design and documentation. After all the architect acts as an agent for the client and is not a vendor, which a contractor technically is. The architect has worked with you on the design and would very much like to see that it is built according to the intent of the design. If a contractor suggest that a material be substituted for another, how would the client know if the product is equal, has a cost savings to them or if it maybe totally disastrous for the design or vice versa?

What we have describe above is a brief snapshot of a residential design project. Obviously no two projects are the same and different architects may choose to deliver a project differently.

How long will the design process take?
Schedules usualyl vary and are based on the project's complexity. An architect can prepare a project schedule that shows a timeline for submittals throughout the design process. It depends on the owner's schedule, their timeliness in reviewing/ responding and the regulating agency (planning/ building department) process.

You may have a lengthy design review process in your community or your local building department may send all drawings to a third party reviewer to review the drawings. Remember that you play a large part in the design process. Consider the different phases as noted previously. The client has to review the drawings at the end of each phase and make timely decisions (approve the design or make changes) before the architect can progress on the design.
If you are considering a custom home beware the architect/ designer who throws out a timeline for a project based on a preliminary description from you. If a home is meant to be custom fitted to you, and if the program has not really been worked out, how could they know how long it would take? It's a process and they haven't even taken the time to really understand what your needs are.

A preliminary schedule can be provided once a few factors that have been listed in other sections of this FAQ are understood. But it is important to be flexible on both the architect and the client's part.
That being said, sometimes there will be situations where a client has a set schedule by which to complete a project. In situations like those, the architect will attempt to do so unless in their opinion it isn't possible or would result in substandard performance.

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-last updated March 30,2010