Hord Architects is a full service architecture firm.  We are responsible for providing architecture and basic engineering services for our clients. Click for further descriptions - Architecture, Planning, Interior Design & Additional Services.





From initial site selection to project close-out, we serve all of our clients’ needs.  The typical phases of architectural work are as follows:

Programming - This involves determining the scope of a project through a series of face-to-face meetings and dialogue. Programming, sometimes called visioning, includes establishing goals and objectives. We use a series of critical questions to gather important information about a building’s requirements. This process results in a written architectural program that defines the components of the project including sizes, adjacencies, and other prerequisites. It could be considered the recipe for the building. The total square footage is established, which can be used to get the first estimate of project cost. During this phase, a land survey should be acquired if not already available. Hord Architects can assist in ordering a land survey by providing our checklist for data to be included. Investing in a thorough survey is a critical success factor. 

Schematic Design - This is the initial design phase and often begins with a site analysis to graphically depict the site conditions to be considered during design. We like to produce more than one initial solution at a conceptual level and often present multiple ideas to our clients in our first design meeting. This allows the owner to be part of the design process and convey their thoughts and desires. One scheme is chosen, and we will complete the site plan, floor plan, and elevation of the building. These drawings are large format, in color, and are suitable for presentation and fundraising. These drawings, along with supplemental information, can be used for obtaining an estimate of probable cost from a general contractor. Accompanied with civil engineering drawings, the schematic design drawings are suitable for site plan approvals.  During schematic design, a geotechnical engineering report is ordered by the owner to learn more about subsurface conditions of the site. 

Design Development - This is the phase where preliminary structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing plans are created. The architecture drawings include building sections, more detailed plan enlargements, all elevations, and initial material schedules. As the plans develop, the drawings are reviewed by the owner to ensure the systems of the building will be suitable. The owner will be informed about the HVAC system, power locations, building materials, and general plan development. These drawings should be used for estimating by the general contractor and subcontractors; however, this will not yet result in a final bid price. 

Construction Documents - This phase of work is typically the most time consuming phase of architecture and engineering work. It entails all the construction details, drawings, and written specifications for the project.  All materials and systems are fully described or detailed in these drawings and specifications. They are often called Contract Documents, because they become equal parts of the contract for construction between the owner and the general contractor or construction manager. Our philosophy is to produce considerable detail in our documents, resulting in better cost estimating and fewer change order requests during construction. This level of detail requires significant time and an appropriate fee to accomplish the work. It is an investment which pays for itself, multiple times over, during construction. 

Permitting and Final Pricing - The Construction Documents are filed for plan review by the local code enforcement office and other agencies. While this process is taking place, the documents can be bid by contractors. The architects and engineers will address the code review comments required to obtain the permits. Any adjustments required by the code officials must be considered before establishing a guaranteed maximum price and executing a contract.

Construction Administration - The architects and engineers stay involved during the construction phase.  We assist the contractors with any clarifications and questions. We also review the contractor’s shop drawings and material submittals before ordered. Other typical responsibilities include making site visits, writing field reports, reviewing any change order requests, and reviewing the contractor’s monthly pay applications. The site visits are not to be confused with supervision, which is provided by the contractor’s superintendent. The final tasks of the A & E team are to prepare a punch list and review close-out documents. 

All of the above services are described in more detail in the Standard AIA Agreements.