We will work closely with you to understand your requirements and discuss how we can provide the appropriate architectural services at each stage of your project. We work on a variety of project types, and understand that every new project presents unique challenges and opportunities. At the same time we understand that the needs and requirements of each new client are different from the last.
Following your initial enquiry, for a nominal fee, we will generally arrange a site visit to meet up and discuss your project. This conversation would touch on topics such as the scale and extent, outline budget, timescales and what services we can provide that would be best tailored to your project needs.
Once we have carried out this meeting, we are able would develop a fee proposal, which if agreed will form the bases of our appointment as your architect.
Here we set out the strategy and define the roles required for the project. We build on the initial site visit in setting out the targets you wish to achieve for the outcome of the project.
If required, surveys and investigations of the site are carried out at this stage and these may include things such as a measured building survey, planning history, local planning policy including need to live requirements and other possible requirements like below ground utility searches.
Costings will be discussed but it is important note that if a Quantity Surveyor has not been appointed at this stage any budget costs discussed are notional and for internal design purposes only and may not reflect accurate current build costing estimates.
Once the brief is agreed the design process can move forward.
At Work Stage 2 the design begins in earnest. We start the process of transforming the brief from text into a set of sketches. This in turn pushes the design forward through further discussions as the concept evolves. Precedents and preferences are explored. Analysis of the site and context are carried out that inform the design. If not carried out stage 1 a detailed survey by a third party of the site will be required prior to design work commencing so we have all the data we require at the earliest moment. Costing will be considered again throughout this stage. As noted in Stage 1, unless a QS is engaged with the estimates are guides only.
Work Stage 2 will conclude with a sketch package that both client and GOFA are satisfied with and that the has concept design arrived at is in line with the agreed brief, typically by the third to fourth iteration of the design to ensure the design has been well considered under the brief and its local context. At this point either a pre-planning meeting with local authority will be requested (if planning is required for the project) or if not, then the design is signed off on as a concept. The design can then to progress to the next stage of development.
Stage 3 builds upon the development of the conceptual design proposal into a body of work that will culminate in the submission of a planning application where required. At this stage we recommend additional consultants be nominated to form the design team from the required disciplines.
We will produce digital format floor plans, elevations, sections along 3D visualisations of the design proposal to further develop the design and refine the project brief.
GOFA can produce a 3D interactive model and virtual reality experience so you can immerse yourself within the design. If planning is not required stage 3 would end here with sign off of the final developed design.
Where planning is required, GOFA will produce a set of planning drawings to the specific criteria of the local authority requirements based on the agreed final design. All relevant planning documentation will be also produced at this point and consolidated into a planning package. This package will contain any additional reports by consultants that may be required. We will submit the planning application to the relevant local authority and manage the planning process.
A request for further information may be required from the planning authority. This will require additional work to produce and respond to this request. A fee would be agreed on any additional works prior to their commencement.
A submission to An Bord Pleanala may also be required in the event of a decision you may not agree with, or a third party may submit on your application. A report would be generated and submitted within the statutory time frame. GOFA would agree a fee prior to any additional works being carried out.
Stage 4 begins once a final grant of planning has been issued by the local authority or if planning was not required, once a signed off design at Stage 3 has been agreed by all. A design team of consultants can be nominated at this stage including but not limited to a Quantity Surveyor, an Engineer, specialists.
Under tradition procurement, the information GOFA will generate at the detailed design stage will allow a contractor to accurately price the project when either tendering for the project or if the builder has been predetermined by the client. GOFA will develop a tender package which will be issued to the agreed tender list with a specified deadline, typically a minimum 4 weeks. Upon return of the tender the quotes will be discussed with GOFA, the client and the QS.
Pre-appointment: Following your initial enquiry – prior to being appointed – we will visit the site and meet with you to discuss the project and your requirements. In this initial meeting we will also discuss your budget, and timescales for the project; as well as explaining which services we can provide and which services are appropriate for your project. Following the initial meeting we will compile a fee proposal and a schedule of services which – if agreed – will form the basis of our appointment as your architect. Generally speaking we do not charge for services at the pre-appointment stage.
Once appointed we will compile a more detailed project programme and we will formalise the ‘Strategic Brief’ for the project.
Prior to this stage all design work will be completed. GOFA will liaise with the design team during the mobilisation for construction as meeting co-ordinator and chair meetings throughout the process. GOFA will become Contract administrator for this phase of the project. We will provide a set of construction drawings following series discussions and meetings with all relevant parties including the selected contractor. A pre contract meeting will be held to set out this phase. GOFA will issue final construction drawings, details and specifications and we will prepare a contract for both parties to sign. With the programme in place the start date can be agreed, and a commencement notice can be lodged with local authority. GOFA will monitor site works to ensure they are carried out to the design intent.
Under a traditional form of procurement, after the construction works are certified as Practically Complete, there is normally a Defects Liability Period (typically between 3 months and a year). Any defects must be recorded at the end of this period and rectified by the Contractor. At this stage we will compile a schedule of defects for rectification by the Contractor.
A retention is held from the Contractor until the end of the Defects Liability Period. Once the Contractor has rectified any defects we will issue an Architect’s Certificate for the payment of the retentions. At the end of this stage, once the Contractor has fulfilled their obligations, we will issue the Final Account and our Final Certificate for the Works.
You may require additional services after the completion of your project. We do not normally provide a fee for this stage at the outset of a project but can provide these services on an as-need basis if required