These are my ideas on how an architect should be selected. I am not a fan of the usual competitions, RFQs, RFPs, and presentations that are used most of the time. I think these methods distract from what is important - the criteria for quality, schedule, and budget.
You might find a use for this article in your work. Feel free to copy and modify it to suit your needs.
Any architect can design a building for you, but not every architect can give you the building that you need and that you can afford.
These are the recommended steps for finding the right architect for your project.
Decide if you will have a Building Committee. The committee should consist of five to ten people. No Contractors. No Lawyers. No Architects. All executive types used to running things. One third to all of the members should be staff of your organization.
Set The Goals For The Project
Setting the goals for your project tells you what the architect will need to do. Establishing goals after you hire the architect reduces the success of your project by at least 30%.
The areas in which you need goals are:
Space Needs - What kind of spaces do you need? How many of each? How large?
Context / Site Needs - What does the location of your project need to respect and/or resolve?
Constraints - What hurdles do you foresee? Special approvals, zoning, deadline, etc.
Budget - What is the total amount of money available for everything - construction, design, and other soft costs.
Schedule - When does the project need to be complete? What processes need to be accommodated, e.g. raising money?
Form your selection committee, which could be just one person or a small group of two to three (the fewer the better). The selection committee should be key members of the building committee that was involved in setting the goals for the project. Once you form your selection committee, the selection process has four steps.
B) INITIAL INTERVIEW
C) FOLLOW UP INTERVIEW
This process undoubtedly takes more effort, but the success of your project requires it. Think of it as 'due diligence'. You are about to make a major expenditure, and the firm that you select will be in charge of spending your money.
You may not agree with everything in my selection process. But your version of the architect selection process would make a great addition to your website.
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