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dh2w, inc, architecture - planning
Michigan City, IN

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Informative Articles 

The experts at dh2w, inc, architecture – planning in Michigan City, IN help you make an
informed decision by proving informative articles on design, construction and the costs involved. Please read below.

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What Does An Architect Do? 

Simply put, an architect is a person who designs aesthetically pleasing buildings and oversees the entire process of getting the building constructed, working on behalf of the Owner/Client.

The Architect’s responsibilities for the typical non-residential project include:

1) Meeting with Owner/Client to view existing site conditions in order to determine the program (scope, priorities, and needs for your unique project) and explore the possibilities of the design, including possible heating and ventilation systems.

2) Preparing Presentation Design studies along with a Statement of Probable Construction Cost for the Owner/Client to review through multiple meetings.

3) Producing Construction Documents, working drawings (drawings from which the project is bid) and specifications book (describing materials, equipment, workmanship, etc. and determine bidding alternatives), upon Owner/Client’s written approval of the design and budget.

4) Prepare a revised Statement of Probable Construction Cost and consider possible
Alternates to Bids.

5) Submit plans and specifications to the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office for Building
Code Review. This review is necessary in order to assure the Owner/Client that the project
is designed with proper attention to fire safety standards and to eventually obtain
Permit to Occupy.  

6) Release drawings and specifications to potential bidders, assist in obtaining bids or
negotiated proposals, and assist in awarding construction contract, including the writing of
the contract.

7) During the Construction Phase, the Architect acts as the Owner/Client’s representative to assure that the building is constructed in accordance with the drawings by:

a) Preparing supplemental drawings as needed, review the Contractor’s Schedule of Value, shop drawings, and material sample and equipment.

b) Periodically visits are made to the site to review the progress and quality of work to assure that the plans and specifications are followed for structural integrity, aesthetics, energy efficiency and mechanical/electrical/HVAC integrity.


c) Reviewing the Contractor’s Monthly Application for Payment, require lien waivers from subcontractors, and submit the reviewed request to the Owner/Client for payment.

d) Preparing Change Orders during the construction progress of changes that must be authorized and approved by the Owner/Client in advance, in writing.

e) Determining the date of Substantial Completion by conducting a walk thru of the project with the Owner/Client and Contractor for any work that may needs attention.

f) Preparing a “punch list” of work remaining and determining a Final Completion date.

g) Receiving, reviewing, and forwarding the Owner/Client, written guarantees and maintenance manuals required and issue the Final Certificate for Payment.

8) At this point, the one year guarantee period begins. Approximately 30 days prior to the end of this period, the Owner/Client, Architect, and Contractor will again walk thru the project to discover any deficiencies that may have arisen. This walk thru happens whether or not any deficiencies have been noted during the year. This is part of the Architect’s Contract; there is no additional cost to the Owner/Client.

In summary, the Architect provides the Owner/Client with professional services in building design, structure, color coordination, landscaping, energy conservation, electrical/mechanical design and all the consultants required to provide you with the best building within the program and budget specified. The Architect also provides assistance in making necessary choices. The Architect can point out where funds for the project must, should, and could be spent to ensure the achievement of the vision, needs, and wants of each Owner/Client’s unique project.  

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What Is Affordable Architecture?

Construction and design of a new project or remodel can be more expensive without the help of an architect. This article defines what we believe are some of the most valuable ways an architect can make design and construction of a home, church or business affordable.

Affordable Architecture
by W. Douglas Gilpin, Jr., AIA*

As interest rates and lumber prices continue to fluctuate, the potential home buyer is constantly looking for the best price and the best value in today's residential market. While most try to find a lot with a wonderful view and close proximity to shopping and schools, few consider the benefits of using an architect when they are ready to build their home.


Most home buyers believe they cannot afford an architect, but it is an interesting fact to note that many of our best-designed and truly functional low-income and affordable housing residences were designed by local architects. Too much emphasis is placed on the high-styled homes of the rich and famous, featured in national magazines. All we have to do is look at the talent of area architects to realize that, for a small percentage of the total cost of the land,
improvements, and home furnishings, the service of an architect will greatly pay for itself
during the course of ownership.

Following are just a few areas where an architect can be helpful in the design and construction of a new home:

An architect can assist in the selection of a lot by analyzing each parcel that a home buyer is considering, and recommending the best in terms of value and buildability.

An architect can assist in the placement and siting of the home on the lot. Not only can the architect direct a home buyer toward the best views, but he or she can also advise as to the best orientation for ventilation and daylight, thereby lowering energy cost. An architect will design a home based on the topography of the site, reducing or eliminating the need for earthmoving equipment to reshape the parcel. Many an "unbuildable" site has been successfully challenged by an architectural design, allowing the home buyer to purchase the lot at a reduced price.

Architects make it their job to keep abreast of new developments in technology, whether it be in regards to wood framing, energy efficiency, or fixtures. For example, the new wood "I" joists being used extensively in area building today were being specified by architects 15 years ago.

The architect completes the three-part team comprised of home buyer, builder, and architect, and can serve as direct liaison to the contractor, freeing the client from lengthy site visits and confusing finish selections. The positive working relationship between architect and builder encourages the exchange of new ideas and concepts, achieving positive results and savings for the home buyer.

Your home buyer will have a positive memory of you, the builder, years down the road when they are ready to sell their home and can attach "architect designed" to a real estate description, perhaps bringing more interest to the property.

* Reprinted with permission from Northwest Indiana Builder/Architect April/May 2002