If you are in the position of needing to build, renovate or extend a property in Spain, for example, you will need to obtain planning permission before you begin. This requires the submission to the local authority, usually a municipal town hall, of an architectural project. Such a project will consist of a ‘Memoria’ (written, descriptive report) as well as plans. if you are in the position of needing to build, renovate or extend a property, for example, you will need to obtain planning permission before you begin.
The architectural project can be divided into phases of work, each of which in sequence implies a degree of definition of construction detail according to the place within the sequence that it occupies:
1. Estudi previ – Estudio Previo – Feasibility study
The preliminary phase where the ideas to be developed in the commission are still expressed in schematic and elemental terms by means of sketches or drawings with or without a scale. It includes the collection and organization of the information which is going to be required, the beginnings of a brief and an initial cost estimate (based on modules published by theCOAC) which would allow the client to take an initial decision. This phase is not to be confused with the sketch design for the reason that its scope is much more basic, involving the development of the brief and analysis of any existing documentation which has been provided by the client. The cost estimate can be a global one, based on personal experience of similar jobs.
2. Avantprojecte – Anteproyecto – Sketch Design
The phase of work during which the fundamental aspects of all of the general characteristics of a building are determined, in terms of function, form, building technology and cost, in order to give it its first overall image. It is important to understand that this is a phase which deals with a much lesser level of detail than that of, say, the scheme design. It is limited to establishing an outline cost estimate still based on standard modules by the multiplication of overall floor areas, the difference being that in this phase the floor areas will be a closer approximation to the reality since they will be based on some form of scaled drawings albeit not, as yet, fixed.
3. Projecte bàsic – Proyecto Básico – Scheme Design
The work phase in which the general characteristics of the project are defined in a precise manner by means of adopting and justifying specific solutions. The documentation produced at this stage is sufficient to apply for planning permission as well as any other required authorizations by statutory bodies, but not enough to be able to complete the work on site. Before submission, it will need to be passed (visat, visado) by the COAC.
Sometimes statutory bodies will demand a technical report (projecte tècnic) during the process of the consideration of the planning documentation. If so, since this work is usually part of the Detail Design phase, the fees associated with Scheme Design will be increased in proportion to the amount of additional work submitted.
4. Projecte d’execució – Proyecto de Ejecución – Detail Design
The work phase which elaborates on and develops the Scheme Design, including precise details and specifications for all of the materials, elements, construction systems and building technology. It can be submitted in its entirety before a job starts on site or in stages both before and during the construction process. Its ‘regulatory contents’ are sufficient to allow the project to be passed in order to enable work on site to begin.
The Detail Design documentation does not include any complementary reports which may be required but which do not fall within the architect’s remit or expertise, such as, for example, design of telecommunication or lift installation. Also beyond the scope of the construction drawings and reports are, for example, Health and Safety Reports, interior design including choice of furniture or fittings, landscape design, and in general any work which could be considered independent from the construction project and complementary to it. These additional reports can be realized by other professionals, coordinated by the architect.
Once on site, the Project becomes a key part of the Contract Documents: it contains the agreed scope of the works to be carried out and details the manner in which these works should be undertaken and to what standards. It also contains a chapter which is similar to the UK ‘Bills of Quantities’ – a full description of the precise building elements and their measurements which will enable any builder to provide you a quotation for the construction work. The tender phase is not normally included as part of the architect’s responsibility unless expressly stated. In Spain, clients (‘promotores’) are considered to be responsible for organising their own quotations.
Given the difficulty of finding reliable builders you may wish to take some advice from your architect or other professionals involved in your project.
Once the Contract Sum has been agreed between the client and contractor, the next step is to formally start on site. The town hall normally asks to be informed at this stage, the ‘Inicio de Obra’.
1. Direcció de obra – Site supervision
Article 12 of the LOE describes the site supervisor as the agent who directs the site proceedings in all technical, aesthetic, planning and environmental aspects of a project as part of the design team, in accordance with the construction drawings which, along with the planning permission, other authorizations and the conditions of the contract define its characteristics.
It is possible for professionals other than the architect but legally competent to supervise site work, subject to coordination by the site architect.
2. Liquidació de l’obra – Final Account
During this phase a final balance at the culmination of the work on site is calculated by applying the costs which prevailed at the time of the work on site to the bills of quantities of the building components according to the specification, as supplied by the site supervisor.
The site supervisor must then check the intermediate Certificates which were issued during the construction work as well as the final cost of the realized works.
3. Project Documentation leading to the ‘Final de Obra’ – Completion
Once the work on site is complete, the project architect must sign the Completion of Work Certificate, together with the site architect, along with a description if necessary of all modifications approved during the construction. The site supervisor gives this documentation to the client in order that he may undertake all further steps required to finalise the administration of the project. In order to do this he will therefore need
· As built drawings
· ‘Final de Obra’ certificate
· The maintenance manual for the building
All of these will have been passed by the relevant College of Architectsfirst.
PROJECT DOCUMENTATION TO BE RELEASED AT COMPLETION OF EACH PHASE
Estudi previ – Feasibility study
Outline report containing initial points to be considered
Sketches or drawings to scale or otherwise
Estimate of overall cost
Avantprojecte – Sketch Design
Report containing exposition of generic decisions made
Preliminary plans, elevations and sections to scale
An outline cost estimate possibly based on cost per square metre
Projecte bàsic – Scheme Design
Report containing a description of the general characteristics of the project, having arrived at a specific, defined proposal
Full plans, elevations and sections with dimensions and to scale (normally a scale of 1:100 is acceptable)
A cost estimate according to standard figures published by the COAC
Projecte d’execucuió – Detail Design
Reports for the foundations, structure and functions of the building
Structural and detail drawings. Schematic layouts for services installations along with dimensions for the former.
General plans sometimes need to be reproduced at a scale of 1:50.
Standard specification for general site work.
Bill of quantities.
A cost estimate based on unit costs per element, if necessary.
Documentació final – Completion
The final project which reflects especially the definitive solution for the foundations, the modifications made to the structural design and the location of all services within a set of plans.
The maintenance manual, if necessary