The three main team members on any project are the owner, architect, and general contractor. Other professionals involved are a structural engineer, a geo-technical engineer, an interior designer, landscape architect, an arborist, a mechanical engineer, and often a sound system designer. The structural engineer is hired by the architect and their fee is included in the architectural fee. The other professionals will either have contracts directly with the owner or billed as a reimbursable expense.
Owners: The most important team member. There are three intertwined factors involved in the design and construction of a house; 1) project size, 2) cost, 3) quality of construction and detailing. To stay within budget; the owners determine which of the two factors are most important to them. The architect then has control the third factor. The owners involvement throughout the project varies from owner to owner; you can be involved in every selection or rely on the professionals and approve the design decisions at each junction.
Architect: The architect is responsible for translating the owners program into a design that is appropriate for the site and client. The architect is responsible for coordinating with the other professionals. The architect produces drawings and specifications to communicate the design to others. The architect will also present the designs to any review boards.
Structural Engineer: The structural engineer is responsible for ensuring that the structure is designed to meet the local building and hurricane codes.
Geo-technical Engineer: The soils are tested by the geo-technical engineer to determine their bearing capacity. This information is used by the structural engineer in the design of the foundation.
Interior Designer: The interior designer works with the architect and owner in selecting the interior finishes, furniture, fixtures, and window treatments.
Landscape Architect: The landscape architect works with the architect and owner in the design of all exterior spaces, finishes and plant material.
Arborist: We often recommend the use of a certified arborist when there are significant trees on the property that we want to protect. The arborist will trim the dead wood and deep fertilize the trees prior to construction.
General Contractor: This is the team member who actually builds the project based on the drawings and specifications provided by the design professionals.