the best architecture services for you

Whether you’re building a new home, planning commercial space, or converting the screened in porch into a cozy enclosed television room, involving GLA from the start is the key to success for your project. GLA's architects and designers are experienced at identifying client needs and program requirements and translating that knowledge into responsive design solutions. Communication is the key with client interaction as well as tapping into the extensive knowledge base found within the multiple disciplines in the firm.  GLA's design team consistently delivers functional, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable solutions.


A client’s unfamiliarity with the process of architectural design should not hinder that client’s comprehension of the phases of design services. The list of services below introduces first-time clients to our basic and specialized services depending on your project needs.  


Design development (DD) services use the initial design documents from the schematic phase and take them one step further. This phase lays out mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and architectural details. Typically referred to as DD, this phase results in drawings that often specify design elements such as material types and location of windows and doors. The level of detail provided in the DD phase is determined by the owner’s request and the project requirements. The DD phase often ends with a formal presentation to, and approval by, the owner.


Deliverables: Design development often produces floor plans, sections, and elevations with full dimensions. These drawings typically include door and window details and outline material specifications.


During the first phase—schematic design (SD)—GLA consults with the owner to determine project goals and requirements. Often this determines the program for the project. The program, or architectural program, is the term used to define the required functions of the project. It should include estimated square footage of each usage type and any other elements that achieve the project goals. During schematic design, GLA commonly develops study drawings, documents, or other media that illustrate the concepts of the design and include spatial relationships, scale, and form for the owner to review. Schematic design is also the research phase of the project, when zoning requirements or jurisdictional restrictions are discovered and addressed.This phase produces a final schematic design, to which the owner agrees after consultation and discussions with GLA. The design then moves forward to the design development phase.


Deliverables: Schematic design often produces a site plan, floor plan(s), sections, an elevation, and other illustrative materials; computer images, renderings, or models. Typically the drawings include overall dimensions.


The next phase is construction documents (CDs). Once the owner and GLA are satisfied with the documents produced during DD, the architect moves forward and produces drawings with greater detail. These drawings typically include specifications for construction details and materials. Once CDs are satisfactorily produced, GLA sends them to contractors for pricing or bidding, if part of the contract. The level of detail in CDs may vary depending on the owner’s preference. If the CD set is not 100-percent complete, this is noted on the CD set when it is sent out for bid. This phase results in the contractors’ final estimate of project costs.


Deliverables: The construction document phase produces a set of drawings that include all pertinent information required for the contractor to price and build the project.


The first step of this phase is preparation of the bid documents to go out to potential contractors for pricing. The bid document set often includes an advertisement for bids, instructions to bidders, the bid form, bid documents, the owner-contractor agreement, labor and material payment bond, and any other sections necessary for successful price bids. For some projects that have unique aspects or complex requirements, GLA and owner elect to have a prebid meeting for potential contractors. After bid sets are distributed, both the owner and architect wait for bids to come in. The owner, with the help of the GLA, evaluate the bids and select a winning bid. Any negotiation with the bidder of price or project scope, if necessary, should be done before the contract for construction is signed. The final step is to award the contract to the selected bidder with a formal letter of intent to allow construction to begin.


Deliverables: The final deliverable is a construction contract. Once this document is signed, project construction can begin.

Services Overview

Basic Services 





Specialized Services 

  • Accessibility Compliance

  • Architectural Acoustics

  • Building Envelope Restoration

  • Building Measurement Services

  • Builders Pavement Plans

  • Code Compliance

  • Construction Defect Analysis

  • Construction Documentation- Drawings

  • Construction Documentation- Specifications

  • Construction Management

  • Construction Procurement

  • Consulting

  • Contract Administration

  • Demolition Planning

  • Design-Build

  • Detailed Cost Estimating

  • DOB Violations- Curing

  • Energy Analysis and Design

  • Expediting

  • Facility Evaluation Services

  • Feasibility Studies

  • Historic Preservation

  • Interior Design

  • Legalizations

  • Lighting Design

  • Local Law Reports

  • Model Design

  • MTA Approval

  • Rendering Presentations

  • OER Approval

  • Post-Occupancy Evaluations

  • Program Management

  • Programming

  • Project Management

  • Record Drawing

  • Research Services

  • Site Planning

  • Space Planning

  • Strategic Facility Planning

  • Sustainable Building Design

  • Urban Design

  • Urban Planning

  • Zoning Analysis

Contract administration (CA) services are rendered at the owner’s discretion and are outlined in the owner-architect construction agreement. Different owner-architect-contractor agreements require different levels of services on the architect’s part. CA services begin with the initial contract for construction and terminate when the final certificate of payment is issued.
GLA's core responsibility during this phase is to help the contractor to build the project as specified in the CDs as approved by the owner. Questions may arise on site that require GLA to develop architectural sketches: drawings issued after construction documents have been released that offer additional clarification to finish the project properly. Different situations may require GLA to issue a Change in Services to complete the project.


Deliverables: A successfully built and contracted project.


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