Phase 1: Preliminary/Programming
After an agreement has been reached with the "client" organization, a meeting is held for the “client” to meet their team. If the client agrees, and they feel comfortable with the team, they will sign the Client Waiver and Release form and volunteers will be able to hold the first meeting with their new client. This meeting is intended for the volunteers to understand the client’s needs and for the client to understand what to expect from the project and the team.
The most important task the team will perform is that of listening to the client and recording the information in Meeting Minutes. A renovation project, regardless of its size, involves present and future commitments. The team will strive to give the client a realistic estimate of what to expect. They will pay close attention to both the aesthetic and functional requirements of the project and record the interactions of those using the space such as: desire for privacy, personal interests, entertaining needs, and future uses of the space. All answers are recorded and considered in the design process. The focus is to develop a detailed Program for the project that the client and others on the team will be able to use and follow.
If all goes well, a field survey and measuring of the space will take place and an annotated inventory will be taken of the items that the client wants to keep, items that, if possible, they would like to replace, and items that cannot be removed and/or replaced given the requirements of the space and/or building. If the client has given permission, the space will be photographed. The field survey and photographs become the basis for the creation of the Preliminary Existing Conditions drawings. Most likely, volunteers will have to go back to the field to confirm that the information they have recorded is correct.
A productive meeting will be one at which the team walks away with detailed meeting minutes, a program, and a survey. The team will do their best to identify any unusual or troublesome conditions. The information recorded in the Meeting Minutes will define the scope and requirements of the project.
Every project will have its own restrictions, and the client and team will have to clearly understand restrictions and requirements prior to proceeding to the Schematic Design phase. Each team will produce Meeting Minutes every time they meet with the client, and those documents will become part of the record.
Phase 2: Schematic Design
Based on the Meeting Minutes and using the Program and Existing Conditions Drawings, the team will prepare two schematic layouts and renderings that will depict the proposed solution to the client’s needs as understood by the team. A meeting will be set up at which the team will have an opportunity to present their proposal(s).
The team expects that at presentation the client will choose a layout and sign off in approval. If the ideas depicted differ from what the client had in mind, additional layouts will be created. During this stage a preliminary budget will also be created based on the square footage of the space and the needs of the project. An in-depth analysis of what will be needed will be completed and issued as part of the drawings. The work done for the families in Long Beach, NY, is an example of projects that stopped at this stage of the process.
Phase 3: Design Development
During this phase, the team will be working very closely with the client, other volunteers, and donors. A great amount of coordination will be needed as the team meets with the client to determine the best way to implement the project. A preliminary time table for implementation will be created. Good communication will be critical as changes and options are discussed within the team and with the client to insure that alternatives are compatible with the vision of the project. Additional meetings with the client will be set up as needed. During this stage it is expected that final decisions will be made as to the scope, requirements, and needs of the project.
Depending on the project, this might be the final phase at which "idea" drawings are provided for the client to take over and complete the project with its own team. Hephzibah House is an example of a project that was approved by Hephzibah's House Board and will proceed to construction by hiring an architect and general contractor.
Phase 4: Implementation (Construction) Drawings
This phase will include detailed drawings depicting the implementation needs of the project. For most projects, this phase might include repair of walls and ceilings, painting, replacement of plumbing fixtures, installation of window treatments or furniture. We will not be able to do any construction that requires building department approval; this includes demolition, electrical or plumbing work.
A final time table for implementation will be created.
During this phase the team will work very closely with the organizations that are serving as liaisons on the projects, as well as the client. Everyone proceeds with caution as clients might need a temporary space depending on their needs. The laundry room at the Bowery Mission Women's Centers is an example of a project that proceeded through this stage.
Phase 5: Project Administration
This phase will vary with each project depending on its complexity and whether the work will be performed by volunteers, under the supervision and tutelage of a General Contractor and assisting construction team. The painting and furnishing of the bedrooms at the Bowery Mission Women's Center is an example of a project that required project administration.