Architect's general services

There is this question in the practice exam 1:
*"An architecture firm has clients requesting projects ranging from small projects such as adding a new bedroom to an existing house or large projects such as building a high-rise mixed-use building. *

Which of the following are considered architect’s general services?"

I am not sure how to think about two of the incorrect answers:

Schematic Design
Incorrect. During the schematic design phase, the basic design concept is developed for all major components of the project. This is a phase of standard services and may or may not be required on every project.

Construction Administration

Incorrect. Construction administration produce a complete coordinated set of documents to guide the purchasing, construction, installation, and initial operations steps that follow. This is a phase of standard services and may or may not be required on every project.

  1. Does this mean that smaller projects don’t have a schematic design phase per se?
  2. Is construction administration optional, depending on the contract?


1 Like

Hey Oana,

Good question, maybe @coachzachhoffman @coachdarionziegler or @dmmckinnis can help?

Hi Oana,

Thanks for utilizing the BKS Community!

This question is tricky because schematic design and construction admin are standard services – typically phases an architect would provide.

However, just as you’ve suggested, they aren’t required on every project. For example, the bedroom addition mentioned in the question probably wouldn’t have a traditional schematic design phase exactly- it might advance straight into construction documents if the owner has a clear direction of what they want. Or, if you are acting as the architect of record for a project you are likely only advancing the project through the CD phase as SD and DD have been completed by another firm.

Additionally, construction administration isn’t required to be in the contract. For example, where I work if the client is concerned about our fee being too high our project manager will often remove construction admin from the contract and offer it as a hourly add service instead. (I’m not sure this is the best practice, but it is a good example of how CA might not be included in a contract!)

So this question’s key word seems to be “general services”. Every project is different and might not include all phases, or standard services as BKS has referred to them, but in general you can expect the architect to do certain activities. Among these are administering the project, attending meetings, consulting regularly with the owner, and providing project documentation.

Hopefully this helps, and please forgive any spelling/grammar errors as I’m responding from my mobile phone.

Does anyone have any personal experiences with projects that didn’t included phases like SD or CA?