Daniel Michal Architect is a full-service, small design firm, formerly on the Gulf Coast and now in Huntsville, Alabama. DMA provides the typical phased design services of traditional architectural projects, ranging through Schematic Design, Design Development (preliminary drawings), Construction Documents (working drawings and specs), Bidding and Negotiation Phase, and Construction Administration. We can also assist with feasibility studies, master plans, and interior design. Mr. Michal has nearly 30 years experience in building design of all project types and sizes. From projects ranging from the complexity of multi-story hospitals to the quaint charm of a bed-and-breakfast, from a complete new high school down to the tailored personal environment of custom new homes, Daniel Michal has done it all. Please see the resume pages or the various portfolio tabs for a sampling of project experience.
WHAT WE DO…
Many projects, especially those that require fundraising or some “what if” questions answered to continue, can benefit from a broad brush analysis or feasibility study. This is typically aimed at establishing the general characteristics of the design, major cost elements and overall potential to meet needs. For example, site feasibility may look at zoning, parking, circulation patterns, and available building room, when evaluating a piece of property. Or building code studies on an existing structure may determine suitability or challenges for a new proposed use. The ability to integrate a wide variety of information in a short time at low overall cost is the advantage of a good feasibility study. This can be a separate or additional DMA service but could save an organization time or costly mistakes in their business or investments.
Schematic Design is the first typical phase and studies the site, general scope, scale and character, and relationships of the desired spaces or components of a project, based on the program or expressed needs. We will create one or more understandable concepts and may explore promising alternative designs. We will prepare basic floor plans and/or sketches to show the general arrangement of rooms and of the building on the site. DMA is capable of 3D illustrations and renderings to help visualize the possibilities.
In general, this is a further progression and a more developed Schematic Design. Exterior elevations and views are usually presented. The building is studied in cross section, with preliminary structural concepts established. A more detailed site plan, and preliminary plans and building elevations drawn to scale (or other drawings to further illustrate aspects of the design) are usually provided for the owner’s approval. Consulting engineers are brought in to advise on the proposed, mechanical and electrical systems.
Revel in your environment! DMA would like to help create functional spaces that are comfortable and compelling. Using the artful selection of finishes, textures, trim, color and accents, we can work together to coordinate the architecture and interiors of a building into a pleasing and integrated whole. Some very basic interior design is included in the typical phases, but DMA can work with your personal designer or provide a more detailed and developed interiors design package as a separate or additional service.
For contractors to build effectively and accurately, they need clear and specific drawings to reference. The construction documents are not only for use in obtaining building permits; they help to provide better construction pricing, concise bidding information, and they establish the quality level and and the specifics required. DMA prepares detailed and thorough working drawings and specifications using current CAD technologies and industry formats. This is the more tedious but very necessary part of our work. We work with consulting engineers to collaborate on the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing needs. Specialty consultants may be brought in, depending on the complexity of the design or the type of project. We coordinate all the complex drawings of the various disciplines. These drawings and specifications become part of the bid package and construction contract, and are used by the construction team to build the project.
Contractors will physically build the project and remain responsible for construction methods and schedules. However, we can assist owners and builders by making periodic site visits or being available to answer questions. These partial inspections and meetings determine, in general, if the project is being built in accordance with the plans and specifications. On larger projects, shop drawings and submittals may also be reviewed and approved during this phase. The architect may also review the Contractor’s applications for payment, process change orders, and generally keep the Owner informed of the project’s progress. A final approval or “punch list” inspection is often performed at the substantial completion of the project.