Rawls Architects was founded in Dallas in 1976 by principal, Ed Rawls, who has been working in the industry since 1968. The firm moved to McKinney in 1998 in response to the substantial growth of the Collin County area. We are a commercial and residential design firm with a wide range of accomplishments and successful projects in the Dallas metroplex, as well as twenty other states and two foreign countries. We approach each design with the mindset that every project has a specific solution for a specific client on a specific site. Our ultimate goal is to provide the service that will best serve the needs of the project and the expectations of our clients.
We are committed to a team approach for all projects with our principal in charge leading throughout. When the scope of the project requires a full compliment of professional consultants we will recommend to our clients and bring in the consultants that will serve the project best. This team will vary from project to project based on the scope of each project as well as the service to which we are engaged. Rawls Architects does not employ on-staff engineers so that we can bring to each project the specialist with specific expertise to address the requirements of that individual project. We know that each project is different and our ultimate goal is to provide the service level that will best serve the needs of the project and the expectations of our clients. The professional services that we and our associates provide include:
Site evaluation and selection: The process of evaluating potential sites for a project is very important from a design and orientation aspect, something which frequently gets de-emphasized by building owners and developers. If asked to participate in this process, we will visit each potential site, review the current site conditions, zoning and building code requirements, and site restrictions, and draw a site building control diagram showing the maximum buildable areas, environmental orientations, possible view corridors, and access to public ways and transportation.
Programming: Along with our client’s user team, we will assist in the writing of a program detailing the requirements of the project. This will involve charting the communications and business activities of the end user and identifying any modifications or additions to those activities when the facility is completed. During this process we will review any growth projections with the owner’s user team and develop planning strategies to accommodate this growth. This programming phase will be less extensive for projects that are speculative developments and may involve only detailed discussions to make sure we understand the scope of the project and the expectations of our client. Good communications at this early stage will greatly enhance the success of the design team.
Schematic Design: This phase of the project starts the design process and can only occur after we have a well-defined project program. This is the only phase of our work where most of the presentation will be freehand and in concept form. While RAWLS ARCHITECTS is fully automated, we are committed to conceptual design and will not rush to the “Machine” before a concept has been developed. Size of project has little effect on the initial conceptual drawings. Only after the design concept is fully understood by our client will we move to Autocad. Final documentation of this phase will include drawings with enough detail that a person not yet familiar with the project will be able to understand the basic concept presented.
Design Development: After the initial design concept is approved by our client, we will input all design data into Autocad and finalize the design concept with precision. On smaller or less complex projects this phase may be combined with the Schematic Design phase and become the last part of the formal design process. We will begin the product selection process and assemble “cut sheets” on most of the components of the project in an effort to narrow the cost options. Product selections that require more coordinating details will be left for the Construction Documents phase, which follows. Final Documentation at the conclusion of this phase will be computer drawings showing the majority of the requirements of the project and will include a Statement of Probable Cost.
Construction Documents: This is more of a technical phase for us. Once we start the Construction Documents phase we want most of the design decisions to have been made; however, we approach that phase as an extension of design and will continue to refine the project until the drawings are complete. The drawings and specifications presented at the conclusion of this phase will be ready for construction and will include a revised Statement of Probable Cost.
Bidding and Negotiating: We will assist our clients in obtaining competitive construction bids during this phase. Our involvement in this process can range from answering contractors’ questions regarding the construction documents, to being the “plan room” for subcontractors and suppliers. This is usually determined by the client’s level of involvement. We will always be available to provide clarifications, including in some instances, additional drawings during this phase in an effort to eliminate any ambiguity affecting the cost. After all bids are received and reviewed, we will prepare the construction contract using standard AIA Agreement forms.
Contract Administration: During the project we will administer the construction contract as defined by AIA documentation. We will be your representatives during the construction. This service is not exhaustive or full time construction observation; however, we will visit the job site at intervals sufficient to become generally familiar with the progress of the work and be able to render professional opinion as to whether the work is being done in accordance with the Construction Documents. We will establish a communications process for all involved in the construction and keep progress records. We will process Change Orders, and all final close out punch lists and documentation.
Construction Management: There are some projects where additional construction observation is required by our clients, and we do not exclude ourselves from the list of available professionals; however, we will evaluate that service on a project by project basis. Our goal is to leave construction and construction related services in the hands of others and concentrate on design services.
Post Occupancy Evaluation: We are always interested in the success of our design and will contact the owner a few months after the project is completed to get a user evaluation of the function of the project. This allows us to make sure all systems are working properly and secure help for anything that is not. We do not charge for this time and do it for the mutual benefit of our firm and our client.