Being an Architect I understand far too well the amount of effort that is exacted and exerted before the Mayor gets to shovel the first piece of earth. Each site or property is unique with a specific set of characteristics and constraints. These involve legal, financial, physical, climatic, cultural and contextual issues to define and synergize into the ultimate design solution.
A diligent designer will spend substantial time analyzing and assessing the characteristics and constraints in order to advise his client as to the impact of each of these issues. The existence of just one of these constraints such as a power easement through the middle of a property can be a deal-breaker. Or it can be an opportunity and clue as how to arrange the site plan. Once the initial due-diligence analysis is complete and the property is acquired, then it is time to start the design process. It can take 90 days to a year to be able to start designing. The design team is now assembled: Structural Engineers, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers, Civil Engineers, Kitchen Consultants, Acoustical Consultants, Traffic Consultants, Code Consultants and even Feng Shui experts, all the expertise needed for the creative process ahead. It can be complicated and tedious yet exhilarating and satisfying. The Architect's job is to guide and orchestrate the design team toward the defined Vision of the Client.