Click on a heading below for more details on our services.
Dickinson + Hicks can offer services tailored to a client's specific needs. We strive to work with a potential client in the initial stages of our relationship to assess only the services they require and structure our fee proposals to reflect that.
A church building is ultimately the end result of a response to the need by a church for more space to accommodate growth. Church Growth involves far more than just the building. Dickinson + Hicks Architects offers our experience to help churches uncover their growth needs prior to proceeding with a new building.
To assist clients in determining if and/or how to proceed with a potential project Dickinson + Hicks Architects can conduct a Feasibility Study (or multiple studies). These studies involve the assessment of potential properties by assembling a concept site plan, overlaying the development restrictions imposed on the property (parking requirements, building restrictions, land use, conservation authority setbacks, etc) and analyzing the resulting buildable envelope. The goal of these studies is to help the client determine whether a particular property is worth developing for their own needs or not. The client can also use our study along with financial information to determine the viability of the site. These studies can also be conducted to assess a client's immediate property conditions to determine its optimal potential.
As the user group of any facility grows, be it a church or business, the need for more space results. Our experience in facility design has led us to believe that thinking and planning for the future is imperative. Decisions about the building today can be impacted by what will happen in the future. Furthermore, as a user group grows, for instance in the case of a church, the base for financial support grows as well. Hence, master planning a facility and breaking it into manageable phases often causes a project to be financially viable in the long term. Master planning also sets the direction for growth and aims to minimize facility disruption in the future.
When developing a building project it is important to be able to predict and communicate a realistic picture of the end result. Unlike manufacturing where prototypes can be cost effectively made; a building is its own prototype. We make use of computer technology to replicate the proposed building design in three dimensions, not only as our own design tool but as a tool to communicate to the end users. We can include this as part of our basic architectural service for an overall project or as a stand alone service for specific presentational needs.
Should an owner be interested in moving into an existing building and changing the use of that building, then a Change of Use permit would be required. The local building department will require an assessment of the change with a summary of pertinent building upgrades. Initially, an assessment will help a client determine the costs associated with occupying a new space prior to committing to it. Should the assessment result in renovation work, Dickinson + Hicks Architects would provide additional services to ensure such work meets applicable code requirements while satisfying the client's needs for the new space.
In Ontario, the government has introduced legislation to encourage a deeper commitment to full and equitable accessibility to buildings for all persons. Dickinson + Hicks Architects can provide the necessary assessment of existing facilities and a plan of action to respond to the new requirements.
Although we specialize in worship facility design, we have had experience in several other areas of the design and construction industry.