complex a facility as a research laboratory, it normally requires 12 to 14 months, as well as extensive interaction with the proposed users and institutional representatives. For this reason, most institutions do not use a competition for selecting the architect.
The selection process begins with the identification of a ''long list" of potential candidates, usually by a selection committee, and proceeds through the request and review of qualifications, the development of a "short list" of candidates, the request and review of formal proposals, and interviews, to the selection of the most appropriate architectural candidate. The selection committee is typically composed of representatives from the administration (e.g., CEO, CEO), researchers (e.g., principal investigators and technicians), and physical plant and/ or buildings and grounds representatives. One individual, often the client project manager, should be identified to oversee this process and be the single point of contact for the architectural candidates.
Often, a "long list" of architectural candidates is developed by the selection committee after the institution has identified the project's need, program, and site. Some institutions, however, choose to begin selection of the architect before the project site is selected and before the project program is developed, as most architects are trained in site planning and some are experienced in developing detailed programs for research laboratory facilities. Other institutions engage a site planner and or programmer to complete a preliminary description of the overall project program and site. Each institution should decide the best time to begin the architect-selection process. The sooner the architect becomes familiar with the project, however, the sooner the architect will be able to assist the institution in the selection of a site, development of the project's program, and design of the research laboratory facilities that respond to its needs.
Once it has been decided to engage an architect, the institution develops a "long list" of potential architectural candidates. This long list can be anywhere from 7 to 15 architectural firms. Too short a list may not capture the best potential candidates, while too long a list may risk a cumbersome review process and discourage potential candidates from responding. The length of this list is determined by the number of potential candidates identified by the institution. Potential candidates should be identified by asking colleagues for referrals, contacting the American Institute of Architects, and checking with other institutions that have built science facilities similar to the anticipated project. The identification of the long list of architects can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.