Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a collaborative working methodology applied to construction. This work methodology implies the development of a three-dimensional digital model that simulates the real work, allowing the early detection and correction of any errors that would otherwise only be detected on site. This work methodology is, in part, one of the reasons for the recognized technical quality of the projects we develop and practically an absence of errors during the construction process. CONCEPSYS is a specialist in this domain in Portugal, having an autonomous department for BIM consultancy and development.

If you want to learn more about this subject, visit

As per the document “Working with an Architect” made available by the Order of Architects:

Phase 1 – Preliminary Program Definition / Fees Proposal Presentation

Phase in which the Client and the Architect discuss what is going to be designed, for example, how many bedrooms, rooms and other programmatic requirements, as well as budgetary constraints.

The legal constraints and plans in force are analyzed, such as the PDM (Plano Director Municipal). It is also during this phase that the project’s deadlines, the formation of the project team, and other project constraints are discussed. In parallel, a Fee Proposal is submitted by the Architect and a written Contract is entered into. The Client must deliver, at this stage, the complete Topographical and/or Geological Survey, as well as, if applicable, the Architectural Survey of the existing building.

Phase 2 – Preliminary Study

It is in this phase that the Architect develops the preliminary concept of the Project, according to what was agreed upon in the previous phase. It usually consists of presenting drawings at different scales. Some Architects also present study models and/or three-dimensional simulations of the proposed project, in order to facilitate the Client’s understanding of it. It is in this phase that the development of the Specialty Projects begins, under the direct coordination of the Architect.

Phase 3 – Base Project / Licensing Application

Phase where the Architect develops the Project in accordance with what was established in the previous phase, preparing the approval process for the respective City Council, as well as for the other entities involved in its Licensing, before which the Architect is the technical responsible of the Architectural Project. Simultaneously, or after the Licensing of the Architectural Project, the remaining Specialty Projects legally required for approval will be delivered.

Phase 4 – Execution Project / Measurements and Budget

After the approval by the City Council and other entities of the several Projects (Architecture and Specialties), the Architect prepares the Execution Project, presented in the form of written and drawn parts, easy to interpret by the several intervening parties in its materialization and where all the necessary work for the execution of the work is specified (for example, constructive processes, materials, carpentry, etc). In parallel, the process of Measurement and Budgeting begins, where all the quantities of materials to be used, types of work, and form of execution are itemized, in order to be able to assess the value of the work. It is from these two documents – Execution Project and Measurements and Budget – that the Specifications are prepared, a written document that specifies the general and special technical conditions of construction and binds the Contractor to the other conditions of the work.

Phase 5 – Selecting the Contractor

It is at this stage that the Client selects the construction contractor. The Architect may collaborate with the Client in this phase, helping him analyze the technical capacity of the various candidates, as well as the price and deadline for the completion of the work. It should be borne in mind that price is not always a determining factor in the award, but rather the combination of a wide range of factors. It is also during this phase that the technician who will be responsible before the City Council, for the Technical Work Management, is chosen. This is always appointed by the construction owner (Client) and can be a technician belonging to the technical staff of the construction company, or any other person that the owner chooses, including the author of the project.

Phase 6 – Technical Assistance for the Execution of the Work

This is the materialization phase of all the work done so far. The certification that your Project is fulfilled is an obligation and a duty of the Architect. In this phase, the Architect’s role may include clarifying doubts of interpretation, providing complementary information to the project prepared by him, helping the owner to verify the quality of the materials and the execution of the work, which does not mean that he is obliged to monitor the work. Such a situation should be the object of a contract between the parties, in the certainty, however, that it is always advantageous for the Client to contract such a situation. The Architect, as the author of the Project, cannot supervise his work.

Within the scope of an architectural project, we usually and prefer to also develop the specialty projects duly compatibilized. We do this with competent technicians with whom we are used to working, and thus guarantee you a single interlocutor for all the projects on the site.

We have experience in different project areas. This varied experience proves to be essential to generate innovation, even when we are dealing with very specific project typologies.

Nowadays concepts are more and more open and undefined. A cultural space can add a restoration function. A dwelling can have a tourist purpose. A senior residence can bundle tourism with health and wellness.

In this sense, despite our experience in specific project areas and the fact that we integrate very specialized technicians in the team whenever the specificity of a project requires it, we approach the projects with a broad and unprejudiced vision.

Around the architecture project, there is usually a set of projects, plans and studies, necessary to carry out a quality work:

In this sense and in addition to the architectural projects, we provide the following services:

Architectural Projects

Specialty Projects
Water and sewage networks
Electric Network
Gas network
Ventilation and air conditioning
Mechanical installations
TV and telecommunications
Thermal behavior (including energy certificate)
Landscape Architecture

Complementary services to architectural projects
Interior Architecture
Graphic design
Three-dimensional virtual models (photorealistic imaging and animation)
Complementary Projects
Lighting Projects (interior and exterior)
Intelligence Projects – domotics
Energy sustainability studies
Measurement, budgeting and specifications
Contest Preparation
Feasibility Studies
Technical opinions
Construction supervision
Technical assistance to the construction site
Site supervision
Accomplishment of measurement reports
Site Reports
Book of work

About social projects ...

The social responses that we develop most frequently are:

Residential homes for the elderly (ERPI)
They are intended to house people over 65 years old. Legally, its capacity can vary between 4 and 120 users.

Home Support Services

They provide care and services to people in their own homes.
Usually, they operate in areas licensed for tertiary use (commerce and services), or integrated in another area.

Day care centers
They function as socio-educational equipment, designed to receive children up to the age of 3.

Free Time Activity Centres (CATL)
These are establishments that provide conditions for the development of activities outside the school environment. They take in five or more children at the same time.

Activity and Training Centres for Inclusion (CACI)
Previously called Occupational Activity Centre (CAO), these are facilities aimed at developing occupational activities for people with disabilities, aged 18 or over, who are not able to continue their training or engage in a professional activity on their own.

Day Care Centres
Equipment that provides a set of support services to the elderly, contributing to their maintenance in their social and family environment.

The opening of a Residential Structure for the Elderly (ERPI), requires a space with adequate characteristics and with a licence to use it compatible with its function, issued by the Municipal Council.

An architectural project will serve as the basis for the licensing application to the Social Security Institute (ISS), the entity responsible for licensing the activity.

You can consult here the list of necessary documents to deliver to the ISS.

If it is an IPSS, the local social action council of the area should be consulted about the need for ERPI equipment.

The approval of a social response project, subject to licensing by the municipal council, always requires the favourable opinions of the competent entities, namely the Social Security Institute (ISS) and the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC), when applicable.

CONCEPSYS works with multidisciplinary teams and can provide the necessary projects for the licensing of the space.

It is common that a Residential Home for Older Persons (ERPI) can include a Home Support Service (SAD), or that a Day Centre and a SAD share the same space. In these cases, both services should be licensed and although there may be shared spaces, they should be appropriate to both social services.

CONCEPSYS provides support in assessing the potential of a building for the installation of existing social responses.
We develop studies that allow us to establish the maximum capacity of the space, allowing us to develop a business plan.

Our previous visit to a space before contracting a lease or acquisition may be decisive in detecting possible incompatibilities, considering the requirements of the legislation in force and thus avoiding later problems or even the impossibility of installing the service.

In accordance with Article 37 of Decree-Law 64/2007, the private social solidarity institutions or equivalent must request a prior opinion from the competent social security services on the social need for the equipment, attaching for the purpose the opinion of the local social action council, whose justification must be based on planning instruments of the social equipment network.
Only after this query, should they proceed to the development of an architectural project, ensuring that the conditions of installation of the equipment comply with the legislation in force, with a view to licensing the space with the City Council in their area, to obtain the license for use.

In parallel and with the architectural project developed, a Technical Opinion should be requested from the Social Security Institute (ISS), the entity responsible for licensing the activity.

Please contact us.
According to the offer you intend to make available, CONCEPSYS may develop a previous study to characterise it:

  • The minimum area necessary for the day-care centre to function
  • Accessibility conditions to be taken into account
  • The main features to identify in a space.
  • Before moving forward to rent or purchase a space, we always advise you to develop that initial study to ensure its suitability. This way, you will move forward with greater security for your business.

    CONCEPSYS can help you with the legalisation process of your activity, namely:

    • Identifying the standards and legislation applicable and in force, according to the valence;
    • Verifying the concrete conditions for setting up the activity;
    • Identifying situations of possible non-compliance;
    • Developing the necessary projects for the licensing of the activity.

    The legalisation of a facility may imply the carrying out of works and the reduction of the current or intended capacity, which does not always suit the client’s wishes.
    In these cases and before advancing to a project of adaptation of the spaces, CONCEPSYS carries out a previous report where it indicates the maximum estimated capacity for the establishment, taking into account the fulfilment of the legislation in force.
    Based on this information the client will have an idea of the extent of the intervention needed or even if it would be preferable to find a more suitable space to develop their activity.