5 Phase Design Process

Designing built environments takes time and resources. We want to ensure that our clients to understand the process every step of the way and are aware of every potential cost before the project commences. An informed decision-making process is a smooth process.  The following is an brief description of the design and construction process.

1. Programming & Schematic Design (SD)

The architect will listen to your vision, discuss your overall goals, document space requirements (the ‘program’), research jurisdictional and zoning restrictions (if applicable), produce drawings and/or renderings to illustrate the concept, scale, and form, and provide a preliminary cost estimate.

2. Design Development (DD)

Once the SD is approved, the architect will incorporate the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and architectural details to produce a more accurate set of drawings. Items such as material, mechanical systems and window types will be selected.

3. Contract Documents (CD)

With DD approved, the architect begins the set of drawings that will guide the contractor through construction. This set is complete with construction details and engineering coordination, and can therefore be used for bidding (i.e. locking in the project cost with a contractor).

4. Bidding or Tender

During this phase, the architect will prepare bid documents to be distributed to contractors for pricing. The owner, with the help of the architect, evaluates the bids and selects a bidder. Once the construction contract is signed, construction can begin.

5. Construction Administration (CA)

Contract administration (CA) services will be outlined in the owner-architect agreement. Different agreements require different levels of services. The architect’s main responsibility is to help the contractor build the project as drawn, and in that role, the architect will provide clarifications, architectural sketches or approve alterations from the drawings.

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