Design Process


A successful project results from the collaborative effort of all parties involved in the process: owner, architect, consultants, general contractor and craftsmen. The owners’ program requirements, budget and tastes are the starting point for the entire design process, and it is the Architect’s responsibility to respect those goals throughout the process. Clients are also active participants in that process as well, and the perspective of the builder and his or her consultants will also help to shape the design. In the end all parties should have some genuine pride of authorship in the built result.

The design process can be broken down into four phases: Design, Construction Documents, Bidding & negotiating, and Construction Supervision.

During the Design phase, we will develop plans, exterior elevations and sketches to illustrate the design concept for the owner’s approval. This is the most directly collaborative portion of the process, when the owners’ programmatic requirements and aesthetic aspirations will bear most directly on the architect’s efforts. The documents generated during this phase are also sufficient for a contractor or estimator to provide preliminary pricing.

During the Construction Documents phase, we will develop the more technical documents which will allow a builder to translate the concept into a built reality. The plans and elevations developed during the design phase will be finalized with dimensions and notes, while a variety of other construction details will be added to the document set. Also, during this phase, the structural engineer will review the architect’s initial framing plan and provide all the structural details required to obtain a building permit. During this phase, the client will remain involved as there are numerous decisions which will require their input.

The Bidding and Negotiating phase is when the construction documents will be provided to one or more builders to obtain pricing. It is also the time when the completed documents will be submitted to the necessary governmental agencies to obtain a building permit. During this phase, the owner will select a builder and, together with the architect, review and execute a contract for construction.

During the Construction phase, we will remain involved in the project. Once a contract construction commences, we will make periodic site visits, approve applications for payment, and answer questions from the contractor that may arise as the project progresses. At the end of the project the architect (and owner) will generate a “punch-list” of various items that require completion or correction prior to final completion of the project.