The Design Process

Conceptual & Schematic Design

There are many phases and/or progressions of a design. A common term you will hear when working with a design build firm is “Schematic Design”. This refers to a phase early on in the design process when both the building and design are taking shape.
Schematic Design establishes the general scope, conceptual ideas, scale and relationships of the various program elements.

The primary objective of schematic design is to arrive at a clearly defined feasible concept based on the most promising design solutions. We typically prepare a series of rough plans, (schematics) 3-d models, drawings, and other illustrations to help the owner visualize their project. This can help us gain basic insights on everything from material choices to budget.

Feasibility & Program Study

There is no sense in drawing up pretty plans if they are not feasible (too expensive, not code compliant, etc..). For this reason exploring feasibility is a smart use of time and money for any large building or renovation project.

A feasibility study explores how likely a project is to succeed by asking questions like: Will the city let us do what we want to do? Is it smart to invest money in your house or is it time to move? Does the proposed project respect the architecture of your existing home? Where will you live during the project, and can you handle the extra stress?

Before you get in too deep, sometimes it makes sense to look into the financial, architectural, legal, structural and emotional, aspects of the project.

The stages of architectural design:

  • Project Selection – define the goals (wants, needs, requirements, etc.);
  • Programming – research and document the related issues (facts, problems, potentialities, etc.);
  • Preliminary Design – in a schematic form, acknowledge the impact of those issues on the goals;
  • Design Development – interpret the spatial expression of the design, goals and issues;
  • Final Design – resolve the issues, and the inter-relationships, of the design, goals, and issues;
  • Documentation – prepare the contract drawings and specifications;
  • Construction – facilitate and monitor the fabrication and assembly of the built environment;
  • Evaluation – assess the quality of the built environment and its impact on the project’s goals and users.
  • Architectural Programming is the first stage of the design process in which the relevant values of the client, user(s), architect, and society are identified; important project goals are examined; research reveals facts about the project; facility needs are clarified; and a foundation of knowledge is prepared for the creative ideas to follow.

Contract Development

During this phase, we translate your design into the technical language necessary to understand the intricacies of your project.

Drawings and specifications are created to illustrate all of the projects details including, where items may be located, how they are assembled, and what materials will be used.

All of the estimates, plans, selections and schedules are synthesized into a final scope of work and construction contract. The purpose of this effort is to establish expectations up front, before hammers start swinging. We want to make sure you fully understand and agree with all phases of your project.

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