Architectural Design

In addition to our inhouse architectural team, over the years we had made solid relationship with many professional architectural firms where together we have full field the desire of our client with respect to there dream construction and renovation project.

  • Site Analysis
    • Survey, Geo technical, financial, etc…
    • If we are dealing with an existing building: asbestos testing, lead testing, or other hazardous materials investigation.
  • Zoning Analysis / Code analysis
    • Establish what you can build, as for use and size.
    • Specific Code Issues that may affect the project.
  • Project Scope
    • Client must identify to the best of their ability the project scope of work.
  • Project Goals
  • Building Program
    • A Building Program is a list of the proposed uses.
  • Project Budgeting
  • Project Schedule
    • Sometimes this may be too preliminary to establish.

Schematic Design is the first phase of design. It will account for approximately 15% of the architect’s work and therefore the fees on the entire project as well. Of course, the percentages can fluctuate. In schematic design the architect and the owner discuss the project and any requirements provided by the owner. The architect does precedent research and analysis of the property. The analysis will include zoning and building code issues that may affect the development as well as site analysis.  Programming is part of schematic design. Programming is when the client provides the architect with a list of what spaces are going into the building. The architect establishes the size, location, and relationships between all the spaces.

The basic goal of schematic design is to develop the shape and size of the building with some basic design. We develop the general plan and basic exterior design in Schematic. During the schematic design phase, we figure out more or less how the building will look and operate. Schematic phase has a great deal of sketching, lots of meetings with the clients, and basic design. It is overall the fun part for the clients. Schematic is where you are really doing the general design, but not getting into deep detail.

Once the basic design is locked down and the architect provides the client with drawings, the architect and owner will agree to proceed to the next phase of design. Design Development.

The Design Development Phase is going to be approximately 20% of the architects work and fees. In Design Development the architect and owner will work together to select materials including interior finishes and products such as windows. doors, fixtures, appliances, etc… The architect will revise the drawings with more specificity and detail than in Schematic Design. Engineering will commence on the structure, plumbing, electrical, heating/ventilation systems, energy analysis and any other project specific systems. At the end of design development, a good deal of product selection and systems design should be progressing. This phase concludes when the interior and exterior design of the building is locked in by the owner and architect. Below is a 3D rendering of a house at completion of design development. The following image is a diagram of the house showing some of the systems and materials in place.

The Construction Documents Phase is the largest of all the phases for the architect and will be about 40% of the architects work and fees. Although the percentage may vary a little from project to project or with Different Architecture Firms. In the construction document phase the architect and engineers finalize all the technical design and engineering including structural engineering and detailing, heating air conditioning and ventilation systems, plumbing, electrical, gas, energy calculations, and all products and materials are selected and scheduled.

The architect produces multiple drawing sets including a filing set for approval from the Department Of Buildings and a separate set of Construction Drawings. You do not need to submit a full CD set to the Department Of Buildings. For example the DOB does not care what type of bathroom tiles or cabinets you are going to use. At our Architecture Firm  we typically do our construction documents by making separate drawings customized for each work type. For example the electrician gets his own drawings that only show the electrical work, and the concrete contractor only gets drawings for foundations and concrete work. This reduces confusion on job sites and makes it easier for everyone to price the job and know exactly what they are responsible for. Below is a sheet from our construction documents with details of the exterior wall construction.