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The Design Process


Preparation of Project Brief

In this first and perhaps the most important step, we will learn about your project and your requirements. We will go through the following steps in the first phase -

  • Client Questionnaire and development of spatial program

  • Site Visit and analysis - Great design comes from a buildings relationship to its site, so we analyze how it can be best utilized for views, sun, wind etc.

  • Site Survey - Measurement and documentation of the project site

  • Budget Analysis - To help us understand your budget.

  • Project Research - To understand Local building laws, zoning regulations etc.


Preliminary Design

Schematic design begins in rough form as sketches and floor plan studies. Several owner/architect meetings are typical during this phase to make decisions and determine a direction for the design to evolve. At the end of this phase it is common to have the following documents:

  • Site Plan: A drawing depicting the buildings location on the site and zoning regulations.

  • Floor Plans: Drawings of each floor showing the size and locations of the various rooms.

  • Area Analysis: A summary of the sizes of the various rooms/functions in the building.

  • Conceptual Images/Moodboard: Reference images to help you understand the design concept

  • Preliminary Cost: A rough estimate of the cost of construction based on the current design.


Design Development

The design development phase includes finalizing the size of the rooms and spaces, refining the look and feel of the spaces, detailing out the materials etc. This phase may also include several owner/architect meetings, which are critical to finalizing decisions so the detailed documentation can begin in the next phase. At the end of this phase it is common to have the following documents:

  • Final Floor Plans: The finalized floor plan after incorporating changes from the previous phase.

  • 3D Visualization: 3D images and video walkthrough of the exterior/interior spaces.

  • Landscape Design:  Landscape design showing pathways, driveways, lawns etc.

  • Revised cost estimate:  Revised cost estimate based on the current design.


Construction Documentation

The construction documents phase involves adding a level of detail and technical information to the design documents so a contractor has a set of instructions to build the project as designed. It also includes selecting and finalizing surface finishes, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures etc. This phase is when the architect and consultants work through the technical aspects of the project.

  • Key Architectural Drawings: The drawings will include site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections, detail drawings, roof plan, interior elevations, ceiling plan etc.

  • Consultants’ Drawings: May include structural, civil, and mechanical drawings.

  • Bill of Quantities: A list of all the materials used in the construction along with their specifications and quantities.

  • Permit Drawings: A set of drawings and documents for obtaining building permit.


Construction Bidding

When it comes to the selection of contractors, there are two choices. You may have already selected a contractor based on qualifications, capabilities and/or referrals. If this is the case, the contractor will be provided with all the necessary drawings to bid for the project.


If the client does not have a contractor selected, then we will help select contractors who are a good fit for your project. We will then assist the owner to evaluate the contractor’s bids and select the right contractor and also help in finalizing the terms and conditions of the construction contract.


Construction Administration

Construction administration is as important as all of the other phases. There is a lot of information the contractor and sub contractors need to process. During this phase, we act as the owner’s agent and provide the following services:

  • Observation Services: We will set up regular meetings with the contractor to observe the work for general conformance with the construction documents.

  • Review submittals, shop drawings and work with fabricators: There will be many products that will be purchased for your home that need to be reviewed in detail, we review these for consistency with the specifications, and make additional selections and decision as needed. We also work with fabricators such as the cabinetmakers, finish carpenter, tile installer, etc. to refine minor details during construction.

  • Supplemental Documentation: As needed, we will provide supplemental documents to clarify design intent for the contractor.

  • Handle requests for changes: The contractor, architect, or owner may need to change something during construction. The architect can administer this process and prepare the necessary document revisions.

To know more about the works that we do and the scale of charges, feel free to get in touch with us!

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