description of design services

The design process is often broken down into the phases listed below. Click on each phase for an expanded description of it’s tasks.

One of the roles of your architect is to find a method to communicate the design intent that resonates with you. We understand not everyone has an aptitude for reading floor plans and other architectural drawings. Our design process employs the benefits of cutting edge software to provide images and video to give you a clear understanding of the design.

Phase 1: Concept Design:

In this phase we will gather information regarding your project and establish goals for the design. We will develop sketches of floor plans and exterior views of initial design concepts to establish the general layout and character of your proposed project. Our work at this stage is with a “broad brush” to address the master plan ideals of the project. We’ll develop these ideas further later in the process.

1. Gather Information

  • meet to hear ideas, wants, needs, and to determine the scope of the project. With this we develop a building program – a list of required spaces and their sizes.

  • test the fit between your desires and expectations for the project and the project budget and alert you to any potential problems.

2. Perform Site Analysis and Research Regulatory Requirements

  • visit the site to determine boundaries, grades, existing structures, and to inventory site attributes such as view, solar access, foliage, and terrain. We may request you have a survey completed by a professional surveyor to accurately document some of these features.

  • measure and document existing buildings if your project is a renovation of an existing structure.

  • verify site constraints such as setbacks, right-of-ways, wetlands, driveway access, etc.

  • research local zoning requirements, covenants and restrictions applicable to project

3. Prepare Schematic Design

  • locate your new structure on the site to favor the unique qualities of the property, to take advantage of desirable views, to minimize impact on existing habitat, and to maximize natural energy gains.

  • sketch proposed floor plans, exterior views and other drawings if necessary to communicate the features of the design. Multiple concepts may be presented at this point.

  • sketch a site plan showing the building location on the site as well as driveway access and any major outdoor living spaces.

  • meet to review schematic design concepts. We’ll describe our thoughts, listen to yours, and answer your questions.

  • revise design concepts and repeat these steps as necessary to incorporate your feedback.

Phase 2: Design Development:

During this stage in the process the concept design will be refined and you will gain more insight into how the new house is going to look, feel and function. Major materials and systems will be defined, but there will be details and specifications remaining to be addressed in the next phase of the project.

1. Design Development

  • revise design to reflect decisions made during our final Phase I Concept Design meeting.

  • consult with structural engineers or mechanical system consultants if necessary.

  • begin working together on selections for interior and exterior fixtures and finishes.

  • perform energy modeling and cost benefit analysis of building envelope, glazing and alternate heating systems if appropriate

  • meet to review design development drawings. We’ll describe our thoughts, listen to yours, and answer your questions.

Phase 3: Construction Documents:

Once you approve design development documents, we will proceed with developing the construction documents. At the outset of this phase we may begin the contractor selection process. At this point the design will be essentially complete and we will assemble the final technical information required to realize your project. Any substantial modifications to the design at this point will require stepping back to a previous phase. The drawings and specifications that make up the construction documents will be used to plan the construction program and apply for a building permit. This is the final design phase before construction begins.

1. Prepare Construction Documents

  • We will prepare final drawings which will include, as applicable:

  1. Site plan

  2. Foundation plan

  3. Floor plan for each floor

  4. Elevations

  5. Roof plan

  6. Framing plans

  7. Section drawings

  8. Construction details

  9. Electrical and mechanical schematics as needed

  10. Engineering analysis and specifications as needed

  11. Window and door schedules

  12. Finish schedule for interior surfaces and trim

  13. Specifications

Phase 4: Construction:

We will be present to communicate to you how your project is progressing and to answer any questions you may have along the way. We will address any questions or opportunities that may arise during the construction process and provide any detailing or design consulting needed to support the construction progress.

This list is a representation of tasks we may undertake during the course of a design project. The means necessary to complete a project are project specific. All tasks may not be applicable to each project and some projects may require tasks not specifically listed.