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THE PHASES OF DESIGNING & BUILDING A PROJECT

1- PRE-DESIGN

Pre-design is an information gathering phase that will be the foundation for the design phases to follow.

PD Deliverables: Program, Zoning Summary, Exisiting Condition drawing(s)
PD Duration: usually 2-4 weeks

2- SCHEMATIC DESIGN

In this phase, we begin the process of translating the Program into an efficient building design. This is when we start exploring design concepts;

SD Deliverables: Preliminary Site and Floor Plans, Preliminary Exterior Concept (if applicable)
SD Duration: usually 4-8 weeks

3- DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

During Design Development, we advance the design significantly based on the floor plan and exterior concept approved in the previous phase.

DD Deliverables: Drawing Set and Outline Specification document
DD Duration: usually 8-12 weeks

4- CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

In this phase we develop the Design Drawings into a thorough and precise set of Construction Documents.

CD Deliverables: Drawings and Specification for Construction
CD Duration: usually 8-12 weeks

5- BUILDING PERMITTING

During this phase we add to the Construction Documents any additional information required to get a building permit.

BP Deliverables: Drawings and Forms for Building Permit Application
BP Duration: usually 12-24 weeks (varies widely)

6- BIDDING & NEGOTIATION

We are happy to introduce our clients to a number of reputable builders we work with and trust.

BP Deliverables: Drawings and Specifications for Bidding
BP Duration: usually 3-6 weeks

7- CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

While most of the architect’s work is done before any building begins, our consistent presence during the construction phase is equally important.

CA Deliverables: Field Observation Reports
CA Duration: concurrent with construction timeframe

Designing and building a home or planning and constructing a space for a new or growing business is a complex task. One way to make a complex task seem more manageable is to break it up into smaller tasks, and architects apply a similar strategy to the design and construction process.

Having a basic understanding of what happens during each of these work phases will help you communicate with your architect. Being familiar with each phase’s milestones and deliverables is also important because architects typically organize contracts and project schedules around them.

 

Here at ION ARCHITECTURE, we value clarity and want the experience of working with us to be as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

 

Below is an outline of our project phase breakdown with a description of the deliverables or milestones at each step. This list may be modified to meet a particular project’s needs and the length of time each phase will take depends on many factors, but most projects will progress as follows:

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SUMMARY

Knowing that a significant investment of time and resources will be required to complete a project can make it feel like an intimidating undertaking. However, experience tells us that the biggest hurdle to starting or moving forward on a project is more often the anxiety around what we do not yet know. To help eliminate some of the unknowns about working with an architect, we put together this guide and downloadable tip sheet outlining each step in the process. We hope it gives a clear picture of what to expect as one of our clients and that you feel more prepared to discuss your project with an architect when the time is right.

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