What are the Phases of the Architectural Design Process?

Whenever a massive undertaking needs to happen, there is a distinct process that can be followed that will yield the best results in the shortest amount of time. For projects involving any type of custom design, and especially in this case building design, that process and its distinct steps (as necessary) are described below:

1. Building Programming

2. Schematic Design – After having developed the program, or listing of spaces, we then begin to scope out and get a feel for how all of the spaces will work together combined with the look of the building. At this point, all of the major design decisions are made, and we go to work to insure that the project can be built, through bringing in contractors to insure that necessary elements are covered, if required. We then see what compromises, if any, are necessary in order to insure that your project can be built within the time and the budget allowance required.

3. Design Development – A further refining of the preliminary design is necessary to fill out the details of your project. At this point, all of the consultants are called in to give a review of the project so that each aspect is fully considered. Design changes may occur at this point if based on consultants’ recommendations, they are needed.

4. Construction Documents – At this phase, all of the final information is determined to the extent necessary in order to build the project. A final coordination between the disciplines is arrived at, and another pass is made by the contractor to insure that costing information is current.

5. Construction Contract Administration – This phase insures that all constructed items are coordinated to make your experience of the construction a satisfactory one.

For Grizzly Bear Architecture and Design, we like to add two additional steps:

6. Celebration – The final stage of completion is a ceremony whereby the creation of and finishing of the project is celebrated, along with the new use of the project beginning.

7. Performance Tracking – To meet the Living Building Challenge, LEED Certification, or other performance certifications, an additional service may be requested in order to insure that your building is meeting the performance requirements we determined in the ‘Building Programming’ phase above.

Keep in mind, the phases are a general framework / skeleton from which your project can be organized. Each project is unique, and the requirements of each project vary from project to project.

At Grizzly Bear Architecture and Design, our desire is to establish a good, honest, appropriate and ethical working relationship with you that is long-lasting.

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