The building design process also referred to as the architectural design process, is the cornerstone of any construction project. Unfortunately, most clients frequently overlook the foundation that supports the building and instead focus on the finished product. In reality, the success of the project depends on each of the primary steps that make up the building design process.
Along with internal factors, there might also be external impacts, rules, and other forces at play as the construction project develops. The architectural design process is even more crucial since the collection of plans and documentation will only direct the construction project to a successful finish if they are error-free.
That said, it’s important to hire good architects to navigate the building design process steps. But even then, you still need to have a clear grasp of what to anticipate, whether you’re a landowner planning a new structure, a company owner looking to build your headquarters or a potential homeowner. The construction project is followed by a drawn-out process from beginning to end that generally involves the following steps which can be divided into separate stages.
The Pre-design Stage
This phase, which is often referred to as the initial discussion phase, begins the architectural design process. The architect discusses with the client during the pre-design stage to learn about the property, any existing buildings, and the client’s desires for the next development. (Whenever possible, an investigation performed on-site provides the most accurate data for all project types.)
As part of their competitive proposal to obtain the commission, the architect investigates neighbourhood zoning and land-use constraints before producing a cost estimate. A contract for architectural services is created if all parties can agree on the terms and the parameters of the project.
The Schematic Design Stage
In these next steps, the architectural design team starts to translate the client’s requests into a building design idea. This could include rough site designs, floor layouts, and building elevations as well as sketches, drawings, and 3D renderings. The schematic designs should also include any building systems, such as the HVAC and plumbing.
The Design Development Stage
In this stage, the architect’s original design proposal is translated into a specific plan. A structural engineer usually joins the team at this time if the project calls for one.
Along with the underlying framework, the architect also provides the customer with both interior and exterior finishing. Finishes must be treated with the utmost regard because they have a significant impact on a building project’s overall cost (as well as the project schedule). A more accurate cost estimate of the scope of the project will then become apparent.
The Construction Documentation Stage
The design comes closer to reality in the following stage of the process. The architecture team you hired will provide two complete sets of detailed drawings, outlining every aspect of the final design.
The construction set is the one that stays on the job site throughout construction. The other set is known as the permit set, and it is sent by the architect to the county or city’s local permitting authority. The internal construction contractor gets involved at this step in a design-build project.
The Building Permit Stage
The permit set of drawings must now be submitted by the architect as part of a broader permit application. The submitted files are examined by the city or county for structural soundness and compliance with zoning regulations and building rules. Although the permitting procedure might be one of the most drawn-out, it shields architects, builders, and property owners from potentially hazardous building mistakes.
Simple construction projects can receive permission from permissive towns in a matter of days. On the other hand, the permitting procedure can take months if you’re developing something elaborate or in a historic area.
Bidding and Negotiation Stage
This is an optional stage. In fact, all of the stages so far are just a general division of the whole process. Different teams of architects may follow different building design process steps depending on the services they provide, the intricacy of the project, as well as laws and location conditions.
This stage isn’t involved if the same company developed and built the building. But if there’s no contractor attached, then the client and the architects interview contractors and request competitive bids. The next step is to sit down with prospective contractors to go over the construction drawing sets and talk about materials and schedules.
To keep their employees occupied throughout the year, contractors look for shovel-ready projects. Therefore, if your project has already been approved and is ready to start, you will have a greater chance of finding a contractor—and at a reasonable price.
Construction Administration Stage
The architects’ responsibility in this last stage changes from creative design to project administration. Once the documentation is ready, the necessary certifications obtained and a building contractor is chosen, the final steps of construction can begin.
Many architectural teams offer contract administration during the construction process to ensure that the project is finished according to the highest standards. The architects personally oversee the job site, they go there frequently to check on how well their plans are being carried out. Like a film director taking over a screenwriter’s script, the contractor and their team take over the project. Cost overruns can cause project budgets to grow, but with smart planning, no adjustments are required.