Loading Selected Work...

Design Process


Design and construction projects involve several steps.  Typically, projects go through the following six phases, however, on some projects several steps may be combined or others added.  Parts of the following are taken from “How to Work with an Architect” published by the AIA Asheville chapter.

Programming – We will begin by defining the requirements for your project (how many rooms, the function of the spaces, etc.), determining how your desires fit within your budget.  Programming is often done with the help of site surveys and financial analysis.  Share everything you can: your thoughts, notes, sketches, and photos from magazines and books.  We will provide you with a design questionnaire to get the process started.

Schematic Design (SD) – During this phase, a series of rough sketches will be produced that show a conceptual approach to the design, general arrangement of room, and general organization of the site.  We typically will do a computer model during this phase to help the client better visualize the design.  The client will approve these sketches before proceeding to the next phase.  We will also discuss the different types of builder arrangements.  If a team approach is appropriate, the builder will be brought on board to provide pricing information and a builder’s perspective during the design phases.



Design Development (DD) – We will prepare more refined drawings, which communicate and document more detailed aspects of the proposed design.  Floor plans showing proportions, shapes, and dimensions of all the rooms will be included.  Outline schedules are prepared listing the major materials and room finishes.  During this phase a structural engineer will be selected and asked to provide structural drawings for the project.



Construction Documents (CD) – Once you approve the design, we will prepare detailed drawings, which the contractor can use to establish actual construction costs, obtain permits to begin construction and build the project.    These drawings will also include the engineer’s finalized drawings.



Hiring the Contractor – As the client, you select and hire the contractor, but we can help you with recommendations and prepare any bidding documents and instruction to bidders.  We can also help you evaluate bids and select the contractor.  An alternative selection process to the bid method is to negotiate with one preferred contractor after interviewing 3-4 contractors.  This method eliminates competition based on price but allows the contractor to be made part of the team earlier in the process and can sometimes be preferred to the bidding method.

Construction Administration (CA) – The contractor is solely responsible for the construction methods, techniques, schedules, and procedures.  As an additional service, we can provide construction administration during construction to ensure the project is built according to the plans and specifications.  We will talk about what level of involvement makes sense for the project but this phase may include visits to the site periodically to observe construction, review of the contractor’s requests for payments, and keeping you informed of the project’s progress.




Wilson Architects Inc. | www.w2arch.com

Leave a Reply