Pre-design services are the starting point. Thoughtful design begins with understanding your needs, wishes, preferences, site and budget. We begin with a site visit, pre-design questionnaire and pre-design meeting to fully understand your goals for the project. We research the zoning requirements and review surveys, easements, covenants and restrictions on the land. We walk the site, photograph it, feel it and absorb its characteristics and nuances. Ultimately, the pre-design step sets the course for all work to follow so it’s extremely important for us to understand the site’s limitations and opportunities as well as the clients wishes and dreams before we put a single line on paper.
Conceptual Design + Refinement
This is the exploration phase. We test ideas and pre-conceived notions to find what works. Certain directions will show more promise than others. The intent is to get the design rolling in a general direction, and not to get too hung up on fussy details. Those can happen later. Concept design is about the big picture.
After establishing an initial concept design, the job of refinement begins. Site integration is explored in more detail. Exterior openings and materials are developed. Building geometry and roof forms are manipulated as needed for function and harmony. Initial building sections are cut to understand interior volume, space and floor-to- floor relationships. Lighting strategies are developed and interior design details are revealed. Design refinement serves as the link and necessary bridge between the pre-design phase and final construction drawings.
The construction drawings provide the necessary technical information and documentation to the contractors and regulatory agencies for bidding, contracts, permits and construction. In this phase we engineer the structural framing and footings and foundation systems. Drawings are dimensioned, annotated, detailed and cross-referenced. The exterior shell and thermal envelope are designed and detailed. Window, door and interior finish schedules are developed. Products and materials are selected and specified. Lighting and electrical systems are designed and documented. Interior details are developed, and ceilings are designed. The construction drawings provide the basis for the contract for construction between the owner and builder. If it’s not in the construction drawings, it’s not in the contract.
Upon completion of the construction drawings, the project is released for final pricing and construction. It can be priced by a single builder or go out to multiple builders for competitive bidding. Upon receipt of pricing, final adjustments and negotiations may be made based on various issues such as market conditions or schedule and then a contract for construction is prepared. As construction begins, we continue to be available to answer questions, review shop drawing submittals, review substitution requests, attend construction meetings and make site visits on the owner's behalf to inspect construction for adherence to the drawings and specifications.