Spiral Staircase

Our Professional Strategies & Project Approach

Programming & Site Analysis
At the beginning of a building project, the designer determines the scope of the work, also known as the program. It is in the programming phase that the key parameters and objectives of the designed work are defined. For a house project, the program would contain information such as the types of amenities the client wants in the house, room square footage requirements, numbers of rooms and construction budget. At this stage preliminary discussions will take place about such things as building systems such as electrical and mechanical, exterior design features and required interior finishes.

The designer will research the applicable building and planning codes that relate to the project location, also known as site analysis. Thorough site analysis is important in the early stages of a building design, as knowledge of the development rules of the project location can determine parameters for the size and layout of the building.

Schematic & Developed Design Phases
Schematic design is one of the best recognized phases of architectural design, as this is when the architect quickly sketches or models several design schemes. These preliminary sketches and models are then turned into schematic floor plans, elevations, and 3D images of the building design. Based on the program and site analysis, the designer interprets the information into floor plan and site plan drawings that fulfill all of the client’s design criteria. The end of each design phase is marked by a presentation to the client, followed by their approval of the designer’s work. The early design phases require a lot of client feedback, and there are often several changes to the initial schematic design before it moves into the developed design phase.

In developed design, the approved schematic design layout is further refined into a workable building. By the end of the developed design phase, the designer will typically present CAD drawings of floor plans, elevations, sections and site plan. The client may also request 3D computer renderings of the design to get a sense of the look of the completed building. The scope of work for the developed design phase varies from project to project and can also include physical models, coloured presentation drawings and computer animations.

Working Drawings
With the design of the look of the building complete and approved by the client, the designer focuses on the design and documentation of the details of the project. This phase is known as both working drawings or contract documentation. Design of the ways materials, structure and systems connect is determined. In the working drawings phase, a set of drawings and specifications are completed for builder pricing and building permitting.