Architectural Design Phases

Image Courtesy of HMH Modern Architecture

At iBello Architects, we believe that good communication begins with a clear understanding.  If you comprehend the phases of a project, the process is a smooth one, with each phase unfolding naturally after the previous is complete.

  • Site analysis & research
  • Zoning approval
  • Schematic design
  • Design development
  • Construction documents
  • Construction Administration


Phase 1: Schematic Design

During this phase of the architectural design process, we will take the information we’ve gathered from you and through our field observation, and local zoning codes to create two to three design options for your consideration. We will generally present these options in the form of sketches, so you can visualize the different routes your project could take.

We will produce CAD drawing of the site, floor plan(s), and exterior elevations. You will also have the opportunity to request any modifications you’d like us to make to your preferred design. Once you have selected a design option that best suits your needs, we will begin the process of refining the design during the Design Development phase.

Phase 2: Design Development

At this point, we will take the schematic design you selected, as well as any requested modifications, and revise the design as necessary. We will refine the design and provide any required detailing. This phase may require additional give and take as we work with you to finalize the details of the design before moving into the next phase.

Phase 3: Construction Documents

By now, we will have settled on a final design and will begin preparing drawings, notes, and technical specifications necessary for bidding, construction, and permit application. This is the phase that many people think of when they picture the work of an architect – the creation of blueprints.  Contractors will use these detailed drawings and specifications to prepare for the next phase in the architectural design process.

Phase 4: Bidding / Permitting

Having an architect on your side during the bidding phase of home construction is of great advantage to you. At minimum, we can aid you in developing a list of qualified contractors for your bid list and submitting bid packages to bidders. But we can also review submitted bids, provide analysis, and help you compare the cost figures that you receive from your bidders.

This phase will ensure the contractors you are considering for your construction project are reading the blueprints correctly and are providing an accurate bid for your project. After you have selected a general contractor, he or she, will submit the Construction Documents to the City or County in order to acquire a building permit. 





Scoping Phase

The objective of the Scoping phase is to develop the ideas into a potential project. The Client and Architect will work to identify the architectural program and infrastructure requirements (scope) of a project.

Feasibility Phase

The objective of the Feasibility phase is to review and develop options initially arising during the Scoping phase of Predesign. At the end of Feasibility, only one option will be designated for further exploration in Programming, the final Predesign phase.

Programming Phase

As the final phase within Predesign, the objective of Programming is to expand upon and refine the option recommended at the end of the Feasibility phase. During Programming, the client’s objectives, space requirements, and operational plan will be translated into a building pro­gram in sufficient detail to bring the project to the Board of regents for approval (when required) and to direct the design team throughout the project design process.


Schematic Design Phase

The objective of Schematic Design is to refine and build upon the scope, conceptual design, scale, and relationships among the components of the project. The primary goal of this phase is to develop a clearly defined design based upon the client’s requirements, as defined by the building program developed during Predesign. Project quality, scope, budget, and schedule will also be confirmed and refined.

Design Development Phase

The Design Development phase is a refinement of the Scope of Work identified during Schematic Design. As required, large-scale drawings, mock-ups, and detailed plans are developed to present a coordinated, clear view of the project’s major elements with respect to architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, equipment, civil, landscape, and utility infrastructure.

Construction Documents Phase

Construction Documents is the final design phase within the project delivery model. This phase focuses upon finalizing all drawings and specifications for building systems, site utilities, and components that will form the basis for the project’s Construction Documents. A final set of comprehensive documents provides specifications and drawings sufficiently complete to support the Contractor’s GMP, obtain necessary permits, and construct the project.


Construction Administration Phase

The objective of the construction phase is to build the project to draw­ings and specifications at the quality level included in Documents within the budget, schedule, and scope defined and approved by the client/owner. The general contractor is responsible for facilitating delivery, installation, and construction of the capital project in coordination with subcontractors. (i.e.. Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing,.etc.)

Project Closeout

Closeout Phase

The objective of this final phase in project delivery is to facilitate and coordinate occupancy and turnover of the facility to the client, as well as transferring responsibility for maintaining the facility to Facilities Management.