General Stages of the Architect’s Design Process

texas architect design service stages

DCF 1.0

The stages in which an architect furnishes design services to an owner of a construction project will vary according to the parties’ agreement. Generally speaking, however, an architect’s design services fall into five stages.

Schematic Design Stage. The architect prepares a preliminary evaluation of the owners’ program, schedule, budget, project site, and other information to ascertain the project’s requirements. After communicating with the owner, the architect prepares a schematic design showing the scale and relationship of the project’s components for the owner’s review and approval. The schematic design may include drawings, a site plan, preliminary building plans, study models, and fundamental building systems and construction materials.

Design Development Stage. The architect refines and further develops the schematic design documents in consultation with the owner to include plans, sections, elevations, typical construction details, and layouts of building systems to describe the size and character of the project as to architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, among other things. The architect submits these design development documents to the owner for review, discussion, and approval.

Construction Documents Stage. Next, the architect prepares construction documents that further illustrate and describe the information in the design development documents. Construction documents are composed of drawings and specifications that detail the quality levels of materials and systems and other requirements for construction of the project. The architect may also assist the owner in preparing bidding documents and other, necessary construction contracts. The architect provides the construction documents to the owner for review and approval.

Bidding or Negotiation Stage. The architect helps the owner obtain and assess bids for services and materials.

Construction Stage. The architect administers the construction contract.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

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