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The Architectural Design Process

09-24-2010 12:05 PM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: Tony Brooks Architects Ltd.

TBA: The Architectural Design Process

TBA: The Architectural Design Process

To better understand how an architect works, it is perhaps useful to understand the stages associated with the architectural design process. These stages are outlined below.

Phase 1 - Outline Proposals/Schematic Design

This phase covers the conceptual work needed to define a project. Typically, the architect will prepare outline/sketch proposals based on the characteristics of the site and the requirement of the brief. These sketch proposals would normally be in the form of Floor Plans, Exterior Elevations and a Site Plan sufficient to define the clients general requirements and to place them in the context of the site. A sense of what the cost of the project will be is discussed with the client at this stage of the process. The sketch proposals and preliminary cost might iterate until a design solution and associated budget are agreed between the client and architect.

Phase 2 - Design Development/Design Stage

The sketch proposals agreed above are worked to a greater level of detail sufficient to delineate in spatial terms the relative relationships of the several parts of the structure. Similarly, the physical appearance and characteristics of the structure are defined: its elevations, the materials to be used, the nature and its roof, its external windows, solar devices etc. This is perhaps the ideal time for a more accurate budget estimate of the structure to be determined. All of the above is presented to and discussed with the client and approval sought.

Phase 3 - Final Design Stage

The design proposals agreed above are further worked to incorporate additional layers of information this time from other consultants where this is thought necessary. The resulting design proposals are for all purposes complete in that all spatial and skeletal issues are addressed, resolved and incorporated into the structure.

Phase 4 - Production Information/Construction Documents

Detailed construction drawings and specifications based on the final design drawings are then prepared. It is during this stage that clients will have a further chance to work with the architect in the selection of internal materials and finishes. These drawings and other documents will be those that the contractor will be asked to price and from which the structure will be built.

Phase 5 - Tendering/Bidding and Negotiation

The architect will invite tenders for the works and eventually negotiate a price for constructing the structure with or on behalf of the client. He will prepare a contract for signature by the contractor and client prior to the start of construction. This contract will clearly define the work to be done and the responsibilities of all parties during the construction process.

Phase 6 - Construction Administration

During this final phase, the architect monitors the quality of the works and authorizes payments to the contractor. He ensures that the contractor is delivering to the client what the construction/contract drawings demand. This will demand several visits during the construction stage of the works.

At the end of the project, when he is satisfied that the structure is practically or substantially complete, the architect will issue a certificate confirming this. In nearly all instances, there are items of works that need to be corrected, tidied, or addressed further and these items are recorded in a snag or punch list that is issued to the contractor for his attention. During the early stages of ownership of the structure, there are always additional items that present themselves for further attention by the contractor. These items are issued to the contractor by the architect who will ensure that they are all addressed to reasonable satisfaction before the contractors responsibility for the construction of the structure is finally discharged.

To learn more about Tony Brooks Architects Ltd. you can go to our official website:

Tony Brooks Architects Ltd. is a limited liability architectural practice based in Barbados and with associate companies in Dominica and St. Lucia. Our spectrum of projects range from residential through to recreational and include among others schools, offices and university facilities, theatres, stadia, indoor sports facilities and hotels.

Tony Brooks Architects Ltd.
Company Email:

Welches Plaza,
St. Michael

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