Where are you in your building project?

A building project is a complex process with a number of stages. The Design Stage is just one of them.

There are 5 phases in the Design Stage of a project or what we call milestones. Each milestone and has its own tasks and deliverables that bring order to the whole process.

 Finding out where you are will help you know how to move forward.


Clients are prone to jump into the design phase before doing proper analysis and pre-design planning.

The Pre-design Phase seeks to establish the project goals and analyzes the Client’s needs and options available to them. Whether the project is big or small it seeks to provide a clear and concise direction for the design that will be produced. It may include a study of the existing conditions at the site and how the addition or changes to be made will affect the overall look, feel, and function of the space.

A proper Needs and Options Review will ensure that the project will be completed on time and on budget.

The Schematic Design (SD) Phase is where one explores a lot of general design solutions without getting too deep into detail.

In this Package, we take in the spaces required by the Client and establish the size, location, and their relationship to each other to make sure they function and support each other efficiently.

A general plan and basic exterior design will be developed showing the shape and size of the project. A general cost on a per square meter basis may also be derived to align the design with the Client’s budget. Once the Schematic Design is locked down, the Client and Designer will agree to proceed to the next phase/package.

The Design Development (DD) is the phase where more detail is put into the schematic drawings – taking into consideration the type of materials, products, fixtures, and systems available. Revisions on the schematic drawings may occur as the dynamics of all the components come together. But the general character and intent will remain.

Engineering work for structure, plumbing, electrical, heating/ventilation will commence.

Although the drawings are more “polished” and with substantial detail. It is still not at the level to be used for construction.

This Package concludes when the interior and exterior design of the project is locked down. and both parties agree to proceed to the next Package/Phase.

In the Contract Document (CD), Architects and Engineers finalize all the technical design. These are translated into drawings and supported by computations, diagrams, and specifications.

The Contract Document Phase will basically yield drawings and other documents that will be submitted to secure a building permit from the Building Official’s Office.

The Contract Documents sometimes called the Construction Set, is also the contractor’s guide in building your project.

Construction Phase involves periodic visits to the site of the design professional. It is not to be misunderstood as full-time construction supervision.

The objective of the periodic site visit is to see the progress and ensure that the contract documents are followed during the implementation of the project. The design professional will also be available to provide additional information or clarification to the contract documents. Due to site conditions, adjustments to the plans may arise. It is not uncommon for additional services to arise due to change orders.