What are the 5 stages of architectural design?

The different stages of architectural design development will have different specifics from architect to architect and some architectural firms may include different aspects of each into packages for clients to peruse – but generally speaking the stages of architectural design can be broken down into five stages.

5 stages of architectural design

The Pre-Design Stage

This stage in the architectural design process has one main objective – to connect with the client and discover what the project needs to be. This will include the visual and aesthetic aspects as well as the practical use of the space. Scope of the project, the features desired, the purpose of the building – and finally, the functionality of the proposed building.

This is one of the most important stages of architectural design process, making sure that the architects, designers, and the whole team are on the same page as the client. This stage can include preliminaries such as:

Feasibility studies
Initial client consultation regarding broad scope project goals
Looking at any existing documentation or surveys
Site consideration
Discuss any existing drawings
Preparation of initial design sketch
Materials and construction cost discussion
Local building code review relevant to the type of build

After this stage, if they client is happy with the design and the other discussion stage two of the architectural design process can start.

The Schematic Design Stage

The sketch plans stage of architectural design development includes the first creative look at your project. After discussing the brief in the initial stage, our architectural design team will go away and develop plans, elevations, and a site plan.

These plans can include 3D rendering where it is appropriate to do so, as well as hand sketched artist renders of the project.

The Developed Design Stage

During the development stage, the design team will take the client comments about the sketch plans and amend them. This process is vital to ensure that the client can see the end result and be pleased with the progress so far.

During the process of finalizing the plans for your project we will develop plans with the smaller details including openings, basic plumbing features, structural and grid dimensions, overall dimensions and other typical details.

Preparing details for planning purposes and getting plans ready for Resource Consent lodgement through a consultant planner is also a major part of this stage.

Detailed Design and Documentation

In this design phase we work on the working drawings that are needed for building consent and costings. The detailed specifications, the materials that we propose to use in the building, and performance criteria for said material.
Collecting the documentation needed to move forward with the project also happens in this stage. Fire design reports, geotechnical documentation, hydraulic and mechanical reports as well as thermal efficiency will be required to progress the project. Structural reports, bracing design, and truss design documentation is also required.

We will fill out all of the council lodgement forms and prepare the necessary supporting evidence to lodge for consent.

Even with all of this information, the council may still make RFI’s – otherwise known as Requests for Further Information. These requests can be simple or complicated, but either way we will answer the council RFI’s as needed.

Contracts, compliance, and construction

The final stage before breaking ground includes a wide range of contract bidding and service tenders. We will assist with facilitating a contract with the main contractor, organise site meetings, and process payment claims.

In addition, we will compile and apply for the CCC – aka the Code Compliance Certificate.

The stages of architectural design are part of a much larger process.

While we have covered the basics here, the specific process and stages of architectural design are nuanced and each stage may take longer or shorter than expected depending on what challenges present themselves.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your architectural design, and how we might be able to help.

No matter what Architecture project, we can help

Whether you need an architect, designer, feasibility studies, or site observations and documentation. We have experienced staff to carry out the work for you.