Understanding the Design Process

The All Important Brief

The design development process begins with the all important brief from the client. This is when we get to understand the objectives of the project, along with time-frames and proposed budget. We work with the client to understand the schedule of accommodation, and what the client’s preferences are i.e. what they like and dislike.

This is an extremely important part of the process. Even before we start to design anything, both the client and our design team can get a full understanding of the undertaking required to turn the design into reality.

We all agree on the procurement route i.e. how it’s going to be built and determine what professional services are required. Of course, no build would be complete without taking into account planning and any potential constraints!

The Fee / Service Proposal

The next step is to write all of the above into a proposal to avoid misunderstandings and to clarify for both parties what has been agreed. We calculate a professional fee based on projected time commitment and value. Fees are generally presented as an hourly rate with cap, lump sum or more likely based on a percentage of the projected project cost. The client will then instruct us to proceed and this is when we get the pencil out and start drawing!

We will visit the site to carry out a survey; capturing dimensions and heights in order to produce massing drawings and assess space-positioning on the site. Our team consider style and evaluate options – all the time liaising and engaging the client to agree a theoretical method of construction and next steps. This is when we power up the computer!

Our team will draw up outline design / concept models in 2D and 3D and agree the preferred option with the client. We meet with the local planning authority as early as possible within the process and develop the details of the design in order to produce the final design for review. At this time, we will also produce accompanying information required for planning and include input from others to identify any potential issues i.e. ecology, trees, flood risks etc. Finally, we submit planning application and wait with bated breath!

Detail, Detail, Detail

We then get onto producing information for Building Regulation Application and accompanying information i.e. energy, structural calculations. This stage also includes the production of technical information and when we invite tenders from contractors to build the property. It now gets exciting for all parties!

The Build

Working with the client we will appoint the successful contractor and start on site. We periodically inspect the works as the build proceeds to ensure compliance and manage completion of the works. We identify any resulting defects and ensure they are rectified before handing over to the client.

Get Celebrating!

If you would like to discuss a project – residential or commercial – then please get in touch. We’d be happy to assist: 01254 232 007 or email: contact@idc-architects.co.uk

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