Building Design

Building Design


Schedule a discovery call to discuss your building idea, whether it's a new build or a renovation. We discuss the design and construction phase services typical with your building situation. Submit available documents (drawings, photos) for the anticipated scope of work. We provide an artistic rendering to prove the concept and put your vision on paper with our guidance. Explanations are discussed in a follow-up meeting.
Step 1


This preliminary design or program development phase occurs after the owner and project manager have done a feasibility study and funding is available. This includes an analysis of the project site, establishing a total building area, determining the building and user requirements, researching zoning requirements, creating a preliminary schedule, estimating project cost, and defining project scope, goals, and priorities.
Step 2

Schematic & Design Development

This stage synthesizes the program into a defined, feasible design. It addresses all significant areas of design and is reviewed by you before proceeding with more detailed drawings. A preliminary cost estimate is usually provided at this stage. Properly speaking, any plans, specs, calculation booklets, and reports are the the documents upon which the construction contract is based, and the contractor uses to build. We can perform LEED certification and value engineering.
Step 3

Construction Documents

The construction documents phase is where the permitting process with your city planning department begins. To get an approved permit set we address the city's plan check (review) comments where we deliver the drawings in three stages (30-60-90 issued for construction (IFC) design process). Next, are the more detailed 100% Construction Documents/ Design Drawings (CDs/DDs) which include specific design details, shop drawings, and specs (materials, equipment, systems, install methods, standards, workmanship quality).
Step 4

Bidding & Negotiation

We procure construction services with a Design-Bid-Build fixed price competitive bid. Solicitation is usually made from at least three prequalified General Construction Contractors (GCs) / bidders. The project is put out to bid, a contractor is selected, and a construction contract is drawn up between the contractor and owner. The supplier who sells the materials, the fabricator who crafts them, and the sub-contractor who installs them are all consulted to verify that the integration of the different products and methods of construction are going to work. The GC sources materials and construction begins.
Step 5

Construction Administration

In this construction management phase the design team ensures high standards are maintained and the client gets their construction money's worth. This includes periodic site visits while the project is under construction, observing construction for compliance with design intent, and handling: pre-construction condition survey, pay apps, schedule of values, change orders, cost estimates, RFIs, submittals, and as-builts (created from redlines).
Step 6


"Ideation is the mode of the design process in which you concentrate on idea generation. Mentally it represents a process of 'going wide' in terms of concepts and outcomes. Ideation provides both the fuel and also the source material for building prototypes and getting innovative solutions into the hands of your users.", An Introduction to Design Thinking PROCESS GUIDE The Nielsen Norman Group defines ideation as "the process of generating a broad set of ideas on a given topic, with no attempt to judge or evaluate them." The focus is on quantity of ideas rather than quality. The overall goal is to help you design better products, services, processes, strategies, spaces, architecture, and experiences. Design thinking helps you and your team develop practical and innovative solutions for your problems. It is a human-focused, prototype-driven, innovative design process. Artistic renderings are used in the ideation phase to sell and implement an idea. It’s widely accepted that architectural design begins with the investigation of massing. Massing influences the sense of space that the building encloses, and helps define both the interior and exterior shape of the building. It affects the visual impact a building forges, and from afar creates the most impact on the eye. In architectural rendering, unlike creating drawings and schematics, there is often a spirit or main feeling that is persuasive and engaging. The disciplinary overlap between architecture and film is fundamental and has brought the two closer through the idea of storytelling, a notion inherent to both disciplines. In fact, architecture has appropriated cinematic techniques that rely on color, lighting, framing, composition, and angles to convey moods. They even share similar software and modeling techniques.
Step 6

Design Development

Collecting Project Info

  • At the beginning of a project, collect all relevant project info and files
  • City and county info
  • Determine the authority having jurisdiction for the project
  • Which codes and code year is accepted
  • Any amendments to the building code
  • Additional documentation with specific requirements to the area
  • Documentation of elevations, any as-built or existing structure, and site including soil data, plot data, and legal info
  • Which codes and code year are accepted
  • Utility Info:

    If the project will involve any local utility companies determine which utility serves the project area. Find any specific requirements for equipment and design per the utility which will be installed.

    Building Information Modeling (BIM)

    Facilitates smart design, innovation, and collaboration. It's a process that involves creating and using an intelligent 3D model to inform and communicate project decisions. Depending on the project size and the level of detail desired it spans from: 2D: 2-Dimensional view 3D: 3-Dimensional Model 4D: Time Schedule 5D: Budget (Cost) 6D: Facilities management (Maintenance) 7D: Sustainability (Life Cycle) 8D: Occupational safety and health


    1. BIM – Ds – 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, 7D, 8D and Benefits
    2. Understanding the Difference Between BIM and CAD
    3. Gilliland Construction Management
    Step 6