Design Process

This is how we tackle a project

We run a client centred service. Along with a dynamic design process that identifies your needs and aspirations through design, we bring our experience, skills and knowledge to your project.

The architectural process can sometimes be long and it’s easy to loose track of the different stages, so we always aim to run projects strictly in line with RIAS & RIBA work stages. The work stages ensures the project runs along a logical sequence that makes understanding the development of the design easier for everyone involved and outlines the basis of the project programme for the design team. The work stages can be broken down into the following categories:


  • Preparation of Brief (Stages A/B) 5%
  • Initial Design (Stage C) 15%
  • Planning (Stage D) 25%
  • Warrant (Stage E/F) 35%
  • Construction Documentation (Stage G) 45%
  • Tender Administration (Stage H/J) 55%
  • Construction (Stage K) 95%
  • Post Completion (Stage L) 100%

More about the RIAS Outline Work Stages here // RIAS WORK STAGES

Preparation of Brief (Stages A/B)
The aim of these stages is to ascertain whether the scheme is feasible on the site suggested and to identify any fundamental objections to the scheme, e.g. planning restrictions. These stages will not be required for all projects therefore, we normally charged work on these stages on a time basis.
Initial Design (Stage C)
Sketch drawings and outline design proposals will seek to interpret the brief and to identify a possible solution. Your agreed set of outline drawings, sometimes called final sketch plans, will be produced once initial consultations with statutory authorities have taken place and the brief has been fully clarified. With this information, we would recommend seeking independent cost advice so that a project budget can be set at this early stage and reviewed following key stages along the project.
Planning (Stage D)
The outline design is developed to show a defined appearance for the building, how fixtures and fittings are incorporated and how important details of construction are intended to work. We will check that the design proposals are within the brief parameters and in harmony with your stated objectives as regards quality, long term maintenance and performance. We will at this stage provide the information for design and layout to accompany your application to the local authority planning department. Legal information required by the local authority, e.g., site boundary, rights of access etc., should be referred to your lawyer. Your approval of the design drawings marks the completion of the primary design stages.
Warrant (Stage E/F)
The application to the local authority for a building warrant requires the the project architect (and consulting engineer) to submit drawings (and calculations) which show how proposals comply with the current Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations. Key construction details and building envelope specifications are defined at this stage and would form the basis for the more detailed construction documentation package.
Construction Documentation & Tender (Stage G/H/J)
Once the building warrant is issued and the technical drawings are complete, the way is clear to prepare the construction documentation in preparation for tendering the project to the potential contractors. The documents usually comprise the contract drawings, the specification of materials and components, the Bill of Quantities and the Conditions of Contract. The latter two are normally in a standard format and define the obligations of the parties to the contract, namely the client as the ’employer’ and the contractor.
Construction (Stage K)
The contractor consents to organise and direct the building work in accordance with his contractual obligations, and to supervise the work so as to achieve satisfactory completion on time. In traditional procurement, the chartered architect’s role as contract administrator is to make periodic site visits to inspect the general progress of the work, to issue instructions to the contractor and, if necessary, to reject obviously unsatisfactory work. If you wish closer inspection of the contractor’s work you can employ a clerk of works. During construction, we will report to you on matters of progress, on any unforeseen circumstances on site, any variations in budget or programme, and will issue periodic certificates for stage payments due to the contractor.
Post Completion (Stage L)
Once the construction work is complete, there is a number of administrative duties that need addressed, particularly in obtaining the adequate completion certificates and certificates of design from the many different trades. There is also work involved in dealing with the contractor to address any defects or snagging items which may arise after the site completion.