You’re now starting to create architectural plans for commercial use for your company. But you’re unsure exactly how that procedure will work and what it entails to build your retail dream space into a reality.

What are professional architectural services for businesses?

Commercial architectural services create buildings that allow construction companies to collaborate easily with customers, employees, and supplies.

Commercial projects are designed by skilled designers, modellers, architects, and engineers of architectural firms like those of Eastwing Architects. They use architectural designs that fit commercial spaces to create a brand image that expresses the objectives of American businesses.

Why are the design phases crucial?

It can take a long time and be challenging to create commercial space. The AIA has specified the phases for uniformity and clarity across all projects. It helps stakeholders’ expectations be in line.

It is also simpler for architects to plan and manage a project following the phases. As a result, they can be more productive and produce better results.

Phases of Architectural Design

Here are the phases of design you need to know.


Pre-design is a phase of information gathering. It starts with the framework for the subsequent design phases. The main objective of this phase is to gather as much information as possible about our client’s personalities, lifestyles, and needs.

Architects estimate the space required, what it will likely need in the future, and how that space should be used.

The program, a document containing this information, lists all the rooms and spaces for the project, their approximate sizes, and any unique qualities or distinctive features you seek.

The observation and documentation of the current conditions at the project site make up the other part of the pre-design phase. This typically involves surveying the land to locate the property lines or measuring existing buildings.

They also conduct background research to learn more about the site’s relationship to the local environment, population, and laws that will affect it.

We keep track of these rules in a Zoning Summary document and consult with city planning staff as needed.

During this phase, clients should be prepared to be very involved and open to answering sensitive questions.

It is where a “homework” is assigned so they can get to know clients better.

Design Schematic

It starts converting the program into an effective building design during this phase. Now is the time to test different options and get a general idea of how the design will look and feel. This is when the designers begin exploring design concepts.

The project’s floor plans and overall shape will start to take shape, but the specifics regarding the materials and details won’t be decided upon until later.

The Schematic Design phase entails many meetings where designers present concepts to clients using illustrations from other projects, hand sketches, and models to help them visualize the spaces’ size, shape, and relationship to one another.

During this phase, clients can anticipate being actively involved and being asked to approve the Schematic Design before work begins.

If there is anything you don’t understand, let your design professional know and take the time to provide thoughtful feedback.

Although it is always possible to change the design later, this is the time when it is most flexible.

Concept Development

This phase’s top priority is to define and develop each significant aspect of the project, create a set of drawings, and create an outline specification to present to potential contractors for an initial cost estimate.

It is most cost-effective to make changes as soon as possible if they are required to align the project scope with the construction budget. The materials and functionality of the interior and exterior will be in more detail once we are on the right track.

They fine-tune the window and door placements and make changes to the building form as we finalize the indoor and outdoor space layout. During this stage, clients frequently feel the project come to life and can visualize themselves in the finished space.

The interior layout will be finished, the dimensions of every space will be decided upon, and most of the building’s materials will have been chosen by the time the Design Development phase ends.

Depending on the project’s complexity, a structural engineer will be added to the team, and consultants for the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems may also be required.

A complete set of drawings communicating the general layout and volume of the building or space, every significant piece of equipment, and the kind of material or finish used on each projecting surface will be the deliverable.

Construction Documents

In this stage, the Design Drawings are transformed into a complete and accurate set of Construction Documents. These drawings and specifications include the specifics, measurements, and notes required to explain the full design intent to the builder.

The architect coordinates the drawings with the structural engineer’s and any other consultant’s drawings, specifies all the materials, fixtures, equipment, and appliances to be installed, and shows how the building’s components should be connected.

Because the design appears to be finished after the design development phase, the construction documents phase frequently takes the longest. But to accurately and successfully implement the design you have invested in, this step is crucial.

There may still be options available for some of the items to be specified at this early stage.

During this phase, clients should be ready to make decisions.

Although it is our responsibility to provide advice and inform you of your options, you will ultimately be responsible for occupying and maintaining the building and making the final decision.

Permits for Construction

Any extra details needed to obtain a building permit are added to the Construction Documents during this phase. This information is required to demonstrate that the project complies with all applicable building, energy, and land use codes and any other rules and regulations imposed by the city or other jurisdiction issuing the permit.

The designers submit these drawings to the neighbourhood plan reviewer with the forms needed for the permit application, keep track of the review process, and provide more details.

The duration and cost of this phase can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction, the complexity of the project, and any unique historic district or community design review processes, but the goal is to manage your project as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Negotiation and Bidding

There are many reputable builders that customers can trust. An architect also assists you with acquiring and reviewing bids, aiding with contractor qualification evaluation, and attending interviews and walk-throughs. When clients contact us, some already have a contractor in mind, but many also use our vast network of contractors and connections to select their builder.

Construction Administration

Even though most of the architect’s work is completed before the start of any construction, their continued presence is crucial during this time. They visit the job site frequently during this period to respond to the builder’s concerns and proactively handle possible problems.

Depending on the project and your demands, the frequency of site visits could be weekly or monthly, but they must monitor things to ensure the finished project fulfils your expectations. Some decisions will inevitably need to be made or updated in the field. They collaborate with you to create your final Punch List at the project’s conclusion to ensure all work is done to your satisfaction.

An architect’s ability to collaborate with your contractor swiftly to find solutions is crucial to helping you avoid expensive delays and change orders.

Categorized in: