The process of building design and development involves the identification of the expected roles of various interest groups and the information required at each stage.

These stages which commences from inception to production information can be divide into four; (1) inception (2) scheme development (3) design development and (4) production drawing stage.

4 stages of building design

Let’s us discuss each stage and what is required.

(1) Inception or commencement stage; the inception stage involves the following sequence.

  • The client brief the Architect on all the relevant informations in order to give the Architect a clear picture of his requirements. These requirements may include Space available, Location of the project, the use of the proposed building, the finance available that can be spend on the project and time limit for the project.
  • The Architect formulates the client’s requirements into an understanding form that will show the client a visual impression of shape, type of materials, size etc
  • The Architect visit the site to acquaint himself with the site conditions and make the necessary investigation.
  • The Architect seeks planning and building approval from the planning and local authority.
  • The Architect brings together a team to give guidance on specific areas such as a structural engineer, service engineer, and quantity surveyor.

(2) Scheme development stage; this stage involves:

  • The analysing and synthesising of the data already collected
  • The preparing of many schematic sketches and rejecting same until arriving at the basic concept of the project showing the general organization and the basic structural systems.
  • The Architects preliminary sketches are sent to the structural engineer and Services Engineers for them to prepare their preliminary sketch designs.
  • The quantity surveyor prepares a rough cost estimate of the building.
  • The preliminary sketch designs, the cost estimate and the time scale will enable the Client to approve or otherwise before the final drawings are prepared. The cost of the building would have been broken down into elements at this stage with approximate cost values. This will enable the Client to know where cost is to be cut and from which section e.g structural components, internal finishing, electrical or mechanical component.
  • When a general agreement has been reached between the Architect and his team; and the Client, the approved sketches and cost estimate can then serve the Architect as a guideline throughout the process of designing and the production of construction or working drawings.

(3) Design development stage; This stage involves the preliminary drawings produced in the outline form showing the size, materials of the project, structural, mechanical and electrical systems.


(4) Production or contract drawing stage; After the design development stage, the Architect and his team shall proceed to produce the contract or production drawings, this stage involves:

  • Production of contract or working drawings
  • The preparation of specifications by the Architects. This defines the whole building and details that cannot be shown in the drawings.
  • The bill of quantities is prepared by the quantity surveyor.This is the amount the contract is to be awarded
  • The plans and bill of quantities are checked for accuracy and correctness
  • Building regulation Checks and approval
  • When the contract documents such as drawings, specification and bill of quantities and the condition of contract stating the duration whether or not sub-contractors and suppliers could be appointed are put together,it is then contract can be tendered.

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