Phases of a Project

Learn about the fundamental phases of a design project.

September 1, 2018

Every project is unique. However, there are six fundamental phases to every project.

1. Programming

During the programming phase, the design team, the owner, and key project stakeholders work together to determine the space requirements, space sizes, and their intended use. Future phases of the design depend heavily on this phase of the project.

2. Schematic Design (SD)

During the Schematic Design phase, the building  and its spaces start to take shape. At this stage in a project, a range of alternative design concepts are explored to define the character of the completed project and an optimum realization of the project program.

3. Design Development (DD)

During Design Development, the project design is further refined. Plan arrangements, specific space accommodations, equipment and furnishings, building design, materials and colors, and complete definitions of all systems serving the project are developed. All design decisions are completed during this phase in order to prepare the subsequent construction documents.

4. Construction Documents (CD)

During the Construction Document phase, the preparation of drawings and specifications establishing the requirements for the construction of the project are completed. This is essentially when the drawings are created that will be used during construction. The construction documents describe the quality, configuration, size, and relationship of all components to be incorporated into the project. Construction documents must be consistent with the project program, the construction budget, and the project schedule.

5. Bidding

During the Bidding phase, the Architect or Engineer will administer and review the results of the bidding process and award a construction contract to the successful bidder. Any questions from bidders are clarified and addenda are issued so that every contractor is bidding on the same information, ensuring the process is fair.

6. Construction Administration (CA)

During the Construction Administration phase, the project design team will periodically visit the job site to see progress and ensure the contractor is following the construction documents. The architect can review contractor’s monthly invoices to confirm work completion. The project design team will be available to answer questions and provide additional information to any issues that arise during construction.

Founded in 2003 and re-branded in 2018, HTW is an Arkansas-based firm specializing in architecture, engineering, planning, and interiors. Since its formation, HTW has become one of Arkansas most innovative and fastest-growing architecture and engineering design firms, providing services to clients across the United States.