Profile of Gerard Lee Architects in the SF Bay Area.

3| Schematic Design:

Design Process

Schematic design is where we take the approved conceptual designs and turn them into architecture. It is during this process that we use drawings to establish the scale of the building, it's relationships to the site and it's architectural language. We take the strongest conceptual design scheme and generate building plans, elevations, sections and site plans to communicate our design intent. Occassionally study models maybe used to better understand the design.
Schematic design is when we bring on board relevant engineering disciplines to ensure an intergrated building design. Sustainable and/ LEED projects require tight intergration of all engineering disciplines to ensure that the building performs well.
There is close interaction between the client and architect as the design progresses. Surveys and soil reports would be provided by the client at this stage. We prefer to involved building/ planning officials early in this process by introducing them to the project with short meetings. It identifies special concerns early and enables us to prepare and design for them.

Usually schematic design is marked by submissions to planning commissions and presentations before design review boards. A process by which a city reviews the design to ensure it conforms to their zoning, planning requirements/ city general plans and architecture or design requirements. There maybe public hearings where concerned neighbors may voice their opinions. This is normal and we as your architect will help you navigate these waters. On public & commercial projects we recommend obtaining a schematic cost estimate.

On residential projects, having a contractor on board early to evaluate the budget could help keep the project on track and realistic. Some contractors require a fee for cost evaluation but using a contractor for such services does not bind you to using them as your contractor. You should still be able to conduct a competitive bid if this is what you prefer. on some smaller remodel projects there has been a trend with architects and contractors who work well together forming an informal design build collaboration. It enables for a tighter intergration of the design and budget.

Copyright © 2006 Gerard Lee Architects. All rights reserved.

-last updated November 17,2006