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phase 3: design development

Taking the schematic plan developed in the previous phase, we begin to create the drawings digitally.  We locate it precisely on your site and think about how it will relate to the existing contour and consider how that will shape the building.  We make the building real by drawing the floor plan – the walls, windows, + doors, and stairs. We define the exact sizes and relationships of the rooms, the overall volume of the building and generate the initial set of exterior elevations. We also begin thinking about materials, inside and out.  Eventually we’ll know what every finish in every room is, but here we’ll conceptualize the framework for the material palette. The buildings systems will be developed in this phase as well – structural, mechanical, heating, lighting, and specialty controls.


We’ll usually meet to discuss the evolution of the design several times, each time refining the level of detail and decision.



This phase initiates our coordination with the various consultants that will bring their expertise to bear on the project. Because the work we do is very specific and it demands the highest quality we almost always use structural engineers.  They ensure that our projects perform to our joint high level of expectation. Much of our work is directly exposed to high loading from lateral wind force and involving a structural engineer is a must.


Other consultants such as landscape, lighting or mechanical professionals can be brought in as necessary at this time. Our design work extends to all parts of the interior from material selection, fixture selection, hardware, to all of the finishes and appliances. I find this produces the most cohesive design overall.

At phase completion you’ll have a set of drawings for what looks like your project, but not quite enough to build from:

Site / Grading Plan

Floor Plans ¼”

Exterior Elevations ¼”


Interior Elevations

Outline Specification

Structural Concept

Lighting Concept

Mechanical Systems Concept



At this stage we will also start to produce a 3D model that you will get to experience. The model will be updated regularly for yo to walk through any time. You will start to see finishes, space sizes, layouts, etc. before construction even begins.