The Architectural Design Process
Working with an Architect
You are thinking of appointing an architect but don’t know where to start. If that is not enough, you
are not sure of what criteria to use to choose the right person and you have no idea of how the
process works. The good news is that you are in the right place, and this blog will help you clear
most of your questions. Here are the first few phases and the rest will follow shortly. If you still have
questions unanswered, please contact us HERE.
The Architectural Design Process
You will need to know the phases that need to happen for your design project to start and complete. The architectural design process is made up of seven phases (eight if you count completion):
1. Pre-design (RIBA Stage 0 & RIBA Stage 1),
2. Schematic design (RIBA Stage 2),
3. Design development (RIBA Stage 3),
4. Building permits (including planning permission – RIBA Stage 3),
5. Building regulations submission (RIBA Stage 4),
6. Tender process (RIBA Stage 4),
7. Construction documents and construction administration (RIBA Stage 5),
8. Handover (RIBA Stage 6).
STEP 1 – Before you approach an Architect
So, you think you need an architect. The first question you need to ask yourself before engaging with one, is what it is that you need. You could approach an architect to discuss something that you like, but chances are that if there is not a requirement, you might end up leaving the project behind after having invested in consultants and design. For instance, you might be expecting a baby, but you have no space for a nursery, or you are now working from home and need an allocated office space. Or you might need something a little more involving, like you own a building and you do not know what the best use of the space is, but you are sure that you need to produce an income sooner rather than later.
Next, you will need to think about your budget. We all want a bigger house or a more spacious office, but it is important to have a good idea of how much you want to spend on your project. As a rule of thumb, you need to allow £3,000 per square meter for a new build / extension. The figure you put forward will shape the whole proposal. Whatever your requirement, have a think about your brief and your budget and discuss it with whoever is involved, then you are ready to ring an architect’s doorbell.
STEP 2 – Approaching an Architect (RIBA Stage 0)
Most people don’t know that you are very welcome to just pop in without an appointment. Architects’ offices are open 9 to 5.30 most days and you should be able to drop by for a chat or book an appointment.
Moving forward, you are now sat with your architect. This is your opportunity to share your vision, whether it is a simple and practical requirement, or you are trying to achieve your dream. The advice for Step 2 is to make sure you are as clear and thorough as possible. Despite some common belief, architects can’t really read minds so the best way to start the collaboration with the right foot is to provide as much information on what it is that you need to achieve. Share your budget. This is a crucial information to any architect to be able to assist you. You architect will let you know if they can help you or will be able to refer you to someone else who can assist.