Filters:   | | |     |  


Updated: 2022-06-30

A Guide to the Design and Construction Process

(click to enlarge diagram)

This is a highly abbreviated summary. Please reach out for a more detailed version tailored to your project.

Starting a project is a unique combination of excitement and uncertainty. The design–construction process is complex, but there is a clear path through that is informative and rewarding. I call this process 4D»2B ("forty-to-be") which stands for:

Dream › Define › Design › Document   »   Bid › Build

This is shorthand for six methodical phases that establish goals, gather information, begin design, develop details, select a contractor, and follow construction. Traditionally, three specific phases have been highlighted, biased toward design:

traditional design


Ironically, the CD phase isn't even about design. 4D»2B is a more wholistic picture of the total process, as illustrated in the diagram above and the outline below.

    Market Exploration (MX)

    There is a nebulous period prior to realizing a project need, borne out of the inefficiencies and discomforts in the current place. Problems and challenges may be vague and undiscovered. Exploration occurs across the broadest marketplace, beyond the building industry, and related to ownership, location, functionality, and support.


    Vision and Site Selection (VS)

  1. Goals:

    Guiding objectives might be wide-ranging or specific. Large words and big thinking are as important as spaces, budgets, and deadlines.

  2. Inspirations:

    Collections of images as magazine clippings or pinned online, memories of a favorite time, the feeling of a certain place, certain materials or products, a work of art, a book, or even a piece of music—any could be the inspiration for a project's objectives.

  3. Priorities:

    Re-sale value, completing construction for a back-yard wedding, security for playing children, a place to practice a hobby—all express motivations that fundamentally shape the dream.

  4. Scope:

    The general description, scale, and quality for the project.

  5. Quality:

    The expressiveness of the design, the richness of the materials, and the level of craftsmanship required during construction have (by far) the largest impact on a project's budget and schedule.

  6. Timeline:

    An overall duration for all six phases of design and construction can roughly be estimated, as can special acceleration efforts required.

  7. Precedent Study:

    Certain specialty building types may benefit from study of similar ones. Libraries and laboratories, schools and skyscrapers, restaurants and residences can develop from detailed analysis of an archetype.

  8. Feasibility:

    Rule-of-thumb values can be used to roughly establish a construction and project budget based on the goals.

  9. Site Selection

  10. Site Selection Process:

    Site selection is a fluid process of research, inventory, and analysis. As information is obtained and uncovered, areas for more exploration may become evident. This could be the sole focus of the initial design effort, or it could parallel the building design process.

  11. Regional, Economic, and Cultural Map:

    Review of the cultural, economical, and physical characteristics of the region and identify desirable areas and neighborhoods. Larger commercial projects may explore regional and local growth patterns, market and land use conditions, and infrastructure and services available in formulating a pro forma for prospective investors.

  12. Local Market Area:

    Exploration of specific neighborhoods matched against the project's requirements.

  13. Potential Site Identification:

    Potential sites available can be found through listings, agents, or directly with land owners.

  14. Potential Site Identification:

    Brokers and agents are usually the most efficient means for discovering available sites for commercial projects.

  15. Zoning Classification:

    Land Use Ordinances regulate a building's purpose, from it's size to type of use. A zoning regulatory study will discover a piece of property's limitations, density, building scale, setbacks, easement, rights of way, and proportion of pavement, parking, and building.

  16. Re-zoning:

    For desirable properties with an incompatible zoning classification, an arduous process provides some opportunity to re-classify. Municipalities require application, review, and public hearing. Even simple re-zoning cases can be laborious. Complex cases can have a political charged process and take multiple years.

  17. Variances:

    On a case-by-case basis minor exceptions to zoning requirements may be allowed without re-zoning. Some municipalities are less likely to issue these than others.

  18. Planning Regulations:

    Further requirements may also dictate the building construction, materials, site appearance and landscaping, signage, lighting, secondary structures, fences, driveway access, turn lanes, traffic signals, mass transit stops, greenway or bikeway access, right-of-ways, and fire department vehicle access.

  19. Impact Studies:

    Focused explorations of specific issues related to a property's development may be required by the zoning, planning, development, or purchase process. These may include potential concerns for traffic, rainwater runoff, appearance commissions, hydrology, wildlife, and horticulture could be required at additional, and sometimes considerable, expense.

  20. Infrastructure:

    Access to necessary or useful utilities may pose significant costs or opportunities in the project. Undeveloped sites in particular are at risk without a thorough understanding of services for electrical power, water supply, waste water, telephone, cable, and natural gas at a minimum. Opportunities may also exist for on-site power generation, wastewater and runoff treatment and mitigation, bio-remediation, and other passive or active strategies.

  21. Property Survey:

    Required for any type of project, a land survey by a licensed surveyor establishes legal site information. This is needed for new construction but also for renovations and change-of-use to establish occupancy limits, egress, drives and parking, utilities, and proximity to nearby buildings or structures and fire opening protections.

  22. Land Survey:

    A detailed survey of land features is usually required for commercial construction. This is provided by a licensed surveyor in electronic drawing format to include all major legal, environmental, and site features. This includes topography at intervals of 12" or less, footprints of existing buildings and site structures, heritage trees and tree lines, boulders, streams, paved surfaces, utilities overhead and below ground, limitations of flood way and flood hazard areas, wetlands, and any other legal restrictions.

  23. Site Blocking Diagram:

    The site's physical measurements and features are the background for design. Blocking diagrams coordinate concepts with both site and building restrictions and opportunities.

  24. Geo-technical Investigation:

    For residential construction and additions, investigation of the soil stability may be required if there are suspicious signs of unstable ground, ground water, or settlement.

    For larger buildings were a presumptive 2,000 PSF soil bearing capacity can not be assumed, an investigation is needed of the site's soil types and structural capacities, sub-surface rock, groundwater, percolation rates, and other geological considerations.

  25. Purchase

  26. Financing:

    Arrangements for financing may be as simple as talking with a institution that offers mortgages. Some have flexible offerings that provide construction loans convertable to mortgages.

  27. Offer:

    Negotiations can be formal or informal, but an offer can always be countered until the contract is executed by both parties. Sometimes a contingent offer requires due diligence, a period of information gathering to determine if conditions are suitable for the final contract. Numerous consultants

  28. Purchase Contract:

    Written agreements executed (signed) by both parties transfer property and services per that agreement. Lenders may include conditions and contingency clauses delay the actual transfer for a period of time or upon certain conditions.

  29. Pre-Design (PD)

    Existing Building Information

  30. Architectural Building Survey:

    Measurement of an existing building to establish architectural base plan information needed for design and analysis.

  31. Electronic Base Drawings:

    Drawings in an electronic CAD-compatible format reflecting the Architectural Building Survey. Scaled, hard copy drawings are available from this format.

  32. Zoning and Planning Check:

    Verify the existing site and building uses relative to the applicable zoning and planning code.

  33. Existing Building Code Research and Analysis:

    Preceding a renovation, preliminary code research and analysis investigates potential building code and site zoning restrictions against the prospective scope of the project.

  34. Change-of-Use:

    Where an existing building is being re-used with a different function, the building code requires a permit submittal to prove compliance. This can include proofs for parking spaces, accessibility at both exterior and interior, occupancy loads, egress and exiting calculations, fire protective construction adequacy, door hardware, toilet fixture and drinking fountain counts, grab bars, HVAC ventilation calculations, lighting levels, fire detection and alarm systems, emergency lighting, and a host of other potential requirements.

  35. Property Condition Assessment and Report:

    Useful for pre-sale evaluations and often includes a walk-through by a team of building experts and a property condition report identifying deficiencies. This may be based on ASTM E2018-01 if the evaluation requires and can be extended for additional investigations or conceptual design exploration.

  36. Hazardous Materials Survey (and Remediation):

    Existing buildings constructed prior to 1978 likely have the potential for lead paint which was banned that year. Asbestos is still not a banned substance, although its uses were legally curtailed by the EPA under the most hazardous installations incrementally since 1973.

  37. Advanced Building Survey:

    Beyond the initial Architectural Building Survey above and may partner with engineers or other experts to document existing structures, PME systems, vertical facades, roof and wall envelope enclosure, and architectural details and features.

  38. New Building Code Research and Analysis:

    Preliminary code research and analysis to determine possible construction types and occupancy limitations.

  39. BOMA Calculations:

    Real estate transactions often require precisely measured area take-offs to determine rentable areas and factors. We use the applicable Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) standard depending on the type of real estate and standard for measurement.

  40. D2

    Site Analysis

    For complex residential projects, site analysis may be necessary to decide opportunities for placement of the house.

    For a favorable site, studies are conducted to understand how a building might engage it.

  41. Site Restrictions:

    For residential construction and additions, land restrictions must be established early. Property not zoned for use requires rezoning, but many other potential limitations should be investigated by a surveyor: property lines, setbacks, water ways, flood zones, easements and buffers requiring vegetation or limiting buildings or appurtenances, existing encroachments, and rights of way for utilities and roadway.

    On-site features can also pose significant limitations. Septic systems and drainage features are common, and others include specimen trees and their roots, foundations and retaining walls, and fences.

  42. Septic System:

    For residential construction, often the single most impacting site complexity is the septic system design. Having a municipal sewer system available for connection eliminates this concern. Otherwise, a home must construct its own sanitary water treatment system on site. This primarily consists of a septic field area large enough to match the size of the home, typically according to the number of bedrooms. The soil is tested to measure it's ability to absorb the flow, known as a percolation test. Based on these two measures, a tank is sized to feed the drain field. A field consists of several perforated plastic sewer lines that allow the flow to be absorbed by the soil it is buried in. The field is sized for the home and includes an additional repair area in case a portion of the field fails or if more capacity is required.

  43. Detailed Studies:

    A vast number of impacting features can inventoried, studied, and analyzed depending on the situation: built context, forms, materials, and streetscape (for urban projects); topography, water ways, and land formations; drainage, runoff, and erosion control; land use; tree and other feature protections; hazards; growth and adaption planning; phasing, and construction staging.

  44. Opportunities and Constraints:

    Many features can be identified and analyzed like views, topographic impact, and site access. It may have concerns for environmental contamination, developmental style and material approvals, access to public way or transit, and historical preservation. Neighboring sites may be unsightly or have odors, noise, or security concerns.

  45. Environmental Opportunities:

    Documentation of solar orientation, shadows and light, predominant wind patterns, and other features to be embraced or mitigated.

  46. Change of Use:

    One special code complication is Change of Use. A building that changes function must be submitted for permit. This requires a complete code analysis to establish compliance with construction, scale, egress, bathroom fixture counts, accessibility, and many other aspects of the building code.

  47. Project Definition

  48. Programming :

    A service to investigate and explore the project space and functional needs. This can be detailed research and analysis of current uses, usually collaborative with the Client and others within the organization.

  49. Program:

    A space program identifies the Client's required building's functional needs and required space sizes.

  50. Basis of Design

    More sophisticated projects may require a more developed program. Individual space requirements include room data for finishes, fixtures, equipment, required adjacencies of other spaces, and special engineered system requirements.

  51. Advance Planning:

    A pre-design brief as a design study to state the design goals. Often used in government funded projects where design parameters are required to select a designer.

  52. Equipment List:

    Common for restaurants, laboratory, healthcare, and industrial projects, a list of required equipment is usually related to the space program.

  53. Massing Study:

    Exploration of major spatial organization against the site parameters to understand basic volume metrics, opportunities, and limitations.

  54. Budget:

    The Client establishes an overall project budget. Required prior to beginning design, this can be based on volumetric building costs with known industry approximations. Contingencies are assigned for items unknown.

  55. Funding Arrangements:

    Determination of funding options is clarified by the owner prior to design.

  56. Schedule:

    The schedule for the project is established by the Client with any required major milestones for design, procurement, construction, and move in.

  57. Delivery:

    How the contractor will be selected, be it direct select, open bid, construction manager, or another more complex arrangement.

  58. D3

    Schematic Design (SD)

  59. Schematic Design:

    Architectural design traditionally begins at this phase. It is typically described as architectural documents (to scale) that set the conceptual design and confirm and test the requirements of the project definition.

  60. Investigations:

    Some initial work into understanding existing soil, structural, water, sewer, HVAC, and electrical capacities might be prudent prior to beginning design. If not already completed, investigations into existing building and structural conditions, hazardous materials, impact studies, and operational contingencies for the eventual construction activities must be completed prior to further design work since their impacts could significantly alter it and the project definitions.

  61. Site Plan:

    The building is located on the site with property lines, major contextual features for access, hard surfaces and drives, and undisturbed areas.

  62. Restrictions:

    Zoning, planning, HOA, and covenantal restrictions for the design must be understood very early in design to avoid conflicts and changes to comply.

  63. Phasing:

    Complex renovation projects require early thinking about how the construction process will work. For extensive projects, some residents plan a long vacation around a critical period where the house may be open to hot or cold weather, when tricky structural modifications may not permit occupation, or when loud or dust-producing activities might make life generally unpleasant or unlivable. Schemes might be developed for partial occupation, re-locations, demolition, contingencies for expected problems, noise and disruption, hazardous material removal, and interruptions of utility services.

  64. Design Studies:

    General explorations into design options with sketches, models, 3D massing, natural lighting, and circulation

  65. Diagrams:

    Floor plan diagrams showing all spaces, doors, and indicating general functions and materials.

  66. Test Fit:

    Typically used during owner-tenant negotiations for commercial office space, this is a conceptual floor plan to test a program against the available space.

  67. Elevations:

    Exterior views of the building showing masses, volumes, roof shapes, doors and windows, and major materials being considered.

  68. Building Sections:

    For large or complex buildings, overall sections show the inter-relationship of large masses and volumes.

  69. Conceptual Wall Section:

    Indicates the anticipated structural and construction systems.

  70. Equipment Planning:

    Common for restaurants, industrial, and healthcare projects, equipment planning results have major implications to a project's budget, schedule, and overall design.

  71. Code Analysis:

    Initial code analysis should be complete enough in Schematic Design to confirm the overall design strategy for size, siting, construction type, exiting, and fire protection.

  72. Interior Design:

    Early concepts for finishes and for furniture, furnishings, and equipment (F+FFE).

  73. Structural Engineering:

    A diagram of the anticipated structural system may be evident on the architectural plans (such as a column grid), or may be a separate diagram or narrative depending on the project.

  74. PME Engineering:

    Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical engineered systems (including that for supporting systems like fire protection, telecommuncations, or fire alarm) might be roughly sized against available or anticipated utilities, services, and spaces that meet the project's needs.

  75. Construction Contract:

    Based on the method of delivery established during the Define phase, beginning decision making about a complementary form of construction contract begins.

  76. Construction Cost Statement:

    The Client confirms the Architect's statement of cost of construction based on the current design. This is based on volumetric building costs with known industry approximations. Contingencies are assigned for items unknown.

  77. Client Review and Approval:

    The phase is concluded by the Client reviewing the design. A review acts as a benchmark of assumptions in the design. Changes required to these in future phases usually results in additional design effort and time to adjust and coordinate.

  78. Authority Review:

    For public projects, additional review parties may also be included in the process. Regulatory bodies, administrative groups, and facilities or supporting divisions are just some of the additional eyes that can be part of this cycle.

  79. Design Development (DD)

  80. Design Development:

    This traditional second phase of design expands the concept into tangible materials and systems. Thinking and strategies are developed for the site, the building's structure, spaces, forms, materials, and engineered systems.

  81. Detailed Phasing Plans:

    Structural engineering for disruptive changes can begin during Design Development. Typically a complex commercial renovation establishes a relationship early in design with a construction manager who begins to plan general parameters for shoring, rigging, lifts, operational relocations, and any other complexity that might impact the design.

  82. Site:

    A site plan indicates paving, walks, patios and site features. Other plans may include those for grading, erosion control, plantings, site feature, roadway, utilities.

  83. Site Complexities:

    Certain sites may have additional considerations related to auto, bus, trucking, rail, air, or shipping transporation. Sites with waterways or bodies of water may require considerable strategic, design, and regulatory research and planning.

  84. Plans:

    Including for the architectural floor, roof, and ceiling that show forms, plumbing fixtures, casework, special equipment, windows, and furniture.

  85. Studies:

    3D modeling, physical models, lighting, material mock-ups

  86. Equipment Plans:

    For projects with significant equipment, a distinct plan organizes information between the designers, contractors, vendors, and owner-provided work.

  87. Special Planning:

    Unique processes related to laboratories, restaurants, healthcare, manufacturing, and many other types of businesses which require focused planning in this phase for improved coordination.

  88. Building Elevations:

    Building elevations indicate materials and construction modules. Typical wall sections of all major construction types.

  89. Sections:

    Sectional views for typical walls, stairs, shafts, elevators, and multi-story spaces.

  90. Openings:

    Doors, windows, skylights, atriums, gates, rolling doors, and other openings are documented with schedules and component elevations.

  91. Life Safety Plan:

    Based on code analysis, a life safety diagram should illustrate occupancy areas, exiting, rated assemblies, and any special design features critical to the code and life safety.

  92. Interior Elevations:

    Elevations of all typical interior casework areas should be blocked in showing relationships of FFE selections as wall as typical materials and relationships.

  93. Finish Plans:

    Material plans, and conditions in special spaces and conditions.

  94. Furniture Plans:

    Furniture plans illustrate all fixed furniture as well as movable.

  95. Shopping Lists:

    For residential construction, it can be helpful to itemize Client-purchased items with shopping lists, such as these below.

  96. Finishes:

    Some homeowners prefer to buy flooring, tile, wall coverings, and other finishes to be installed within the construction contract.

  97. Furnishings:

    Furniture pieces as well as rugs, artwork, and window treatments

  98. Equipment and Appliances:

    All kitchen appliances, built-in tub systems

  99. Plumbing Fixtures:

    Every porcelain or chromed fixture required in toilets, bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry.

  100. Lighting Fixtures:

    Lighting fixtures and their controls, mode lighting

  101. Specialties:

    A huge number of products can be purchased by-Client: ceiling fans, outdoor grills, handrails, fire place units, screen and enclosure systems, pet doors and fences, data and telecommunications, audio/video, security, home controls, swimming pools and tubs, saunas, exercise equipment, etc.

  102. Coordination and Review Meetings:

    Discussions between clients, users, tenants, architect, engineers, other design consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, designers, and contractors.

  103. Structural Engineering:

    Analysis of the structure should now be complete, with plans for the foundation, framing, roof, building and walls

  104. Building Systems Engineering:

    All disciplines should have completed engineering analysis and sizing. Comprehensive layouts for these should be in plans and sections where required. Utility connections and service upgrades are resolved, too.

  105. Specifications:

    Preliminary specifications, either in outline or narrative format should describe all major systems and materials and their respective quality levels.

  106. Performance Objectives:

    Additional performance requirements specified now include those for commissioning, sustainability goals, and cost savings.

  107. Form of Contract:

    Construction contract components begin finalization, including for procurement, general conditions, alternates, unit prices, and allowances. (See Bid below.)

  108. Schedule:

    The project schedule is adjusted if necessary and confirmed.

  109. Statement of Cost:

    A statement of cost based on the updated design can be confirmed. Some large corporate and government clients require a life cycle cost analysis at this point to evaluate final system and material selections.

  110. Client Review:

    The Design Development documents can be submitted for review to the Client and potentially building users, facilities maintainers, financiers, and others with interests in the project. Typically, comments are returned in writing for any changes required. For significant changes, a re-submittal is required.

  111. Reviews with Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ):

    Further analysis and negotiations of the Building Code Analysis and Site Zoning Analysis with the local AHJ may be necessary mid-way through design to ensure the project conforms to its requirements.

  112. Reviewing Agencies:

    Additional reviewing bodies include both governmental and private organizations for certifications, health inspections, and specialties associated with the building's primary use.

  113. Purchasing Review:

    Groups responsible for purchasing furnishings, equipment, accessories, specialties, and supplies frequently request feedback into a project prior to final decision making.

  114. Safety and Security Review:

    Larger facilities or projects within a complex or multi-site organization often require review from safety and security bodies to ensure assumptions of the local projects fit within the campus.

  115. Design—Documentation hand-off:

    Some design processes are organized to transfer document authorship at this point from one acting as the design architect to another acting as the architect of record.

  116. D4

    Construction Documentation (CD)

  117. Construction Documentation:

    This is the third traditional "design" phase that really isn't design at all. Drawings and specifications are developed by the architect and engineers to document the final design in a form that can be permitted by the AHJ and priced and executed by the contractor. The architecture board requires drawings for "bidding, permitting, and construction" to be finalized and sealed. Only with the completion of documents is it possible to establish accurate costs.

  118. Below are rudimentary drawings for a typical project.

    • Title sheet with location map, index of drawings, key plan
    • Notes, abbreviations, symbols
    • Site Plan
    • Utility Plan
    • Erosion Control and Tree Protection Plan
    • Grading Plan
    • Roadway, Drive, and Parking Plan
    • Planting Plan
    • Details
    Code and Life Safety
    • Building Code Summary
    • Life Safety Plan
    • Site Plan with bounds, access, parking, accessible walks
    • Demolition plan
    • Floor Plans (new work)
    • Door and Hardware Schedule
    • Furnishings and Equipment Plan(s)
    • Reflected Ceiling Plan
    • Roof Plan
    • Door and Window Elevations
    • Bathroom and Accessibility Details
    • Construction Details
    Fire and Safety
    • Sprinklers and Suppression Plan
    • Fire and Gases Detection Plan
    • Alarm and Notification Device Plan
    • Plumbing Fixture Schedule
    • Water Supply Plan (includes utility service)
    • Water Supply Riser Diagram
    • Sanitary Plan
    • Sanitary Riser Diagram
    • Gas Piping Plan (includes utility service)
    • HVAC Equipment Schedule
    • Ventilation Calculations
    • HVAC Equipment Plan
    • Duct Plan
    • Utility Service Plan
    • Lighting Fixture Schedule
    • Lighting Plan
    • Electrical Power Plan
    • Electrical Panel Riser Diagrams
    • Electrical Panel Schedules
    • Telephone/Data Plan (includes utility service)
  119. Notes and Specifications:

    Descriptions for all aspects of the construction not indicated in drawing format.

  120. Site Plan:

    An overall plan of the site, house, and major site elements such as property lines, setbacks, easements, buffers, drives, walks, major trees and tree lines. A site plan can also include many other details like plantings, fences, utilities, and storm drainage features.

  121. Floor Plan:

    A large scale plan view often indicating many components of the design. Some projects rely on the floor plan for the majority of the construction information, while others use it for basic dimensions and referencing to other drawings.

  122. Ceiling Plan:

    Usually referred to as a reflected ceiling plan, this view shows the ceiling as seen from below to highlight shapes and components on the ceiling, from levels, bulkheads, soffits, lighting, fans, HVAC diffusers, and suspended equipment.

  123. Enlarged Plan:

    Usually a blow up view of a small portion of a floor plan to indicate more detail, such as for stairs or bathrooms.

  124. Framing Plan:

    Optional plan indicating the design concept for structural framing.

  125. Finish Plan:

    For intricate designs, finishes may be indicated on a separate plan instead of as typically shown on the floor plan.

  126. Elevations:

    Exterior views of house facades. Usually described with the cardinal direction (e.g., North, East) of the view.

  127. Sections:

    Slices through the house showing the relationships between existing and new pieces and the various floors and exterior ground levels.

  128. Wall Sections:

    Detailed construction drawing indicating all the components within the wall construction, including structure, insulation, vapor and moisture controls, openings, and finishes.

  129. Details:

    Enlarged scale drawings explaining various component assembly conditions.

  130. Openings Schedules:

    Scheduled information for doors and windows.

  131. Structural Engineering:

    Befitting the project, good structural drawings leave little for the contractor to imagine and spell out all structural member sizes and conditions.

  132. Pricing:

    With a selected contractor, fairly accurate pricing can be obtained before the completion of construction documents. Without a contractor, market prices for construction can be used, although in conditions of extreme volatility it can be challenging to approximate any particular contractor's ultimate offer.

  133. Contingency:

    A budgetary amount apportioned for the unknown. Quantified contingency enables decision making when unexpected problems are discovered during construction.

  134. Title Page:

    Reviewers frequently want to see a cover page with the name of the project, a location map, key of symbols, common abbreviations, and general notes.

  135. Architectural Site Plan:

    A site plan that explains relationships between major site features and architectural components. It is used to explain general site orientation, building clearances, paths of exit, fire department access, accessible paths, and other major site components not included on specialist or consultant site plans.

  136. Site Information:

    Typically by consultants to reflect more detailed site information than the architectural site plan, including a detailed site plan with paving, walks, patios, and canopies, grading plan, erosion control plan, plantings plan, irrigation plan, site feature plans including pools, roadway plan and sections, adjacent roadway plan, utility plans, details, schedules and notes.

  137. Building Code Summary:

    An official code stipulated multi-page summary of building code calculations and parameters.

  138. Existing Building Code Evaluation:

    Three alternative methods can be used to evaluate existing buildings in terms of compliance with the Existing Building Code: Chapter 3 Prescriptive, Chapter 6–13 Work Area, and Chapter 14 Performance.

  139. Life Safety Plan:

    Commercial building permit applications require a Life Safety Plan and the North Carolina Building Code Summary "Appendix B". Together, they illustrate and document the building's code parameters and safety features. This work is based on existing plan information and code analysis established above.

  140. Floor Plans:

    Often referred to as "the plan", floor plans can be singular or split into separate drawings to indicate a great number of items: walls, space names, area data, doors, windows, fixtures, equipment, furnishings, finishes, notes, and many other items that could be unique to a project.

  141. Foundation Plan:

  142. Ceiling Plans:

    show all forms and fixtures

  143. Roof Plan:

  144. Elevations:

    Building elevations indicate forms, configuration, openings (doors and windows), materials, fixtures, and all components on the exterior facade.

  145. Building Sections:

    Building sections indicate the arrangement of internal spaces, especially where stepped, tall, raised, or lowered relative to adjacent spaces.

  146. Wall Sections:

    For both typical and unique situations, indicate the components and arrangement of the structural and envelope enclosure conditions from the foundations, through the walls, to the roof. They also detail secondary structures like screen walls, canopies, and porticos.

  147. Health Department Plans:

    Many kinds of facilities require review by a county health department for approval: restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs, bottle shops, cafes, cafeterias, bakeries, catering kitchens, kiosks, food trucks, churches, schools, pre-schools, day cares, museums—anywhere that sells food or drink or prepares it for commercial sale. These reviews are often assisted by special drawings to highlight planning and detailing considerations, such as for equipment, casework, finishes, and furnishings, in addition to typical plumbing, mechanical, and electrical engineering systems drawings.

  148. Interior Elevations:

    Typically for casework, finishes, and wall-mounted specialties

  149. Enlarged Drawings:

    Smaller scale drawings to indicate details associated with elevators, stairs, ramps, hand or guardrails, an atrium, bathrooms, loading docks, and other specialty spaces.

  150. Details:

    The smallest scale drawings (from 1/2" = 1'-0" to full scale) showing construction detailing that might be required.

  151. Schedules:

    General information schedule for architectural doors, windows, finishes, and specialties

  152. Key Notes:

    Location dependent notations called out by a key legend. These may be numbered per drawing or they may be unique across an entire discipline's drawings.

  153. General Notes:

    General notes are considerations across an entire set of documents. They are usually applied to simpler projects that do not have detailed specifications.

  154. Equipment Plans and Schedules:

    Where sophisticated or critical equipment is required, separate equipment plans and schedules describe these pieces briefly or in great detail. Specific sections can be provided for vehicle and pedestrians, commerce, appliances, food service, library, audio-visual, laboratory and research, entertainment and recreation, healthcare, facilities and maintenance, religious, agricultural, horticulture, veterinary, arts and crafts, securty, and detention.

  155. Furnishings Plans and Schedules:

    Furnishings may be coordinated with a stand-alone plan and schedule. This could be to remove it's potential distraction from other plans or to distinguish its procurement by separate vendors or by the client/owner.

  156. Finish Plans:

    Small projects may simply call out finishes on the architectural plans, but larger or more complex projects could have one or more plans associated with finishes for ceilings, walls, floors, and accessories or specialties.

  157. Finish Boards:

    Where a project's finishes require detailed design, coordination, and final selection, a finishes palette arranged and mounted on boards may be helpful to record final decisions and serve as reference for other design decisions. Finish boards might be finalized late in a project or very early, depending on the design goals and schedule of the project.

  158. Interior Design:

    Included within furnishings are areas that may be addressed separately if necessary for the project: art, window treatments, casework, group or auditorium seating, plants, bicycles, trash and recycling.

  159. Structural Engineering:

    Structural analysis of proposed strategies, both site and building, Foundation Plans, Framing Plans, Wall Sections of typical walls, Sections at shafts for stairs and elevators, Details, Schedules and Notes

  160. Fire Suppression Engineering:

    Usually conceived of as simply fire sprinklers, the system engineering includes the water service, flow detection, service mains, standpipes, piping distribution, and sprinkler heads. Other types of systems may include smoke evacuation louvers and fans, as well as kitchen hood fire suppression, and suppression gas systems for electronic components (think bank data centers) with Halon or FM.

  161. Plumbing Engineering:

    Water engineering systems are the oldest building systems to be engineered, with Roman aquaducts dating from antiquity. Today, plumbing engineering usually begins at the water utility service connection, followed by meters, backflow prevention, pumps and distribution piping, to fixtures and receptacles for use. From there, the waste and sanitary plumbing system returns the water to the municipality or ground septic system.

    Plumbing engineering also design fuel gas systems and speciality gasses for healthcare and laboratories, like compressed air, vacuum, nitrogen, oxygen, liquid nitrogen, argon, helium, and even hydrogen.

  162. Mechanical Engineering:

    Often referred to as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), this complex discipline designs building systems originating at remote utility plants, their major equipment installations that supply them to the building, to the individual subsystems for supply, return, and control. A vast array of possibilities include systems that accomplish this by air, water, soil, deep ground wells, solar heating, photovoltaic arrays, and wind turbines. Mechanical engineering is a huge field with many areas of concern and specialists.

  163. Process Engineering:

    Heavy industrial, scientific, and medical processes use complex systems to create, manage, regulate, and control the products and energy involved. Nine sections of specifications are related to systems for air, chemicals, drainage, exhaust, gases, water, and vacuum.

  164. Electrical Engineering:

    Another complex engineering field that designs vast electrical service, distribution, and utilization systems for a building. These begin at the provision of electrical utility service, stand-by and emergency power generation, back up power, and uninterruptable supply. Distribution systems throughout a building may actually be an overlay of several for different needs. Use of the electricity is provided through devices like receptacles or lighting, all controlled by many kinds of internet connected or intelligent technologies.

  165. Fire Detection, Alarm, and Exit Lighting:

    There are subtle differences between systems to detect, warn, and provide safety when exiting. These life safety systems are often designed together, and might include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detection, lit exit signage, lighting that comes on to light the path of egress when an alarm is activated, fire department call systems, elevator phones and sump pumps for flooding conditions, smoke detectors in ductwork, infrared detectors, and remote monitoring systems.

  166. Data/Telecommunications:

    Simple indications of data receptacle locations may be indicated on a floor plan. But more complex networks and designs may have entire sections of the documents for data centers, raised floors, cooling units, main and sub- distribution frames, network fiber runs and backbones, cable trays, and multiple kinds of receptacles, switches, and radios.

  167. Security:

    Current technology simplifies security system installation, but highly secure or sophisticated systems require pre-planning and specialist consultants or vendors to design and document.

  168. Audio/Visual/Lighting:

    Special display, projection, reference, presentation, theatrical, virtual space, telepresence, or broadcasting needs can drive entire projects or be minor supplemental features.

  169. Form of Contract:

    Finalization of all terms, including special contractual requirements within construction documentation related to institutions, extra-contract arrangements for furnishings and equipment, and local or county AHJ particulars.

  170. Project Manual and Specifications:

    Procurement and Contracting Requirements (section 00), Construction Contract finalized, Advertisement and Notices for Bids, Bond forms for bids, performance and payment, Bid Form of Proposal, General Conditions (section 01), Final Division Specifications (sections 02-48)

  171. Procurement Information:

    Information related to public bids includes the publication of the advertisement for bidders, dates for pre-bid meetings and the bid, bid forms, bonding requirements, and project contact information.

  172. General Conditions:

    In addition to the direct construction labor and materials, sometimes a sizable portion of a project is dedicated to supporting arrangements and conditions such as site access, construction utilities, debris disposal, job site facilities like bathrooms and job trailers, staging and phasing, requirements for submissions, regular meetings, progress measurements, safety, payment, and close-out. (See the Build phase for these details.)

  173. Specification Sections:

    Traditional specification sections 02-48 detail all construction categories from demolition to electrical power generation. A large project might need several volumes of printed specifications to adequately detail these requirements.

  174. Project / Construction Schedule:

    The project schedule is confirmed again, and the expected construction duration times applied within the contract requirements.

  175. Budget Verification:

    A final confirmation of the project budget is necessary before construction pricing. This might include professional third-party cost estimation.

  176. Construction Contingency:

    A portion of the project budget set aside for unseen or unexpected costs. Good budgets carry separate contingencies for both design and construction. The amounts generally are larger at the beginning and are decreased as design and construction proceed and most potential problems are understood and resolved.

  177. Statement of Cost:

    The architect provides a final summation for the expected project construction.

  178. Reviews:

    Review of construction documents is essential to confirm the scope of the contract since this is the last opportunity to adjust them prior to beginning the construction process with procurement. Architects and their consultants often apportion time to audit prior to submitting the documents for the owner and third parties to review. Feedback from these check can result in comments and revisions before final approvals to begin the construction process.

  179. Additional Reviewers:

    In addition to reviews scopes begun during the Design phase (by the Client, AHJ, agencies, purchasing, and security), additional reviews during final Documentation could include dozens more for accessibility, fire fighting, police, facilities maintenance and cleaning, landscape care, and even postal or delivery services.

  180. B1

    Procurement (BD)

    Procurement is a more appropriate name for this phase because most projects are not bid. Dozens of different processes are available to price, negotiate, and contract a construction project.

  181. Quality Documentation:

    Reliable pricing is reliant on detailed and complete information. The construction specifications industry uses The Four Cs to describe: Correct, Complete, Clear, Concise.

  182. Advertisement for Bids:

    Usually reserved only for governmentally funded or very large projects where formal, legal advertisement of the bid opportunity must be made public.

  183. Notice to Bidders:

    The official statement of the project bidding opportunity that usually includes a brief description, bid date, and contact information to learn more.

  184. Communications:

    Frequently the architect, as author of the contract documents, is the official communicator to prospective contractors. Architects are trained to communicate consistently and uniformly to multiple parties looking at the documents to maintain a balanced, fair procurement process.

  185. Addenda:

    Official changes of the contract documents issued to bidders during the bid process or during negotiations, prior to contract.

  186. Allowance:

    Allowances are a fund included in the contract for purchasing specified items. Unused allowances are not deducted from the contract, but costs in excess must be funded supplemented by the owner.

  187. Alternate:

    A portion of work with itemized pricing for cost control. However, sometimes alternates carry a premium price for the additional complexity they add to accommodate.

  188. Unit Price:

    This is a contract or working price for a limited task, material, or scope of work. When quantities are unknown, it is sometimes easier to assign a price by quantity rather than by total sum. Examples include per piece work like building fence, removing soil, or constructing sidewalk.

  189. Liquidated Damages:

    This is a quantification of the damages incurred by the owner for inconvenience or delay that a contractor is required to pay if the contracted limit is exceeded. For example, a contract with a 360 day required duration may have assigned a $500 liquidated damages penalty to the contractor for every day beyond this the project is delayed from completing.

  190. Form of Contract:

    The oldest source of construction contracts is the American Institute of Architects (AIA), now more than 100 years old. These remain the industry's most commonly used and act primarily in the Owner's favor although many contractors also prefer their even-handed legal approach. Other forms also exist, both standardized and highly customized by the individual contractor.

  191. Methods for Procurement:

    Contractors may be selected purely by price or many other qualitative measures. Selection through competitive bid, often believed to produce the lowest pricing, may do so at the expense of a more combative construction process, lower quality, and increased cost in changes. Selection by other measures can reduce pressure to create profits and reduce quality.

    1. Competitive Bid:

      In selecting a contractor by price, it is essential to use detailed and complete documents to establish the scope of the project to ensure each bidder prices the same work. Anything missing will cost extra in the form of a change order. Some contractors avoid bidding projects to avoid being undercut by low-ball bidders intentionally cheating the scope of work. The lowest bidder is most likely the most optimistic or opportunistic.

    2. Public Bid:

      Advertised to obtain maximum participation, a public bid is guaranteed to find the lowest market price—at the expense of being the most difficult to manage and at highest risk for additional change order costs. Only thorough, complete, and reviewed architectural documents should be used. Public projects often use this method because it is the most open and provides the lowest price.

    3. Public Bid, Qualified Bidders:

      Qualification of the bidders prior to participation allows restriction of the participating contractors to those with the most similar experience, financial and legal stability, and previous project success. The qualification process must be transparent and fair to be effective.

    4. Invited Bid, Open:

      Rather than qualify bidders, an owner may invite particular contractors to bid. If open, their final bids will be shared to the other bidders.

    5. Invited Bid, Closed:

      A closed bid among invited bidders keep pricing from being shared between the bidders. This is useful where respect between the owner and prospective contractors exists and is desirable to continue for the sake of ongoing relationships between them outside the bidding project. While this method has the least cost advantage across the price-sensitive contractor selection methods, it offers the best opportunity to avoid cost-sensitive management issues during construction.

    6. Direct Selection:

      A contractor can be selected by factors other than price, such as by referral, availability, reputation, or a simple internet search. The opportunity for a market price advantage to the Owner here is exchanged for reduced design documentation and hopes of a reduced procurement effort.

    7. Negotiated Stipulated/Lump Sum:

      Price negotiations for the sum of the project are negotiated in a fairly straight forward manner. The price and terms agreed between the Owner and Contractor are those placed in the contract.

    8. Time and Materials:

      To eliminate cost estimations, this contract form simply pays the contractor for his time at some hourly or daily rate plus the cost of all the materials. For the contractor, this eliminates all risk from the project. For the owner, the materials are purchased at cost without markup and pays the contractor only for his time. The risk for the owner is that the contractor has no restrictions on how much time is taken.

    9. Cost Plus Fee, Flat:

      Again in this contract, the owner pays for all the materials without markup. To avoid the risk of unlimited time in the Time and Materials contract, Cost Plus Fee sets a contracted cost for the contractor's time to complete the contract regardless of how long it takes to complete. This form of contract works well if it specifies a specific duration in which the contract is to be completed to avoid leaving it open ended.

    10. Cost Plus Fee, Percentage:

      The only difference between this and the Cost Plus Fee, Flat is that the fee is calculated as a percentage of the material cost. While either of these arrangements are ideal for very small projects where there is already trust between the owner and contractor, they leave the implications of costs for unforeseen conditions and overhead too undefined for more substantial projects.

    11. Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP):

      This is a form of Stipulated Sum with reserves built into the price in the form of potential cost savings. With minimal contract documents, the contractor quickly approximates project cost plus contingency. If the owner can accept that price, they agree to the contract in return for a mutual sharing of any savings the contractor is able to find during construction. This can be effective for small and simple projects, but changes in scope resulting from insufficient drawings still add to the cost as change orders.

    12. Construction Manager:

      In this role, the contractor is paid a fee to manage portions of the project. This can happen early in design (CMa) or later (CMc), but in either case, the traditional role of the general contractor is expanded to include more oversight and input. This is most logical in a large or high speed delivery project where intensive construction management is required like an energy plant or pharmaceutical manufacturing.

    13. Design-Build:

      In this arrangement the contractor includes design within the construction contract. It favors simple, easily constructed and traditional houses. But in commercial construction, many states prohibit architects from being hired by contractors. This avoids the inherent conflict of interest and the potential risks associated in a design favoring cheap instead of safe.

    14. Build to Suit:

      This is a term for building an existing design on a pre-sold site. Owners are allowed to "select" options in a pre-designed home or tenant space layout where the options are limited and customizations are not allowed. Unfortunately, many speculative homes and office spaces are sold this way in the United States and are responsible for the generally poor quality and over-inflated pricing of our housing stock. You can identify a build to suite neighborhood because all the homes look the same and would look out of place in any other neighborhood.

    15. Integrated Delivery Process:

      This is a theoretical process of information sharing more than an actual form of contract. In theory, all the members of the owner, design, and construction teams reference the same information from the beginning of the project. Given new computer technologies, instantaneous reference and transfer is common. But contract law remains primarily formulated around two party contracts. So managing these new capabilities still occurs under traditional contract forms with adjustments for sharing.

  192. Pricing Proposal:

    Residential contractor proposals can represent a wide range of clarity and formality. Valid proposals must include three items to be valid:  contract sum (price), the duration of construction (time), and the scope of work (the contract drawings by title and date). Equivocations or lack of clarity to any of these three items is cause for concern.

  193. Bid Opening:

    The opening of bids submitted by prospective contractors can be a highly formal affair for publicly funded projects. For small private projects, bids received may not be publicized.

  194. Bid Evaluation:

    Where a project advertised that contractors will be selected by price, the lowest bidder wins the bid if it is complete, there are no fundamental problems or questions with the bid process or proposal, and the contractor stands by (does not retract) his bid.

  195. Selection:

    After a bid process or casual introduction, the owner will formally select a contractor with whom to begin negotiations. This might be a simple phone call for a small project. For large, politically charged projects, the selection process can be involved and lengthy.

  196. Contract Negotiation:

    Most contracting methods allow negotiation of the final prices with the selected contractor prior to finalization of the contract. These could be necessary due to irregularities in a bidding process or a simple optimization of the contract with opportunities offered or discovered after the close of selection. This is the last chance to ensure the contract is agreeable and that both parties understand and accept the terms.

  197. Pricing Negotiation:

    The residential pricing process is fraught with subtleties that can have expensive implications. It is important that the contract documents be updated to accurately reflect whenever final agreement the client and contractor make to avoid misunderstandings during permitting, construction, payments, and final inspections.

  198. Execution of the Contract:

    Both parties must sign the construction contract for it to be an agreement.Complexities in this process for larger project could involve notarization or bonding or funding entity acceptance contingent upon review.

  199. Notice to Proceed:

    In most small contracts, the contractor proceed upon contract. But larger projects may use a Notice to Proceed for a delayed start date. This delay may be intended to give one or both parties time to prepare for construction.

  200. Permit:

    A permit from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is usually dependent on a licensed contractor taking responsibility by supplying contract license numbers for himself and major subcontractors.

  201. B2

    Construction (CA)

    Construction is the conversion of materials and labor into a building. But the complexity of its management process far exceeds that of the actual construction.

  202. Construction Administration:

    The architect often performs services related to observing construction, reviewing submittals, responding to requests for information, meeting with the client and contractor, identifying work that does not conform to the contract documents, certifying pay applications, and walking through at the end to determine final completion.

  203. Processes

  204. Pre-construction Meeting:

    The initial construction meeting, sometimes held prior to the Notice to Proceed, but always before any work on site.

  205. Submittals:

    For open-ended decisions, the contract may require submittals for the architect and owner to review products applicability to the intended design prior to their purchase.

  206. Observations and Progress Review:

    The architect may be contracted for observations which is general review of the project during walk-through. This can be related to dimensions and configuration, materials, quality, selections, progress, damage, and any other aspects of the work that do not generally or specifically conform to the drawings and specifications. Technically observations differ from inspections, a word reserved for authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) related to building code compliance.

  207. Periodic Meetings:

    Projects may schedule meetings on weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly intervals depending on the scale of the project. These can be walk-throughs for the owner, architect, and contractor to review process and upcoming activities. Additional or special meetings can be scheduled for any sort of coordination between any of the contract and administrative parties.

  208. Pay Application Reviews and Approvals:

    Reputable contractors request pay for work completed and products purchased. Less reputable contractors bill ahead to float other overextend projects and operations. An architect is always contracted on public projects to review these applications, but can also review private and small project pay applications as well.

  209. Retainage:

    A portion of the pay being requested can be retained to ensure construction quality and provide an alternative means of finishing the work if a contractor defaults. Traditionally, this has been about 5% of the total, released to 2.5% about three-quarters of the way through a project. Interestingly, many general contractors hold 10% or more of retainage on their subcontractors' applications for pay.

  210. Change Management:

    Change is inevitable. These can be caused by unforeseen conditions, weather, personnel, accidents or injuries, changes in project requirements from the owner, delays, supply line changes, additional reviews, changes in codes and laws, municipality changes, utilities, and many others. Whatever the cause, making contractual adjustments is efficient with clear scope change documents and supporting documentation of scope, schedule, and contract sum.

  211. Initial Information Submittals

  212. Contacts:

    Listings of contractor representatives, major subcontractors, and emergency contacts.

  213. Schedule of Values:

    Applications for payment should be based on portions of work accurately quantified on a schedule of values submitted prior to the initial pay application.

  214. Submittals Schedule:

    Large projects may have hundreds of submittals requiring months to process. A submittals schedule prioritizes these so approvals are organized according to the order they are needed.

  215. Draft Construction Schedule:

    A preliminary schedule highlights construction activities as well as milestones and coordinating ones.

  216. Meetings, Observations, and Reporting

  217. Daily:

    Contractors are responsible for the daily recording and reporting of construction activities. Construction activities must be observed, deliveries received, debris removed, and safety and security verified for materials and personnel.

  218. Weekly:

    The weekly project cycle bears the most significant impact on the success and timeliness of the project. Contractors usually assess weekly progress and adjust labor efforts to achieve the construction schedule.

  219. Meetings:

    Many meetings are held for special occasions as well as periodic cycles. These can be for coordination with other contractors and suppliers, the owner, the architect, engineers and other consultants, and authorities having jurisdiction such as inspectors or reviewers.

  220. Observations:

    The architect performing construction contract administration duties will observe the work at periodic intervals to ensure the work conforms to the requirements of the contract. This can be related to dimensions and configuration, materials, quality, selections, progress, damage, and any other aspects of the work that do not generally or specifically conform to the drawings and specifications.

  221. Monthly:

    Monthly periods are frequently used by the contractor for major coordination between third parties and the reporting required for financial arrangements. Progress is reviewed by the owner, architect, and other reviewers. Payment applications and financial draws are based on these reports. Other coordination activities may occur around a monthly meeting, including submittal reviews, selections, and coordination meetings.

  222. Pre-Construction Activities

  223. Staging:

    Secure areas are cleared and fenced for storing materials and equipment used for initial construction activities.

  224. Temporary Facilities:

    Installation of protections, site access drives, project signage, construction trailers, bathrooms, staging areas, and security fencing.

  225. Demolition:

    Usually for renovations and additions, unneeded existing structures, utilities, sub-surface rock, and earth works are removed prior to new construction activities.

  226. Construction Utilities:

    Final services are installed if feasible, but temporary utilities needed for the construction process are installed, such as electricity, telephone and data, water, sanitary waste, natural gas, and storm water management.

  227. Buy-out:

    Slang for the chain reaction of contracts as the primary general contractor makes arrangements with all the subcontractors and material suppliers. Numerous contractual and logistical coordination is implicated by these arrangements, since the services of each subcontractor, manufacturer, supplier, distributor, and installer varies. The contractor is responsible for coordinating all these provisions to fulfill the requirements of the contract.

  228. Construction Stages and Milestones

    Stages for residential construction are often reflective of cost and the pay proportions that contractors can simultaneously use to measure progress.

  229. Grading and Utilities:

    Clearing, rough grading of soil, initiation of utility services, and fine grading for the foundations.

  230. Site Work:

    Clearing, de-watering, erosion control, protections, rough grading, cutting and backfill, and fine grading for building footings and pad.

  231. Foundations:

    Usually concrete spread footings within excavations in the soil or slabs on grade. Piers and piles made of wood or concrete are common in less stable soils such as in marshland and near the beach.

  232. Substructure or Foundations:

    Typically excavation for steel-reinforced concrete below-ground structures

  233. Framing:

    Wood framing is by far the most common residential construction method, although light gauge steel is becoming more common. Non-framing methods include structurally insulated panels (SIP) of wood or concrete, heavy (or red) steel and masonry are also used as secondary supporting structures.

  234. Structure:

    Sometimes called a superstructure, the structure must be completed prior to the construction of floors, roof, and interior work. This may appear differently depending on the steel, concrete, and masonry structural systems being used.

  235. Roofing:

    Minimal enclosure of the construction from the rain with tar paper allows follow up interior construction. Some contractors prefer to place more substantial enclosure with membrane coated panels or final asphalt shingles if siding and trim quickly follow framing.

  236. Stairs:

    Multi-story buildings often install stair structures early to facilitate construction.

  237. Roof:

    Completion of roofing material to ensure a dry interior (if not warm) is necessary before beginning any work that could be damaged by the elements.

  238. Exterior Finishes:

    Brick, stone, stucco, and siding are traditional materials. Metal and composite panels are modern alternatives with better performance. Exterior materials are usually followed with trims in wood, fiber-reinforced cement (FRC), or composites.

  239. Shell or Enclosure:

    In addition to the roof, enclosure walls, windows and doors resist bulk water, moisture, heat and cold, humidity, and air infiltration. These must be installed prior to any products sensitive to them or fostering growth of mold or damaged by dirt, pollen, and insects.

  240. Core Systems:

    Fire suppression, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical system installation begins after enclosure and continues for the duration of construction.

  241. Windows and Doors:

    Final enclosure and security is accomplished with the windows and doors. Depending on the coordination with the other enclosure systems, exterior finishes, windows and doors, and control layers may install sequentially or simultaneously.

  242. Control Layers for Insulation, Air, and Vapor:

    Traditional methods of enclosure do not manage the five major envelope systems that modern building science has defined over the last few decades: bulk water (rain), moisture (wicking), thermal (insulation), air (infiltration), and vapor (retarder). A vast array of systems can be designed and carefully coordinated during installation.

  243. Mechanical Rough-in:

    With a complete building envelope in place to protect it, sophisticated HVAC units and ductwork can begin to be installed.

  244. Plumbing Rough-in:

    Utility service to the house and sanitary and water lines within begin to install. System equipment like water heaters, shutoffs and regulator/backflow valves, and complex mixing valves also appear.

  245. Electrical Rough-in:

    Transformers, house service, disconnects and meters, main panels, and sub-panels all install. Wiring may wait until the completion of the other engineered systems since wiring is the easiest to coordinate around ducts and pipes.

  246. Drywall:

    With enclosure complete and the house interior able to be moderately conditioned, delicate interior drywall and other finishes can begin.

  247. Cabinets and Equipment:

    Millwork, casework, appliances, tubs and spas, fireplace units, and other casework and equipment.

  248. Interiors and Specialties:

    Walls, elevator cars, finishes, fixtures, equipment

  249. Trim:

    Typical moldings, casings, and trim in addition to decorative paneling, mantles, and decorative pieces.

  250. Elevators:

    Elevator cars are usually installed late in construction to avoid damage. But their installation, inspection, and approval process can be time consuming, so they might begin earlier.

  251. Drives and Walks:

    Exterior paving, terraces, patios, and walks

  252. Interior Paint:

    After all dust-producing activities have ceased and the home has been thoroughly cleaned, final painting begins.

  253. Flooring:

    Flooring of wood and tile is usually installed after the completion of painting to protect it.

  254. Mechanical Finish:

    Registers and grills are attached along with thermostats and other HVAC control systems.

  255. Commissioning:

    Large mechanical or power systems may have contractual requirements for third-party verification and testing.

  256. Certifications:

    Special environmental, energy, or sustainability programs and certifications usually have review and approval processes above and beyond those of the local code jurisdiction. Planning during design to ensure these can be obtained through and during construction is critical to their feasibility.

  257. Plumbing Finish:

    Fixtures are placed and connected, as are plumbing connections to appliances, fountains, and humidifiers.

  258. Electrical Finish:

    Lighting fixtures may be installed prior to painting and protected, but outlet and switch plates are usually one of the last items to complete.

  259. Specialties:

    Ceiling fans, mirrors, shower doors are also late installs to avoid them being painted or damaged during finishing work with ladders and extension cords.

  260. Fine Grading, Grass, and Landscaping:

    While finishing work happens indoors, exterior plantings, lawns, pavers, parking lots, hand rails, and other decorative elements are finalized.

  261. Paving:

    Usually complete very late in construction so that activities do not damage the final surface.

  262. Close Out

  263. Close-out:

    The last portion of construction where construction, paperwork and final documentation for the entire process is completed. If the contract includes these requirements, an owner might reserve 5% of the sum until submitted.

  264. Protection Removals:

    Site and property protections set prior to construction can be removed after its completion.

  265. Restoration:

    Existing conditions such as plantings, pavings, and adjacent property conditions damaged during construction are restored.

  266. Utility Transfer:

    Temporary utilities set for construction activities might be removed or converted into the building's permanent utilities. In such case, change of accounts places them from the contractor to the owner.

  267. Systems Initialization:

    Data, telephone, security, fire alarm, notification systems integration, trash and recycling collection

  268. Cleaning:

    Extensive cleaning of construction is required by the contract, but removal of special protective films, coverings, and filters is often part of the final cleaning process.

  269. Punchlists:

    Another word often misused, technically a punchlist is the list a contractor makes toward the end of construction for all the remaining items to be completed.

  270. Non-conforming Items List:

    As opposed to a punchlist, the architect compiles a non-conforming items list after the contractor is complete. With regular observations, meetings, and review, it is possible that no non-conforming items would be identified.

  271. Substantial Completion:

    The architect's certificate that the project has been essentially completed, if not perfectly and with non-conforming items still outstanding. This is typically for contractual purposes, not building code approval. Variations and subtleties include Certificate of Compliance and Certificate of Completion.

  272. Certificate of Occupancy:

    Issued by the AHJ, the "C-of-O" is legal permission to occupy what was once a construction site. All systems are required to be operational and the building generally completed.

  273. Furnishings:

    Usually purchased by the client/owner, furnishings must often be delivered after a certificate of occupancy has been obtained.

  274. Staging:

    Jurisdictions usually do not permit moving in to a space prior to a Certificate of Occupancy. In rare cases for larger projects, a staging or Storing Permit may be a solution for setting large quantities of furnishings for expedient move-in

  275. Partial or Beneficial Occupancy:

    Where construction has not met the owner's schedule and certain spaces are needed, the AHJ may sometimes issue a partial certificate of occupancy that restricts building use. These can be challenging and expensive because the review and inspection process must happen multiple times.

  276. Move-in:

    Beyond furnishings and equipment, move-in day is usually for the building occupants.

  277. Owner Manual:

    Thorough contractors or designers may compile an owner's manual for the house with contact information, products, model numbers, warranty or service agreements, and regular periods for maintenance.

  278. OEM, Product Literature, and Warranties:

    Large projects might have extensive manufacturer information related to the products installed within the building and required to be provided to its owner.

  279. As-Built and Record Drawings:

    Changes in the design during construction can be documented by the contractor as as-built markups. If contracted to do so, the architect can document these to the original design as record drawings.

  280. Final Pay Application:

    Submitted after all requirements have been completed, agreed, and approved. It might consist of only the retainage amount if still being held.

  281. FM
     Facility Management

    Facility Management (FM)

    This hidden seventh phase of the Design–Construction cycle is where the homebuilding renovation or addition is occupied, used, and maintained.

  282. Maintenance Periods:

    Monthly, seasonal, and annual periods are established for changing HVAC filters, checking smoke detectors, testing water valves, operating windows, obtaining pest inspections, and so on.

  283. Service Arrangements:

    Whole-house maintenance contracts can be linked to home repair–replacement contracts. Many home owners prefer to arrange with specialized HVAC contractors for annual servicing of units during off-seasons.

  284. Service Arrangements:

    In-house facilities groups or contracted maintainers usually have contracts to periodically maintain and identify repairs in an on-going basis.

  285. First Year utility consumption:

    Tracking utility consumption across months helps identify misbehaving equipment. It can be challenging to spot abnormal electrical and gas consumption due to seasonal cycles without data from multiple years.

  286. Warranty Period:

    Construction contracts may provide limited warranties, but installed products and equipment usually longer. These will be identified in OEM product literature obtained by the contractor during purchase.

  287. Eleventh Month Inspection:

    Owners can arrange and schedule an inspection prior to warranty period expiration to identify items requiring repair still covered.

  288. Repairs and Replacements:

    Long term building ownership involves repairs and replacement of components by specialits, trades, and contractors.

  289. Alterations and Re-purporsing:

    Over a building's life-cycle, changes may be required to respond to changes in use and functionality. Refurbishment may update finishes, fixtures, equipment. More extensive changes may require renovations and additions.

  290. Studies:

    Aspirations, problems, and inefficiencies may spin into change. An architect can conduct a variety of studies to explore vision, discover possibilities, test options, and evaluate feasibility that begin the 4D»2B process again.