This phase is all about the “Big Picture”, defining and solving the problem. Landvisions and our Design Team will facilitate various levels of communication with the client, defining expectations and the collaborative vision for the roots of your project.
“Conceptual Development” is the overarching theme as we address the design parameters and shape the ideas for a comprehensive design. This phase of the design process provides the foundation for every project and often involves more time than all subsequent phases, including construction.
Exploration & Discovery
Schematic Design starts with a pre-design period of information gathering where we learn more about the client, their needs, personalities, specific interests and overall project intent. Prior to starting work, the Design Team will assess the nature of your project, taking a holistic approach to solving “the problem”. Information gathered during these meetings will provide our framework for the remainder of the design process and guide the Design Team as we progress towards our foundation of ideas.
Analysis & Focus
A well executed site analysis continues to form the essential foundation for a cost effective, environmentally sensitive, and logical approach for future project development. This analysis can vary greatly based upon the parameters and size of the project, client’s needs, and overall program complexity. Our emphasis on the development of the design opportunities and constraints will be developed through graphic and written analysis of these existing conditions with priorities placed on site selection, program definition, and the overall site studies needed for your project. Sketches and other visual diagrams are characteristic of this phase and help to graphically clarify data and information gathered.
This is where the process begins to take shape from an aesthetic viewpoint. Drawings with specific solutions and precedent research will be created and presented to the client. Multiple variations of these Schematic Drawings are used to help illustrate the “Big Idea” and begin to define the parameters of the project and it’s forward progress. These Schematic illustrations provide the flavor and overall development intent of the initially conceived collaborative vision for your project.
A formal meeting with the Design Team and client at the end of the Schematic Design Phase will ensure complete transparency of these ideas and allow for team recognition of defining “The Big Picture”.
In this phase, with feedback in-hand, the Design Team will refine the approved conceptual design and begin to detail the various elements that were agreed upon during the Schematic Design Phase.
The Design Team will work closely with the client on refining the design, taking into consideration the project budget, program elements, and client feedback, to arrive at a balanced solution of maintaining the vision of the ‘Big Picture” and protecting the integrity of the design. During this phase, project elements may be added or removed through various levels of continual focus in meeting the delegated needs of the project.
Thorough documentation is imperative at this stage, prior to final construction documentation. Design sensibilities, questions and concerns are reviewed with our client’s in finalizing the design parameters and details relating to this drawing package. This marks the end of the intentionally interactive design process between the Design Team and client and the beginning of the construction documentation process.
With our Design/Build project delivery model here at Landvisions, Design Development marks the final phase of Design prior to construction. Although various design details continue to be developed throughout the project, the documents and budgets provided through this phase allow our team to transition into the construction phase of your project. This is a fast track mentality, improving the time frame in which a project is completed and implementing costs savings by eliminating the construction documentation and bidding phase that typically follow this phase of Design. Although not the model preferred by all clients, we have seen the advantages of flexibility and communication be a positive driver in the success of this project delivery style.
This phase is primarily focused on the development of technical drawings, details, and specifications, providing the required information for a smooth and accurate bidding and construction process.
Creating a clear and well defined road map for the construction professional is imperative for effective budgeting, scheduling, and the overall success of the project. Accurate and concise construction drawings provide for a more enjoyable construction process. Changes will be made along the way as there are always unexpected challenges and unforeseen opportunities for improving design. This does not however negate the value of a thorough set of Construction Documents.
When the construction Documents are 95% complete between all design professionals associated with the project, a technical Design Team review is performed to ensure accuracy and provide the opportunity for client discussions on any foreseen changes needed for the bidding and construction processes.
Budget Refinement and Bidding
Project costs that have been communicated in prior phases typically are projected estimates. As design takes on a more detailed focus, hard budget numbers are now possible. Through this process, we will provide documentation that is necessary for bidding your project, should you chose not to execute the construction phase with us. Landvisions involvement in the bidding phase of the project is imperative due to our ability to asses bidding comparisons, providing our client’s with technical assistance and guidance required for these evaluations. The assurance of these comparisons can be a difficult proposition as you look at overall bids received from multiple different construction professionals. Upon awarding the project to a qualified construction professional, a formal meeting with the Design Team, construction professional, and the client concludes the Documentation Phase, our final milestone of the theoretical design process.
Once you have decided on a construction professional, whether it be Landvisions or an independent contractor, our involvement with your project continues. We will administer the construction process to guarantee the integrity of design. Regular site visits are imperative to maintaining design intent, maximizing opportunities for design improvements, and assuring the project schedule and costs are controlled.
Contract Execution and Scheduling
Our team will provide review of each projects contracts to validate that the requirements expressed are in complete coordination with the construction documents. Our reviews will also meet the expectations as to project completion dates, seeing that this can become a point of contention and stress. Changes to scope, availability of materials, inclement weather and responsiveness on the part of either contractors or the client can affect the project schedule. We strive to take all possible scenarios into account when developing a time line for a project and will communicate changes or anticipated delays on a timely manner.
Regular onsite meetings during the construction process with a member of the Design Team is incredibly valuable in maintaining clarity and understanding. These visits allow our team to stay in tune with the methods of construction being used and maintain clear communication on progress with our client’s. Clear communication and our client’s trust is the key to finishing well and providing a successful and enjoyable project.
Project Completion and the Hand-Off
Just because a project is considered substantially complete and a client begins to enjoy their space does not necessarily mean Landvisions is done. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, there will always be details the need to be addressed. Getting to these details in a timely manner and understanding expectations is a key component of the partnership. This space is ultimately your, and will likely involve many living plants and possibly other systems that will need to be maintained. Landvisions will be glad to work with any client on partnering to help maintain a space in optimal conditions. “Help” is the key word. Part of Landvisions commitment will be to educate our clients on exactly what it will take to maintain a newly finished outdoor living area. We take as much pride in your new space as you do, and we hope you will also take joy in ‘the caring’ of your space in addition to enjoying it.
As with any Journey, there will be ups and downs, valleys and peaks, challenges and smooth waters. Anything worth doing will be hard and everyone here at Landvisions is committed to getting to finishing the journey on a positive note!
A Beautiful End Product is simply the result of a Great Journey Together.” – Chad Wallace