Our Approach

Every project is different, but our way of thinking stays the same.


The first steps of a project are to gain familiarity with the site surroundings and understanding of the client’s needs and goals. We start off by visiting the site and taking in its landscape and surroundings. We have also developed a detailed, personal questionnaire for our clients to complete. This is extremely helpful to us as we get an understanding of the way they live, how they intend to use the space, what their habits are for eating, sleeping, playing, etc.

Other basic parameters are established as well, including code research, budget goals, building requirements and limitations.

Based on the information gathered, we will analyze the site’s existing conditions and come up with conceptual drawings and ideas that integrate the clients goals with our aesthetic direction and schematic approach. During this phase we discuss inspiration photos with clients to get an idea of likes and dislikes. 

From these conversations we put together a set of different concepts intended to spark feedback and hone in on the clients desires. Typically, several design options get explored and evaluated in the schematic design phase.

The purpose is to find the right design concept without getting lost in the details prematurely.


In the Design Development phase, the design that emerged out of the schematic phase gets refined, and the structure and materiality of the building evolves. Client/Architect interaction continues throughout this phase as various spaces and materials develop and become unified throughout the structures.

Interaction with consultants intensifies during this phase, typically involving structural and mechanical engineering. More complex projects might require additional specialty engineers. At the end of design development, all basic parameters of the building are established in plan, elevation and section, as well how the structure and interior spaces interact with the site, landscape and natural environment.

If special Planning Department city approvals are required by the local municipality and/or homeowners association (HOA), towards the end of this phase would be when the materials, modeling, rendering, and drawings get submitted and reviewed for approval.


This step is the most detailed and cumbersome of the 5-phases of an architectural project. It is within this step, that the set of construction drawings, specifications, and details get incorporated into the set of Construction Documents for the purpose of communicating the design of each element to the municipality, builders, owners, and engineers.

During this phase, the client’s input might include selection of finish materials and fixtures, deciding on building components such as windows, or reviewing electrical layouts. The end goal of this phase is to create a consistent plan set with all the information required to obtain a building permit, accurate pricing, and a complete and thorough set of construction documents to build from.

This is the period where we submit the construction documents to the local municipality in charge of reviewing the drawings. At this time, we also send the construction sets out to contractors that were selected for bidding. Throughout this phase, we remain in constant communication with the potential builders and local municipality, in helping to ensure that all questions, concerns, or clarifications are met.

As we start receiving the different bid numbers, we organize and review these items with the client to help make the contractor selection process easier. Once a contractor has been selected, we help the owner negotiate the contract with the contractor.



After the project breaks ground, it is the responsibility of the contractor to implement the plans, however, a certain level of oversight is needed to ensure the proper execution of a design, and to make sure that the building reaches its potential.

During this stage, we will engage in regularly scheduled visits to the project with the contractor. At these visits we will go over instructions with subcontractors in order to get the details and aesthetic goals right. We also conduct regularly scheduled Owner|Architect|Contractor meetings as part of the continual communication process. We prefer to be very involved during this part of the process. We think that our being part of construction is important.

We treasure close relationships with clients and appreciate their feedback. We also value the
synergy between all the building trades and consultants involved. Studio AR&D Architects
knows how to combine a clients vision with the technical requirements necessary to craft an
environment with heart & soul.