A brief description of the stages in a construction project, written for those embarking on a project.

1. Create a Design Brief
While you may have a vision for your project in your head, in practice, you need to convert this into a design brief. A design brief is a short document that describes the project. It is essentially a list of spaces that you need in your project. For example, if you wish to build a college of music, the brief will include the major spaces that you envisage, such as 10 piano practice rooms, 15 guitar practice rooms, one 200-person auditorium, 20 lecture rooms, and so on. To achieve an accurate and complete design brief, hire an architect, as there are many requirements you may not know about, such as fire pump rooms, corridors, and utility areas.

2. Hire a Design Team
Hire your design team. See our page on how to hire an architect. The team will consist of an architect, a structural engineer, and building services engineers at the very least. Larger projects require additional designers, such as landscape architects, acoustic engineers, and facade consultants.

3. Concept Design
The architect will do a Concept Design for the project. You will need to give a clear response to this, and highlight what you like and what you want changed. You should also ask the architect to give you a preliminary cost estimate at this stage, so that you get a feel for the costs. You can then adjust the design accordingly with the architect. It is important that you, the client, think about and approve the architect's design fully at this stage, as changes after this stage are difficult. It is also important that the architect should not proceed with further design before obtaining your approval at this stage.

4. Design Development
In this phase, the architect will share the design with the structural engineer and services engineers to get their feedback and comments. They may ask for changes for engineering reasons, which the architect will discuss and incorporate. Sometimes architects forget that their creations are subject to the laws of physics! They will also ask for shafts and spaces for pipes, cables, and ducts to be added to the design.

5. Construction Documentation
Construction Documents are a set of construction drawings, specification, and legal agreements between a client and a contractor. Usually, these documents are prepared by an architect or project management consultant. They represent the final design put together by the designers. Since the design is 'final' - architects use that word with caution - it can be passed on to several contractors for competitive bidding, a process called tendering.

6. Get Permissions
This process usually starts after stage 3, and proceeds in parallel with the other work. Concept level drawings are usually good enough to begin the process of obtaining permissions from local authorities. Usually, a number of meetings and submissions is required for this to occur. Local authorities may also ask neighbours for objections. This process can easily take months and can sometimes take years.

7. Hire a contractor

8. Start Work and Manage the Construction

9. Finishing Construction

10. Occupying the Project

Stay tuned.  Will be updated with detailed descriptions soon.


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