Almost all building projects go through a similar design process.
Initially, design ideas are tested and developed, and as design continues in a series of phases, more and more detail is added. The phases of work divide the work into manageable chunks; at the end of each phase, client approval is required before moving forward. The five typical phases are:
- Predesign (almost never abbreviated to PD, in contrast with the other phases)
- Schematic Design (SD)
- Design Development (DD)
- Construction Documents (CDs)
- Construction Administration (CA)
Big decisions happen early
In the beginning, it is easy and inexpensive to make significant design changes in order to arrive at the right solution. With each phase of design, more detail is added, so as the phases go on, it becomes more difficult and costly to make changes.
Because most arts and cultural facilities are very complex projects for which the clients have specialized needs, it’s important to stay involved and aware throughout the design process.
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