Schematic Design (SD)

During SD, the architect, consultants, and design team will develop conceptual plans for the project, showing spatial relationships, scale, and form.  The architect will also begin to research jurisdictional and permitting requirements.  Often, the decision of whether to pursue LEED or other green-building certification protocols will be made during SD, where environmentally sustainable design can easily be integrated into the project.

The architectural design of the project may change several times over the course of SD as you work with the design team to find the best way to accommodate the building program and meet your project’s objectives.

Specialty consultants like interpretive planners, theatre designers, and acoustical consultants may be very involved in this phase; the engineering team is usually brought on board towards the end of SD or the beginning of Design Development.

At the end of SD (100%SD), you will have:

  • A schematic site plan
  • Floor plans
  • Key building sections
  • Preliminary exterior elevations
  • A narrative description of critical building elements (e.g. theatre systems)
  • (often) Other visualizations to show the architect’s ideas for the building

By approving these plans, you authorize the design team to proceed to a higher level of detail in DD.

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