What are the 4 Stages of Construction Project Design

Any development project undergoes different phases before the construction completed. Design phase is one of the important stage in any construction as the decisions take during this phase affect to its final design, construction and cost. Basically there are four stages for any project design. This post will include an introduction for each stages of project design which is known as four stages of construction project design.

Four stages of project design

4 Stages of Construction Project Design

The four stages of project design are Programing, Schematic, Design Development and Construction Document. Any construction project to be successful, it needs to undergo all these four stages from programing stage to design development and up to construction document stage.

1.Programing stage

This is the initial stage of the design phase. Before the project design starts, the owner or developer needs to document his idea. This written document which contains the owner’s idea and concept initiates the programing stage.

This written document includes the basic design concept, project purpose and available budget. This will also include the delivery schedule and functions of the project which gives idea to design team to initiate the detailed design.

Four stages of construction project design

2. Schematic stage

After the programing stage is completed, the next is schematic stage which will develop the owner’s idea and concept to a sketch. During this Schematic stage design team will develop   different design sketches   for the owner to choose. A design firm will involve in the process of completing the design. During this stage, a land will acquire for the development.

During This stage, Site visits and Briefing meetings will be included. Concept design, Concept review and client meeting to select and/or amend the concept design are some other activities usually happen during the schematic stage.

Preliminary estimate will be done using the chosen sketch design. This preliminary estimate will include the probable cost for elements.


3. Design Development stage

Four stages of project design

During this stage, the Sketch Design from the schematic stage will be developed to a fully detailed design as per owner’s   requirements.

The appearance, views and details of the building will be finalized. During this stage it is also necessary to finalize the other necessary details for the project such as documents, finishes and materials to be used.

During this Design Development stage, it is also necessary to engage specialist consultants including engineers, surveyors and planners to produce the final designs and documents.

Once the Design Development stage is completed, the project concept is developed to a detailed design. Below are some of the outcomes of the project at the end of the Design Development stage.

  • Revised concept design
  • Detailed design including the building details and the materials to be used
  • Preparation of the cost estimate
  • Review of the detailed design and approve the development by the owner
  • Obtain preliminary approvals
  • Engage the specialist consultants for the development process

4. Construction Document

This is the final stage of design phase. At the Construction Document stage, completed design drawings will be available. Architect will prepare the necessary contract documents which is necessary for the tendering process. Specific conditions for the contract will be decided and final documents for tendering process will be available at the end of the Construction Document stage.

After the Construction Document stage,tendering process will start.At this time,the contract documents will include the specific clauses for the project including retention money,progress payment method and variation order requirements.


Amila Gamage

Author: Amila Gamage

Amila Gamage is a Contracts Engineer with more than 16 years experience in construction sector. She writes this blog to share her experience and knowledge in the field of Contract Administration. View all posts by Amila Gamage

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