our process

The design process has 5 basic phases that, in linear order, show the project from design conception through the substantial completion of a project and the owner or tenant being able to occupy that space.

1. Schematic Design

1-2 months | 20% of overall cost

The initial design of a project based on the owners program (or list of spacial requirements for a project), the owners budget, site conditions and rough code requirements. If we are remodelling or adding on to an existing structure, the measurement and documentation of the building is included in this phase. The whole Project Team including all necessary consultants will be contracted during this phase of design.

site plan, floor plans, exterior elevations and some 3D Views to help the owner or client visualize the building and how it will look and function.

2. Design Development

2-3 months | 20% of overall cost

The Project Team will refine, develop, and finalize the design of the building with the owners input, consultant recommendations, and with code requirements and constructability in mind. The end result of this design phase is to finalize the design for the client to be able to sign off on it so that the project team can move to the next design phase.

NOTE: Additional meetings and/or changes to the plans following the design development phase is considered to be an additional service.

site plan, floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, exterior elevations, rough building sections, rough wall sections, developed engineering drawings, and some 3D Views. 

3. Construction Documents

2-4 months | 40% of overall cost

A final set of construction documents will be created by the Project Team. It will be used for bidding, permiting, and construction. Design intent and all necessary code research and professional engineering services will be finalized in this design phase.

Permit-ready construction documents including site plan, floor plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations of kitchens and baths, reflected ceiling and electric/data plans, and all necessary construction details. All professional engineering drawings to be included in the Issue for Permit drawing set. Coordination with all owner consultants is normally considered to be part of this phase as well.

4. Bidding & Permitting

5 months (approx.) | 10% of overall cost

The Project Team will assist the owner in soliciting bids on the construction documents from qualified general contractors, issuing minor changes or addenda, and assisting in the selection of a general contractor for construction. They will also work with the permiting officials in which the project resides to comply with local and national codes. The end result of this phase is to have a permit for construction and a general contractor lined up for the project.

Assist the owner in retaining a general contractor for construction and obtaining a Permit for Construction.

5. Construction Administration

10% of overall cost

Site visits and inspections will occur as needed to ensure compliance with the construction documents (also known as contract documents). The main purpose of the inspections is to avoid potential contractor errors and drawing miscommunications to save the client me and money on the finished project.

Progress checklist of percentage completions and synopsis for each trade on the project with brief synopsis of project standing as well as reviewing and approving contractor payment applications. The Construction Phase will be scheduled by the general contractor responsible.

Additional services

Programming & Analysis (Pre-Planning)

Assist the owner in determining spacial requirements, design possibilities and potential construction budget. Many mes an owner or client needs to have rough inial drawings in order to obtain financing, investors or just to see what is possible with a project. This is a fairly common request from clients and potenal clients and helps with the inial planning of any project.

Design / Build

Sun Collective focuses on design. That said, for the right clients and the right projects, we can build it for you as well. The Design led, Design / Build method has many clear advantages for the client/owner/end user:

  • Greater control over the design down to the little details that are sometimes difficult to capture in drawing form.
  • Construction costs are known at a much earlier stage in the design so that decisions directly affecting costs can be made and accommodated earlier.
  • With one entity responsible for both the design and construction of a project, there is a single responsible party for the owner to contact when there are questions or if input needs to be provided.
  • Everyone involved in bringing the project to completion has complete buy-in for the owner and the project. When dealing with a single entity to provide all services related to a project, there is a harmony related to the project: there is no in-fighting (that can get expensive). Instead, everyone is working together to create a structure for the owner that meets their needs, is within their budget, and looks fantastic.


We have in-house capability to do most Mechanical, Electrical, & Plumbing (MEP) Engineering as well as Structural Engineering for residential and light commercial projects. Because we’re all in the same office, it cuts down on the inevitable coordination mistakes that a traditional Architectural Firm (and their clients) must endure. It also can cut down on the drawing time required to complete a project, thereby saving the client holding costs and enable greater design control over those elements of the design.

Let's build something incredible

If you are interested in working together, get in contact with us and we'll get started ASAP.