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What is Architectural Programming and Why is it Important?

Architectural Programming is a term used in our profession that expresses a process of gathering project information to determine the specific needs of a proposed project.  In addition, a realistic budget must be established and along with preliminary schedule requirements.  

EFG believes that a successful project is achieved through architectural design cannot fulfill requirements that are not defined in the Architectural Program.

It is imperative to establish a clear and complete Architectural Program at this early stage of design in order to prevent delays and/or construction cost increases.

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Construction Administration

Construction Administration is the final phase which includes maintains frequent contact with the General Contractor and routinely visits the construction site, to protect the integrity of the construction documents and the project.

The One-Year Warranty Walk-Through encompasses the final stage of the architectural process. We feel strongly that our services extend beyond completion of a project. We stay with the project through the first year after completion to make sure any problems that may develop are taken care of. Truly exceptional customer service, the driving force behind EFG Architect’s  business philosophy, cannot be obtained if we don’t stick around to make sure our project turned out right. Therefore, in addition to the owner receiving the industry standard one-year construction warranty, EFG  conducts a One-Year Warranty Walk-Through with the owner and the contractor, usually nine to ten months after the substantial completion date, noting any items that may need attention under warranty.

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Schematic Design

Schematic Design is the next step in the architectural process and may include an On-Site Design session.  In this phase, all of the basic elements of a project’s design information are prioritized, and confirmed to allow data to be transferred to simple diagrams on how the various spaces developed from the program relate to each other.

It is very important that the concepts not only reflect but also coincide with the Architectural Program that include the Client’s project objectives.

On-Site Design Session

Depending on the project, an On-Site Design session may be recommended to assist the Design Team with a clear vision and full understanding of the proposed project.

Once the Architectural Program is approved, all interested parties should participate in the On-Site Design session if is recommended.  This session allows a Client to be engaged in the design process allowing preliminary conceptual design concepts to develop.

EFG’s experience has shown that this process not only produces a better, more functional project, but the client’s stakeholders develop a heightened sense of ownership in the building as well. 

It is very important that the concepts not only reflect but also coincide with the Architectural Program that include the Client’s project objectives.

Architectural Programming Process

A Project’s Architectural Programming process begins initially by gathering a variety of specific information to establish the general scope of work information needed to establish design concepts.  It is also at this time that a project budget is established to ensure that it coincides with the scope of work. 

Why, What and When questions will ultimately provide the detailed programming information needed for the design process to successfully begin and also determine the Client’s parameters for the proposed project.

Once the information is processed into a workable Architectural Program, EFG will continue with additional questions to fully develop a road map for the Design Team to follow.  The goal of this process is to fully understand the client’s objectives for their proposed project.

Design Development

Design Development is a transitional phase between the creation of concepts and the documentation of construction details. This is when broad general decisions regarding design and construction issues are made. Design Development includes full site, floor and roof plans (with equipment and furnishings where appropriate), building sections, elevations, code and zoning reviews, and the selection of building systems along with framing and foundation plans, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing diagrams. All finishes and colors are selected during this phase as well. Ideally, this should be the final stage where a project’s plans are cross­-checked for the last time with the educational program to ensure that the District’s goals will be met.

Construction Documents

This is the phase that details how a project is meant to be built. The Construction Documents Phase writes the instructions for the contractor. It is a continuation of Design Development and documents every last detail necessary for construction, down to the last nut bolt, and ceiling tile.


Typically, the Construction Documents are issued for Bidding of the project but there are a variety of project delivery options for a Client to choose from decide early in the design process.