This timeframe includes our 4 phases of design and documentation, as well as the time necessary for engineers to complete their work on your project. Our 4 phases of design and documentation are Existing Conditions, Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents. Below is a summary of those phases.
Existing Conditions is the foundation for the rest of the design and documentation process. It primarily includes information gathering and documentation of the site. Information gathering includes studying the context of the neighborhood and land, researching the zoning requirements and applicable codes, and photo documenting the site. We spend a considerable amount of time investigating and discovering what makes the site unique, which views should be optimized or shielded, what is the best orientation for the home, what is historically and culturally significant to the area, and so on. Existing Conditions is the phase when we require a site survey to be produced by a site surveyor if one is not already available. We use this survey to create a digital plot plan that is used as the base drawing for the rest of the project.
Schematic Design focuses on the site plan and unit plans. These designs are primarily explored in plan with basic computer models to help visualize the overall concept. We meet with you to discuss these layouts and refine them until we create the best site and unit plan solutions.
Design Development is where we start to refine the design, developing exterior elevations, 3-D renderings, and preparing for pre-application meetings with the municipality. The length of the pre-application process may extend the project timeline. Also in this phase, consultants such as Structural, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) and civil engineers start to become involved, as well as a landscape architect in most cases.
Construction Documents are the final deliverable you receive from us. We specify and draw highly detailed plans to be used by General Contractors to price the design, and as needed to obtain the Building Permits. Once the project is underway, we are available by phone and email to troubleshoot any questions that arise during the construction process. We typically make site visits every other week to ensure that the design intent of the drawings is being upheld.
Building Permitting: 2 months
A building permit is required for all multifamily developments. The time necessary for permitting is completely dependent on the the local jurisdiction and varies greatly on how well they are staffed and how many projects they are reviewing. The permit is issued when structures are designed in accordance with the building codes and all other applicable codes and ordinances, to ensure the safety of the structure. Time to secure a permit is typically around 2 months, but again, depends on your local jurisdiction.
Construction: 6+ months
Construction for a multifamily developments ranges widely, typically taking at the very least 6 months. The general contractor that you hire to build your project is responsible for the schedule and timeline of your project, but estimating a minimum of 6-8 months for construction is a good start.