Process of designing a building: Eight Steps in the Design Process

Eight Steps in the Design Process

Program design elements, such as group size, classroom size, the indoor-outdoor relationship, and easily accessed diapering and toileting facilities with adjacent handwashing sinks, all have a great impact on the functioning and design of a child care center. Program directors and facilities managers can use this article to further their understanding of all aspects of building design and costs.

  1. Feasibility Study
  2. Programming
  3. Schematic Design
  4. Design Development
  5. Construction Documentation
  6. Bidding and Negotiation
  7. Construction Administration
  8. Post-Occupancy Training

1. Feasibility Study

This first step undertakes to examine the issues that will make the project feasible or unfeasible, and in some cases to determine the best strategy for proceeding with the project. The following may be addressed in the Feasibility Study:

  • Budget and scope of the project: Will the proposed project work at the desired budget?
  • Site analysis: Is the site chosen suitable? Is it zoned for the project? Are there sufficient parking, utilities, etc. ?
  • What is the best strategy for developing the project on a given site?
  • What is the optimal size and type of building and play yard? Will a specific building work?
  • Is the building or site chosen structurally sound? What will be required in the way of soils tests, seismic upgrades, etc.?
  • How will other site considerations, such as sound levels, traffic, etc., affect the project?
  • Are there any toxins or hazardous materials to be dealt with?
  • What other cost, planning, and design constraints might the project run into?
  • Preparation of a report, which documents all of the findings of the study and makes recommendations for proceeding with the next steps of the project.
  • By addressing these questions up front, we can avoid costly and frustrating surprises down the road.

2. Programming

Programming is the process used to arrive at the set of criteria on which the design is based, and by which it is later evaluated. The programming phase is where the project is built—not brick by brick, but decision by decision. This is the time when a common vocabulary for the project is created, and preferences and requirements are determined and built into the overall picture before time is invested in design.

One of the most important purposes of the program is to reduce the need for later backtracking and redesign. A thorough programming process is essential for maintaining an orderly and cost-effective design process later in the project. We have found that many problems that people encounter with the design of their centers could have been avoided with a thorough programming process. When working with a construction professional they may go through a detailed list of criteria in looking for program needs that translate into square footage or other design requirements. For example, one of many questions for infant care that we would ask would be if the school or parents will provide the diapers, and if cloth or disposable diapers would be used. In this simple example, if the design does not accommodate the center’s needs, there will be problems with storage space, delivery, and odors in the classrooms.

Programming usually involves a meeting or series of meetings with the center’s director, and in many cases the teachers, other staff, and possibly parents. In the programming meetings, the client’s specific goals, priorities, and uses for the spaces are discussed in detail. All of the requirements of the project are then put into a clearly-organized written program, which will be a reference throughout the design process.

Items specifically analyzed in the programming phase typically include the following:

  • Goals, needs, wishes, limitations, expectations, aesthetics.
  • Scope of work: the number of children in the program; size of the building; number of rooms; room adjacencies.
  • Activities to occur in each room and outdoor play area.
  • The Center’s Education Program: Pedagogical philosophy; parent interaction; staffing; meals; etc.
  • Classroom observation.
  • Safety and security requirements.
  • Existing and new utility locations and requirements.
  • Site context: Weather, noise, solar access, vehicular access, handicap accessibility, sense of entry, site analysis.
  • Codes and regulations: Outline of planning and building department parameters.
  • Budget and priorities: Preliminary cost analysis usually based on area and/or volume, to be refined later.
  • Project Scheduling.
  • In the case of reusing an existing building: Carefully document and evaluate present building and its conditions. Determine what can be reused, what must be discarded, what must be rebuilt.

3. Schematic Design

Based on an approved Program, the Schematic Design synthesizes the program into a defined, feasible design. The design will be shown in the form of Schematic Drawings, and in some cases a study model. The Schematic Design will address all significant areas of design and will be reviewed with the client before proceeding with more detailed drawings. A preliminary cost estimate is also usually provided at this stage.

Work in this phase typically includes the following:

  • Complete preliminary building floor plans, sections, and elevations to determine space dimensions, areas, and volumes; sketches and site plans showing circulation, uses, relationships of spaces.
  • Complete room layout of all child-related furniture, plumbing fixtures, etc.
  • Preliminary material choices.
  • Preliminary landscape concepts.
  • Preliminary play yard layout.
  • Study model, if appropriate.
  • Address preliminary mechanical, electrical, and plumbing issues.
  • Answer preliminary civil engineering questions (paving, grading, drainage, etc.) and structural engineering questions (structural system, soils, etc.).
  • Coordination with engineering, landscape, and other consultants as necessary (structural, mechanical, electrical, landscape, civil engineers, etc.).
  • Code research and coordination with regulating agencies (licensing, building department, planning department, etc. ).
  • Preliminary cost estimate.
  • Present design to interested parties.
  • Revise design subsequent to client discussions.

Based on an approved Schematic Design, Design Development is the process of refining and fixing the design, and working out all the details, including the selection of materials and the engineering systems. The aim is to finalize all design decisions before proceeding with Construction Documents, the more detailed and expensive documents that the contractor will need to complete the project. A more detailed cost estimate may also be provided at this phase. In smaller projects, Design Development may become part of the Schematic and Construction Document phases, rather than being a distinct phase of its own. The Design Development package will be reviewed with the client before proceeding further with the project.

Work in this phase typically includes the following:

  • Finalize all engineering issues such as structural system, heating and cooling systems, lighting system, etc. .
  • Coordinate with other design consultants, such as mechanical engineer, acoustical engineer, structural engineer, landscape architect, etc., on final systems and design.
  • Finalize construction techniques and materials.
  • Finalize equipment requirements, sizes, furniture layout.
  • Finalize all design issues that affect the look of the building and the feel of the rooms.
  • Choose finish materials.
  • Finalize code issues.
  • Complete outline specifications, a written list of criteria for materials and building methods.
  • Revise cost estimate, considering probable labor and material requirements.

5. Construction Documentation

Based on approved Design Development documents, construction drawings and written specifications are put together which describe in detail all of the construction work to be done. These are the documents upon which the construction contract will be based, and which the contractor will use to build the project. If a building permit is required, the application is usually made at the end of Construction Documentation.

Work in this phase typically includes the following:

  • Prepare specific and detailed Construction Drawings required to bid, apply for approval from building and planning departments, and complete construction. These may include dimensioned floor plans, elevations, sections, details, engineering plans such as electrical, mechanical, structural, and/or civil engineering plans, landscape plans, final interior design plans, energy report, and written Specifications that covering all materials, methods of construction, and construction contract requirements. Specifications are closely coordination with construction drawings.
  • Complete all coordination with consultants. Coordination of consultants’ Drawings and written Specifications is essential to avoid conflicts between the various trades during construction.
  • Resolve any outstanding building or planning code issues.
  • Apply for permit if required.

6. Bidding and Negotiation

The project is put out to bid, a contractor is selected, and a construction contract is drawn up between the contractor and the client.

Work in this phase typically includes the following:

  • Prepare documents for bidding such as the Invitation to Bid, Instructions to Bidders, Bid Form, etc.
  • Advertise bids and solicit contractors to bid on the project.
  • Coordinate and provide bid documents to bidders.
  • Check bidders’ qualifications (references, insurance, experience, personnel, etc.).
  • Provide additional information (in the form of Addenda to the Construction Documents) as needed to bidders.
  • Meet with contractors and material suppliers.
  • Receive bids.
  • Assist client in negotiation and preparation of Owner/Contractor Agreement and other necessary documents.

7. Construction Administration

On-site observation and conscientious administration of paperwork throughout construction is necessary to assure that communication flows smoothly, that high standards are maintained, and that the client gets their construction money’s worth.

Work in this phase typically includes the following:

  • Make periodic site visits while project is under construction, observing construction for compliance of design intent.
  • Conduct on-site meetings with contractors, suppliers, client, etc.
  • Administrate changes with client and contractor.
  • Clarify drawings as required.
  • Answer contractor’s questions.
  • Complete additional drawings as required.
  • Process numerous documents and paperwork for contractor’s payment, changes, submittals from the contractor, etc.
  • Participate in resolution should any disputes arise during construction.

8. Post-Occupancy Training

After construction is complete, we work with teachers and staff on use and enhancement of developmental design, incorporating age-appropriate activities and experiences, and showing staff how the environment can be altered according to their needs.

On-site training and/or phone consultation with administrative and program staff are available as needed for each center upon completion of the construction project.

SOURCE: Torelli, Louis and Durrett, Charles. n.d. English.

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Last Updated: October 22, 2021

Architectural Design Process: A Quick Guide

Just as we only look at the building and often neglect the foundation that supports it, the architectural design process is the bedrock of construction project management. It’s a lengthy process that follows the construction project from inception to completion.

As the construction project unfolds, there may be external impacts, regulations and other forces in addition to internal forces. The set of drawings and documents will only guide the construction project to a successful completion if they’re free of errors, making the architectural design process that much more important.

What Is the Architectural Design Process?

The architectural design process is how a construction project is developed and analyzed in set stages. This process is usually broken down into seven phases to provide order to the project by identifying periods of review, creating a structured release of design information and determining the natural stages of invoicing.

The construction of a building is complicated, heavily regulated and expensive, and general contractors don’t want to revise the architectural design once the project breaks ground. After the project is completed, there’s little that can be done without demolishing the structure and starting from scratch.

That’s why the architectural design process is so important; it organizes the management of the project and offers clear communication on its design intent. The phases of the architectural design process allow the production information to be efficient and transparent to reduce risks that could result in costly, timely delays.

Having project management software to organize the architectural design process helps further reduce the risk of costly mistakes. ProjectManager is construction project management software with unlimited file storage that helps you manage every phase in the architectural design process. Use our robust list view to track your architectural design work through all project phases. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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7 Phases of Architectural Design Process

What makes construction project management exceedingly difficult is the coordination necessary to connect the involved parties. Think about it; there are architects making the drawings, contractors executing blueprints and engineers making sure that the numerous systems involved have structural integrity. That doesn’t include the other teams working on-site as well as the suppliers, vendors and more.

The architectural design process is how these different parties work together, but for that to happen, there needs to be a process. The architectural design process is made up of seven phases: pre-design, schematic design, design development, construction documents, building permits, bidding and negotiation and construction administration. These phases put realistic project deliverables and deadlines in place.

1. Pre-Design

We start with pre-design, often referred to as the programming phase, which kicks off the architectural design process. At this stage, the architect works with the client to understand the plot of land on which the project will take place. They’ll also discuss if there are other structures already on the site and what the client wants for the building they’re commissioning.

This means the architect needs to conduct research and collect information. Some things they must know are local zoning and land-use restrictions, project scope, client desires, scale, surrounding buildings, neighborhood, site conditions, building codes and more. After this, they will brainstorm, sketch and model various design ideas.

2. Schematic Design (SD)

Now you want to develop the designs and present them to the client. This means developing a design proposal. Architects will create site plans, floor plans and building elevations. Also necessary are structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

At this point, you’ll want to show your ideas to others and get their feedback. Architects meet regularly with their clients to show them the drawings of different variations to help everyone decide on which design is best. Disagreements are reduced if the architect takes the client’s needs into account when designing.

After the meetings with the client, the architect analyzes the feedback and makes changes. It’s always good to make changes at this phase in the design process to avoid adding costs and potentially delaying the construction schedule if done at a later date. This process of meeting and revising will continue until the design is agreed upon by all parties.

3. Design Development (DD)

Now that the client is happy with the design, it’s time to create a more detailed plan. Those details include the placement of doors and windows and any adjustments to the building form. At this stage, a structural engineer will join the design team to help come up with more accurate estimates for the project.

The exterior and interior finishes are then presented to the client and materials, fixtures and other finishes are discussed. There will be a back and forth with the client often determined by costs, which will lead to both sides having to compromise. However, at the end of this stage, the building’s exterior, layout and dimensions are finalized and most of the materials have been chosen. There might still be some minor changes to the building design.

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4. Construction Documents (CD)

Here’s where the design services move into working construction drawings. Of all the phases, this one tends to take the most time. It’s important that architects make sure their designs are well-planned for execution. The construction project documents also must be approved.

It’s possible that an in-house construction contractor will join the development team during this phase of the architectural design process. At this point, the required drawings for the permit set and the construction set are needed. The building permit set is delivered to the permitting authority and can take a long time to approve, so it’s advisable to get this done first. The construction set has the details and dimensions of the design for the builder to use throughout the process.

5. Building Permits

The city or county will review the building permit set and check if it’s structurally sound and follows local zoning laws and building codes. This process is imperative to avoid dangerous mistakes for which the architects, builders and property owners can be liable. It’s also illegal to commence construction without first securing permits for the job.

The time to pull permits for the construction project can vary. Smaller construction projects might only take a couple of days, especially if they’re simpler. But larger, more complex or historical construction projects can take substantially longer, taking months versus days.

Related: 8 Free Excel Construction Templates

6. Bidding and Negotiation

This phase refers only to architectural firms that aren’t building the project themselves. The bidding process is when architects contract with a construction company that will do the actual construction. The process is expedited if permits have already been pulled.

The architect will advise the client when bids come in to find the best fit for the project, including qualifications and costs. This can be done through negotiated bids where builders go through construction documents and review materials and schedules. Keep in mind that sometimes the client already has a construction company in mind for the project.

A competitive bid process is when the architect looks over the local construction companies and their past projects. Then, the bidding process starts and construction companies will compete for the job, a process that usually takes three weeks. Quality, cost and experience are considered when choosing the winning bid. In both bidding cases, the winning construction company will contract with the client, not the architect.

7. Construction Administration (CA)

The final phase involves the architect frequently visiting the construction site to answer questions and deal with issues that arise. Having access to the architect is one way to avoid costly delays. The regularity of the architect’s visits depends on the size of the construction project and it could be weekly or monthly. The construction crew is in charge of the development of the project from this point on. This phase will last as long as it takes to complete the construction.

ProjectManager and the Architectural Design Process

The architectural design process is long, involved and complicated. In order to manage all seven stages, you need ProjectManager, construction project management software. Our software is your central hub for all construction project drawings and documentation. The collaborative platform connects everyone on the project team and gives them access to all files whether they’re in the office, on the construction site or anywhere else.

Stay Connected With Real-Time Data

When you’re dealing with many different parties, having clear and simple communication is essential to a smooth process. Our online software allows you to share files, comment on work, tag others to bring architects, builders and vendors into the conversation and more. To make sure you don’t miss any notifications, there are email alerts and in-app notifications so you don’t have to leave the tool.

Coordinate Work on Robust Kanban Boards

The back and forth and revising drawings can be hard to manage and you don’t want a client’s change to go unnoticed until it’s a costly and time-consuming delay. Our tool has multiple project views so you can track progress on Gantt chart, sheet, calendar and list views. If you prefer a more visual workflow, utilize our kanban boards. Columns are preset at to do, doing and done, but customizable to match your process.

Once construction has started, our tool can help you plan, schedule, monitor and track your resources. Real-time dashboards give you a high-level view of progress and performance while customizable reports dive deeper into the data. Architects, builders and clients are all updated with real-time data for more insightful decisions.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that manages the architectural design process. Unlimited file storage gives you a centralized hub for all construction project files and a collaborative platform connects everyone involved on the job to facilitate the process without substituting quality. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

from drafting the RFP to approval and expertise

Publication date: April 12, 2021
Material update date: March 10, 2023

  • The order and stages of design

    • Drawing up a design assignment

    • Initial permit documentation

    • Engineering survey

    • Development of basic technical solutions

    • Development of project documentation

    • Development of working documentation

    • Expertise

    • Coordination and examination of design and working documentation

In the previous article, we looked at general design principles. We considered the stages of creating projects and the features of modern design. A project is a way to convey an idea in its original form to those who will implement the object in kind. The clearer and more accurate the project is, the faster, more correct and cheaper the implementation will be.

In this article we will consider such questions as:

  1. Design methods.
  2. Design stages and their sequence.
  3. Which input data is required for planning.
  4. Mandatory requirements for design and working documentation.
  5. Coordination and examination of the Design and Working Documentation.

Let’s start with one of the main documents regulating the development of territories, including cities and other settlements – the Town Planning Code of the Russian Federation. In accordance with its requirements, for the implementation of new construction, reconstruction and some types of major repairs of buildings and structures, the mandatory development of project documentation is required.

Project documentation is a text and graphic materials that define the architectural, technological, functional and engineering parameters of the future construction site. In other words, if we plan to build, reconstruct or repair facilities on the territory of cities and settlements, we will need Project Documentation. We must show what and how we plan to do.

A distinction is made between single-stage and two-stage design.

Single-stage implies that the development of the working documentation goes in parallel with the design documentation. If the main technical solutions of the object have already been agreed between the construction participants and the two stages are being developed simultaneously, then the construction of the object can begin immediately after receiving a positive expert opinion and a building permit. Single-stage design is used only for simple objects or for binding projects of mass or reuse.

The essence of the two-stage design is that the documentation is developed in stages: at the first stage, the design documentation is developed, the main design decisions are made. Then these decisions are corrected, approved, and only after that the working documentation for construction is developed (stage “Detailed documentation”). Two-stage design is the main design method in Russia.

The classical method involves obtaining an approved design assignment from the customer and developing technological and architectural plans. After that, tasks are transferred to specialists in related fields, mutual agreements, discussions of the location of equipment, network tracing, etc. Due to the fact that the development of solutions is carried out by designers sequentially, the process turns out to be extended in time. Sometimes individual specialists have to go back a few steps and correct decisions already made.

Implementation of new design methods, in particular, BIM information modeling (Building Information Model or Modeling) – in this case, the object at different stages of development differs only in the degree of detail. BIM as a system solves the problems of accelerating this design process and reducing the number of inconsistencies in the project. Due to the fact that specialists of various profiles can simultaneously work in one model, all decisions made by them can be monitored in real time, and inconsistencies that arise can be eliminated in advance or even prevented.

With any design method, all calculations are performed, as a rule, in specialized calculation complexes. The calculations performed in these programs are accepted by experts, and only the initial data provided by the designer are verified.

Models and drawings are usually made in specialized software systems – computer-aided design (CAD) systems. Vivid examples of CAD are Autodesk Autocad, Compass 3D and others. Given the high cost of licensed software systems for the development of small objects, you can use free design programs, for example, the domestic development of nanoCAD. By and large, the choice of programs for designing is the topic of a separate article. There are a large number of paid and free software products on the market that can be used for work. In addition, some expensive software products have shareware versions with limited features.

Design technology may differ depending on the type and purpose of the object, but the staging and order of work in most cases remain the same. The design process consists of the following steps:

  1. Drawing up a design assignment.
  2. Collection of initial permits.
  3. Engineering surveys at the construction site.
  4. Development of basic technical solutions (OTR).
  5. Development of project documentation for obtaining approvals and expert opinion.
  6. Examination of project documentation.
  7. Development of working documentation.

Drawing up a design assignment

Design brief is a technical document (usually in tabular form) specifying a set of product requirements. The design task is subject to mandatory approval by the Customer and the Contractor. This can play a key role in resolving legal and financial issues in the future. De jure, all works and characteristics not specified in the design assignment are additional requirements and they are paid separately.

The following is some dry legal information that you should pay attention to.

According to the Decree of the Government on the composition of sections of design documentation and the requirements for their content No. 87 (PP No. 87), there is a document “DESIGN ASSIGNMENT” (hereinafter – RFP). There are no legal terms “technical assignment for design”, “Technical assignment” in PP No. 87 . The composition of the RFP for linear facilities is not given in the current federal regulatory legal acts (NLA) and is established taking into account industry specifics and type of construction. In other words, you will not be able to legally justify why the design brief contains or does not contain certain data. We can recommend that you agree on the RFP form in advance.

In practice, when concluding an agreement between the Customer and the Contractor for the performance of certain works, there is an appendix to the agreement – “Terms of Reference” (hereinafter – TK). Typically, the TOR combines a design assignment and a construction and installation assignment, or combines several areas of work.

For example, TOR for the design and construction of substations, overhead power lines, spurs from overhead power lines and the creation of FOCL-VL. The design and construction of FOCL-VL in this case is a section in this large project.

But do not despair, one of the ways out is to refer to the internal standards of the organization of PJSC FGC UES. PJSC FGC UES is the owner of most of the main overhead power lines of 35 kV and higher in our country, therefore, its standards are suitable in most cases. According to STO 56947007- “Technological communication. The standard of design documentation for the construction of FOCL-VL with OKSN and OKGT ”in section 5.2, the requirements for the assignment for the development of design documentation are given.

An important element of the design task is the list of initial data for the design. Initial data (hereinafter referred to as ID) make it possible to evaluate the project with high accuracy and form specific requirements for further design. They determine the initial concept, in accordance with which the development of design solutions will be carried out.

An important legal aspect is that Article 759 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation entrusts the Customer with the responsibility for preparing and transferring the ID to the designer. It is assumed that the Customer must create the conditions necessary for the designer to carry out the work, provide him with information and documentation sufficient to develop the project in accordance with the RFP. What information it will be, in what form and at what time it will be provided to the designer – this is the subject of negotiations between the Customer and the designer, fixed in the design contract.

Preparation, collection and receipt of ID can be entrusted by the Customer on a contractual basis to the design organization. Preparation of ID is a rather painstaking pre-project work. The timeliness of the collection, quality and reliability of the materials provided to the designer directly affects the project execution time, efficiency, operability and reliability of the designed facility.

The composition of the ID may vary depending on the specific design objects, their specifics and features.

In almost any design, the following IDs are the main ones:

  1. RFP issued to the design organization by the customer and serving as the legal basis for the design.
  2. Title and permit documents.
  3. Specifications (TU).
  4. Data on the conditions of the site for the placement of the object.

RFP, its composition and analysis were discussed above.

Title and permit documents establish rights to the occupied territories and premises, for example:

  • decision of the local executive authority on the approval of the location of the object,
  • title documents for land,
  • the act of choosing a land plot (route) for construction,
  • lease agreement for a room or a certain place in a room/rack.

Specifications (hereinafter – TS) are provided by the balance holders of communications and facilities on whose territory the cable will run. TS – a list of conditions that must be met in order for the completed object to be put into operation.

Specifications can be:

  • Specifications for the suspension of a fiber optic cable (FOC),
  • Specification for connection to supply sources (for example, request specifications for electricity supply from “power grids”),
  • engineering networks and communications (for example, request specifications for placement in cable ducts from its owner),
  • Specification for the restoration of lands disturbed during construction work and the use of the fertile layer of the earth,
  • Specification for crossing and laying near pipelines and other types of specifications.

Data on the conditions of the site for the placement of the object are usually obtained as a result of engineering surveys, for example:

  • topographic plan of the design site,
  • data on engineering and geological conditions of the site,
  • climatic conditions,
  • information about existing communication networks, existing station and line structures affected by this design,
  • building passports of plots containing basic technical data on selected land plots for laying routes and ground structures, communications,
  • information on the structures used, underground and surface utilities,
  • acts to determine the suitability of equipment (for example, acts of selection of overhead lines, acts of inspection of the condition of supports and foundations of overhead power lines, a conclusion on their condition, reports on periodic inspections and failures),
  • GIS data (Geographic Information System – a system for collecting, storing, analyzing and graphical visualization of spatial data and related information about the necessary objects).

Other technical and economic data that may be required during the design:

  • technical documentation and prices for products and equipment,
  • materials collected as a result of site survey and surveys: photographs, drawings, drawings, diagrams,
  • conditions for the placement of temporary buildings and structures, sites for the placement of construction equipment.

Collection of initial data is not the responsibility of the designer, it is a service that is provided for money.

Customers in this process often underestimate their role and the importance of the ID collection task itself. Many believe that this is the responsibility of the designer, and the function of the customer is reduced solely to payment and acceptance of work. As practice, including judicial practice, shows, it is on this basis that misunderstandings and conflicts often arise between the parties.

Initial permits

The collection of initial permits (IPD) is carried out at the earliest stages of design or precedes it, as an independent, independent work.

Initial permit documentation is a set of materials characterizing the future construction object and the site allocated for these needs.

Initial permit documentation must include:

  • documents confirming ownership of the land (or lease agreement),
  • urban planning documentation confirming the possibility of placing the object planned for construction on the selected site,
  • decisions of the city administration,
  • conclusions and approvals from regulatory services and authorities:
    • Sanitary and Epidemiological Service,
    • technical specifications for fire supervision,
    • conclusion of management of natural resources and environmental protection,
    • environment conclusion,
    • technical specifications for the development of specialized sections of the Civil Defense Ministry of Emergencies and others,
    • technical conditions for the engineering support of the facility, including: water, heat, gas, electricity, sewage disposal, connection to roads and railways, connection to telephone networks, the Internet, and others.

Depending on the specifics of a particular object, this list can be significantly expanded. So, when designing an object in specially protected areas, it will be necessary to obtain initial permits from the relevant government services. There can be many such cases, therefore, for each object, its own list of initial permits is compiled.

According to the practice of project approval, it is worth making a statement with a list of all possible documents and clearly indicate which documents are not required and why. For example, in view of the fact that the WOK does not have active equipment, water, heat, gas, electricity, and waste disposal are not required.

Engineering surveys

Engineering surveys are carried out to study the natural and man-made conditions of the future construction site. Based on the reports on these works, the designer decides on the location of objects on the ground, the deepening of the foundations of buildings and structures, the degree of their protection from the effects of various adverse factors, the routing of engineering networks and others.

The composition and scope of engineering surveys is standardized by the provisions of the Code of Rules SP 47.13330.2012 (“Engineering surveys for construction. Basic provisions”).

Prior to designing, the following types of work may be required:

  • engineering and geodetic surveys (landscape survey, cameral processing, installation of geodetic signs),
  • engineering-geological surveys (determination of soil properties, presence and composition of groundwater, determination of base soil for foundation, etc.),
  • engineering and environmental surveys and engineering and hydrometeorological surveys (information on the natural and climatic conditions of the construction site, features of the flora and fauna, the presence of man-made sources of pollution, etc.),
  • engineering and hydrographic works (allow to obtain data on the situation, underwater relief and underwater structures, with their subsequent display on engineering topographic plans and profiles),
  • determination of geophysical characteristics of construction (mountain and seismic conditions of construction, data on mineral deposits and other studies),
  • search and examination of the territory for the presence of explosive objects in the places of military operations and in the territories of former military formations,
  • archaeological research.

The composition of engineering surveys, methods of execution and scope of work are established by the engineering survey program developed on the basis of the assignment of the developer or technical customer. In other words, it should be specified in the design brief.

According to the Town Planning Code, the results of engineering surveys may be sent for examination simultaneously with the design documentation or before the design documentation is sent for examination.

Development of basic technical solutions

Main technical solutions (OTR) are usually developed before the start of work on design documentation and for rather complex technologically rich objects. As part of the OTR, the main schemes are usually developed: technological, power supply, automation.

OTR allows you to coordinate the main parameters of process and auxiliary equipment, which significantly reduces the number of alterations in the development of project documentation.

Development of project documentation

Currently, Russian standards define two stages of design: “Design documentation” and “Detailed documentation”. The composition and volume of text and graphic materials are determined in accordance with Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 87 of February 16, 2008 “On the composition of sections of project documentation and requirements for their content” (PP No. 87).

According to Decree No. 87, capital construction objects, depending on their functional purpose and characteristic features, are divided into the following types:

  1. Industrial facilities (buildings, constructions, industrial facilities, including defense and security facilities), except for linear facilities.
  2. Objects for non-industrial purposes (buildings, structures, constructions of the housing stock, social, cultural and household purposes, as well as other objects of capital construction for non-industrial purposes).
  3. Linear objects (pipelines, roads and railways, power lines, etc.).

During the construction of FOCL and LKS, we will be interested in the composition of design documentation for linear facilities:

  • Section 1 “Explanatory Note”,
  • Section 2 RoW Design,
  • Section 3 “Technological and design solutions for a linear facility. Artificial structures”,
  • Section 4 “Buildings, structures and structures included in the infrastructure of a linear facility”,
  • Section 5 Construction Management Design,
  • Section 6 “Project for the organization of work on the demolition (dismantling) of a linear facility”,
  • Section 7 Environmental Measures,
  • Section 8 Fire Safety Measures,
  • Section 9 Construction Estimates,
  • Section 10, “Other Documentation as Required by Federal Laws.”

Development of working documentation

The stage “Design documentation” is developed on the basis of technical solutions (OTR) defined in the Design documentation.

The document regulating the composition, form and content of materials at this stage is the National Standard of the Russian Federation GOST R 21.101-2020 – “Project documentation system for construction. Basic requirements for design and working documentation”.

This standard contains requirements for:

  • the composition of sets of working drawings,
  • design and marking of working drawings,
  • stamps and inscriptions on drawings,
  • composition and types of attached documents,
  • composition and types of reference documents (standards, standard solutions),
  • specification design.

In addition, this standard stipulates the rules for making changes to the design and working documentation, including the issuance of permission to make changes and the specifics of the procedure for each of the stages.

It should be noted that this practice exists when designing large-scale projects. If only FOCL, LKS or a small section of the communication line falls into the scope of construction, then it is permissible to make changes without using complex procedures. Only the coordination of changes with the customer and the relevant balance holder, in whose area of ​​responsibility the changes fall, remains mandatory.

In accordance with the Regulations on the procedure for the examination of project documentation, approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 145 dated March 05, 2007, those parts of the Design Documentation that have been amended that affect the structural safety and reliability of the designed facility are subject to re-examination.


Examination of project documentation is carried out for all objects, except for cases stipulated by Article 49 of the Town Planning Code of the Russian Federation (in most cases, these are technically simple objects, the construction of which does not require a permit).

Organization and examination of project documentation is regulated by the Regulation approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 145 dated 05. 03.2007

During the examination, project documentation is checked for compliance with standards and regulations, including control of ensuring the strength, reliability and durability of building structures and engineering systems, compliance with environmental, sanitary and epidemiological, fire, industrial and radiation safety requirements. An expert assessment of the quality of the engineering surveys performed is also given.

The maximum term for the examination does not exceed 60 days. Based on the results of the audit, an expert opinion is issued, which can be positive (if the documentation complies with the technical regulations) or negative (if it does not). A negative opinion may be challenged by the applicant in court.

Starting from September 2016, the submission of materials to the State Expertise is carried out only in electronic form.

In accordance with Article 49of the Town Planning Code of the Russian Federation, the examination of project documentation can be state and non-state. Non-state expertise is carried out by a legal entity accredited in the manner prescribed by law. The subject of non-state expertise cannot be objects, the construction of which is planned to be carried out at the expense of the budget, as well as objects of the defense and energy complex.

It is worth noting that if the construction of an object is planned in specially protected natural areas, then it is necessary to follow the “Rules for the submission of project documentation for objects, construction, reconstruction, overhaul of which is supposed to be carried out on the lands of specially protected natural areas, for the conduct of state expertise and state environmental expertise” approved by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of November 7, 2008 N 822).

Coordination and examination of design and working documentation

Properly executed design and working documentation is submitted for familiarization and approval with the Customer. Rules for execution and deadlines for providing documentation to the Customer are given in the RFP.

The customer examines and checks the provided documentation for completeness, compliance with the RFP, correctness and expediency of the applied technical solutions, availability of approvals from all persons whose interests may be affected. If the Customer is satisfied with everything, then we can assume that the project has been approved by the Customer.

A project for a telecommunication network will only be needed for the commissioning and commissioning of some newly built or reconstructed telecommunication networks. For more details on which communication networks a project is required during commissioning, see Order No. 258.

On the other hand, if the project is designed to create “capital construction facilities” that fall under the “Urban Planning Code of the Russian Federation” (FZ No. 190 of December 29, 2004), then a state examination of the project is required.

“Capital construction objects” may be communication poles, cable ducts, etc. The state examination of the project takes place in the authorized state examination body – FAA “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia” and its branches. It should be mentioned that this is a rather expensive pleasure, which takes a lot of time. If the project has passed the state examination, then a permit for the construction of the facility is issued.

Sometimes there is a situation that the Project Owner wants to insure himself during the construction of the communication facility. To do this, the Customer requires the designer to conduct an examination of the PD, for example, in the Federal State Budgetary Institution “MIR IT Center”. It is worth remembering that according to the order of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation dated August 26, 2014 No. 258 “On Approval of the Requirements for the Commissioning of Telecommunication Networks”, no expert examination of design documentation is required at the Federal State Budgetary Institution “MIR IT Center” (the so-called “connected expertise”). In this case, the examination is carried out at the expense of the Customer.

Goals and objectives of the examination:

  • ensuring the integrity, stability and security of the public communication network,
  • prevention of the construction of networks and communication and informatization facilities, the construction and operation of which violates the rights of individuals and legal entities or does not meet the requirements of the norms and rules approved in the prescribed manner.

When conducting an examination of pre-project and design documentation, it is ensured that its compliance is verified:

  • reference data and specifications,
  • requirements in the field of communications established by the Federal Law “On Communications”.

The procedure for the examination, in general terms, is as follows:

  1. Registration of documents, incoming control of the submitted documentation (checking the completeness and composition of the documentation, the availability of initial permits).
  2. Conducting an examination and issuing an expert opinion:
    – a positive opinion includes conclusions on the compliance of the project documentation with the requirements,
    – a negative opinion contains conclusions about the need to finalize the project documentation, indicating specific shortcomings. In case of drawing up a negative conclusion in connection with the need to finalize the pre-project and project documentation, the Customer has the right to submit documents for re-examination, subject to their revision taking into account the comments and suggestions set out in the conclusion,
    – in some cases, conditionally positive conclusions are issued if any permits were not submitted at the stage of examination, but are at the stage of execution. In this case, the project documentation is recommended for approval subject to the submission of relevant permits.

The realities in the Russian Federation are such that new regulations, laws, instructions, methodological recommendations, explanations, regulations, etc. are constantly introduced / canceled, which change (and some radically) the state of affairs in the design, construction and operation of communication networks. It is necessary to constantly monitor the situation in this area – the interesting work of the GUI is provided.

This article reflects the main points that you need to pay attention to when designing communication objects. In future articles, we will take a closer look at the issues that arise when designing specific types of objects. Consider the software systems used in the implementation of the graphic and text part of the project, as well as talk about the use of configurators that facilitate the selection of materials and equipment for construction.

Aleksey Solodkov,
design expert

Design of buildings and structures | SMART ENGINEERS


The outcome of all repair and construction activities depends on how competently the design of the facility is carried out. At the stage of architectural design, it is possible to determine not only the final form of the future object, but also to calculate the costs of its creation.


The technology according to which the design is carried out varies depending on the purpose of the object and its belonging to a certain category. The sequence of activities, however, almost always remains unchanged. The design process includes the stages:

  • collecting the necessary initial permits;
  • carrying out the necessary engineering surveys at the construction site;
  • formation of project documentation in order to obtain approvals and expert opinion;
  • examination of project documents;
  • formation of a package of working papers.


A set of design estimates substantiates the feasibility of carrying out construction activities, describes the possibilities for implementing the plans and fully reveals the essence of the project.


Every project starts with a sketch. It is a graphic demonstration of the idea proposed by the architect. On the basis of the finished draft design, it is possible to obtain a holistic view of the future object. In addition to the external appearance of the building, its layout and binding to the terrain, the document includes a three-dimensional model of the future structure, calculation of technical and economic indicators, and drawing up various schemes.


The preparation of project documentation considers its main goal to identify the technical feasibility of implementing the planned activities. During the topographic survey, specialists develop a plan for the relief of the territory, which is necessary for the subsequent organization of engineering operations. On the basis of the project documentation, the terms of reference for construction are formed.


The content of the working draft is devoted to the calculation of the foundation of a capital structure, the loads carried by the building and the features of its design. Architectural design measures allow you to calculate the optimal layout of each floor, overall dimensions, thickness of partitions and load-bearing walls. Also, the performers are engaged in a detailed drawing of the layout of each of the premises, doors and windows, facades.


It combines all types of documents developed and prepared by specialists at any of the design stages, up to the moment of obtaining permission to start construction activities.