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Initial Consultation
The first step in the design process is to meet with the clients and listen to their goals and desires for the project, the timeline for completion and the budget to work within. Creative and innovative solutions come from truly understanding the clients’ needs. We focus on listening to and understanding the client in order to distill the critical elements of the design problem. From that understanding we proceed to develop unique design solutions tailored to the individual client.

"One of the most important skills an architect can possess is the ability to listen."
- Peter A. Zepponi

Proposal for Architectural Services
Following the Initial Consultation we prepare a Proposal for Architectural Services based upon our discussions and any information that they provided regarding the project.

The majority of our projects are a Fixed Fee based upon a defined scope of work. If the scope of work is not defined or is indeterminate a Time & Material fee proposal may be provided either for the duration of the project or until a defined scope of work has been determined. Fixed fee proposals are progressively billed from 0% to 100% of completion of permit Construction Documents.

"With so many construction cost variables, we like to start by nailing down for our clients the one cost we have complete control over; our fee."
- Peter A. Zepponi

Design Process
The design process is divided into three iterative phases. We begin with various general concepts and alternatives and present those to the client for review and comment. We then take the client feedback and refine those initial concepts to incorporate the best features of the previous concepts. This process continues through the completion of the Construction Documents allowing the client to be part of the design decision making process. Each iteration gradually brings vague ideas into focus resulting in a tangible set of plans.

Phase I: Schematic Design: The conceptual design phase.
Phase II: Design Development: Integration of building systems and structure.
Phase III: Construction Documents: Complete plans and specifications for bid and permit.

The construction process is typically divided into two additional phases:

Phase IV: Bidding and Negotiation: Selecting and hiring a contractor.
Phase V: Construction Administration: Reviewing that construction is proceeding per plans and specifications.

"It’s not always about thinking ‘outside the box’; sometimes you just need to make the box better…and in San Francisco especially, it’s more often about thinking ‘inside the box’."
- Peter A. Zepponi.