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Ervin Architecture

Our Process

a clear and thoughtful process

At Ervin Architecture, we believe that every great architectural project starts with a clear and thoughtful process.

This collaborative journey, guided by innovation and meticulous attention, delivers spaces that transcend expectations, blending creativity with functionality in every architectural endeavor. Our commitment to excellence, innovation, and collaboration drives us as we navigate each step, ensuring that your project not only meets your expectations but also exceeds them.

Our holistic architectural process consists of four seamlessly interconnected stages:

phase 1 of 4


This involves a free-flowing design collaboration where the architect works with the client to develop a clear understanding of site relationships, a “wish list” and a “must have” list of both design elements and functional elements, and stylistic preferences.

This period requires great communication and patience, and may involve many iterations to establish a comfort level with the design. The timeline of this period will evolve and adapt and some designs may introduce tremendous breakthroughs while others may not yield results.

In this primary design phase, the project will start to take shape. The building will be sited on property with relationships to the sun, other site conditions, and utilities, being the main focus. Also addressed will be the location of primary elements (doors, windows, stairways etc.), identification of egress issues, evaluation of ADA issues (if applicable) and general code-related influences. The function and aesthetic flavor of the building will be established.

  • Collaboration of Client and Architect Begins

  • Establishment of overall geometric relationships, aesthetics, and general “look”

  • Establishment of basic programming

    1.) Location & sizes of rooms from client summary of rooms needed
    2.) Adjacencies of rooms and proximity to target zones & areas of interest
    3.) “Flow” and space use as it applies to daily activities
    4.) Location of doors/windows

  • Establishment of budget & approach to design regarding cost using rules of thumb ($cost/sf)

  • Roof angles/pitches

  • Establishment of amenities

    Examples: Rooftop Deck, Pool, Hot Tub, Barn, Garage, etc.

  • Locating building on site & in relation to natural conditions

    Such as sun, wind, water etc. in an effort to maximize thermal comfort, save heating/cooling costs, and respond to views/amenities

  • Site plan drawing

  • Elevation drawing

  • Floor plan drawings for each floor

  • Roof plan drawing

phase 2 of 4


This phase includes a close preliminary examination of how the building is going to go together. This allows our clients to get a full picture of exactly how the project will be constructed at this time. We want to eliminate stress and unknowns upfront, so we do our best to help you understand the process and encourage you to ask questions.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plan

    This reflected ceiling plan helps everyone understand how the ceiling will look once everything is put in place. Builders know where to put the lights and fans, electricians know where to run the wires, and decorators can plan how to make the ceiling beautiful. So, a reflected ceiling plan is like a detailed map for architects and builders to understand and plan that shows the exact location of lights, fans, sprinklers, outlets and other things that go on the ceiling, making sure everything looks great and works perfectly.

  • Wall Construction

    Select Foundation Construction: Form Foundation, Haunched Concrete Slab, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) — Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) panels, etc.
    Select Cladding (the system will inform wall construction)Shingles, Stucco, Concrete, Metal Panel, Wood Clapboards, Fiber Cement, Clapboard, etc.

  • Building sections

  • Wall + Foundation Details

  • Preliminary Estimation of Costs
by Estimator

  • Preliminary Conceptual Rendering Development

  • Window + Door Schedules

    Selection of Doors
    Selection of Windows

  • Incorporation of Preliminary Engineering & Building Systems Information

    These include; Structural, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical

  • Integration of client's selected furniture types and sizes into interior spaces

  • Selection and preliminary integration of heating/cooling systems

  • Selection and preliminary integration of renewable fuel sources

    These include; solar power, wind power, geothermal, etc.

phase 3 of 4


This phase of services will include final detailing and specifications. This will include door and window and wall schedules, millwork details, and finished construction details as appropriate to producing a complete, and satisfactory set of construction drawings that a builder can follow.
  • Make Final Selections

    Decide on; Lighting, Fixtures, Appliances, Flooring Materials, Doors + Windows, and Wall/Ceiling Treatments and Finishes

  • Interior elevation drawings

  • Details

    Detailed drawings of Eaves, Foundation, Framing Connections, Partition Schedule, and Millwork Details

  • Incorporation of final engineering & building systems information into the drawing set

    This includes; Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering

  • Specifications

    Adding notes on drawings

  • Final Renderings

phase 4 of 4

CONSTRUCTION observation

It is important that the client understands that construction observation services throughout the construction period will contribute knowledge, expertise, and design skills to help to facilitate the successful completion of the project.

Inspections will occur prior to:

  • Excavation
  • Footings Being Poured
  • Frost Walls Being Poured
  • Rough Framing
  • Insulating
  • Waterproofing
  • Roofing
  • Window and Door Installation
  • Throughout the Interior Finish Process

This is an observation period and the architect will not be instructing the contractors how to do their job. The intent is to ensure that the contractor is following the intended design outlined in the contract documents. A site report to the client will be generated when visits occur.

  • All correspondence between the contractor and the client should include the presence of the architect (in person, email, phone) to avoid confusion and liability for all parties involved

  • In the course of construction, minor changes may need to be made to clarify or modify the contract drawings – this will occur in the form of an official stamped sketch from the architect – and will not require a client signature (only an update to the client from architect)

  • In the course of construction, major changes may need to be made as requested by the owner and will require a signature on the part of the owner that outlines the addition or subtraction

  • An updated timeline outlining the “critical path” of construction

  • An updated submittal log

  • Monthly payment requisition schedule w/ a schedule of values

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