O U R P R O C E S S F O R G R E A T D E S I G N
Whether you are embarking on your first custom home design project or this process is familiar to you, it is important to have an experienced team to lead you to success. VanBrouck & Associates has the knowledge, experience, and talent to guide you through every phase of the design process from the initial preliminary design phase through final detailed construction drawings. We guide you through our three-step Design Process, working at your pace and dedicating our time and resources to clarifying every issue. We do not progress to the next step of the Design Process until you are pleased.
S T E P O N E : P R E L I M I N A R Y D E S I G N
Discovery and Creative Exploration
The beginning of every design project is an exciting time of discovery and creative exploration. It begins with informal "conversations" with our clients, where we facilitate a free exchange of ideas, discussing architectural styles, budget, timelines and expectations.
In this initial stage, we establish the scope of the project and take the time to learn about our client's dreams, needs and desires, financial requirements and priorities, and lifestyle....and how they see themselves living in their home - interacting in it, raising their family, entertaining, and finding respite in quiet moments. We discuss how to allocate space, ideal room dimensions, and the flow of traffic through the spaces; and discuss design components and architectural elements that will be the building blocks of the design, establishing the creative direction for the project. Inspiration photos gathered from our past projects, books, magazines, and the internet aid the discussions.
We consider the unique characteristics of the land - how the house will be sited on either acreage or a smaller "in-town" lot, analyze the topography of the land from the site survey, and determine optimal view lines and trees to preserve. The North-South-East-West compass orientation, and how the sun will move around the house, and through the interior spaces throughout the day is considered. We guide our clients through this discovery process as we begin to compile all of this information into our Personalized Program Criteria, which will be used to prepare conceptual drawings.
We take an artistic approach to the preliminary design process as multiple facets of the design are considered simultaneously. We are cognizant of how the interior spaces, exterior form, and their relationship to each other and the surrounding land can most creatively and successfully be brought together to create a beautiful composition.
We research, contemplate, and discuss with our design team all aspects of the project, incorporating the discovery of our Personalized Program Criteria into the design, as we sketch . . . and sketch . . . and sketch . . . dozens of iterations until we arrive at a design solution that satisfies the requirements of the project and excites and enthralls us - as we anticipate presenting the design concept to our client for the first time. Our preliminary design concepts are artistically hand-drawn and consist of a site plan concept, scaled floor plans, and an exterior conceptual color rendering.
S T E P T W O : D E S I G N D E V E L O P M E N T
Refinement of Design
Once the client approves the conceptual drawings, we progress to the next phase of the process. In the design development phase, the preliminary design concepts begin to be "developed" into a fully articulated, cohesive set of construction documents. The design begins taking shape as we develop all elevation concepts, refine the floor planning and continue adding details. Our team that is comprised of a structural engineer and CAD project manager begins to create computer drawings including architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical documents. There are periodic discussions with the client throughout this process to ensure that all of the design and project requirements are satisfied and incorporated into the drawings.
During the design development phase, we continue designing architectural elements and details that further describe and enhance the architectural style of the home. Scaled and dimensioned ceiling features, millwork profiles, fireplace drawings, and cabinetry details are designed, reviewed with the client, and incorporated into the drawings. Interior elevation concepts are developed, and exterior and interior material selections are explored.
S T E P T H R E E : C O N S T R U C T I O N D R A W I N G S
Construction Documents Preparation
Once the client approves the computer design development drawings, we prepare a complete set of construction documents that are ready to be submitted for building permits and bids. These drawings are very comprehensive, fully-dimensioned and detailed, and are comprised of architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical pages that completely and cohesively delineate all aspects of the architectural design that will be required throughout construction.
The plans are prepared in compliance with all State and local building codes, as well as any HOA and historic preservation restrictions, which have been researched for the geographic location where the house will be constructed. They are structurally engineered in compliance with any high-wind zone, hurricane zone, or earthquake zone codes for any location in the country.
Our construction drawings are consistently lauded by building department officials and contractors across the country for their completeness, accuracy, and readability.
We offer our clients a unique and exciting opportunity to view a virtual representation of their home prior to beginning construction. Using the latest state-of-the-art technology in virtual digital renderings and video "fly-arounds", our talented artistic team can create a realistic, full-color representation of our client's home sited on their property. This is an extraordinary tool which enables us to preview the design with our clients, and to explore and compare different material and color selections, so that we can make any desired refinements to the design and they can feel confident moving into the construction phase.