All building projects, big or small, requires planning and management in a process. Below you can briefly read about the different phases and get an overview of a construction process.

1. Idea Meeting

Before the idea meeting you as the client should identify your needs and define your financial framework for the construction project. In terms of finances, it is important to always allocate a small reserve (around 15%) to unpredictable costs, as almost all construction projects can risk an increase in costs because of conditions that are impossible to predict or conditions that occur during construction. At the idea meeting you discuss your wishes and needs and the architect assesses the potential and architectural possibilities of your site. It is very important that you discuss and agree together on whether the wishes are realistic in relation to finances, requirements and timeframe, or whether adjustments should be made to wishes, requirements and needs.

2. Sketch Proposal

In the sketch phase, the architect prepares a sketch of solutions based on the ideas during the idea meeting.
The sketch proposal gives a good sense of the project – both in appearance and scope and is the architect’s initial proposal for the construction project. No building permit can be obtained or built according to the sketch proposal.

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3. Building Permit

The building permit phase is a further elaboration of the approved sketch phase to such an extent that it can form the basis for an application for authority. The building permit contains technical drawings of the final design of the project in relation to authority requirements, including a description of the project’s architecture, planning conditions, design choices, choice of materials, etc. It cannot be built on the basis of the building permit.

4. Detailed Design

The architect prepares necessary detailed drawings that give an overview of the project. The drawings are adapted to the nature of the task and later form the basis for obtaining tenders from contractors. No working drawings are done. This step is important in the process to minimize mistake

5. Tendering and Contracting

The architect submits the project in tender, after which the received tenders are evaluated and the suitable contractor found. It is the contractor who prices the work, and the architect is not responsible for budget or tender results.

Although the contractors submit tenders based on the same drawings and descriptions, there will be a need to review and compare the submitted bids to assess whether they contain unclear reservations or discrepancies between the project material and the tender submitted. In many cases, negotiations with the contractors and the adjustment of the offer are also needed. The architect prepares a draft contract and assists in the negotiations to a reasonable extent. The architect only provides technical advice and not legal advice in the process.

6. Building

During the construction phase, the architect can, by agreement, be appointed as the building manager and / or supervisor, while the construction is on. A construction manager represents the client to the contractors with regard to the organization and execution of the work. Construction management is a special service and must be agreed between the parties. The supervisory authority participates in construction meetings and carries out the qualitative and quantitative control at the construction site in the form of random inspection. The scope and number of professional inspections and construction meetings must be specifically agreed. The number of professional supervision and meetings depends on the specific agreement, the size, nature and complexity of the project.

Ydelsesbeskrivelse for arkitektrådgivning i Forbrugeraftaler. (2019). 1st ed. [pdf] København: Danske arkitektvirksomheder, pp.1-6. Available at: [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].Translated by Hávarður Olsen. Copenhagen:Havard Olsen Architecture ApS.


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