The art of bringing ideas to life.

Bringing your ideas to life. That’s what we do at Ekocite. To do this efficiently for our clients, we have created a four-step approach that goes from a site plan review to architectural sketches to fully developed construction drawings ready for bid.

We see this as art. Not just lines on a piece of paper.

To make this as easy as we can, we work directly with you through each of the steps. Below are brief explanations and examples completed during each step to help explain our process further.

Of course, we’d always love to discuss these steps with you in-person, too. Just let us know.

Step 1: Predesign & Architectural Proposal

We aim to understand what a client is looking to achieve. This is where ideas are brought forward by everyone involved, allowing for the creativity to flow. There are two parts to this step: Predesign and the Architectural Proposal.

Ekocite Site Plan

Pictured: Site Plan Example. Commonly associated with a mortgage, this is used for the preliminary review of zoning ordinances, including building setbacks.


In Predesign, Ekocite meets with prospective clients to understand their ideas, needs, and project requirements. This is called the “program”. During this we will:

  • Do a walkthrough of the land or current structure.

  • Conduct a preliminary review of zoning ordinances.

Architectural Proposal:

Once the Predesign work is completed, Ekocite will develop your proposal from the requirements gathered. In the Architectural Proposal, we:

  • Define scope of work.

  • Provide an architectural cost proposal to a prospective client for review.

  • Gain client approval to proceed.

Step 2: Architectural Design Services

Once an architectural proposal is accepted, the most interesting piece of the project begins: the design. Here Ekocite fully documents the site and finalizes the review of all zoning requirements for the project. This includes:

Ekocite Preliminary Architectural Sketch

Pictured: Preliminary Sketch. This is an example of an early sketch to explore ideas based on the building, site plot and even things like direction of the sun.

Site Documentation:

  • Taking measurements.

  • Photographing the surrounding area or building.

  • Finalizing the zoning ordinance review.

Schematics & Design Development:

The schematics and design development work begins when the site documentation is completed. This step is often the most enjoyable part of the program for the client. We kind of love it, too.

Why? Because the project comes alive with the drawing process.

First we do a series of sketches, kind of like architectural doodles, to look at concepts and ideas on paper (see Preliminary Sketch photo).

From there, a more detailed sketch occurs, still just freehand and not to scale, to show the ideas and concepts more in-depth on paper (see Second Preliminary Sketch photo). It’s here when the structural form is developed.

We then test the free hand sketches by putting them into hardline drawings, with true-to-scale dimensions. However, these are only concept drawings at this point. Just lines.

There are no construction notes or dimensions added, but rather these are meant to explain and show ideas to the client that are now drawn to scale and within the site plan requirements. During this phase, it is very easy and inexpensive to move elements of a drawing around to ensure our clients are satisfied.

Once the design drawings and schematics are reviewed with the client and approved, the program moves into the third step.

Design progression examples:

Pictured below is a progression of drawings occurring during the Schematic and Design Drawing step. These drawings go from preliminary sketches (shown above) through the schematics and design drawings for client review (see below).

Ekocite Second Preliminary Sketch

Pictured: Second Preliminary Sketch. This begins to show rooms and other aspects of the building and project to help develop concepts.

Ekocite Schematic Design

Pictured: The schematic has been tested and the final schematic design drawing is ready for the owner’s review.

Ekocite Design Drawing

Pictured: Design drawing for client review showing the structure and materials identified for the project.

Step 3: Architectural Construction Documents

Once a client has approved the schematics and design drawings, Ekocite will then add the specific dimensions and other information required for construction. When done, the schematics and design drawings are ready for bid. During this step, we do the following:

Ekocite Construction Drawing Overview

Design Development

  • The schematic design drawings evolve by defining the building’s structure and materials, and then reviewed with the client.

Construction Drawings

  • Prepare complete working drawings of the building.

  • The construction drawings are bid and permit ready upon completion.

Ekocite Construction Schematic of First Floor
Ekocite Construction Schematic of Second Floor
Ekocite Construction Schematic of Elevations

Pictured above: Examples of construction schematics and drawings ready for bid. Clients can see the progression from the design drawings and schematics in Step 2 to the construction drawings, similar to what is shown here.

Step 4: Project Delivery:

The last step of the process is to work with a contractor to begin the construction. This is done in one of two ways: either through a Design & Build approach or a Bid approach.

Ekocite Construction Final Rendering

The Design & Build Approach

This approach is where Ekocite works with its preferred contractor so the building or remodeling process can be streamlined. We work directly with the contractor from the beginning and throughout the entire project.

Clients also have the option of identifying and using their own contractor for this approach. However, the contractor will need to be involved at the beginning and during the design process.

The Bid Approach

The second approach is to obtain three separate construction bids based on the completed schematics and design drawings. However, unlike the Design & Build approach, implementing the Bid approach is only done at the very end when the schematics and design drawings are completed.

Ekocite is available for questions as bids are developed.

Ready to start?

We’re ready when you are. And don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it seems.

Contact Us, and we can start a discussion about this.


Ekocite Four-Step Approach and Service Listing. (293KB, PDF)