Important Role of SD, DD & CD in the Construction Projects


Ar. Ankit Kansara

CEO | Think Tank

Last Updated:

Jan 12, 2024

Role Of Sd, Dd And Cd

A successful architecture project requires architectural firms to ensure scheduled workflow, align with the client requirements, stay within budget, and design in compliance with building codes and standards. The output quality is diluted by low visibility into project scope, inability to visualize designs, and weak design briefs.

To overcome these challenges and successful project completion, Revit BIM modeling services are incorporated with project handling divided into different phases.

The project phases of schematic design, design development, and construction documentation, enable architects to execute projects at every construction step with accuracy and enhanced coordination.

What is the Requirement of Different Design Phases?

Building design and construction is a complex process and dividing it into multiple phases helps in managing a project in an organized way. A set of tasks is associated with each phase and completing every task accordingly ensures an orderly projection.

The architectural project stays within time limits and budget without tampering with the work schedules. Diving the project into multiple phases helps in achieving greater project control, fulfilling client’s expectations, and easy project management.

Schematic Design (SD) Phase

In the Schematic Design phase, the architects develop an outline of the built form. Conceptual plans of the project depict the scale, form, and relationship between various spaces.

Schematic Design (Sd) Phase

Different concepts help in exploring various design prototypes and gaining an overall idea of the architectural aesthetic and feel. The architects should consider the jurisdictional requirements and permits for the project during Schematic design development.

The schematic design phase is an evolutionary stage that witnesses a multitude of design changes before finalizing the design concept intended for construction. It involves several meetings and brainstorming of ideas using 3D BIM models developed with BIM modeling services.

The discussions also allow the architect to understand the client’s vision and articulate it precisely into their proposed designs. Special consultants like designers, planners, landscape consultants, and other consultants are included in the schematic phase.

The schematic design phase is a crucial step that organically evolves into the design development phase and cannot be skipped from the process.

Deliverables in the Schematic Design Phase

  • Preliminary plans
  • Schematic site plan
  • Building sections
  • Elevations of the built form
  • 3D visualization
  • Details of building elements
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Benefits of Schematic Design

  • The schematic design phase allows the architects and designers to envision different design options and ideas that align with the client’s requirements. These conceptual diagrams enable the client to visualize the project layout and aesthetics.
  • This phase involves the major design concept and form-related decisions. It also reflects on potential design opportunities and challenges, for the client to make informed decisions regarding the project.
  • The early conceptualization stage provides scope for identifying and rectifying potential design challenges quickly.

Design Development (DD) Phase

The design development phase involves planning structural systems, building systems, finalizing materials for the interior & exterior spaces, and other key aspects. Building components are designed in compliance with codes and regulations.

Design Development (Dd) Phase

Building specifications and dimensions are outlined to generate cost estimates that are in line with the project scope. A structural contractor, HVAC consultants, MEP consultants, and other required contractors are added to the frame in the design development stage.

This phase conveys the overall volume and layout of the space with materials, finishes, and equipment assigned to every element. The building form is refined in this phase by positioning doors and windows.

By the end of this phase, the design of the exterior is completely finalized, interior layouts are finalized, space dimensions are finalized, and material selection is executed.

Deliverables in the Design Development Phase

  • Detailed floor plans with every specific dimension
  • Comprehensive building sections
  • Elevations with finishes and openings
  • Documents with initial specifications
  • Grid dimensions for structural elements
  • Wall sections
  • Material BOQs

Benefits of Design Development

  • The design development phase presents a clear and more accurate picture of the final project with detailed layouts, elevations, and sections.
  • Various systems like structural layout, MEP systems, or any other layout, that are necessary for successful building construction are integrated with the design layout to ensure seamless operation.
  • Architects can achieve a cohesive design with rightly assigned materials, finishes, and specifications in the DD phase.
  • This phase ensures that the project complies with building standards and regulatory codes to eliminate the chances of issues during construction work on-site.

Construction Documentation (CD) Phase

The Construction Documentation phase involves the documentation of the entire design process. The project drawings are converted into accurate and precise construction documents. These documents include dimensions, specifications, details, and annotations to represent the design intent.

Construction Documentation (Cd) Phase

The construction documents are prepared after the approval of costs and plans by the architect and the project owner. The drawings include details and specifications, entailing the complete project with no scope for modifications or corrections.

This phase represents component connections, material specifications, finishes, fixtures, equipment, and appliances that are included in the project.

The documented drawings are coordinated with the drawing sets prepared by other consultants. The construction documentation might require the maximum amount of time due to the precise execution and existing interdisciplinary clashes.

Deliverables in the Construction Documentation Phase

  • Annotated Floor Plans
  • Drawings and specifications for construction purposes
  • Detailed dimensions of the project
  • Specifications of walls, doors, and windows
  • Annotated exterior elevations
  • Notes for plans, details, and structure
  • Plans and schedules for HVAC, MEP, and fire protection

Benefits of Construction Documentation

  • The construction documentation phase provides an efficient and error-free building process with detailed construction drawings and specifications.
  • Accurate and laboratory construction documents support the contractors with accurate bid submissions, leading to minimal disputes during the construction process.
  • Comprehensive construction documentation helps the architects and contractors get an accurate idea of the project timeline.
  • Detailed and thorough documents enclose precise building information that accelerates the process of obtaining building permits.
  • Construction documents enable the building contractors to align with the proposed design, ensuring a quality-driven and error-free construction process.

How can Outsourcing SD, DD, and CD Services be Beneficial for Architects and Designers?

Outsourcing SD(Schematic Design), DD(Design Development), and CD(Construction Documentation) services deliver ample benefits to the AEC industry. Architects, contractors, and other stakeholders can collaborate and streamline the design process at every phase of the project.

These phases provide greater flexibility, higher precision, stringent quality control, adherence to global standards, and tailored libraries for clarity and precision.

Getting refined deliverables at every phase leads to increased productivity, cost savings, and faster turnaround. To inculcate all these benefits to the project, architects and designers can choose to outsource these services and attain higher project quality.


The significant amount of time, cost, and resources required for a project’s completion can be intimidating. The division of the designing and construction process into various phases ensures a seamless construction process within planned timelines.

A step-wise process provides structural integrity, increases efficiency, and eliminates confusion from the process. BIM Modeling services and 3D visualization can help in expediting the architectural design and development process.

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Ar. Ankit Kansara

Ar. Ankit Kansara is the visionary Founder and CEO of Virtual Building Studio Inc., revolutionizing the architecture and construction industry with innovative BIM solutions. With a strong foundation in architecture and a global presence, Ankit leads the company in providing cutting-edge AEC services, embracing technology and pushing boundaries

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