What is a preliminary design?
What is a preliminary design? A preliminary design is a certain stage in the design of a building during which it is necessary to define its main parameters. These include the total area, as well as the number of storeys and the area of the building structure. In addition, as part of the preliminary design, it is customary to form the style of the object and its three-dimensional solution.

This is the most creative stage. It is during this time that the architect often offers various options, according to which you can implement the wishes of the client. When this project is developed, it is necessary to determine the structural scheme of the building, as well as the main materials that will need to be used during construction.

One of the main tasks of a preliminary design is to make a prototype of the object to be created. When developing the project, the specialist will determine the contours of the future building structure – this will allow the customer to better imagine the object. Thus, it is possible to understand the main features of the future building and analyze how to further use this data in the work.


Some underestimate this stage, but it is quite important when designing buildings. It is in the sketches that the plans of the object that can be implemented are depicted. At this stage, a 3D model is created. Thanks to it, the customer will be able to visualize the future building and make sure that its appearance and internal construction (planning) are chosen correctly.

Such a project is considered to be a certain starting point that should be used in order to develop working documentation. It can also be used for work when the design has only one stage. Then the preliminary design will not be further divided into separate sections, but will be executed differently.

Today, architects offer the construction of various structures (sometimes buildings have even unusual shapes, and their construction uses many different materials). Features of construction depend on what the customer wants and what the budget is. This can change the number and type of drawings that belong to the project. It is worth considering the type and complexity of designing the future building.

It is important to develop a preliminary design, taking into account the urban planning documentation that exists at the time of development. It is also important to take into account the architectural and planning tasks and environmental protection requirements. Once the urban planning and architecture authorities approve the project, it will be considered a basis for further development of the project documentation.

Why is a preliminary design important for both contractors and customers?

If you make it correctly, then:

the customers will be able to show their wishes in specific forms of drawing;
builders will have an idea of what result they want from them;
the project will help to reconcile the wishes of the customer with construction standards;
the preliminary design will become the basis for creation of the preliminary estimate for construction process;
it will be possible to control all expenses better and more conveniently.
What should be considered?

At the stage of the preliminary design, a significant amount of different information should be laid down. Experts must take into account many nuances and details that ordinary people could simply ignore. So in the sketches:

there is information about all facades;
determine the main color solutions of the object;
create floor planning;
indicate the size of all premises, as well as the total area of the building;
determine the design of the foundation and walls;
make important engineering decisions.
If the goal is to design a building with an unusual structure, then you need to provide atypical elements, indicating them in the nomenclature. These can be a balustrade, elements made by blacksmiths and carpenters, architectural details of facades, etc.
What data do you need to start designing?

The main initial data that is needed to develop a preliminary design:

a document that will confirm the right of lease or ownership of the required land;
topographic survey, where adjacent buildings, site boundaries and utilities are located;
information about the location of the “red lines”;
design tasks;
cadastral plan.
geodetic analysis of the site
geological analysis of the site
The preliminary design must take into account the design tasks and contain basic solutions with environmental, functional, urban, artistic and architectural requirements. It must confirm the possibility of creating the desired object, and determine its value. To justify the adoption of a particular architectural decision sometimes structural and engineering developments are additionally carried out. This can be indicated in the explanatory note of the project and in the composition of its graphic part.

Why should you look for professional help?

When there is no design project and its important sketch component, many difficulties arise. In addition, if the documentation is prepared by an amateur, it can be more expensive. In order not to waste money and get a competent sketch of the house, you should consult specialists.

An experienced team will impress you with its professionalism and take care of everything. Specialists will properly develop the design and technical documentation for your facility. In particular, architects perform sketch design with special permits. Thanks to this, you will be able to get an idea of the future building and, if necessary, together with experts to make the necessary adjustments.