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Architectural programming is the research and decision-making process that identifies the scope of work to be designed. Synonyms include "facility programming," "functional and operational requirements," and "scoping." In the early 1960s, William Peña, John Focke, and Bill Caudill of Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott (CRS) developed a process for organizing programming efforts. Their work was documented in Problem Seeking, the text that guided many architects and clients who sought to identify the scope of a design problem prior to beginning the design, which would be a solution to the problem. Basic services provides, very limited programming which will generally makeup less than one percent of the entire project effort or fee. Whereas, Programming as an optional service will generally run from 5 to 10% percent of a projects fee. 


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1.  Involvement of interested parties in the definition of the scope of work prior to the design effort.  

2.  Emphasis on gathering and analyzing data early in the process so that the design is based upon sound decisions.  

3.  Efficiencies gained by avoiding redesign and more redesign as requirements emerge during architectural design. 

  The most cost-effective time to make changes is during programming. This phase of a project is the best time for interested parties to influence the outcome of a project.

It is necessary for the people involved in the building design to interact closely throughout the design process. The owner, building occupants, and operation and maintenance personnel should be involved to contribute their understanding of how the building and its systems will work for them once they occupy it. The fundamental challenge of "holistic" design is to understand that all building systems are interdependent.

Site Planning

Site planning in architecture, refers to the overall organization of the site elements and the building, with an understanding of the specific planned use. At the initial stages the process may even define the highest and best use for the site. The process involves the organization of land use, considering zoning, access, circulation, privacy, security, shelter, land drainage, noise, orientation to the sun, and other such factors. This is done by arranging the compositional elements of landform, planting, water, buildings, utilities, paving and building. Site planning generally begins by assessing a potential site for development through site analysis. Information about slope, soils, hydrology, vegetation, drainage, parcel ownership, orientation, etc. are assessed and documented. By determining areas that are poor for development (such as floodplain or steep slopes) and better for development, the architect can assess optimal location and design a structure that works within this space. The architect may employ a registered land surveyor, a structural engineer, and a civil engineer, to assess the site, and definitively develop solutions for the

specific issues.


Master Planning in architecture normally refers to the organization, just positioning, adjacencies, and relationships between multiple buildings that will be implemented over a period of years. Phasing of the buildings is commonly defined, and the master plan can therefore allow the long-term coordinated solution, yielding an integrated solution for the initial phases. 

Site Planning
Master Planning
Schematic Design

Schematic Design establishes the general scope, evolving from a conceptual design. The Schematic design is developed to scale, and indicates relationships among the components of the project. The main building blocks are generally derived from the Program Statement developed in the earlier Programming phase, or from a brief list of functions, and performance requirements, developed at the start of the SD phase. The primary objective is to arrive at a defined, arrangement of the components, and functions that are feasible and acceptable. This occurs while exploring multiple design solutions, generally with client feedback, of the various schemes. As a result, the architect will prepare a series of rough plans, known as schematics, which show the overall building shape, general arrangement of rooms, and perhaps the building on the site.


The Schematic plans are simple, without details, and do not include the integration of the building systems. These systems, such as mechanical, structural, electrical, process, and plumbing systems will only be included where they have major impact to the plan, and will be shown in only a general way. Wall thicknesses, service closets, access to systems, clearances for systems, coordination of the building form, and the building systems will not occur until the Design Development phase. Generally, an elevation may be developed, but building sections, building details, specifications, columns, and structural wall locations are generally worked out in the Design Development phase. Models, renderings, and/or illustrations may be prepared to help visualize the project as necessary or as contracted. The project proceeds to the next phase when the Owner approves the schematic design, as encompassing the major components of the project. The SD plans will still be dynamically changing, and do not lock-in until the end of the Design Development phase, but the general scope of the project is primarily captured in the SD plans.

Schematic Design
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Design Development
Design Development

In this phase the Architect expands upon the approved schematic design studies to develop more detailed drawings illustrating other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape. After reviewing the options completed in schematic design, we all work together to choose a design direction that answers the questions in the SD phase , and further delineates the design elements, of space, materials, and constructability. In most cases, we find that the chosen direction is a compilation of several ideas from the schematic design phase, with additional detail, and clarification to the design. At this point, we continue to define -- through plans, elevations and sections -- the size of rooms, types of materials, where and how the materials are utilized, and a refined placement of the building.


During this phase, we study the whole building as a system, including specific construction issues which may effect the final project. Just as the intangibles of architecture are important to you -- your favorite place where the sun streams in during February -- the tangibles are just as crucial. What is the most appropriate heating system? What is the best roofing in this climate?


We ask and answer these questions with you. During this phase, a preliminary cost of construction may be obtained from the drawings prepared at this stage. The project proceeds to the next phase when the  Owner approves the Design Development documents.

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Once the Owner has approved the Design Development phase, the Architect prepares detailed working drawings (formerly known as blueprints) and specifications, which the Contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project.  The drawings and specifications together make-up the "construction documents."


These documents inform the builder of the dimensions, materials, specifications, and construction details required to estimate and build the project. Construction documents follow national standards, good practices of construction, and the product [the client] ultimately envisioned after working through the design process. They also qualify and quantify the building so that the bids [the client] receive from contractors reflect the final product [the client] decided on. In addition to securing design decisions made by the client and the architect, construction documents will also minimize change orders and stressful snap-judgments made on the job site.


At the end of this stage, we move into the Construction Administration Phase, and continue to work with you, as your advocate, to select a contractor (when necessary) and/or sub-contractors.

Construction Documents
Construction Documents
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Construction Administration
Construction Administration

While the Contractor will physically build the project, the Architect can assist the Owner by making site visits to observe the construction to determine, in general, if the project is being built according to the plans and specifications. Work is determined to be "non-conforming" by the architect, if it does not comply with the prepared construction documents. The Architect normally reviews and produces the forms shown below.

Construction Management

JAHconstruction provides full construction management services, which allows seamless owner- architect- builder communication in cooperation with JAHarchitects. Please visit

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Additional Serices
Additional Services
JAHarchitects offers the following services in addition to our basic design services
  • Bidding / Negotiation

  • Code Evaluations

  • Construction Management

  • Component Depreciation

  • Costs Segregation

  • Commissioning

  • Due Dilligence / Property Assessment

  • Expert Witness

  • Project Management

  • Renovations

  • Restorations

  • Roofing / Re-roofing

  • USGBC: LEED Certification

Design Charettes

The word charrette can refer to any collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem. While the structure of a charrette varies depending on the design problem and the individuals in the group, charrettes often take place in multiple sessions in which the group divides into sub-groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for future dialogue.


Charrettes take place in many disciplines, not just in architecture. Such charrettes typically involve intense, possibly multi-day meetings, involving municipal officials, developers and local residents. A charrette promotes joint ownership of solutions and attempts to defuse traditional confrontational attitudes between residents and developers. Residents/Owners get early input into the planning process. For developers and municipal officials charrettes achieve community involvement, may satisfy consultation criteria, and hopefully avoid costly legal battles.

Design Charettes
JAH Sketchbook
Florida Building Permits
Florida Building Permits



Florida Statute, No. 553.791, known as Alternative plans review and Inspection authorizes the use of qualified Architectural under chapter 481, or qualified engineers, under chapter 471, as "private providers" for state required plan reviews and building code inspections on construction projects.


JAH will review your plans and prepare a submittal packet to the building department having jurisdiction. The building department, by law, has only 30 business days to respond. Because response time is determined by the law, the Private Provider Plan Review, in many cases, will immediately pay for itself. If you do not use a private provider, government response times are not regulated and often take much longer.

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