Planning: (Also known as program) includes a comprehensive listing of all new needs and spaces for the building.
Conceptual: At the conceptual stage, some preliminary form has been contemplated for the building, including number of floors, total gross area, potential site, etc., and hand sketches may be available to clarify the design intent.
Schematic: At the schematic document (SD) stage, it is common to have single line scaled drawings of typical floor layouts, as well as a narrative description of the major structural, mechanical and envelope systems of the building.
Design Development: At this Design Development (DD) point, the design of the project is close to being locked down and plans for all disciplines such as civil, architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical are included. Subcontractor and vendor estimating assistance should be sought for all areas of the project estimate.
Construction Documents: Although an owner can theoretically be offered a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) at any point in the design process, the desire to minimize allowances, contingencies and changes will usually dictate that the GMP be established based upon Design Development or later documents.