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Graphite Studio's Design Process

Graphite Studio utilizes an integrated design process in close collaboration with clients and builders to ensure that a building can meet high-performance standards while being comfortable, beautiful, and healthy. 



Whether you find us first, or you start out with a builder who refers you to us, we will begin exploring your project with a phone consultation, usually followed by a site visit. We'll explore what's feasible for your site, investigating and navigating your project’s constraints, including regulatory requirements. If it's a renovation project we'll measure buildings, take existing conditions photos, and create a model of the current building. We'll develop your wishlist so we understand what matters most to you. Once we understand your goals and priorities, we'll write up a proposal. We'll explain the phases and key milestones of our design process and we'll sign a contract for Schematic Design. To get started, Contact Us.

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Construction Documents

We'll develop a set of construction documents for your project, adapted to your builder's needs. These plans will provide enough detail to ensure that your building will perform beautifully, while allowing your builder to make smart choices about serendipitous opportunities, and giving you confidence that "it's all in there."

Proximity diagrams help find the relationship between spaces

Schematic Design

In Schematic Design we dream all the dreams. We consider various options so we can determine the best path forward for your project. We capture everything you want so we can take advantage of synergies and possibilities. We'll develop design schemes, including bubble blocks, massing models, sketches, floor plans, elevations, sections. We'll model digitally and draw freehand draw freehand to explore ideas. By the end of this phase we'll have a good sense of the size and shape of your project. If you haven't selected one yet, we'll help with interviewing and choosing an appropriate builder for your project. You'll sign a contract with them for pre-construction services and with us for the remaining design phases.


Construction Administration

Throughout the construction process we oversee the design aspects of your project, answering questions, addressing unforeseen obstacles (what major renovation project didn't have a few?), and collaborating with you and your builder to ensure that the design intent of your project is met. By the time our work together is done you'll be settled into your new (or moving back to your renovated) home.

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Design Development

In the Design Development phase we make your design realistic by fine-tuning the details. We'll facilitate a series of meetings and showroom visits to coordinate material selections, including everything from the doorknobs to the kitchen sink (quite literally!) We'll put all your options in our visual selection tool, making it easy to see how it looks all together. We'll create a customized list for the builder with the details for your flooring, appliances, lights, faucets so they can determine realistic pricing. We'll also develop plans for where the plumbing, ventilation, and light switches will all go. At the end of this phase we'll have drawings of each room and a good sense of the look and feel of the house. This is our best opportunity to reconcile your budget and your wishes. We coordinate with your builder to confirm we're on track for constructability, timeline, and cost.


During your first year in your home we'll be in touch to confirm that your home is performing as designed. We will conduct energy monitoring - especially if your project is pursuing a certification that requires one year's worth of data to demonstrate that the project is indeed net zero. But of course, we also want to hear about summer happy hours in the screen porch and how hosting Thanksgiving went in your new dining room!

Observing & Fine-Tuning

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