Integrating accumulated proficiency to deliver rich experiences

We believe that to create the finest design there must be a holistic methodology to the strategy for all components and phases of the project. This methodology should foster creativity, sustainability diversity of function, style and wellbeing within a complete visualisation of the future usages.

It must also focus on a dedicated synergy of architecture and interior design, including landscape, public and private spaces – all within a total architecture approach. ARENCOS has extensive experience in developing strong conceptual master plans that synthesise the complexities and opportunities of context. We also use Artificial Intelligence and the latest IT tools and services to optimize our acountability.

The 6 Phases of the Architectural Design Process

The architectural design process has six principal design phases, each of which plays a significantly important role in the success of the project. Whether you’re a property owner planning a new residential or commercial building in Crete,  or a prospective property buyer, you need a clear understanding of what to expect in all six phases of architectural design.

01. Concept Design

ARENCOS consider the Concept Design phase, as a critical stage on any commercial or residential project, is an opportunity to capture all of the influencing parameters and test concepts & ideas with the client and third parties involved.

The Concept Design is a vital stage of any project; this initial proposal sets the parameters for the design scheme that follows and includes all of the influencing factors that might effectively inform the design decision making via an extensive and constructive dialogue and ideas exchange.

The concept design will consider the site context, alternatives and other influencing factors for creating spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional at all scales and levels of resolution. This phase includes:

  • 01. Assessment of all key visual receptors within 1km of the development.
  • 02. Site topography.
  • 03. Design standards or design frameworks according to the Greek Law.
  • 04. Site restrictions assessment, easements or no build zones.
  • 05. Sustainable targets to be achieved.
  • 06. Existing landscape features or areas of special landscape interest.
  • 07. Passive solar design: Siting and Orientation to effectively utilize the available solar energy.

02. Schematic Design (SD)

The purpose of schematic design is to transfer the ideas and proposals into physical drawings of space and design options.

The process for producing a schematic design is very important and to effectively define the scope of the project will require both the architect and owner working closely together for constructive design review.

The ultimate goal of the schematic design stage is to settle on an overall design concept for the project and to transfer an idea to a workable and realistic design concept.

In schematic design, physical requirements, floor plans, site plans and building elevations—are reviewed and refined for functionality, usability, code compliance, safety, security and aesthetics.

A schematic design may include:

  • 01. A complete description of building systems & materials.
  • 02. Details of the interior and exterior finishes.
  • 03. Details for all equipment and systems (including HVAC and plumbing).
  • 04. Prilimenary Floor plans, 3D renderings, sketches & drawings.
  • 05. Total building square footage.
  • 06. Total project budget.
  • 07. Project schedule.

SD Deliverables: Preliminary Site and Floor Plans, Preliminary Exterior Concept (if applicable)
SD Duration: Usually 4-8 weeks
SD Fees: Schematic Design 12 – 15% of Architectural Fees – Can range between 10% – 25%

Schematic Design: ARENCOS Architectural Services

03. Design Development (DD)

Design Development takes into account the outline plans produced during Schematic Design and develops them a step further.

Some critically important parameters such as elevations, building sections, structural and other building systems are revised, key construction materials are decided upon and code compliance of the project itself is confirmed.

During Design Development the construction drawing or the set of construction drawings from the pre-construction schematic design information are transformed into reality, accompanied by a preliminary set of provisions that serve as a guidance and direction to the contractors.

Schematic Design may require modifications based on the Design Development discoveries.


At the end of this stage, proper detailed information can be easily gathered for the client’s approval.

This information may include:

  • 01. Fully dimensioned floor plans.
  • 02. Developed building sections.
  • 03. Detailed and accurate elevations.
  • 04. Initial specifications.
  • 05. Construction cost estimation.

DD Deliverables: Drawing Set and Outline Specification document
DD Duration: Usually 8-12 weeks
DD Fees: Design Development 18% – 20% of Architectural Fees – Can range between 15% – 25%

04. Construction Documents (CD)

The construction documents serve as the necessary resources of obtaining offers from contractors and are also used by contractors to obtain price quotes from subcontractors.

Construction document phase involves the detailed preparation of drawings and project construction specifications. The construction documents define the quality, formation, size, and all structural and aesthetic components to be incorporated into the project. Moreover, they define the roles of the construction team and the contractual obligations.

Construction documents must be fully consistent with the project objectives, the construction budget, and the project schedule.

Furthermore, the construction documents are a fundamental part of the legal construction contract and thus, it is extremely important to create comprehensive and accurate documents. When the construction documents are finalized, they are subject to regulatory code evaluation and legal reviews.

CD Deliverables: Drawings and Specification for Construction
CD Duration: Usually 6 – 16 weeks (varies widely)
CD Fees: Construction Documents 35% – 45% of Architectural Fees – Can range between 35% – 50%

05. Building Permit(BP)

During this phase our architectural firm submits the permit set of drawings as part of a building permit application. This is the information needed to demonstrate and prove that the project complies with the applicable land use, zoning laws, building regulations, health & safety standards and any other applicable guidelines and regulations required issuing the permit.

Permitting can be one of the slowest parts of the construction process. As a rule of thumb, small construction projects in some municipalities in Crete can get approval in a matter of two-three months.

However, if you’re building a complex structure, or if you’re building (or renovating) in a historic district such the Chania Old Town, the permitting process can take six -eight months.

See more at: Dealing with Construction Permits in Crete, Greece.

BP Deliverables: Drawings and Forms for Building Permit Application
BP Duration: usually 2 – 6 months (varies widely)
BP Fees: The minimum cost of the building permit in Greece is defined by the TECHNICAL CHAMBER OF GREECE.

06. Construction Administration (CA)

During Construction Administration, the architect’s role shifts from creative design to project management. At ARENCOS we physically manage the worksite every day, to ensure that the project is being executed according to the development objectives.

As a part of our Project Management & Delivery Excellence service, during our site visits we will take photos and produce detailed reports to document the progress, confirm the materials selection and ensure that the workmanship are of the quality you agreed to.

Furthermore, the construction documents are a fundamental part of the legal construction contract and thus, it is extremely important to create comprehensive and accurate documents. When the construction documents are finalized, they are subject to regulatory code evaluation and legal reviews.

CA Deliverables: Field Observation Reports
CA Duration: Concurent with construction time-frame
CA Fees: Construction Administration 25% – 30% of Architectural Fees  –  Can Range 20% – 35%

At ARENCOS, our Construction Administration Services Include:

This information may include:

  • 01. Review of design documents for constructability.
  • 02. Conduct scope review meetings.
  • 03. Interact with the property owner, design team, and contractor to resolve construction issues.
  • 04. Review, respond, and track project construction data, requests for information, change orders, and project schedule.
  • 05. Review of contractors’ requisitions for payment.
  • 06. Prepare weekly inspection reports.
  • 07. Verification and acceptance of specified materials and associated quantities.
  • 07. Verification and acceptance of specified materials and associated quantities.
  • 08. Full-time site representation.

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