Complete architectural services are available and include: assistance in site selection and analysis, programming, building and site master planning, architectural design and detailing, construction documents and specifications, preliminary cost estimates, interior design and furnishing coordination, assistance in securing bids, contract administration, and construction observation.

We have numerous mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering consultants that are often retained and coordinated to assist and expedite the process to provide a full integrated project. Any other special consultants such as illustrators, audio/visual, acoustic, lighting, display and graphic arts specialists are retained as appropriate to help visualize the project to produce documents for finding, variances or other marketing needs.

Design Process

To assist you in understanding the DESIGN PROCESS, we offer the following outline that highlights the major stepping-stones in the process. Obviously each project is unique and depending on the size and complexity of the project, the time involved in each of the major steps may vary considerably.


The PROGRAM is the written description of the project. The program should list all of the desired rooms, spaces, and the approximate dimensions that are expected.

In addition, the program should include a listing of all the extras or built-ins that are desired as well as any special usage comments. If the client does not have the time or the inclination to produce a program, Bruce Knutson Architects, Inc. would be glad to produce a program for review or assist you in its production.

As-Built Drawings

If the project is an addition to or remodeling of an existing structure, we visit the building, take photographs, and measure up the existing conditions. We use these measurements to generate AS-BUILT DRAWINGS that we use for the basis of our design work.

Schematic Design

The first design phase of the process is SCHEMATIC DESIGN. At this time we visit the site, review your program requirements and put together a set of schematic drawings. Typically this will be a loose free hand drawing that depicts the size and proximity of various rooms, and begin to state the architectural style of the building. It is not unusual to generate two or three sets of schematic drawings and use parts of each schematic to produce a final solution that is used for the basis of the design development drawings.

Design Development

The next phase is DESIGN DEVELOPMENT. During this phase, we take the schematic drawings and incorporate any special built-ins or equipment that might be desired. In addition to the resolution of the specific architectural details, structural, mechanical, and electrical requirements are explored and finalized. These drawings are used as the base for the construction documents.

Construction Documents

Once all the "specials" have been incorporated, either a new set of drawings is produced or the design development drawings are developed into a set of CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS. These are the drawings and specifications that the contractor uses to actually bid and construct the bidding. They describe in detail the requirements for construction and the standards of quality of the work and materials.


Once the construction drawings are complete, they are issued to the local inspector and sent out for bids. Often as a result of the inspector's review of the contractor's input, we revise the different portions for either technical, economical or code interpretation reasons.

In addition, we assist in the review of the bids to assume conformance to the construction documents and eliminate any bidding discrepancies between contractors prior to entering into a construction contract.

Field Observation

This is an extension of the quality control portions of our services. During the construction process there are always questions that arise and decisions to be made. As a result, it is imperative that we visit the site frequently during construction to verify that the plans and specifications are followed and to provide proper interpretation of the construction documents and answer any questions that may arise.

Contract Administration

During the construction we will be reviewing contractor submittals including: shop drawings, product data, samples, mock-ups, test results, warranties, and other information required by the contractor documents.

Part of CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION is processing contractor applications for payment. A site visit and a review of the contract documents are done prior to the certification for payment.

Project Closeout

As the project nears completion and the contractor has initiated the PROJECT CLOSEOUT phase, we will do a final walk through. The data of this final walk through establishes the data of substantial completion. During the final walk through we prepare a punch-list in detail all items not complete or not conforming to the construction documents.

When all items on the punch-list are corrected we certify the final application for payment and the project complete.

Additional resources can be found on our HELPFUL LINKS page.
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1000 Boone Ave North, Suite 200, Golden Valley, MN 55427 | 612-332-8000 | BRUCE@KNUTSON-ARCHITECTS.COM