van cleave architecture + design


Roughly 10% of construction costs. Also available á la carte as outlined below:


Determining the scope of a project is often the first and most difficult step in  architecture. This is where we ask questions and gain information on design goals, financial constraints, long term objectives, as well as basic needs. Research regarding historical objectives or community and code restrictions occur in this phase. Schematic sketches are then generated to visualize and further develop design ideas.  This is the most creative part of the design process and is most successful when all parties contribute.



Once the Schematic Design has been fleshed out, we further refine the project through materials, construction methods, drafted floorplans, elevations, sections, and details to continue the development of the scheme.



In order to communicate the design to the building trades, artisans, contractors and municipal officials that will review your project, it is necessary to document the final methods and materials that are required to make it happen.  This is a process that assembles all the information to date into a complete written documentation of the project that will be used to formalize a construction contract.



For large projects, bidding is an efficient way to gain accurate costs and effective interest on a specific building project.  We can act as the owner’s agent in obtaining these bids, coordinate the bid meeting, and evaluate the results in consultation with the owner.  In smaller projects, we often suggest the process of Value Engineering over the formal bidding process due to the current construction climate that we are experiencing right now. Value Engineering is the process of working with a specific general contractor to “engineer” the contract, the design, and the construction costs so that the final agreement suits all parties involved.  Methods to do this include substituting materials, revising construction techniques, reducing quantities, or revising construction timelines while still maintaining the integrity of the design.



While every effort has been made to specify the exact methods and materials of a building project, there will always be questions in the field, especially in adaptive re-use or renovations.  We can provide that knowledge and hindsight of the design process to answer questions, observe construction, review shop drawings, and generally inform the owner of construction progress.  The smoothness of a construction project is directly tied to the open communication and collaboration of the contractor, owner, and architect.


We spend countless hours in our homes and offices but how often do we really think about the surrounding space?  Subconsciously, our behavior is influenced by our surroundings no matter what we think or do. Lighting strategies, furniture placement, patterns, colors, and a variety of textures are just some of the elements used by Interior Designers to enhance a space.

We are unique in that our firm starts the Interior Design process at the beginning of an architectural project, in the Schematic Design phase. Every subsequent decision is generated from the Program criteria through the INSIDE of the building and how the occupants use the space.  Design decisions, for example, can be based on access to daylight, access to views, functions of spaces, or quality of spaces.  We have found that our clients are ready to “jump in” when we begin with the interiors!

We also offer Interior Design services on an hourly consulting basis if you need guidance on colors, furniture, or finishes.


Changes are bound to happen. We can provide a revised set of design drawings after a job is completed that reflect all changes made during the construction process.


Manipulating space is an effective tool used by designers to create a method with which the occupants utilize the building.  Elements that are used to manipulate the interior environment include circulation paths, lighting, furniture placement, building functions, building codes/regulations, communication methods, user requirements, and storage needs. The manipulation of these elements can dramatically influence the occupants of a space such as increasing productivity in an office or tranquility in a spa.


In order to plan for future development, it is imperative to have a physical document that describes needs, goals, and concepts to guide a long-term plan.  These documents are comprehensive enough to visualize current conditions and long-range objectives and usually document the strategy to get there.


When designing a space, you want to know exactly what it will look like. We can provide 3D imaging to help you visualize the design.  This is an additional service to our Full Design Package but an extremely helpful tool.


Can a building support your project’s goals? What is hidden behind those walls? We can evaluate a building to best understand if it suits your design goals before any time or money is spent on architectural fees.


Sometimes you need a custom piece of furniture or built-in to complete a space. We can provide technical drawings and design for this unique piece and even work with the artisans who will build it.