Our Process

Mostly we just do what's right for the project.

EcoDEEP does not design to a signature "style." Rather, we believe that good, deep design must be client focused and respond effectively to the compelling criteria that determine the form and character of each particular project. We don’t do anything until we understand you, the goals and scope of the project, the character of the site and the inherent opportunities in the work.


We believe that design cannot continue to be ways of making clever end runs around natural systems and laws. We work and participate within those systems and laws as partners to create work that is more meaningful, with a goal of doing good, rather than simply limiting harm.

Visit our Architecture page to see our project gallery and examples of our work.


How We Get There With You

This isn't a recipe - one size doesn't fit all

Every project is different and requires its own unique solution and the steps we take to get there are not always the same. However, there are some basic phases in our process which are similar from project to project. 

1. Initiation > Pre-Design: Preliminary Planning and Analysis

We start by asking questions – this is the phase where we work with you to determine the extents and parameters of the project – we listen to your thoughts, ideas, preferences, likes and dislikes, We work with you to establish appropriate goals, performance expectations, building site, budget, schedule and a preliminary Opinion of Probable Cost – making sure that the project goals and budget are in alignment. We determine zone and code requirements, space needs and optional strategies. We will often explore several preliminary options to determine which direction(s) fits and feels best. This is all compiled into a Project Program and Pre-Design Report. It serves as the tool that guides us as we begin design.


2. Exploration > Schematic Design

During the schematic design phase, several alternate solutions are developed based upon the requirements established during programming and pre-design. We explore at least several and sometimes many concepts during this phase, and work with you to review and refine until a single concept emerges that best meets the requirements of your site and building program. Quite often a hybrid idea is created from several different concepts. We discuss options for potential construction types, materials and building systems. The ideal solution begins to take shape. Accurate hand-drawn plans, elevations, sketches, and sometimes 3D or physical models are used to explore potential solutions for the project on its site and to help you visualize how your project will look and work.

3. Refinement > Design Development

Decisions, decisions, decisions. We’ll help you make them. We continue to develop the ideas determined during the schematic design phase and refine them to incorporate the specifics of materials, products, and systems. Documents in this phase are drawn “hard-line” and begin to define and coordinate the systems of the project to more accurately communicate the design of the project for construction. We develop the Opinion of Probable Cost as well as an energy use analysis for the project, helping us to further explore and meet performance goals.


4. It’s in the Details > Construction Documents 

This is when we “finalize” our design decisions and details. During the construction documents phase the design of the project is carefully translated into drawings and scope of work documents required for construction. Plans, sections, elevations and details accurately describe the final design and include dimensions, references and notes. These are the drawings used to obtain accurate contractor pricing and statements of costs, for building permits and city approvals and for the construction of the project.

It’s important that we get this right – because good, detailed construction documents minimize misunderstandings and conflicts, helping assure an orderly process and high quality construction.


5. Preparing to Build > Pricing & Negotiation

Next, we use the construction documents to obtain pricing from your contractor - assuming you have one in mind. If not, we'll help you pick one - preferably early in the design process. We enjoy working in a negotiated bid manner with a single qualified contractor, but if you prefer, we can facilitate a competitive bidding process among several qualified contractors. We’ll also work with you to negotiate the final bid and assist with the construction contract between you and the selected contractor.


6. Quality Assurance > Construction Observation

We’ll work on your behalf during all aspects of construction, assuring the project is built to the highest quality and in accordance with the construction documents. We also work closely with your contractor to assist with clarifications and revisions. We’ll make periodic site visits, help manage contractor payments, and conduct final inspections – following up with you and the contractor and their sub-contractors to make certain that the project is completed to your satisfaction in a timely manner.


7. Ongoing Support > Project Completion

We’ll check back in with you every so often (especially if you invite us to your parties) to make sure the building is performing as intended and to help correct any issues that may be occurring.




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2199 W. Pinehurst Ave.

Saint Paul, MN 55116



Copyright . EcoDEEP . 2013 to infinity and beyond