It doesn’t matter how striking your design is or how ground-breaking the engineering will be – until the client approves the plans the project will stall. While some projects give you free rein to attempt what you want, most of them need to adhere to the relatively strict, and often fickle, demands of the bill payer. So, although it shouldn’t really need saying, coming up with a building design that they’re happy with is essential.

1. Involve The Client From An Early Stage

Listen to what your client tells you about how they envisage the building. Talk through how they intend to use the building and what their preferences are. If they prefer open spaces, then give them open spaces, if they prefer privacy then find a more cellular design. Visit the site and take into account the local area and discuss with your client whether they’re looking to stand out or blend in. Most importantly – remember what you discussed while drawing up the plans!

2. Make Sure You’Ve Incorporated Planning Restrictions

It’s easy to know what the planning department wants if the client turns up with planning permission already granted, but if your design will be used to apply for permission, then it is essential that you take time to work out what is most likely to be acceptable.

3. Use CAD To Provide Good Visualisations

You can’t impress a client with your vision if they can’t tell what you’ve drawn. Many clients have no experience of reading architectural drawings which is where using professional cad drawing services is so important. Modern CAD systems can display buildings in a number of different ways so you can talk your client through the plan, show them the elevations and even create 3D models that don’t require the use of papier mache and matchsticks. Showing your client a virtual walkthrough or flyby of the building gives them a much better overview of how your design works, and how it meets their specifications, making it more likely they’ll accept it without major modifications.

4. Use BIM to Explore Different Options

There are always going to be different ways of building and fitting out what is essentially the same building. Putting the design into a BIM system allows you to explore different options with your client, choosing different materials or different finishes and working together with the client, and their contractors, to zero in on a design that everyone is happy with, and remains within budget. BIM allows everyone involved in the project to freely share information and create something that the client is sure to approve of.

5. Use BIM To Discuss Timescales And Show How Quickly The Design Can Become Reality

One of the strengths of BIM is that it allows for buildings to be modularised and built much faster, and often much cheaper than using traditional methods. Modularisation, even on a small scale, will enable corridors, risers, even whole plant rooms, to be constructed off-site at the same time that construction of the main building is taking place. BIM can show which areas can be modular, which areas can be built in parallel and, with information input by the contractors responsible for the final development, a schedule of works can be produced giving them an idea of how long it will take to complete the project.

Demonstrating to the client how your design meets their specification, how it can be built to their deadline and within the agreed budget is essential to passing client inspection, and with CAD and BIM services that is very easy to do.