Our Process – Design

Our four-step guide to obtaining a construction permit. Learn how DGA designs.

In the “Design” step, you will explore several design solutions for your project and select one of them, which will be developed for construction permit application.

The expected planning basic services of and their price are based on the HOAI, the German fee structure for architects and engineers. In short, the planning fee is defined by the project’s complexity and eligible construction costs. The HOAI divides the architectural fee in 9 phases which cover the design and building site administration. Each of the 9 phases corresponds to a percentage of the HOAI fee.

The above-mentioned “eligible construction costs” are calculated during the service phase “LPH 3” (see below). The honoraries of the step 2 are calculated based on the estimation provided in the architectural feasibility, and are corrected after the LPH 3.


The Step 2 – Design includes the phases LPH 1 to 4 of the HOAI.

LPH 1 – Basic evaluation:
The goal of this phase is an extensive knowledge of the site and brief. This includes site visit, collection and compilation of the available documents, setting guidelines for the selection of necessary team members…

LPH 2 – Pre-planning:
Study of several design variants according to the project’s brief. This includes graphical and written presentations, surface calculations and cost estimations, as well as suggestions for the selection of one variant. This phase also includes the coordination of services with the other specialists involved in the project, and preliminary negotiations concerning the approval capability.

LPH 3 – Draft planning:
The variant selected as a result of the LPH 2 is developed as a basis for required public approvals using the contributions of other specialists involved in the planning. This also includes a project description, a cost calculation and negotiations with the selected authorities.

LPH 4 – Approval planning:
Developing, compiling and submitting the templates and documents for public approvals including necessary negotiations with authorities using the contributions made by other specialists involved with the planning.

The detail of the content of each service phase, its cost and its options can be found in our comprehensive list of services which you can download here.

Discover our phases Understand and Build.