The Process of Design: Construction Administration


Each design project is unique, but the process of design here at Moss follows a well defined path.

Here’s what you can expect from each stage, from Program and Field Measuring, through Schematic DesignDesign Development, and Construction Documentation and on to Permits and Construction Administration.  Between design meetings, we are working hard on your project at every phase.

This series of posts will explore our approach to the design process and give you an idea of how we might handle a future project of yours.


For many clients, the project they take on with Moss is their very first. We understand starting something so new can be daunting and overwhelming. That’s why, during construction administration, we act as a client advocate through the entire process. During this final phase, we help streamline everything for our clients to ensure a smooth progression to occupancy.

If any issues or design questions arise during construction, our constant presence allows us the ability to address questions and resolve issues quickly. Most often, we work with existing structures which means we might encounter unexpected conditions during demolition or when contractors are rerouting plumbing or electrical wires, for example. When we’re not involved, these concerns could become major problems. We operate as the ideal buffer between you and the general contractor to ensure any issues get resolved quickly. It doesn’t matter if the project is a small renovation or a complete from-the-ground-up building — we are involved from start to finish.


During construction we communicate simultaneously with the client and the construction team. We meet with the general contractor to review design plans and to ensure the project is being built as per the Construction Documents. More than just informing clients on the process as a whole, we like to share touch points in a combination of meetings and online exchanges that can keep you informed about the progress.

Parts of construction administration

Confirming contractor alignment with client’s vision: When reviewing our drawings and documents with the client, the general contractor, and the respective subcontractors, we make sure all are on board with project goals and the overall processes we’re about to undertake.

Overviewing rough-ins: Rough-in is the stage of construction where the framing, wiring, plumbing and HVAC installations are complete. During this stage, when the space is open, without any drywall installed, we help coordinate with the general contractor, subcontractors, and client and handle all flow of correspondence.

Overseeing documents from subcontractors to communicate with general contractors: During construction, subcontractors — like electricians, plumbers, and framers — will have their own documents for review and approval, and we help see through and can accept or reject certain drawings as they come in.

Example of a steel shop drawing

Product samples to review, like siding, tiles, and other materials: When dealing with the actual physical components of a project, we make certain general contractor product submittals are cross-referenced and in alignment with what was specified on the plans.

Overseeing project complications that may arise: As mentioned, when dealing with existing structures in Chicago — sometimes over 100 years old — certain complications or unforeseen expenses could present themselves. We act quickly to deal with any issues as efficiently and effectively as we can.

Regular weekly | bi-weekly reviews: More toward the completion of the project, we like to have weekly or bi-weekly meetings with general contractor and client to get a progress update. During this time, we may want to review specific plans or need to find solutions to a certain issue that presented itself during the process.

Punch lists: When the project is nearing completion, we undertake a punch list. This list is used to go over with the client and general contractor to observe the work, make comments on issues or details that may need to be addressed and ensure everything is correct and in line 100%.