budget. The magnitude of the budget and the effect of these factors on the desired building or renovation should be explored before a formal design process is undertaken if the budget is not predetermined. A preliminary budget should be estimated before preliminary design commences and then should undergo final revision when a schematic design is completed. If the budget is preset, all design work must take this limit into consideration. In addition, given the considerable uncertainty in the cost of a construction project, the reliability of the materials, the schedule, and other aspects of the process, assorted contingencies (see "Contingencies" below in this chapter) should be established early in the process. As the project progresses, contingencies can be recovered or the funds shifted to other uses.
Generally, there are costs associated with all predesign activities either in time for the in-house staff or in fees for design professionals and estimating services. Although predesign costs are frequently omitted from building or renovation budgets, these costs are typically offset by the lack of schedule delays, improved definition of the project's requirements, and attainment of a superior building that maximizes users' desires and minimizes costly changes in design. Predesign costs were estimated by the experts consulted by the committee to be typically less than 2 percent of the project budget.
The three main phases of design/documentation are discussed in Chapter 2. They are schematic design, design development, and construction documentation. In each phase, important choices arise concerning size, quality, complexity of materials, and methods that affect the cost of the project. For each phase there are design milestones at which the design group asks the client team or other client representatives to make critical decisions. These decisions will be based on the information provided by the design group, by the client's consultants, and by the client's previous experience in managing laboratory buildings. Effective cost control is achieved by considering the project goals and performance requirements in all design decisions and by recognizing that many small, seemingly insignificant, decisions by the user, owner, or design team can add a larger amount to the project cost than one would initially expect—and then acting accordingly.
Schematic Design. If a predesign phase is not conducted, the activities normally completed during that phase, such as identification of project goals, scope definition, and site selection, will need to be carried out during the schematic design phase. Following the completion of these preliminary activities, the design group documents the site through architectural and engineering concepts in drawings and preliminary specifications. Engineers and architects provide written descriptions of recommended building and utilities systems, materials, and meth-