Building A Distillery: What is the Process? (Part 3)

The process of building a distillery can be a nebulous concept to wrap one’s mind around. Each licensed design professional (architect/ engineer) has their own process and phases and names for each step. Each project has one-of-a-kind building conditions, site conditions, building and fire regulatory environments. Rather than thinking of this in terms of “Steps 1-5,” it is helpful to think of the project more as a gradient, one step bleeds into the next and into the one after that. This is the third of a 3 part series.

Design development services use the initial design documents from the schematic phase and take them one step further. This phase lays out mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and architectural details with all components identified but not yet sufficient detail to start construction.

 Architectural Design Development

Electrical Engineering Design Development

Mechanical Engineering Design Development

Fire Protection Engineering Design Development

Renderings – Update to final design.

Deliverables from the Schematic Design  phase may include:

  • Updated Project Schedule Document
  • Updated Project Cost Document
  • Renderings of key views in Project Program
  • Floorplans, sections and elevations with full dimensions, material specifications and door/window details
  • Engineering work at 50% completion



Once the owner and architect are satisfied with the documents produced during DD, the architect moves forward and produces drawings with greater detail. These drawings typically include specifications for construction details and materials.

Code Annotated Process Description (CAPD) is a key element in the building and fire code review of the tenant distillery plans for permit. This document takes the previously completed Distiller’s Process Description and ties it to the local code with footnotes and code citations.

a. Process Flow Diagram Simplified floorplan showing the route different functions of the business (raw materials, production, finished product, tours) take within the space.

b. HMIS/HMMP Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement/Hazardous Materials Management Plan

Lower Flammable Limit Calculation (LFL) is a key element in the design of the distillery. It is the performance metric inherent to the fire suppression and alarm system.

Document Checking and Coordination – construction documents are reviewed for accuracy and consistency. Consultant’s work is coordinated to produce a comprehensive set of plans for the project.

Statement of Probable Construction Costs includes a Statement of Probable Construction Costs , and a listing of all other project costs including design and construction contingencies, design fees, and furniture, fixtures and equipment. Other project costs may also be included depending on the needs of the Owner. These additional costs may include relocation costs, financing costs, etc.

Architectural Construction Documents Once CDs are satisfactorily produced, the drawings can be sent to contractors for pricing or bidding. The level of detail in CDs may vary depending on the owner’s preference. If the CD set is not 100-percent complete, this is noted on the CD set when it is sent out for bid. This phase results in the contractors’ final estimate of project costs.

a. Architectural – All components are identified and have sufficient detail for construction.
b. Electrical Engineering – Plans for electrical needs are finalized.
c. Mechanical Engineering – Plans for Mechanical Engineering needs are finalized.
d. Fire Protection Engineering – Fire Protection Engineering is finalized.
e. Structural Engineering – if needed, is finalized in this phase.

Deliverables from the Construction Documents  phase may include:

  • Updated Project Schedule Document
  • Updated Project Cost Document
  • Complete set of drawings that include all pertinent information required for project permits and the contractor to price and build the project.




Issue Bidding Documents – The bid document set often includes an advertisement for bids, instructions to bidders, the bid form, bid documents, the owner-contractor agreement, labor and material payment bond, and any other sections necessary for successful price bids. For some projects that have unique aspects or complex requirements, the architect and owner elect to have a prebid meeting for potential contractors.

Issue Addenda – provided on an as needed basis for additional information associated with the bid document that will result in more complete and thorough assessment of costs from the contractor or sub-contractor.

Bid Evaluations – After bid sets are distributed, both the owner and architect wait for bids to come in. The owner, with the help of the architect, evaluate the bids and select a winning bid. Any negotiation with the bidder of price or project scope, if necessary, should be done before the contract for construction is signed. The final step is to award the contract to the selected bidder with a formal letter of intent to allow construction to begin.

Deliverables from the Bidding Negotiation phase may include:

  • Updated Project Schedule Document
  • Updated Project Cost Document
  • Acceptable Construction Contract and/or Sub-Contractor Contracts, once the documents are signed the construction can begin.



The architect’s core responsibility during this phase is to help the contractor to build the project as specified in the CDs as approved by the owner. Questions may arise on-site that require the architect to develop architectural sketches: drawings issued after construction documents have been released that offer additional clarification to finish the project properly. Different situations may require the architect to issue a Change in Services to complete the project.

Interpretation of contract documents – As needed by owners & contractor.

Review of Shop Drawings/ Product Data/ Samples – As needed by owners & contractor.

Processing Pay Applications & Review of Construction Progress – As needed by owners

The goal of the Construction/Contract Administration phase:

  • A successfully built project. (!!!)

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