Welcome to Wave.

Why Wave?

Our ongoing mission is to combine the highest level of quality design with the highest level of comprehensive engineering support. We have 3 companies, but one team…one Wave Family! 

It is our goal to make the design process as easy to understand and follow as possible. Communicating the expectations of our clients is key. Over half of our business comes from repeat customers and communication never stops being important.

Wave is a full-service design firm. This means that we have all the following design disciplines in-house:

  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

Our team works together in “The Studio”. Architects and Interior Designers are adjacent to civil and structural engineers, Mechanical Engineers are next to Electrical Engineers…all one big team and family. This allows our team to be always working together. If the architects want to know if a very progressive design detail will work structurally, our team can work together to come up with a solution “on the fly”. 

Not only is every member of our team at the top of the game in their respective field, they also have a comprehensive knowledge of the other design disciplines that grows every day they interact. This provides you the most knowledgeable team anywhere! 

How Do I Get Started?

When you call Wave, our administrator will ask you a few brief questions about your project and then put you in touch with the proper member of our friendly leadership team. During this initial call, you will be asked a few questions – 

  • Where is your project located?
  • What is the general scope, size, use?
  • What is the schedule?

If our leadership team member feels Wave would be a good fit for your project, we will invite you to our offices for an initial meeting. If you desire a virtual meeting, we can accommodate you.

In the initial project meeting, you will be interacting with the same leadership team member that you talked to in your initial phone call, as well as pertinent team members that may support your project.

Information gathering is the goal:

  • What is your project budget?
  • What are the aesthetic and function goals you want to achieve?
  • What method/level of design do you want? Example:
    • Design the project and then bid to multiple contractors?
    • Design the project and work with one contractor?
  • Do you have an existing contractor relationship?
  • Do you own the proposed property or are you looking for a place to develop?

Bringing photos of examples, themes, examples, etc. is encouraged but not required. We do not recommend sketches unless you have an industrial use, such as a shop or processing facility. The reason for this is that we will develop a program based on your requirements. A sketch will quite often paint a preconceived picture that is counterproductive to the design process.  

It is important to note that, while we are ascertaining the parameters of your project, we are also trying to determine if Wave is a good fit for you:

  • Is the client’s budget realistic?
  • Are the client’s goals for the project something that Wave can support?
  • If the client has an existing contractor relationship, does Wave feel they can support and work with that contractor through the process? 

It is important to note that you have incurred no costs to this point.

What are the Steps and Schedule for my Project?

Proposals – Once we have gathered enough information, and your team and our team feel we can work together, we will provide you a proposal for our services.

In the private development world. we virtually always provide our design proposals in two primary phases.

Phase 1 – Conceptual Design Phase Proposal

This proposal generally includes:

  • PD – Pre-Design: Due Diligence, Site Visits, Research, City Meetings, etc. to determine outside parameters for your project
  • SD – Schematic Design: Programing, Floor Plans, Site Plans, Building Elevations, 3D renderings

At the end of the conceptual design phase, you will generally have in your possession:

  • A completed conceptual site plan with all foreseen initial code items addressed
  • Conceptual Floor Plans that demonstrate the design, space planning, equipment, etc.
  • 3D colored renderings of the exterior or interior as applicable

At this point, you are only committed to the fees associated with Phase 1. The reason we divide the proposals into phases is to answer the questions in the following order – 

  1. “What is your project going to be?”
  2. “How are we going to construct your project?”

By answering the first question, we also can determine how much our fees will be to continue with the project.  This is addressed in the next proposal, phase 2.

Phase II – Design Development and Construction Drawings

This proposal generally includes:

  • DD – Design Development: Based on the conceptual design, we will begin to integrate building systems, materials, methods, etc.
  • CD – Construction Drawings: The construction drawings are the “heavy lifting” of any design project. This is where the bulk of the time, personnel, and financial effort is consumed in the design process. We break these into percentage complete phases. This allows us to check the design with the entire team, including the client, contractor, bank, etc. to verify everyone is on the same page. These “percentages complete” are generally:
    • 35%
    • 65%
    • 90%
    • 100%  

What will my design cost?

Our goal is to be as user friendly both from a design standpoint and financially!

Cost of Design Services:

Projects vary in complexity. If your project is straightforward, we suggest you start with a fee estimate of around 6% of the overall cost of construction for consideration. If you don’t know what that may be, we can help you understand it. Coincidentally, this is approximately what you would pay a real estate professional to sell the complete project. We have seen percentages as low as 3% when we are providing simple designs for a pre-engineered metal building, up to 15% for a complex laboratory/processing facility. 

We do not use just percentages to price the project. We estimate the amount of effort, time, and schedule for each individual project and arrive at our fee. Regardless, you will know the entire design fee as soon as we provide the phase II proposal.

Payment to Wave – 

It is important to note that we function on a “pay as you go” system in the private market. This is of benefit to you as you pay for what you get as you get it. Consequently, you’re paying in smaller increments. It also allows our company to maintain a more consistent cash flow. Some of the items below may be combined on smaller projects. This will be further defined in your actual proposal.

General Payment Milestones:

Phase I – Conceptual Design

  • Payment 1 – Retainer – 25% of Total Phase I fee
  • Payment 2 – Initial Conceptual Design Deliverable Presentation
  • Payment 3 – Final Conceptual Design Deliverables

Phase II – Design Development and Construction Drawings

  • Payment 1 – 25% of total
  • Payments will occur at each percentage complete
    • 35%
    • 65%
    • 90%
    • 100% 

What else can Wave do for me?

ID – Interior Design

The need for this service varies on a case by case basis. For example, if you are designing a new office building that represents your corporate brand, or a new restaurant, we can support you with additional interior design services. This can include everything from color and finish options and sections, to furniture and specialty fixtures. In addition, we also have aMOTIF under the Wave Companies umbrella. For our design clients, aMOTIF offers unique architectural elements, finishes, and furniture for purchase at a discounted rate.  

BP – Building Permitting

As Wave has a substantial amount of experience with various building permits all over the U.S., our clients will often add this optional service to their contract.

BN – Bid Negotiation

Bid negotiation is comment in the public sector on Design/Bid/Build projects. This is rarely used in the private sector as we have generally introduced you to a preselected contractor by now. However, we occasionally provide this service on larger projects.

CE – Cost Estimating

Quite often, our client may require an independent cost estimate for their financing. We have a cost estimator in house and use historical costs as well as RS MEANS software to produce accurate estimates.


CA – Construction Administration

Depending on the complexity of the project, the client or the contractor may want the Wave team to stay involved in the project through construction. We are never completely uninvolved as we may answer questions on our drawings through the process and our clients are not charged for this. Some other items that we can provide on projects are:

  • Shop Drawing Review
  • Product Submittal Review
  • Site Visits/Meetings
  • Construction Inspections
  • Inspections for payments from financial institutions
  • Unforeseen challenges


This does occasionally happen. Our motto on this issue is – “It’s much easier to change a building on paper, than it is once construction is underway”. We provide at least one opportunity to revise the conceptual design during phase I – occasionally we will provide more back and forth opportunities in the first phase. It is crucial that you make your changes in this first phase. Once we begin design development and construction drawings, revisions to the design have much more impact from both a cost and design standpoint.

We strongly discourage revisions once the design is close to complete or finished. Again, this does occasionally happen. You will incur a cost for this work. It’s important to note that a major change at this point can impact tens to even hundreds of individual drawings, depending on the size of your project. It is much easier, and much less costly, to revise three drawings in the conceptual phase than thirty further along in the construction drawing phase.

We think the answer to this question should be obvious. We have had a client that felt we should provide free design services because he was making his building smaller during construction. This required multiple revisions to our design impacting over 70 drawings. Regardless of the materials and contractor savings, Wave will still incur substantial costs in revising the design. We will do our best to mitigate additional costs.

This is generally covered under Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution regarding intellectual property. Essentially, Wave “owns” the design and licenses it one time to the client. This include all CAD files and the like. On occasion, we have relinquished those rights through contractual agreement to allow a national company to continue branding or standardization of designs.

At Wave, we regularly check the ROM costs of material and construction. We generally check the ROM budget at each milestone phase. If we are working in a sole contractor environment, we work with their team to check their costs as well.

A Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) budget is something you will hear a lot from our team. Essentially it is a budget based on general information and knowledge of pricing.

No. That is the purpose of the two-part proposal. We have had a few clients who complete the conceptual process and, for one reason or another, can’t continue.

No. This is another reason we submit the designs and the invoices at prescribed milestones. You pay for what you receive as you receive it. If you chose to abruptly halt the project, as a few of our clients sadly had to do during COVID-19, you are only charged for what the work you have authorized.

We recommend you involve a reputable financial institution as soon as start the process. We work with many lenders and can help you by recommending a few if needed.
Programming is one of the initial steps we take with our clients when preparing to begin the conceptual design. Our team gathers and analyzes as much data as possible from our clients, the city, etc., to ascertain the scope of work.
This varies substantially from project to project, based on scope and complexity. This will be defined in your proposal.

At Wave, we pride ourselves on a simple, consistent approach to communication with our clients. You will be working with the most experienced team leader for your specific type of project from start to finish. This will be defined in your proposal.

On a Design/Build project the client has one design and construction contract. This can either be through the design team or the construction team.

In a “Single Contractor” scenario, the client contracts with both the design team and the contractor for their respective work. We find this to be the most cost-effective, efficient method for most private development work.

Design/Bid/Build projects are generally used for government or very large projects. This is where the entire design is completed, the project is then put out to bid and a contractor is then selected to build the project. On a small to medium/larger private project this is generally not recommended as it adds to the design effort, cost and schedule.

Wave’s current main office is in Kennewick, WA. In late spring 2021 our main team will be moving to our new office in Pasco, WA. We also have satellite offices in Reno, NV and Vancouver, WA.

Multiple team members are currently licensed all over the U.S including:

Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nevada, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, with others in process. Through our NCARB and NCEES memberships we can quickly acquire licenses in any state if your project requires it.

No. Your proposal outlines all costs. If you do decide to expand your scope of work mid project, we will notify you with an Additional Services Agreement (ASA). You will need to agree to the additional work prior to any work proceeding.   

This varies, but we recommend getting a contractor involved early in the project. We work with quality contractors in our primary locations as well as nationally. We can refer you to the proper construction team. If you have a previous contractor relationship that you wish to bring to the table, our team will do our best to work any viable contractor. We love to develop new relationships in the industry. That being said, we encourage and work with only “project specific” experienced contractors. For example: If you bring a contractor to the team that is very good at remodeling houses and your project is a gourmet restaurant, it is highly likely that we will pass on the design.   

Every three years the International Building Code (IBC) is revised and updated. Each state then reviews it and proposes amendments and an adoption date (this varies from state to state). The code will always impact your project and is a factor of the programming phase. Each client should be aware that the code itself is never revised to be less stringent than previous versions. It is always generally more stringent. We quite often encounter relatively experienced developers that will pose the question – “I didn’t have to design it that way on my last project. Why do I have to design it that way on this one?” The answer virtually every time is – “The latest code revision mandates it”.