We offer comprehensive design services to meet the specific needs of your project.

Every project is unique with its own set of challenges. With our wide range of services, our design services support the specific needs of your project and help you achieve your project goals. Our expertise includes:


We are passionate about creating spaces that enrich the user’s experience. Whether we are designing a new 21st century school or renovating a historic library or updating a public safety building, the life that the building takes on begins when people experience it. As architects it is our responsibility to understand the needs of the user, define the space, and understand how people will use it.

Throughout the design process we listen and engage with our clients and the people who will be using the building. We respond with ideas that reflect our understanding of your needs and incorporate our deep knowledge of design and construction.

  • Redesign and Programming Services
  • Evaluation and Planning
  • Schematic Design
  • Design Development
  • Contract Documentation
  • Bidding & Negotiations
  • Contract Administration
  • Post Construction
  • Renovations
  • Reconstruction
  • Conceptualization & modeling
  • Renderings /Graphics
  • Sustainable Design Integration
  • Code Analysis
  • Space Utilization
  • Master Planning
  • Interior Architecture and Design
  • Cost Estimating & Scheduling

Interior Design

Our interior design team works closely with you to fully understand your vision. We integrate interior schemes from the initial stages of a project through to completion. Bringing a fresh perspective to each project, our designers offer innovative ideas to meet even strictest of budgets. Our designers consider layout, space planning, lighting design, color schemes, furniture, and fixtures to complement each environment. Interiors are designed to enhance the user’s environment, as well as create a cohesive visual identity.

  • Interior Planning & Design
  • Material Selection & Specification
  • Furniture Selection & Layout
  • Color Coordination
  • Move Management
  • Acoustical Design
  • Graphics Design & Signage
  • Space and Conceptual Layouts
  • Building Finishes and Fixtures
  • Furniture Layout and Specifications
  • Lighting Design
  • Computer Visualization

Educational Planning & Programming

As a recognized leader in educational design, DRA has in-house expertise and capability virtually unmatched by any other firm. Our professional staff includes municipal planners, educational programmers, and three Accredited Learning Environment Planners (ALEP).

DRA’s educational planners work with a variety of different people who are passionate about their schools including teachers, students, administrators, librarians, nurses, and custodians, to name a few. We learn about their visions for the future, as well as understand how well their existing building does or doesn’t support what they are trying to achieve. Combining this information with DRA’s own extensive experience in school planning, we create and present a wide range of options.

  • Enrollment Projections and Evaluation
  • Community based educational planning process
  • Facilitating design strategies for various learning modalities
  • Feasibility Studies and Programming changes in demographics, infrastructure
  • Facilitate Compliance with State Educational Governing Bodies
  • Existing Building Utilization Studies
  • Define district goals and objectives
  • Define type, quality, size, and relationship of facilities
  • Visualization and Concept Design
  • Develop planning options and cost estimates

Master Planning


A master plan is an evolving, long-term planning strategy that establishes a vision for the campus and is intended to guide growth and development. DRA’s master plan approach is educationally driven and focuses on your unique vision. We identify opportunities and constraints as we develop an affordable, flexible, and sustainable plan for the future of your campus.

  • Site Selection
  • Site Utilization Studies
  • Visualization and Concept Design
  • Existing Facility Utilization Studies
  • Entitlements Processes
  • State and Local Approvals
  • Feasibility Studies and Programming changes in demographics, infrastructure
  • Existing Building Inventory

Campus Planning

The Campus Master Plan provides a framework to guide the ongoing activities of campus planning and future decisions. DRA provides responsive, high quality and creative solutions to support the institution’s mission.

  • Visioning
  • Capital Campaign Support
  • Bond & Pre-Bond Assistance
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Educations Specifications
  • Site Selection
  • Site Planning
  • Schematic Preliminary
  • Existing Facility analysis & assessment
  • Campus Plan Alternatives
  • Implementation Plan
  • Traffic Studies

Sustainability Planning


We use an integrated approach to “green” design, incorporating sustainable principles from all disciplines into a unified solution. We strive to balance environmental responsibility and financial feasibility to create a healthy place to learn, work, play and discover.

Our staff includes several LEED Accredited Professionals with expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings. DRA has delivered numerous LEED certified educational facilities. Our design processes have always incorporated the conservation of materials, waste reduction strategies and energy conservation. We apply the LEED rating system to the majority of our projects, even when our clients may not be pursuing formal LEED certification, because DRA is committed to designing with the most sustainable methodologies if it fits our clients’ needs.

  • High Performance Building Design
  • Sustainability Modeling
  • LEED Consultants
  • CHPS Consulting Analysis
  • Energy Analysis
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation
  • Site & Climate Analysis
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Sustainable Design Components
  • Calibration of Energy & Daylight Models
  • Sustainability Master Planning
  • LEED and CHPS Submittals and Monitoring
  • Natural Lighting
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Post-Occupancy Evaluation
  • Analysis, Planning for Sustainable and Environmental Impacts
  • Sustainable Site Design: Solar & Wind Orientation, Daylighting, Water Management and Prioritizing Sustainable Design Options, Costs and Savings
  • Analysis of Indoor Air Quality and Work Environments
  • Design for Sustainable Adaptable Reuse

Feasibility Studies

Our Feasibility Studies provide a thorough analysis of the factors that impact your project including cost constraints, site and space issues, building technologies, and sustainability. They range from needs assessment to a complex review of several different buildings and potential uses. Our goal with Feasibility Studies is to produce a document that is a useful tool to our clients, one to guide them through the next stages of their project.

  • Needs Assessment
  • Zoning Analysis
  • Budget Assessment
  • Concept Plan Alternatives
  • Benchmarking Design Criteria
  • Detailed Floor Area Analysis
  • Site Selection
  • Programming
  • Architectural Design
  • Interior Architecture

Virtual Reality and Modeling


DRA is excited about the impact that virtual reality has on the design process and the experience we can offer our clients. We have our own Virtual Reality Studio where staff and clients can explore their designs, see their ideas come to life and become immersed in their projects. With Virtual Reality, a user can take a virtual walk through a space that’s still in the design stage, and get a sense and scale of the project space before construction even begins. Using this process, changes to the design can be made ahead of time saving time and money on the cost of the project.

  • Sketch up & Revit Modeling
  • Renderings
  • Building & Detail Modeling
  • Building Integration Modeling (BIM)
  • Delivery

Check out this panoramic view of one of our school designs, use your mouse to look around the space:

Historic Preservation

We have a deep appreciation for historic architecture, and work thoughtfully to preserve, and renovate historic structures with sensitivity and care. Understanding that each project is unique and has its own challenges, we take care to move through the preservation process to ensure that the existing structure is protected.

We begin with research to assess the original design and current condition, followed by in-depth planning to ensure that the historic integrity of the building will be preserved. We strive to balance sensitive design with the latest technology to offer the most effective, long lasting solution for each facility.

  • Architectural Services for Historic Buildings
  • Rehabilitation, Restoration or Reconstruction
  • New Construction in Historic Contexts
  • Historic Resource Surveys
  • Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits
  • Facade and Land-use Easements
  • National Register Nominations
  • Historic Structure Reports
  • Historic District Ordinances
  • Design Guidelines in Historic Properties
  • Historic Property Management Plans
  • Grant Application Assistance

Adaptive Reuse

Adaptive reuse of old grist mill/restaurant into a new
Admissions Office for Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT.

DRA believes that adapting existing facilities for future uses is not only possible, but often the most logical decision based on stakeholder values. When referencing existing structures and adaptive reuse, space performance requirements must serve as the foundation for decision-making. Our team brings considerable expertise with finding balance among adaptive reuse considerations. For many of our clients, the reuse of existing space is a practical solution.

  • Existing Facilities Analysis to Study
  • Reuse Options and Sustainability
  • Space Programming & Analysis for Reuse of Facilities
  • Space Schematics & Adjacencies Analysis
  • Code Analysis & Evaluation
  • Restoration, Rehabilitation & Adaptive Reuse Design

On-Call Services

DRA has diverse experience in serving clients through On-Call Professional Service contracts or House Doctor services. Primarily we provide these services to existing clients as follow-on to a major project. Our clients value our responsiveness, understanding of their values, and knowledge of their processes. In this role, we help our clients understand and meet their current and future needs through assessments, recommendations, and implementation.

  • As-built documents of existing facilities
  • Conceptual Planning
  • Fire and water damage repair
  • ADA Compliance audits and upgrades
  • Restroom upgrades & accessibility
  • Structural failures evaluation & solutions
  • Office and conference room remodels
  • Building envelope evaluation and remediation
  • Documentation of improper construction methods
  • Site drainage issues
  • Construction cost estimating and project budgeting

Stakeholder / Community Engagement


DRA has a highly developed collaborative design process and community engagement program. We offer workshops to gather input, to educate groups and to achieve consensus. We seek meaningful input into the design process through this community engagement. A brief overview of our process:

  • We listen to understand the issues important to the community prior to framing the project.
  • We respond with initial concepts, present them to the community and stakeholders, receive feedback, and adjust the direction to proceed.
  • We refine and review final recommended options, demonstrating how community issues were addressed.

Through this effective process, DRA develops the most cogent and reasonable justification for the proposed designs and the recommended solutions.

  • Community Workshops and Forums
  • Large Group Meeting Facilitation
  • Attendee Opinion/ Vote/ Survey Techniques
  • Group Presentations
  • Informational Seminars
  • Press Releases
  • Radio/ Television Interviews
  • Graphics, Posters and Brochures
  • Project Websites

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