Subdivision & Condominium Design

Engineering Design

Design engineering is a broad expression covering various engineering fields consisting of aeronautical, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and structural/building/architectural. Design engineers frequently work with a group of engineers and other designers to create abstract and meticulous designs. There are several types of engineering design and they are:

1. Subdivision

Subdivision design can significantly enhance the characteristic of a neighborhood or community.  How subdivisions are designed can have a great influence on the manner in which neighborhoods interact with each other, the quality of life of the residents, transportation options, and the protection and conservation of the natural environment in these communities.

There are numerous aspects to subdivision designs and the design process begins when a land owner or a developer decided to develop a property. Engineers usually start by drafting a model sketch of the site’s potential for development and meet the clients to help determine the best option for their property by evaluating the different options.

Below are several of the items that may be required in subdivision design:

Drainage Design – ensure that the drainage system will not cause a buildup in overflow or a lessen ground water recharge.
Erosion control – helps conserve and protect environmentally sensitive regions during the construction development.
Perimeter Land Surveying – determines the exact location of all property lines. 
Recordable Definitive Plans – lists and requirements from municipalities for small or large subdivisions.
Survey of Existing Conditions – includes correctly locating structures, topography, roadways, wetlands, rivers, and other features that will influence the design of the subdivision.
Wetland Resource Area Delineation – This involves marking all wetlands, rivers, brooks, ponds, mean average high water marks, and areas along riverbanks.

2. Condominium

A condominium is a type of housing occupancy or other landed property designed specifically for a section of property, generally an apartment house, to be separately owned and with associated individual ownership legal rights to access common services like hallways, elevators, heating system, exterior areas, etc. The difference between a condominium and an apartment complex is the type of ownership. A condominium is sold as individual units to different owners, while an apartment set of buildings are owned by the developers and rented out as individual units to different tenants. Developers build more high quality standard condominiums than apartment buildings because condominiums are more profitable in terms of rental and sale markets.

Condominiums are often categorized as "detached condominiums" (owners do not keep the areas outside of the dwellings, yards, etc.) or "site condominiums" (owners have more control and likely ownership over the exterior of the units). Site condominiums are more favored by a number of gated communities and designed neighborhoods. Condominium unit owners can also rent their units to other tenants though rental privileges will depend on the provisions or limitations laid down in the declaration (a legal document specifying the boundaries of the condominium unit space) or else otherwise as permitted by the local laws. Condominium ownership can also be sometimes used, although not frequently, for commercial uses such as group housing facilities (retirement homes or dormitories), offices, retail shops, hotel rooms, and storage.

3. Industrial

Industrial design (ID) is the professional service of building and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, form, and value of products and procedures for the common profit of both user, manufacturer, and the environment. Its principal focus is on the user-interface and artistic or ergonomic features of the results. However, it may also focus on technological designs, effects, and methods.

Industrial design procedures can take many forms, depending on the nature of the process. It can put emphasis on astute ingenuity, it can be a scientifically planned decision-making process, it can be performed by an individual or a team, and it can be affected by factors such as materials, construction methods, business approaches, as well as the existing commercial, social, or aesthetic viewpoints. Industrial design professionals build and implement design remedies for problems concerning form, physical ergonomics, function, efficiency, brand development, marketing, and sales. Industrial designers typically work with other marketing professionals to organize and carry out the needs and expectations of the clients.

4. Commercial

A commercial design expert plays a special role in all phases of a commercial project to guarantee that the end result go beyond the client’s expectations and ensures the health, wellbeing and safety of all users and/or occupants.  In addition, the commercial designer can help in coordinating the members of the design team (architects, contractors, decorators, consultants for commercial kitchens, acoustics, art selection, etc.), budgeting, planning, itemizing and purchasing of materials, and installing interior furnishings that will be used for commercial, government or educational purposes.


Commercial designers may specialize in one or more of the following areas of commercial design:

Entertainment – involves the use of lighting, sound, and other technologies for movies, television, videos, dramatic and musical theater, clubs, concerts, theme parks and industrial projects.

Facilities Management – deals with the scheduling for building repairs and maintenance, attending to safety and health concerns, planning and coordinating office changes or expansions, supervising lighting and acoustics needs, and acting as the project manager throughout the construction or renovation projects.

Government/Institutional – handles particular needs and requirements related to working with government agencies (federal buildings, military bases, or government offices), as well as on projects concerning educational, religious, child care, correctional and recreational facilities, transportation terminals, fire and police stations, courts, embassies, libraries, auditoriums, museums, etc.

Health Care – planning and creating places for clinics, hospitals, examination rooms, nursing, surgical suites, hospice care homes, mobile units, assisted living or long term care facilities, or any other health care environments.

Hospitality/Restaurant – includes environments for public entertainment or hosting such as theaters, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, country clubs, cruise ships, golf facilities, and conference facilities.

Office – deals with public and private areas specifically designed for corporate and professional service business.

Retail/Store Planning – focuses on trading places or markets such as shopping malls, department stores, outlets, showrooms, food retailing centers, and boutiques.

5. Residential

Residential design involves the design of the interior spaces of private homes. This type of engineering design is very particular and dependent on every individual’s needs, wants, and personal situations. The residential or interior designer may handle the renovation or remodeling of an already existing house or structure, or may work on a new project from the first planning stage. A residential designer is competently qualified to build a well-designed and high-quality interior setting that is efficient, safe, and functional.


Several fields of expertise a professional residential designer performs are:

* Acoustics/sound conduction
* Communication and audiovisual equipment
* Construction specifications and documents
* Custom design for people with special needs
* Design of furniture, drapery and accessories
* Ergonomics (comfort, safety, efficiency)
* Historic restoration
* Room planning and utilization such as organizational and storage needs
* Safety, convenience, and ease of access
* Selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures, and flooring materials
* Specifications of interior background features like wall and ceiling designs
* State and local building codes

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