Architectural Design

Each architectural project is unique. SBA works with our clients to design exciting buildings and spaces which are flexible, functional, and well suited to the users’ needs. We expertly aid you to navigate your project’s challenges from the feasibility study through to the completion of construction. Our goal is to exceed your expectations in all stages of the work, and to leave you with a finished project to suit your needs. 

SBA has extensive experience working with clients of all sizes to design new, or renovation/retrofit existing structures for a broad range of building types, from large office tower retrofits to single family houses, from places of worship and theatres to firing ranges, and everything in between.  


SBA is recognized for our ability to design architectural projects which are complementary to the surrounding context, whether it is within a sensitive heritage district, a busy downtown street, or an open field. With attention to massing, proportion, views and building usage, we work closely with our clients to develop designs which suit their unique and specific requirements.

We strive to utilize creative solutions to address a project’s challenges to ensure the final product suits our client’s programmatic needs and exceeds their aesthetic desires.

Project Cost Management

SBA is available to provide complete project management for our clients as required. Detailed project costing is provided through our quantity surveyors and Cost Consultants.

For a project’s costs to be accurate, the tendering process and construction contract administration must be carefully monitored. SBA has the skills and experience to provide this oversight and utilizes the industry standard CCDC documents for contract administration. A Clerk of Works can also be provided for the most complex and demanding projects. SBA feels that for a design to be successful it must be realized on time and on budget.

Measured Drawings

Architects are held liable by society to maintain their high professional standards. The profession demands meticulous project documentation, particularly in the area of drawings. The accurate recording of as-found conditions is the foundation of responsible facilities management. The attention to detail required to create as-found drawings for significant heritage buildings such as the Old Don Jail and the Whitney Block has endowed SBA with the legacy of very accurately being able to document as-found conditions.

Building Code Compliance Audits & Building Permits

As registered architects, we have extensive training in Provincial and Federal Building Codes. Because much of the practice at SBA deals with renovation and restoration, we are masters at dealing with the Building Code’s ‘Part 11 Renovation’. It is Part 11 of the Code that allows one to use equivalencies in dealing with existing structures and building usage. SBA can assist with permit application and can provide the appropriate construction review procedures to ensure code compliance by including the authorities within the design process.

Sustainable Design

SBA has experience working with the government’s green design policies and has two architects who are LEED certified. Through a decade of working closely with the Ministry of Environment’s facility management team, SBA has been continually striving to raise the bar for the green workplace.

SBA has also completed multiple projects centred on the Government of Ontario Healthy Workplace Initiative. Most notably, SBA turned one of the province’s highly publicized buildings affected by mould, 1201 Wilson Avenue, into the ultimate healthy workplace.

Through the design of a project, SBA attempts to reuse, recycle or reclaim as much of the existing building material as possible and strives to specify green products. SBA is also an advocate for the preservation of heritage buildings which, in itself, is a sustainable undertaking.

Renovations & Additions

The renovation of an existing building and construction of additions can pose unique design and construction challenges, but the result can also produce very unique and interesting projects. The re-use / re-purposing of existing buildings or building elements often has environmental benefits as well. An existing building contains a significant amount of embodied energy. The demolition of an existing structure to rebuild with all new materials wastes this energy. The benefits of re-use of existing buildings also aids in the conservation of our cultural legacy, even if the building does not have a heritage designation.

SBA’s significant experience with renovations and additions, in conjunction with our technical expertise and sensitivity to existing building conditions enable us to develop creative and useful means to adapt existing structures to suit our client’s needs.

Sample Projects: (links to portfolio)

  • Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
  • Alumnae Theatre
  • Redemptorists’ Monastery
  • Whitby Land Registry Office

Feasibility Studies

A feasibility study is the initial assessment of a project to determine if it is possible and practical, and includes development of an approximate construction budget. It is highly recommended that a feasibility study be undertaken at the onset of a project, particularly for renovations or additions. The study can be completed as part of the design development of a project, or as a separate contract.

Feasibility studies focus on three principal issues: approval requirements, design concept, construction budget and schedule. Approvals include the assessment of Authorities related items such as Building Code and Zoning issues. The conceptual design explores alternatives to maximize the projects potential. Construction costs are broken down by division with allocated contingencies for the basis of project management.

SBA’s experience is a valuable tool for understanding the potential benefits and pitfalls from the initial stages of any project, and we strive to work with our clients to maximize the potential of any project.

Accessibility (AODA standards)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act identifies standards for access and use of buildings. Modifying an existing building to accommodate these standards can be challenging, but SBA has a wealth of experience to draw upon to develop creative and aesthetically sympathetic solutions. SBA is also well versed in negotiating the conflicting requirements of the AODA standards and the Heritage Act.


Our planning experience has equipped us with the tools and skillset to expertly guide our clients through planning processes required for new developments. This is a multi-step process which varies based on the size and scope of the project, and the municipality/jurisdiction where the project is to take place. The Project Feasibility Assessment will identify the appropriate Applications, Reports and requirements to make the planning approval and building permit process run smoothly and successfully.