There is plenty of student housing in Columbia, and this was a package of material to help one development stand out in the crowd. It involved taking a site off of Rock Quarry Road and designing the apartment buildings, as well as a pool house. Most of the site planning was completed by the civil consultant as part of the PUD package.
The first step was taking another apartment development that would serve as a model, and seeing how those building would look on the site.
The developer was not really pleased with how these looked, and a re-design was to proceed. But first, some other materials needed to be created. For leasing and to help show off the site amenities, a site plan was made.
Then for advertising, illustrations were created for the floor plan design that was chosen.
A new elevation was drafted up as part of the new building design. The client had a couple pictures of other buildings he liked, and once I looked at the constraints of the building construction in depth, this became one of the few practical aesthetic choices.
This design was illustrated for review by the client. These 2d illustrations take less time than a full computer rendering, but can still be pretty nice for advertising, and are usually convince the client about the quality of the design pretty fast.
An alternate design was explored, to try some value engineering, but was dismissed pretty quickly because it was so ugly.
The elevation design was turned into an exterior rendering that will be the main advertising image for the development. After 'looking around' the site for awhile in 3d, this became the angle/position that seemed to look the best, considering the sun, background, and other factors.
The 3d model was also used to see how some different brick colors would look on the building, light and dark:
Several interior renderings were created, also for advertising. There was basically no reference for how to pick out colors, furniture, ect. so these were all things i had to just make up as i went along. There was really no time or budget for review and revision, so the developers basically just rely on me to get it right without any help.
Of course, some plans were draw with all of this too. In many cases where the client is also the builder, the drawings don't need to be as detailed as when you have contractors bidding or a general contractor subbing things out.
A new rendering of the overall site was made to reflect the design changes to the buildings.
Finally, plans for the pool house were drafted up, and a basic illustration of the pool house elevation was made. This may still be developed further to make the pool house more prominent and attractive on the site.
While there are many apartments that have a lot more amenities and fancy interiors, and you could do much more in-depth design work, this kind of package of design material is about average for a development.