We believe that successful architecture results from the collaboration of client, architect, engineer, and craftspeople; our role is to lead that process and to be your advocate at every step. We take as much pride in our attention to detail on the job site as we do in our inventiveness and ability to create elegant solutions on paper and with the most advanced software tools.
pre - design
Pre-design consists of programming, site documentation and zoning/building code analysis. We will help you establish a 'wish list' of spaces and amenities through conversations and a detailed questionnaire designed to help us understand your environmental, aesthetic, functional and financial priorities. For additions and renovations, we carefully document the existing building; this is an important first step towards producing accurate design drawings. Our zoning ordinance and building code reviews identify the relevant municipal regulations that will bear on the design. If relief from zoning regulations are desirable, we provide the necessary drawings and are available to attend approval meetings with the city and neighborhood groups.
Your ‘wish list’ and priorities are our measuring stick for evaluating design alternatives. We begin with diagrams, plans, elevations and views that describe possible relationships among spaces. We use builidng information modeling (BIM) software to produce simple line drawings as well as photorealistic renderings to help insure that you fully understand our design concepts. Schematic design concludes when you are satisfied with the disposition of spaces, their character and the relationship between old and new. Because of the number of decisions regarding materials and fixtures to be made during design development, this is potentially the most time intensive step for you. If you are busy, we are available to assist with complete interior design services or you can select materials, finishes and fixtures on your own...or anywhere in between. We provide suggestions for healthy materials and energy efficient building systems. During this phase we also begin to coordinate structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems. Design development concludes when you are satisfied with the spaces, materials, cabinetry, fixtures, lighting and building systems.
With most of the design decisions made by you in the design phase, we proceed to produce the detailed drawings and specifications that describe he building’s constitution. We also complete the coordination of architectural information with structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical requirements. Producing these technical drawings, diagrams and written specifications is crtiical to a successful project; all information required to accurately bid and build the work must be included as the construction documents are your ‘instructions’ for the tradespeople. These documents are also the basis for the city's issuance of a building permit.
We assist with bidding by issuing the drawings to trades and answering their questions. Depending on the project delivery model you select, we will provide you with a spreadsheet breaking down each contractor’s proposal by trade. This helps us identify contractors that may have omitted work or included work outside of the project’s scope.
Finally, we submit your drawings to the city and make any clarifications or corrections they request.
In the traditional Design-Bid-Build model of project delivery, a few general contractors provide you with bids based on our construction drawings and specifications. We evaluate their bids to help guard against discrepancies and to help you select a contractor. Once on board, the general contractor coordinates the work of the subcontractors and is responsible for completing the work for the amount in their proposal. As your advocate, we help guard against discrepancies between your design intent and the built work through regular site visits. Communication among all members of the team is critical; we provide you and the general contractor with field reports and meeting minutes which document the progress of the job. We respond to contractor requsets for information and review draw requests from the general contractor to confirm that invoices match the work done in the field. We also review lien waivers to help insure subcontractors are being paid. I am always available to answer your questions and to discuss the progress of the work with you. Over the course of a project you may elect to make revisions to the design or unanticipated field conditions may warrant changes. We provide drawings which document these changes and which the general contractor uses to price and proceed with construction. This helps owners avoid potentially costly misunderstandings. In a nutshell, our job is to deal with the contractor so you don’t have to and to an advocate for your interests throughout the construction process.