I believe Architects are trained...

Chet Wesenberg Chet Wesenberg

Architecture and Design Process

Our Approach

We are architects that put your design goals first. As architect’s we have been trained to be problem solvers and enjoy the challenge of developing smart, cost-effective design and creative solutions. We understand that every project has constraints and that the best design solutions require an architect with the ability to provide the greatest value the budget will allow. We find that far too many traditional architects lack a firm understanding of the construction process and too many design build firms under-value good design. We take great pride in our general contracting experience and understanding of the construction process which gives us the ability to provide cost effective designs that meet and exceed our client’s expectations.

Consultation

Some clients come to us with only a vague notion of what they want, while others have highly developed ideas and lists of project requirements. Our team begins each project by sitting down with the client, listening to what they envision for their project, openly sharing ideas, and developing feasible options for creating a balance of beauty, utility and longevity. From new construction, to renovations and additions, historic preservation, and sustainable design work, these initial discussions result in a realistic scope of work, as well as a preliminary schedule and budget.

Collaboration

In addition to identifying which services we will provide, consultations are an excellent opportunity to identify or begin working with other design professionals, artisans or builders who will be required for the project. Our team has a long history of successful collaborations with some of the finest allied professionals in the country and recognizes that the most successful projects involve active and open communication among all team members as early in the process as possible.

Schematic Design

During the schematic design phase, ideas generated in the initial consultations begin to take shape on paper in the form of preliminary site plans, floor plans and elevations. For renovation and preservation projects, the team measures and photographs the existing conditions to prepare accurate “as-built” drawings for use throughout the design process. While we use classical proportions and hierarchies as a foundation for design, the client’s desires and the context of the setting are the main factors used in determining the style, materials, and details of any project. The schematic design phase is a highly interactive process where the team and client discuss and fine-tune ideas to arrive at a concrete plan, budget and schedule that reflects the client’s vision and expectations.

Design Development

After the client approves the plan and style of the project, the we use a combination of hand sketches, computer-aided design (CAD), and 3-D rendering software to generate accurate representations of the final project. The level of interaction and collaboration is particularly high during design development, as this phase marks the start of interior architecture and material selections. As each element evolves, the plans and elevations often require adjustments or modifications to ensure a final product that is functional and aesthetically appropriate. In addition to communicating with the client about design issues, the team will also provide updated budget and schedule information, to ensure that the client is informed regarding every aspect of their project.

Construction Documents

The Construction Documentation phase represents a culmination of the decisions and selections made throughout the design process. The degree of documentation varies from project to project according to the criteria of local governing bodies, the scale and intricacy of the design, and ultimately the desires and comfort level of the individual client. Some clients are only interested in a rudimentary set of documents that addresses all basic requirements, while other clients request highly detailed drawings for every aspect of the design. At the start of this phase, our team consults with each client to determine the level of documentation that most suits their specific needs and expectations.

Available Services

Based on the client’s needs, jurisdictional requirements and the complexity of the project, we are able to assist clients with the following services:

Site Review and Feasibility Studies

Clients routinely ask for assistance in reviewing the merits and options for building on a particular property. We will walk the site, review surveys, share knowledge of site conditions and governmental regulations and provide advice for the optimum placement and size of structures.

Bidding and Negotiation

We are architects first, but are more than delighted to serve as your general contractor. For more information, see Our Design Build Process, however we can also assists clients in obtaining and reviewing competitive bids from qualified contractors if you so choose. Once the client makes a final contractor selection, our team is able to aid the client in the preparation of a construction contract.

Construction Administration

With an understanding of construction practices and the design intent of the project, we frequently act as a client advocate providing on-site reviews and guidance throughout the construction phase. Services may include review of shop drawings, processing Requests for Information (RFIs), review and approval of applications for contractor payments, as well as on-going comparisons of project progress against the budget.

Governmental Filing

We can assist client with filing documents required for governmental authorities having project jurisdiction.