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Firm Profile
Project Delivery

Projects are developed in a traditional full service manner. We start with the clients program, and then progress through schematics, design development, contract documents, contractor selection, construction administration and occupancy. We donít do things exactly the way we used to. Gone are the days of hand drafting lines on paper. Hand lettering is replaced by computer aided drafting. CAD has become an equalizer, making individualís work indistinguishable from all otherís. What hasnít changed is the basic purpose of communicating our shared visions to the regulators and contractors who approve and build our designs.

Clientís programs may be as simple as an organizational chart, or complex accounting of spaces, functions and equipment; with group relationships and defined building systems. Adding to this information, we learn more through interviews and analysis. Feedback to the client is essential to verify we understand want is needed. Once the program is established, existing conditions, restrictions, codes and economics are analyzed and documented.

Schematic Design is the first step in the design process. Layout of spaces, circulation, support functions, site access sequencing are studied 3-dimensionally, both in plan and vertically in model. Basic concepts of size, massing, structure, elevation, materials and details are established.

In Design Development the building model is given detail and materials are assigned. Special conditions are studied. Buildings elements are detailed. Opportunities for innovation and creativity are explored. Materials, patterns and accents are laid out. Documentation is started, e.g.: notes, dimensions, schedules, interior elevations and outline specifications. Structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering systems are established.

Contract Documents is where our technology shines. Once tedious hand drafting, erasing and redrafting drudgery young architects and interns dreaded, now is seamless development of approved design drawings. Information needed to permit, price and build the project is added, including documented code analysis and complete engineering drawings. Our goal is zero defect interdisciplinary quality control. Separate contracts by Owner are also coordinated in this phase.

Construction contract methods are determined early on. How the general contractor is selected impacts the projectís economics and schedule. A negotiated contract will get the contractor on board early. Construction can start sooner and pricing is given by the contractor building the project. A bid project assures the Owner he is getting the lowest competitive price at the onset. Bidding takes longer to prepare documents and time is needed for contractorís to prepare their bids. By invitational bidding, only reputable companies participate and bidders are motivated by limited competition.

In Construction Administration our experience shows. Working closely with contractors in a positive supportive role, communication and enthusiasm is maintained. Questions are answered promptly, submittals reviewed, construction observed, meetings attended and paper processed. Attention to basics and respect for each other has proven the best path to success.

 


© 2009 Signal Creek Architects, LLC

 


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