Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Yurt" going to love this!

Over the years, I have been very lucky to work on a wide variety of projects.  This diversity and flexibility, I believe, is one of the reasons why we have been able to stay in business for over 19 years.  Earlier this year, I was approached by a client to work on a very unique project.  It is a yurt that is now under construction in Canada.  I thought I would share with you some of the pictures we received of the project being built.  Hope you enjoy!

Robert Juris Robert Juris & Associates, Ltd.

Yurt (yoort) a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Turkic and  Mongolian nomads in the steppes of Central Asia.   

The client bought the complete yurt structure and hired us to design the interior layout.  Brent Ludwig worked on the project and enjoyed the challenge of designing the rooms to fit in the circular plan.  All of the building materials had to be brought in by boat, since there are no roads at the site.  This is truly the ultimate 'man cave'!  


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

Image Courtesy of M&M Contractors

It seems that more and more clients are interested in exploring the option of using the Design-Build method of project delivery, as opposed to the more traditional Design-Bid-Build method.  "What is the difference?" you may ask and "How do I know which method is right for my project?".  In this blog post, we will give a brief overview of each method in attempt to answer these questions.

Traditional Method:  Design-Bid-Build
The "traditional" method of carrying a project from inception through construction has four phases.  (If you have been reading our blog, you know that there are actually six phases, but we shall condense these for clarity).
These phases are:
1.   Preliminary Design (This encompasses the previously mentioned Pre-Design, Schematic Design and Design Development).
2.  Detailed Drawings, aka Construction Documents
3.  Bidding and Permitting
4.  Construction Administration and Observation
(If you would like to read more about what each phase entails, please follow the links)
In this method, the actual cost of the project is established after bidding the contract to multiple general contractors.

Pros of Traditional Method:
  • Competitive bidding may lead to a lower construction cost.

Cons of Traditional Method:
  • The lowest bidder is not always the most qualified for the job.
  • The owner will have multiple contact persons as the project is "handed off" from the architect to general contractor.
  • The bidding phase adds additional time to the total project, as a typical bid period ranges from 3-6 weeks. 

Design-Bid Method
The major difference with this method is that the project is not put out to bid for multiple general contractors to price.  Therefore, the phases are:
1.  Preliminary Design
2.  Detailed Drawings
3.  Permitting, Construction Administration and Observation
In this method, the contractor is brought into the project at the beginning and is therefore able to collaborate with the architect throughout the design process to establish an actual project cost much earlier.

Pros of Design-Bid Method:
  • The owner has only one point of contact throughout the project, the architect.  This is why this method is sometimes referred to as 'one-stop shopping'.
  • The contractor may be able to influence the design to keep construction costs down.
  • Eliminating the bidding period can lead to quicker construction completion.

Cons of Design-Bid Method:
  • There is no competitive bidding between general contractors. (Although the general contractor can still get competitive bids from the sub-contractors.)
  • Public entities are usually legally required to publicly bid projects, thus this method would not be allowed.

If you have any questions about Traditional Design-Bid-Build vs. Design-Build, please feel free to contact our office at 815-806-0146 or connect with us at www.facebook.com/rjaarchitects.

RJA at Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House

Nicole Corbett, a project manager at Robert Juris & Associates, has volunteered her time to become a docent and tour guide at the historic Farnsworth House in Plano, IL for the 2011 season.  The Farnsworth House was designed for Dr. Edith Farnsworth in 1946 by Mies van der Rohe, who is widely regarded as the "Father of Modern Architecture".  Construction was completed in 1951 and this small weekend retreat home is considered to be Mies's masterpiece because of tits innovative design and extreme attention to detail.  Dr. Farnsworth owned this house for approximately 20 years before retiring to Italy and selling it to Lord Peter Palumbo.  Lord Palumbo used it as a vacation home for nearly 30 years before selling it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for nearly $7.5 million dollars.  Tours are available April-November and advanced reservations are appreciated.  Please visit www.farnsworthhouse.org for more information.  

Chicago Only Has Two Seasons - Winter & Construction!

Dear Friends, 

As the old joke goes, Chicago only has two seasons - winter and construction.  Anyone driving near our Frankfort office knows that is true.  The Route 30 expansion project is well under way, as are the repairs on I-80.  While that construction is not so fun to watch as I am stuck in traffic, observing our building projects go from ideas to reality gives me great satisfaction.  Below are some projects that are currently under construction.  I hope you enjoy!

Robert Juris 
Robert Juris & Associates, Ltd.

Under Construction...

The Birches Apartment Complex - Leasing Office.  Joliet, IL

This project completely remodeled their existing facility to include office space, an exercise room, and a computer center.  The general contractor, Denny Deckinga of VR Builders, expects construction to be completed soon.

Little Joe's Pizza and Restaurante - Interior Remodeling  
Frankfort, IL 

Little Joe's, with locations in Tinley Park and New Lenox, is opening another restaurant in the Crown Centre of Frankfort.  The above photo shows the recently completed demolition work to transform the existing space.  

Additional recently completed, and soon-to-be under construction projects include:

  • Fishing Pier as part of the Lake Park Expansion Project for Des Plaines Park District.  Construction to begin shortly.
  • Park Pavilion at the 191st St. Park for the Frankfort Square Park District.  Construction recently began.
  • State Farm Insurance Office - Interior suite build-out in New Lenox, IL. Construction recently completed.
  • Second-story Home Addition in Riverside, IL.  Construction to begin shortly.
  • Interior Remodeling (including lowering the existing basement slab by 2') to a home in the Historic District of Oak Park, IL.  Construction recently completed.
  • Clock Tower Renovation at the Orland Park's Village Hall.  Construction to begin shortly.