Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pre-Design Services for Business Suites & Commercial Interiors

If you are considering buying or leasing an existing space to house your business, you will probably need some interior alterations to suit your specific needs.  By examining the feasibility of such a project before you  commit to a location can help save you time and money.   There are several questions to ask when considering a space for your business:

· How much will it cost to remodel/ renovate/ add-on to?
· What will the City allow?
· Will I need additional restrooms?
· Is the space up to current Building and Accessibility codes?
· What is the process?
· How long will it take?
· Do I need to use an Architect?  Or can I just hire a builder?
· Are there other special considerations I need to be aware of?

By utilizing our Pre-Design Services, we can help answer these questions without commitment or upfront costs.

Services Included in FREE Initial Consultation:
· Meeting: We will meet with the client, either at our office or the prospective site location, to discuss their needs and goals
· Site Visit: We will walk-through the existing facility to assess the existing conditions
· Code Analysis: We will review the applicable Zoning and Building Codes to determine which apply to your project and how it will affect what you can build
· LEED Project Feasibility: If the client is interested in pursuing LEED (or any other Green Ratings System) certification, we can help determine which level may be achievable
· Consultants Fees: We will determine what, if any, additional consultants will be needed for the projects such as Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineers and provide the client their proposed fees
· Architects Fees: We will provide the client with a  fee proposal - usually based on how many hours we believe it will take us to complete the project

Additional Services We Can Provide:
· Programming: If the client needs additional assistance in determining what spaces are needed for his/ her business to be functional and efficient, we can take an in-depth look to map out the project
· Project Schedule: We can develop a preliminary schedule with a the time it will take to go from design through construction
· Schematic Floor Plans: We can design preliminary options for the how the space may be laid out
· Schematic 3-D Rendering: We can develop 3-D renderings of what the space may look like to help you visualize what the completed project will look like
· Preliminary Construction Cost Analysis: We use cost estimating guides and our previous project experience to calculate our estimates.  We can also invite contractors to review our estimate or provide their own.

Here is our flyer:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Video Collage of our 18 years in business!

Here is a quick video collage that we made or our past projects:

Steve Martin Plays Silly Architect in Movie "It's Complicated"

I watched a movie over the weekend called "It's Complicated", in which Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin play a divorced couple that have an affair.  The only problem is that he left her years ago for a younger woman whom he is currently married to.  So amid the affair, Meryl Streep's character tries not get attached by trying to continue on in the dating world.  She begins to date her architect, played by Steve Martin, who is designing her home addition.  Although I enjoyed the movie, I could not help but chuckle to myself how this architect was portrayed.

After their initial meeting where Martin comes to Streep's house to review the progress of the plans, they decide to meet again the following week to go over some notes that she has.  OK.  This is perfectly normal.  However, in the following meeting, Martin surprises her by laying out the addition in her yard with stakes and tape and even blocks out the location of the dining room table.  He then has her walk up a ladder that he has set up so she can see what her new view will look like.  This made me laugh because, I'm sorry to say this, but architects are professionals.  We do not "surprise" our clients with additional services.  However, I am willing to overlook this for the sake of the movie because at this point, Martin's character is clearly going out of his way to woo Streep.

The next bit that made me laugh, which I see all too often on in Hollywood's portrayal of architects, was the architect's office.  Of course it is full of young professionals drafting away at their tables using rulers and drafting brushes.  Visit any architecture firm today and you will be lucky if you can even find a drafting brush.  Everything is computerized.  I suppose it is more romantic to think that architects still do everything by hand.

And lastly, there was one more owner/architect interaction that would never happen in real life.  In the final scene, a group of workers arrive at Streep's house to begin construction.  At this point, Streep and Martin's characters have broken up, so she is more than pleasantly surprised to see him emerge from the group and give her a smile and a wink.  Let me just say, I can not think of a reason why an architect would be at the site for the first day of construction for a home addition.  Architects are rarely retained for any construction services on residential projects, so to be there on the first day is really going above and beyond.  I'm sure he is going to be really helpful watching the excavators dig the foundations.

On a side note, this is not the first time that Steve Martin has played an architect in a movie.  Here is a still from him in "Housesitter":

Again, not a single computer in the office!  Of course, I am sure that there are many other professions that are inaccurately portrayed on tv and in movies.  I have to say that I do enjoy watching these portrayals, they always give me a good laugh!

-Nicole Corbett