I provide a wide range of architectural consulting services, and have experience from project inception to completion on projects large and small.
Equally as important as experience, I am easy to work with, a clear communicator, and am passionate about finding the best solution to your needs.
I provide both site design and building design, helping you with the layout of your site, circulation, setback and planning/zoning regulation adherence. A typical design process will include determining the client’s needs (and tenant’s, if applicable), investigation with the local jurisdiction, code review, and a series of design vignettes. Design documents can range from simple sketches and black and white line drawings to full color illustrations.
I have extensive experience with preparing and supervising production of design and construction documentation for a variety of project types large and small. Documenting a project is a complex and detail critical process, and involves preparation of drawings as well as detailed specifications (in the case of documents for construction).
I provide peer review services, giving you a second set of eyes on design and preparation of your project, whether you are an architect or a client. Especially on larger projects it can be useful to have an outside review of your documents before going to construction, to aid in finding gaps and coordination conflicts, determining where additional information might be warranted, and identifying areas where information is unclear or in conflict with information elsewhere.
A set of documents is only as good as the care with which they were prepared. While none of us is immune to human error and no set of documents is perfect, it is important to take the utmost care in preparing, reviewing and coordinating documents. Good quality control involves careful review of documents at regular points in their preparation, detailed study of how the different mechanical, structural and architectural systems interface, and continuing and clear communication between team members.
A project team can vary from just a couple of consultants on a small project to a team of fifty or more on large projects. I have extensive experience coordinating teams of consultants, including structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, civil, landscape, signage, interior design, elevator and conveyance systems, communications, theming, and more. It is critical to pay appropriate attention to coordination of the various systems to ensure they work together, fit within the structure, and fulfill the client’s needs.
An architect’s role doesn’t end when the drawings get handed off to the contractor. There are shop drawings and product submittals to review, questions to answer, and invariably unexpected field conditions pop up that require dealing with. An architect also typically conducts site visits at various points during the construction to help ensure that construction is generally conforming to the intent of the construction documents. I have wide ranging experience in the construction administration end of projects, from small tenant improvements and additions to 60 acre amusements parks.
Building codes and other regulations are a fact of life for anyone involved in the design and construction process. From project inception and throughout, it is important to have people on your team who are familiar with the applicable codes and know how to research local variations. Zonning and planning codes and even community CC&Rs will influence a project’s initial design and even viability; building codes influence the design of the building and systems and even site layout and elements; health, fire and industrial waste regulations may be applicable; and accessiblity laws, both local and federal, need careful attention on both the site and in the building.
At various points in a project there are a myriad of departments who will need to review your drawings for conformance with local laws and regulations. This may include planning and zoning departments and community architectural groups in the early design stages of a project, to architectural, structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, fire, accessibility, and health review of construction documents. Not all projects require all of these, and each jurisdiction is different, but every project will have some kind of plan check and permit review. The plan check and permit process takes legwork (less in smaller building departments, more in large, complex city organizations), clear communication, the ability to work well with plan checkers, and the ability to review and apply plan check comments (or rebut them if they are incorrect).
Much of what an architect does boils down to problem solving. The challenge at hand may be wrapped in the guise of coming up with a design to meet the client’s needs and desires, figuring out what mechanical system to use and how to fit it through a tight structure, or how to achieve something within the bounds of exiting and accessibility codes (not to mention what to do when preliminary excavation encounters unexpected sub surface conditions like pipelines or buried structures), but at the root of it all is problem solving. The best thing you can do for your project is to have on your team people who are adept at problem solving, who can take tough or unexpected situations and help you find the best solution.