COLLABORATIVELY: Initial Program & Yield Analysis


The first step for almost any project is to evaluate the basics of what can work: on your property, in your building, or for your operation. Whether it is your business, your household, or your development pro forma.

Quickly gathering the basic information from:
– your team (eg program etc),
– the local jurisdiction (eg zoning etc)
– from the site (eg topography etc)

we use that in a collaborative ‘Design Day’ process to quickly sketch out possibilities – with you – to clearly define what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats there are to bring your project to a successful completion. Or to move on…

Speed is of the essence in most projects and this allows us to help you separate the wheat from the chaff quickly and efficiently.

COLLABORATIVELY: Initial Look & Feel – Design Ideas


So everything you want to do fits, the obstacles are defined and manageable so its time to figure out the most appropriate look and feel…

This will be based on a host of ideas and issues that we develop together. Is there a corporate or personal design look that is the start point, something to be avoided no matter what or are there site issues to be factored in such as:
– topography or other site constraints
– neighboring buildings
– zoning code or local covenants

And then there is always the budget and buildability!

We love including the construction team in early so that we are all grounded and making good decisions as quickly as possible. Nothing is better than having all the players in the room at the same time! Saves time, energy and money for everyone.  This is why we value collaboration so much.

COLLABORATIVELY: Schematic Design & Truth Tests

Schematic Design is often the fun part but also needs to be the truth test part. By truth test we mean several things
– does it get approved by you

  • is it the right expression of your brand, values or project
  • does it work for the intended use

– does it get approved by the local jurisdiction
– does it meet your timing & budget needs

We use a variety of tools to create schematic design documents to address these issues. What drawings, including 3D massing models vs renderings, are essential? What phasing or scope documents need to be thought through to explain the project intent?

Who do we need to work with to make sure that that your project has the best chance for success is a key question as well.  Local staff and neighborhood representatives are often ‘part of the team’.  Also, your operations group and a trusted General Contractor for budget assessments should weigh in.  The list is long; it takes a village to raise a building after all.

COLLABORATIVELY: Construction Documents

Construction Documents are the core of our services in terms of total hours spent and are the most complicated to create.  They are key to keeping the core design imperatives from getting lost, making the project real, and bringing it in on budget and on time.

There are multiple audiences for these documents including code officials and the people that will actually build the project.  We are constantly asking the General Contractors for feedback and improvements that will benefit the entire team. In their words:

– “Our supers breathe a sigh of relief when they see a bwd set. They know its a well thought out and complete set.”

– “Your sets cover the things that others miss.”

– “We recommend you all the time.”


The collaboration with and respect for the people getting your project is built into our DNA because it serves our clients well. A healthy and strategic partnership gets the best results for you.

COLLABORATIVELY: In The Field – Construction Administration

The longest part of our process (usually!) is getting the project built and getting you into it!  That starts the truly long-term part of your process – enjoying the results of all this!

Getting the bids out and evaluated starts us off. This is the time that we use insights from the Contractors to do real time VE (Value Engineering). In the weeks or even months since we did your drawings, new products emerge, some disappear, sub’s have ideas for alternatives and key issues are revealed.  The people that build for a living give the team a unique perspective and we need to be able to take advantage of that while making sure the key design and performance is maintained.

Keeping things on track, anticipating issues, approving draw applications, answering RFI’s, reviewing submittals and solving problems in the field is the ultimate collaborative process and we treat field issues as top priority for time and attention.

That last 5% to push it over the finish line is critical to your projects success and we know it.