We have always had the pleasure and opportunity to work with clients who make decisions based on a team approach. A team brings opinions. A team brings challenges. A team brings ideas.
It always amazes me how often I hear stories about projects where the client, the architect, the engineers and the contractors are all separate, not engaged, and literally hand off each phase of their responsibility to the next person in line. The client finds himself or herself isolated without consultants or supporters. The architect completes his/her work in a bubble. The engineers get no direction. And the contractor is on his own to price, coordinate and construct.
There is no better formula for success than creating a team. Communication between each member of that team ensures that the client understands and approves the design. It ensures that the architect listens and responds properly to the client. It ensures that the architect coordinates details and systems with the engineers. It ensures that the contractor is involved from the beginning so that he understands the design, the schedule and the budget. Ultimately, it ensures that every team member has played a part in the entire process and respectively influenced the final design and project completion. That is the definition of a successful development.
By Barron Schimberg, AIA
In a previous post on this blog, I wrote about continuing improvements in the relationships between architects and contractors. Relationships that were often adversarial are becoming more collaborative.
At The Schimberg Group, we have always had the utmost respect for contractors.
In my opinion, understanding construction and how things are built is fundamental to successful architecture. I learned this lesson early in my career, during a semester off from college when I spent about eight months working for a construction company. Like an internship, that on-the-job construction experience opened my eyes to how real-world projects get done.
For example, I installed windows in a commercial building as 40 mph winds swirled around us. I was taught skills such as the right way to hammer nails and take a dimension. I experienced firsthand some of the craftsmanship involved in bringing an architect’s ideas to life.
My experience on a construction crew also helped improve my ability to communicate with the subcontractors and contractors involved in the success of a project. The valuable lessons I learned as part of the construction crew have become a routine process for The Schimberg Group as we consult with construction experts before submitting final designs to a client.
As an architect, I love coming up with innovative concepts for new buildings. But I know that my visions are unlikely to become reality unless the designs can be built—and built well.
Architects + Contractors = A Better Result
A meeting to discuss the details on a project, before problems exist. From left to right-Tom Lossi, steel sub-contractor; Barron Schimberg, architect; Don Sutherland, general contractor, Kurt Lodson, CPI representative
In this economy, a project’s success and possibly its creation, depends upon the team involved. Developing the built environment begins with a concept, leads to design, evolves into documents for pricing and construction and results in a completed development. For any size or type project, the architect incorporates the expertise and knowledge of the client, consultants, engineers, contractors and sub-contractors into every project from the first meeting until the last meeting. This results in a well-designed and coordinated success. The architect acts as quarterback for the multiple team members and works collaboratively with that group in order to exceed all expectations. This is what “Collaborative Methods” means, and is exactly how The Schimberg Group delivers projects to all of our clients.
–Barron Schimberg, AIA LEED AP