Design

Do you need another pair of hands at the table to help you deliver a project?

 

Design_w servicesThe ADC Design services provide proactive project execution services designed to assist you and your project team to deliver a well-coordinated project on time and on budget (yours and your client’s).

 

The Design services of ADC

 

Building criteria analysis, review and evaluation

Is gaining a clear understanding of the building you are working in a valuable use of resources?

 

We have worked in a wide variety of buildings from traditional brick and beam, standard office towers to the new high-tech raised floor open deck buildings. We’re very aware that each Landlord manages their properties differently and building criteria manuals vary vastly or, in some cases, are non-existent.

Many newer buildings have in-floor HVAC systems and complex BAS systems which can present challenges when completing interior renovation projects. As designers we need to have a working knowledge of these systems in order to ensure our consultants are advising our clients and are integrating their design appropriately. We need to understand how to integrate sustainable practices into buildings, how acoustic requirements will affect building systems and how our lighting choices may influence the building systems to name a few.

We can apply the knowledge we have gained over the years to help you decipher building criteria, advise on the appropriate approach for planning space, assist you with avoiding the pitfalls of a complex criteria manual or assist you with Landlords who have limited or unclear guidelines on construction in their buildings.

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Project coordination, communication and management

How do remain effective when managing multiple priorities without compromising your client relationships?

 

You’re a designer, project manager or consultant who is always on top of your projects but if you’re anything like me you have been in the position where your plate is more than full. It’s great to have a full spectrum of work under your control but no matter how good you are it can get overwhelming at times. When it does invariably something has to give. There isn’t a single designer that we’ve ever met who deliberately wants to under-service their clients but it happens.

We can take the day to day coordination of one of those projects off your hands and as a member of your team help you with the delivery of your design services. Exceptional communication skills, timely responses to your client’s requests and proactively managing expectations from the client’s stakeholders and your delivery team are all in a day’s work and with us on your team your project will get executed effectively, on time and on budget.

You maintain control of your client relationship. We report to you. We simply take on the coordination work necessary to allow you to focus on your priorities; managing your client relationships and building your business.

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Sub-consultant and vendor coordination

How critical is effective consultant management to the coordination of your project documentation?

 

Managing your project team is inherent in the project delivery process and working with a team of sub-consultants and vendors to deliver your project is simply part of a typical project’s DNA. We all know that clear communication of expectations, deliverables and timely responses to scope coordination is critical to your project’s success.

If we’re working with you on project delivery already then we have you covered.

If you have a project that’s large then project team coordination can take on a life of its own. If we’re not working together already think of bringing us on board as your job captain. It’s a necessary role that is critical to effective project delivery with large complex projects. The job captain manages the coordination of the work of the entire consultant team ensuring the design is effectively coordinated between all disciplines.

It’s a role that isn’t restricted to just large projects.

If you think of it as a studio wide initiative the role can provide a robust learning opportunity for your various project teams by holistically enhancing the skills for coordination work for your whole studio. Your project delivery teams benefit directly from years of project delivery experience and we take on the role of structuring, documenting and sharing what we learn from each project with your entire studio in the form of a lessons learned forum. Experiences shared and documented for you to go back to when needed.

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Drawing, specification and design coordination

How many time have you had to make changes to your documentation because something was missed between the specifications and the drawing package for a project?

 

The design, specifications and documentation are meant to work in harmony culminating in a package that will translate into the project you envisioned as it developed from the idea stage to completion. In a perfect world your design would be translated to documentation and specification seamlessly.

Well executed reviews for documentation coordination are as simple as having the necessary resources (time, experience, constructability knowledge, etc.) available to ensure the work is coordinated in an effective manner. This doesn’t mean hours upon hours of laborious cross-checking of information but targeted reviews at planned intervals.

The key is planned coordination in the same way a planned approach to the required content is completed before you start drawing (your cartoon set). Planning you drawing set and planning your coordination reviews are critically important to avoiding redundancy and unnecessary complexity which ultimately saves you valuable time and costly effort.

If this service is combined with consultant coordination our role as your job captain brings the entire project execution lifecycle together in a holistic service model for the delivery of clear and concise project documentation.

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Meetings, reporting and scope coordination

What is one of the biggest risks to rework when you and your team are coordinating the scope of work?

 

Managing meetings is a necessary evil of project delivery and effectively run meetings is an art form that is so often overlooked. Having the right people in attendance, having a clear objective, agenda and quarterbacking the meeting so it takes as little time from the valuable brain power gathered in the room is a rare commodity.

Writing effective meeting minutes is another art form in itself. There are some great tricks to writing effective minutes but none beats clearly written notes that are on topic, logically organized and brief.

Meeting minutes, email communication, documenting phone conversations and even following up on text messages are critically important to keeping the scope of work and project progress clear between the entire project team. Our job as project execution professionals is to ensure everyone stays informed with appropriate, timely and well written project documentation.

There is no greater risk than leaving communication to chance but that doesn’t mean over-communicating with verbose language thinking the risks are somehow mitigated. Over-communication is simply a waste of valuable resources. Knowing when to respond, what to say and how to deliver the message is a skill that takes time to develop and is one aspect of the project delivery process that we feel is consistently undervalued.

Nothing is a problem…..until it is. If there is ever a serious issue on a project your documentation is what can save you.

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Code review and Building Permit Application (BCIN)

When is the best time in the project process to consider a code review to avoid rework?

 

The more we read the building code the more we’re convinced it was written by an evil group of individual’s hell bent on making our lives as miserable as humanly possible. The more we actively work with the building code the more we understand that reading the language carefully, clearly assessing the content and following the logic is imperative to correctly interpreting the content.

You have to admit, sometimes is doesn’t seem that logical though.

Regardless, things are always changing and at times, however rare, we can get baffled by an interpretation. In those moments a code consultant may be necessary. We have extensive experience working with code consultants to get the answers we need in a timely and effective manner.

BCIN certification is a responsibility we take very seriously and when we apply for a building permit on your behalf we are not only taking on the responsibility to ensure the project meets the current building code requirements but that the work will be completed in accordance with the project documentation.

A project documentation review is imperative and a final inspection accompanied with a letter confirming compliance is the minimum legal requirement for this service. That simply means we’ll be working together over the construction duration of your project. The level of involvement beyond what we noted above is up to you.

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Construction Contract Administration

What best practices do you employ to ensure change is consistently mitigated through the construction of your projects?

 

If your project is well-coordinated, you have completed your quality assurance review and your communication to your team has been timely and effective then there shouldn’t be any changes on the construction site.

The simple fact of human error creates the inevitable eventuality that your project will experience change during the construction process.

Your contractor will submit RFI’s, the site will reveal unforeseen conditions and your client will invariably as you to change something. Documenting, tracking and monitoring your changes is as critical as managing the contractor to ensure submittals, logs and payment certificates are delivered on time and accurately throughout the process.

Within the competitive bid environment even the most diligent consultant can’t anticipate the level of project management skill a general contractor brings to the project. There are many moving parts in construction and project control is critical. Conducting an authoritative kick-off meeting, providing clear direction at site meetings, providing concise direction on inquiries and ensuring payment is processed in a timely manner will establish and maintain a good working relationship with your contractor.

With a respectful working relationship between you and the construction contractor you will get the product your client expected and in the process save valuable resources for both yourself and ultimately your client.

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Contract close-out procedures

How do you ensure your projects don’t drag on longer than they need to?

 

Contract close out can be a hidden project profitability killer. If you’re not careful, the last 5% of a project can take as long as the first 95% and it can kill your remaining budget if you’re not diligent about closing out your project.

Clients sometimes don’t understand when the project is complete, the contractor has usually moved on to a new site and you team has refocused its priorities on the next exciting opportunity.

There is nothing more frustrating that cleaning up deficiencies, closing the permit, collecting record documents and managing the financial close out of a project when you have new work nipping at your heels. Yet we will know if it’s not done effectively and efficiently this last phase of work can damage the great relationships you have built over the course of your valued project and in the process cost you profitability you have worked so hard to maintain.

Have you ever considered appointing a close-out champion?

Someone who takes the reins during the last part of a project and wraps it all up with the project team can be a benefit to a busy design studio. Your sub-consultants are in the same boat as you; they want to move on. Your client wants to get things wrapped up as much as you do, the contractor wants his final payment and you want to close the books on the project.

We can help you wrap things up effectively and efficiently and you have the assurance that we have our eyes on the prize.

Our ADC Consult Services will give you an overview of how we can assist you with POE (post occupancy evaluations).

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…..or jump to The Consult Services of ADC

 

To learn more about The Design Services  of ADC you can get in touch with me via email herecall me at  416-500-0374 or you can ask your questions below.

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