Integrative Design + Development Consulting
The process of designing and constructing buildings can be quite complex, requiring the input of a number of participants. In a world where everyone is growing more concerned about how each action may affect others, it is imperative to engage everyone who may be affected by the built environment. An integrative process, also referred to as “whole building” or “whole systems” design, is different from conventional, or linear design and development. In order to maximize cost effectiveness, structural, mechanical and environmental performance, all stakeholders must be involved, and every potential issue addressed, as early as possible. Team members will need to be identified and selected, methodology established, and effective communication and collaboration fostered and facilitated.
Properly managed, this process can both substantially reduce development costs and produce a higher quality product.
ASG has embraced an integrative approach since its inception and is thoroughly familiar with the entire design and development process from concept to construction to adaptive re-use and post-occupancy maintenance programs. We can provide project guidance, develop clear and concise program requirements, evaluate, assemble and guide appropriate participants, assist in the formation of a comprehensive project plan, facilitate and manage the process at any point along the way.
USGBC-LEED Analysis, Facilitation, Consulting & Commissioning:
The LEED Green Building Rating System provides a set of performance standards for certifying the design and construction of a variety of projects from new construction to neighborhood development. While not the only system, it is currently the dominant system in the US market and is being adapted to markets worldwide.
LEED standards and applications continue to evolve as new technologies are refined, products developed, and processes reviewed and codified. The intent is to provide guidelines for the creation of high performance, durable and environmentally appropriate structures.
As LEED certified architects we provide a full range of services including the evaluation of your project for potential certification, project registration, documentation, and commissioning.
High Performance / "Green" / Sustainable / Regenerative Development Evaluation & Consulting
LEED is not the only set of performance standards and guidelines and may not be appropriate for all projects. It is certainly possible to design and construct energy efficient and ecologically sound buildings without reference to LEED guidelines. Nor does LEED certification guarantee the best possible outcomes.
There are many types of rating systems including BREEAM, CASBEE, GBTool, Green Globes, Energy Star, and The Natural Step. Additionally, there are a variety on non-rating systems that serve as protocols and standards with Standard 189P in the works for providing a baseline for sustainable design, construction and operations in the U.S. The insights identified through the application of different systems, evaluative methodologies, and emerging technologies can provide a wealth of options and opportunities that go well beyond current certifications.
We can help you to understand and to navigate the different systems, and to explore a variety of options that will help you develop the best possible project.
Process is the key to achieving project goals and objectives. Integral steps in that process include creating a shared vision for the project, setting design performance goals, forming an effective project team, and delineating specific tasks that must be performed.
The most effective way to achieve these steps is through organized charrettes. Charrettes are participatory workshops where stakeholders and experts are brought together to address specific issues in a focused environment. It is the mechanism that serves to begin the communication and collaboration process and provides a forum during which important decisions are made.
As Charrette Planners and Managers certified by the National Charrette Institute we can handle all aspects of these activities necessary to identify and establish project and performance goals and objectives.
The pre-design phase will have a number of activities including defining the project scope, the owners program requirements, selection of team members, orientation and meetings, preliminary research and analysis, and core project programming.
In addition to charrette facilitation and management we can assist in each step in the process including the development of owner program requirements, site selection, building location and orientation, project team selection, constructability reviews, establishment of best practices, and determination of project delivery methodology.
Concept and early schematic design is the connection between research and the establishment of project goals and objectives to the actual design process. This phase may incorporate a refined systems analysis, integrated cost bundling studies, optimization of energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies, and related issues affecting core programming. Design development will include the preparation and/or independent third-party review of all construction drawings and specifications.
We have a thorough knowledge of process and the tools and resources necessary to ensure performance measurement and feedback loops are integrated into the project. As architecture and construction specialists we provide comprehensive construction document review to ensure that they are complete, thorough, accurate, and consistent with the design intent and owner program requirements.
In a time of rapid market transformation and an increased interest on the part of lenders to fund “green” and “sustainable” projects it is crucial that all aspects of new construction and development initiatives be fully evaluated and understood by all parties.
As LEED certified architects and construction specialists we can provide expert guidance to financial institutions on the viability of evolving products, technologies and techniques proposed in both new development and reconstruction efforts.
Serving as an independent entity, ASG can provide pre-loan document review, construction budget evaluations, construction draw verification, progress reporting and quality evaluations, project management, and loan/bond default investigations.
After a detailed review of construction drawings and specifications has been concluded pre-bid and post award conferences may need to be conducted.
As many owners and contractors are finding that a negotiated sum is preferred over the traditional design/bid/build process, we can assist in working with the design/build team to review all components and proper sequencing is included.
We can assist in this process and in addressing any outstanding issues including storm water management, rainwater reclamation and reuse, habitat restoration, recycling programs, training and education, post-occupancy evaluations, and building adjustments for user comfort and acceptance.
We will bring your entire team together, set priorities, coordinate efforts and responsibilities, and ensure effective communication during all phases of construction. Construction planning of the initial path schedule, and the sequencing of the work is critical at this stage.
ASG has established unique Quality Assurance/Quality Control/ Quality Verification (QA/QC/QV) Programs designed to provide builders and developers with an independent overview of the entire construction process to help the client achieve the highest quality product commensurate with the construction documents. These QA/QC/QV Programs are most effective if initiated during design/project team selection when comprehensive strategies can be incorporated throughout the development process.
We have a comprehensive understanding of all phases of construction from
site work to fit out. Our extensive experience in traditional, as well
as high performance construction, and emerging technologies including
renewable energy systems, storm and waste water management, green roofs,
natural daylighting and ventilation strategies, use of zero or low VOC (volatile organic compounds)
and natural products, and adaptive re-use and recycling enables us to
deliver fully integrated third-party review, inspection, documentation and project close-out services.
When the project is ready to be closed out and transitioned to owner control we work to see that that the Owner has all requisite information and understands the condition at completion, as well as future maintenance requirements. In order to achieve a smooth transition, building owners and occupants must understand the operational and maintenance (O&M) needs of the completed project required to achieve optimal performance goals and objectives. Utilizing appropriate documentation we create a process that allows an easy flow of information to achieve the transition that is clearly recognized and agreed upon by all stakeholders.
After the project is completed we will appropriate inspections and analysis to see that original and emerging requirements have been met. Comprehensive post-construction documentation is useful when further construction of similar projects is contemplated and essential to meeting certain commissioning requirements.
The creation of a case study, or "lessons learned" document is a valuable tool for owners and developers that seek to refine a specific building or project type. ASG can assist in facilitating meaningful discussions that result in documents vital to current and future project success.
Property owners and managers depend on ASG® to assist them through the tribulations of reconstruction after minor or catastrophic property damage occurs. Our staff has investigated and assisted with the reconstruction of buildings requiring repair due to freezing of sprinklers and domestic water piping, up to buildings completely gutted by fire damage. When communities are upgrading or replacing common assets, we assist from design concepts through bidding and negotiation with a contractor, and administer the construction contract (review of work for compliance, payment request review etc.).
ASG has specialized knowledge in the intricacies of Common Interest Realty Associations (Condominiums, Home Owner's Associations, and Cooperatives). Our substantial experience in this area, and ability to effectively determine and communicate project needs to Boards of Directors, Property Managers, and appropriate Stakeholders, is often the difference between a successful project and one that is fraught with confrontation and operational impediments.
In order to start any reconstruction or repair effort, ASG® provides Existing Condition Analyses (ECA’s) to building owners, lenders and buyers. These services range from a full analysis of the property for due diligence studies for purchasers, to feasibility studies of existing property for adaptive reuse and rehabilitation.
As an added service ASG® can provide complete as-built drawings of existing buildings planned for redevelopment, or those in need of accurate rental documentation. We use a proprietary method that can create accurate computer generated drawings of any building interior.
Understanding maintenance and replacement needs associated with building and community assets is imperative for maintaining proper funding levels for future projects. ASG provides accurate and detailed Reserve Studies that enable informed choices leading to a fiscally healthy community. This retains community value while minimizing unanticipated expenses that all to often detract from Common Interest Realty Associations (CIRA) effectiveness. As there continues to be emphasis on higher density development and the sharing of common amenities, the need for an integrative, collaborative and effective process is critical for success.
ASG® has provided numerous replacement reserve studies for multifamily homeowner and condominium associations so they can properly plan for the future replacement of the common elements that they are required to maintain, repair, and replace. ASG was instrumental in helping the Community Associations Institute create the only national standard for conducting Reserve Studies and maintains a full-time certified Reserve Specialist on staff.
ASG® has conducted extensive investigative fieldwork and research to determine the causes of building component failure, building non-performance, general non-compliance to construction documents, or non-compliance to the normal established standard of care in the design and/or construction of numerous projects. This is a specialized skill requiring extensive knowledge of building systems and their components, requisite analytical measures, and the ability to communicate that information clearly and effectively to establish a credible explanation of the defect or non-compliance. ASG® has helped numerous clients through logical and detailed problem investigations, and in developing solution oriented designs and processes to correct difficult, complex and challenging problems.
ASG's unique qualifications, third-party analysis, and understanding of all aspects of building design, construction and maintenance requirements, enables critical delivery of accurate information in a manner that may enable successful resolution of issues outside a court of law, either through mediation or arbitration..
However, if necessary and as a natural extension of our services, ASG has staff qualified in various circuit, district, and federal Courts as a testifying expert on design and construction related issues. ASG’s experts have supplied both plaintiffs and defendants with objective third party reviews and analyses.
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