Green Sail Inc. provides full architectural services from white paper or interview to construction administration and everything in between. What follows here is a rough outline of what a typical Green Sail home design process looks like and what you can expect from us.
Scope of Work and Requirements
We will take your written requirements and compile them into a needs and wants list to prioritize your space to match your needs in an efficient manner and to make sure that what we design is what you need and within your budget for the level of quality and the schedule you require.
Once we have a good idea of what your needs and wants are we will create scale plans and a set of sketches for each important space for you to review and comment on. We will also review the design for any zoning or planning restrictions. We will also conduct an assemblies level cost analysis of the proposed design. If the design, cost, and layout is what you are looking for we will move on to the design development stage. If your project is way over cost we will move back to the first stage to re-evaluate your needs and wants and see if the program needs to be reduced or any other major adjustments to the scope of work need to be made.
During the design development stage the scale plans from the schematic design will used to create a three dimensional BIM model in Revit. This model can be used for virtual walk through and rendering purposes so that you have a really good idea of the space you are buying before you move on to construction documentation. In addition we will perform a thorough code analysis and begin working with permitting agencies to do everything in our power to ensure that your project runs smoothly with government agencies. We will also do a preliminary cost estimate so that you can rest assured that what we are designing for you is within your budget. If the scope of work is beyond your budget this is the time to make any last minute design changes to reduce cost.
Once you have approved the design development documents we will begin work on the construction documents. The design is frozen and any further design changes may result in additional costs and schedule delays. At this point we will make final selections for every finish and put these materials into the specifications for your project. Upon completion of the construction documents and specifications you will have one last chance to review the entire set of documents and decide whether you would like to proceed. If you want a different tile finish for example, this is your last chance to change it without potentially getting slapped with a very expensive change order.
Bidding and Contract Negotiation
After a one week time period to review the construction documents and specifications we will submit, you may decide to proceed with construction. You will have to get your financial documents, property titles, etc. in order. At this point we will send out at least three bid sets to contractors for you and negotiate prices and schedules on your behalf. We will also document and respond to any questions the contractors may have about the proposed construction. At the end of the process we will review the bids submitted with you and recommend a course of action based on our review of the bids. You will then select the contractor that you wish to proceed with.
Depending on the level of involvement with the construction you wish to have this can be a daily on-site meeting where we review the entire job site together. It can also be a completely hands off process for you where we work with the contractor to ensure that you get the house that was drawn and specified in the construction contract documents. Your level of involvement can also vary depending on the phase of construction and your interest in what is happening. You let us know and we will be there.
As your home nears completion there will be a few last steps that we will need to take together to wrap everything up. The first is called “substantial completion”. At this point your house looks pretty much done. The contractor is just finishing up the last touches and maybe still painting a wall here or there, installing the last cover-plates on outlets, installing appliances, and other finishing touches like that. Together you, the contractor, and Green Sail will walk through the property and create a punch-list. This is a fancy way of saying a check list of the things that still need to be completed for the house to be ready for you to move in. When the contractor reports completion of these items we will all do one last walk-through together to ensure all items have been addressed and you will get the keys to your new home and we will approve the final payment to the contractor.
Ha-Ha! You thought it was over. Nope. Green Sail doesn’t walk away as soon as a project is done. We want to know how well your building performs in real life compared to what we design so that we can continue to improve. If you have any issues at all this is a great time to let us know. We will also ask for an energy, water, sewage, and waste report which you can view on your built-in home metering system and decide which information to send us if you do not wish to send everything. This will also enable us to help you pinpoint areas where you might be able to save additional energy and can also help address potential maintenance issues before they become problems. We will continue to follow up with you annually for these numbers to make sure that we have delivered on our promise to provide you with a durable, low maintenance, and highly efficient house. This data helps us refine our material specifications and our energy and performance modeling for future customers.
We know that designing and building your own home is one of the most stressful undertakings known to human-kind. Green Sail is aware of the pitfalls and has a rigorous set of processes to preempt as many of these issues as possible and minimize the stress for you, us, and the contractor so that everyone is happy at the end of the day. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and “measure twice, cut once.”
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