Build 2016 Construction & Engineering Awards

Build 2016 Construction & Engineering Awards 24 ohn believes that although there are several design build firms in their region, the strength of Workshop for Architecture and Workshop for Construction lies in their long standing interest on the architectural design. “Historically design build firms came out of the construction industry, and these companies typically emphasized building over design. We did not start our construction company to become contractors. We started WFORC in order to build our designs to the highest standards, whilst remaining within the clients’ budget. After working on many projects with third party general contractors, and being either disappointed at the detailing or simply exhausted by the endless discussions that led to no results, we decided that we had to build our own projects if we wanted the quality represented in our details. Much like a car company that designs and builds their vehicles, we complete our projects under one roof. This is very different to the traditional ‘bid-build’ model of project delivery that typically exists in our industry. Furthermore, from the inception of WFORA, we have been interested in sustainable design, or as we call it, simply ‘smart design’. This type of design requires a high commitment from the builder to get everything right. We feel better managing this aspect of our design rather than leaving it to any builder.” The Millerton Pool House is one of the latest projects undertaken by the firm, and is the second design build project for the client. The first project for this client was a large private residence at 21,500 square feet in size. That house employs several energy efficient systems, such as geothermal wells with seasonal heat recovery, PV panels, radiant roof panels, high R-val- ue walls and roofs, and solar hot water. “The pool house project started as a renovation of an existing structure, but quickly became a complete reconstruction project due to extensive deterioration of the building infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges on this project was to effectively address the condensation problems of the previous pool house, whilst also pushing the design envelope, literally and metaphorically. We understood that an all glass pool house would present unique challenges to our design. “One of the first recommendations we made to our client was to hire qualified engineers to be part of the team that would be dealing with indoor environmental conditions. As a result, we hired Buro Happold and Simpson Gumpertz and Heger to work with our design team. While the project team generated countless thermodynamic models to study air movement and dew points, we had the construction team investigate material properties of different design components being considered for their viability in an indoor pool environment. In the end, we balanced the intense environmental requirements with design components that will be able to endure in high humidity conditions. “As an overall approach, we look at our projects with an interest in making them perform better from an energy usage standpoint, without sacrificing any design considerations. Currently we are designing two projects using the Passive House standards, as defined by the Passive House Institute in Ger- many. Typically, these projects increase construction costs because of the intense detailing and stringent standards for building performance but we’re interested in employing them without affecting the budget. It’s a challenge, but we fully believe in the future of Passive House standards and believe that we can help lead the use of these methods in high design projects from a design build standpoint.” Workshop for Architecture and Workshop for Construction pride themselves on having regular and open communication with their clients even when it comes to discussing actual subcontractor costs. This helps to make the firm unique, as it means they can provide clients with true, meaningful estimates and an overall budget framework that can drive the design decisions, rather than the other way around. This not only gives the design team reassurance to move the project forward, but more importantly reassures the client. This “real time” cost management is something they will continue applying to all future projects. “We hope the future provides us with more opportunities to refine our design build methodology, not only in the project types we have completed, but also for new building types. We are currently designing a small firehouse using prefabricated steel building components, primarily to keep costs low. In the process, we have done research on the history of these kinds of steel building and how they fit in our built culture. What we are learning is how these buildings might be customizable for other project applications. We also hope to enter into the hospitality market going forward. We feel projects such as those are a logical progression to the expertise we have developed completing high end residential projects. We are also knowledgeable about controlling construction costs, which is a major part of hotel development.” Workshop for Architecture LLP Best Integrated Architecture & Construction Company - New York & Award for Excellence in Technically Complex Construction Workshop for Architecture and Workshop for Construction is a design build firm, interested in designing unique architectural solutions and building them to high construction standards. The architectural company was established in 2003, and started as a small firm providing a range of design services, from site planning to interior design. In 2008 the construction business was established, to execute their designs with a full service general contracting team. John Lee told us more about how their focus has always been to make the process of design and construction a rational one, in which knowledge leads to a better build. J