Todd Thomson Hosts Montana State University – U.S. Green Building Council

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Todd Thomson Hosts Montana State University – U.S. Green Building Council Annual Summit

Montana State University School of Architecture, College of Engineering and Licensed Practicing Professionals were recently extended an opportunity to view and experience a best-in-class, LEED Platinum residence located in Big Sky, Montana.  A well-known, picturesque, iconic Cabin has transformed how people view our natural world and construction practice everywhere, and was the focus of an exclusive one day event hosted by Mr. Thomson.

Todd S. Thomson is the Chairman of Dynasty Financial Partners http://dynastyfinancialpartners.com/, accomplished global practitioner and adviser of mergers, acquisitions & investments; serving as a Board Member of the World Resource Institute, and advocate of strategies and practice that have a real time impact on health, while promoting responsible, clean energy use.

Project Architect, Dan Turvey of Dan Joseph Architects states “It is befitting that America’s most admired, small home is also located where environmental responsibility is advocated above all else”.  http://www.djawest.com/

Learn more about the U.S. Green Building Council – Montana Chapter by visiting http://www.usgbcmontana.org/annual-summit-2015.html  #djawest

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John Wayne – Signature Series Architecture

John Wayne – Signature Series Architecture #djawest Dan Joseph Architects in associations with John Wayne Enterprises have agreed to define the indescribable; discover the Art of Western Architecture, visit Dan Joseph Architects at http://www.djawest.com/signature_series.htm to read more and to request a News Letter introducing this very special opportunity!

Faithful Inns

Faithful Inns

Service Mark – Faithful Inns

FAITHFUL #djawest Over the past one hundred years tens-of-millions of people have walked into the lobby of the historic “Old Faithful Inn”; for generations “Faithful” has become synonymous with shelter, rest and relaxation for travelers the world over.

Without question brand is the most sustainable, competitive advantage there is; become the proud owner of an instantly recognizable name for your Brand holdings of: Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Services; Hotels; Resort Hotels in Class 43 (U.S LS.100 and 101).

FAITHFUL Service Mark – Stylized Brand & Domain Name

United States Patent and Trademark Office Reg. No. 3,220,207

Price: $3.3 Million (USD)

Portfolio of properties and/or narrative of intended use required.
Contact Dan at:  info@djawest.com

Dan Joseph Architects, LLC
http://www.djawest.com/

Thinking of Building? Think “Design/Build”

Thinking of Building?  "Think Design/Build"

Pierce Lake Professional Center by Dan Joseph Architects

Thinking of Building? Think “Design/Build” #djawest :  Construction delivery is changing before our very eyes. Design–Build previously known as just another option to the built solution may now be the most preferred method of the built response. The old method in the separation of design and construction is not the standard in many other more complex and cost driven industries. Why then has there been a separation in building design and the construction process?

Well, formally and until just 1978, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct suggested that architects should not be allowed to participate in the construction process of any project, including design-build project delivery. Now repealed, owners are now choosing design-build for a number of good reasons (see attachment link below), including: Single Source for Design and Construction, Quicker Project Delivery, Guaranteed Project Pricing, Minimized Claims and Damages, Extended Product Warranties.

Further, Design-Build keeps the appropriate stake holders involved in the process from concept to turn-key, by formally integrating all entities into a simplified contractual agreement of “Single Source Accountability.”

ARE ALL ARCHITECTS CAPABLE OF PROVIDING SINGLE SOURCE DELIVERY SERVICES?

The standard prerequisite is experience, capacity and diligence; therefore it is fair to say that not all Architects are equal in delivering a Design-Build service. However, the risk of taking on a professional practitioner that lacks experience in the built response can be greatly diminished by insisting that the Architect pre-qualify and collaborate with a well respected and capable Construction Manager.

WHAT QUALIFIES A CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AS CAPABLE?

As in any endeavor a successful track record over a number of years is an important benchmark; but no less important is the utilization of a proven process and the comprehension to a number of related topics including:

Costing of Preliminary Design, Design Development and the final Construction Document (Uniformat, WBS, Master Format), including Request for Information (RFI’s), General Conditions, Allowances, Equipment Rentals, Estimated Costs, Solicitation of Bids (RFP’s), Self Performance, Cost Plus Work (T&M), Pay Applications, Change Orders, Wavier of Liens, Sworn Statements, Project Scheduling, On Site Supervision, Safety Program, Owner Review Documentation-Disclosures, Insurance, Bonding Capacity and other similar relevant matters.

VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY

Long gone are the days of Cost Plus Services (commonly known as Time & Material Agreements), when it was sufficient to enumerate a list of activities that equaled an owner proposed budget. Project expenditures can equal millions of dollars and each listed item of service or expense must be verifiable in both quantity and unit cost modified to equal regional norms.

Believe it or not there are still some contractors in the industry that will start with a proposed budget under a “Cost Plus” and will quickly allocate by percentage to multiple pages of cost, with no verifiable means in which to support the data of expense shared. Simply stated, if the line item is not quantified, it is not valid, should be held as suspect and is likely erroneous!

Engaging a process that is not verifiable results in one of two outcomes; the first is in the proclamation that the final cost is under the overall budget. Such a declaration is meaningless; with some diligence in review, it will be revealed that while some line items are much less then anticipated, many more are over….either way the owner will likely have paid much more then the value of the total work provided in a game of pushing numbers to match an inflated, unverified, misrepresentation of expenditure.

The second possible outcome of an unverified process of project delivery is a long parade of Requests for Change Orders. Change Orders can either be for deductions (reduced scope of work, substitution of means, methods or materials), or for adds. The emphasis here is Change Order Adds or a Request for Change Orders that inflate the final contract amount. If the unverified sum proposed is undervalued, say due to an error of not pumping the number high enough for a safe outcome, the result will be in the form of a dreaded Change Order.

So take note…predictable project expenditures will require consistent, verifiable means of back checking; and in the absence of quantifiable measures, your final project cost will most certainly exceed your expectations.

(Please note that some Change Order Adds are legitimate, such as: Owner driven requests for change, unknown below surface conditions, missing detail, etc. and will not be expanded upon during this brief discussion.)

THE PERFECT STORM

By example here is one scenario that you should avoid at all costs.

The contractor is charming, energetic, articulate, they also appear to be competent and have completed a few projects in the area; in fact they may have even been introduced by an acquaintance or friend that was introduced to the contractor in the same unsuspecting manner. Accomplishments are often times exaggerated, as they confidently offer to cost out your project. Within a few days or sooner they will have quickly presented you with an estimate, likely well before any other reputable contractor and at a price that appears to be competitive.

Interested, you invite them back for another discussion. During this meeting you may feel a little rushed; as the contractor talks about pending weather, a backlog of work or perhaps that labor and material pricing is at an all time low…”now’s the time to act” you are told. During your discussion a budget that appears very well organized and detailed, over many categories and a number of pages is pushed across the table. In your review it appears to all be all accounted for, plainly stated and best of all the contractor has offered to perform this work on a cost plus basis.

Cost Plus you are told is by where all work is completed for the submitted cost and a reasonable margin will be added to the bill later for overhead and profit. You talk about the margin of mark-up and settle on a percentage that works well for both parties. During this meeting or perhaps later on you are presented with an agreement where the basis of payment is “Cost of the Work” plus a fee and there is no “Guarantee of Cost”. Wow what a deal…you are only going to pay for cost and a small margin of mark-up to oversee your project!

At this point you willingly sign the agreement, pay the deposit and work commences. However upon the first pay request some of the costs have been exceeded and suddenly you are confronted with requests for Change Orders (a formal document that inflates the contract sum). After several months into construction a pattern of busting budgets and requesting change orders is well established. You are told that while some items have exceeded expectations, many others are under and the in the end it will all even out. You aren’t happy, but you feel stuck…what can you do; you’ve got to finish the project? If you pull the plug now, it becomes just a heap of uncompleted work; you will loose momentum, be distracted from your work and will end up with yet a larger headache. You decide to bite the bullet and sign off on the change orders.

Truth be told…far too many good natured and unsuspecting home owners have been down this bumpy road. But what can you do, how do you build the home of your dreams for a fair and predicable price? Here is some practical advice….

First, I highly recommend that large scopes of work be delivered under a Design-Build enterprise; dollars will be maximized under this arrangement and allows you to be in control of the project every step of the way. Next, if you are determined to work under a separate agreement for the built solution, have several reputable, competent and capable contractors competitively bid the project…per plans and specifications, under a Lump Sum–Fixed Fee Agreement. The price will be competitive, is guaranteed and change orders will be less frequent. Lastly…if you are determined to work under a Cost Plus arrangement be forewarned….

Under a Cost Plus agreement profit incentives invite the following: Less on-site management (reduced overhead for the contractor, more cost to you, shoddy workmanship, mistakes), a buddy system of sub-trade selection (higher pricing, inappropriate gifts or referral fees, no competition), delayed and extended schedules (padding down time between projects, increasing profits, working on other projects), requests for multiple change orders (costs exceeding a poorly estimated and managed project expense), work performed is on your clock not theirs (dramatically increasing labor costs, hiring of incompetent craftsman, inaccurate or false reporting of time, material, equipment, etc.), increased cost of equipment rentals (the longer the equipment is on site the more margin paid the contractor)…the list goes on and on and on.

At the very least…if you are going to move forward under a Cost Plus arrangement despite the many pitfalls and disadvantages, require the following:

i.) That each itemized line of expense be supported with “units of measure” (cubic yards, square foot, tons, board feet, per item, allowance, man-days, etc) and the “price per unit”, that can be compared to the architects take-off and other competing contractors estimates. Remember…in the absence of these “units”, the estimate and thus the proposal or agreement is bogus!

ii.) After confirming all units of measure to the plans, estimates, etc. approve of the amount(s) as an “NTX” or a “Not to Exceed” only. In other words the amount noted is the cap…approval is not granted for sums exceeding this amount. However, this arrangement will not guarantee you a price that will be less then the sum proposed; and in fact will likely equal or exceed the amount noted in the desire to earn all available sums within grasp of the contractor.

iii.) Be leery of work self performed by a contractor that can be competitively bid for less by outside sub-trades.

iv.) Watch for material, finishes, or equipment, etc. substitutions that reduce the cost that are not translated into a savings for you or the project; but rather improve the contractor’s margin of profit only. e.g.: windows, flooring, hardware, roofing, furnaces, etc., etc.

Wrapping up…many contractors are reputable, honest and deserving of praise and sums paid for their service; this example has been provided in the attempt to help the unsuspecting from becoming victims of tactics by dishonest business practices known to exist in the market place.

CONCLUSION

With decades of construction specific and professional service experience, Dan Joseph Architects http://www.djawest.com/ is ready to assist with your project needs. We have prepared a list of pre-qualified contractors and continue to interview, audit process and capacity to meet the growing list of tomorrows demand. Give us a call and discover the joys and the many advantages of a Design-Build Team for your next project!

POINTS TO REMEMBER

1. A Design-Build relationship keeps all stake holders actively involved as “Single Source” accountable from concept to completion.

2. Not all architects are capable of delivering an effective Design-Build service; qualify experience, capacity and diligence.

3. Design Build is the most competitive, timely project delivery system known, as supported by intensive study (see attachment below)

4. When selecting a Contractor, a successful track record over a number of years is an important benchmark; but no less important is the utilization of a proven process and the comprehension to a wide range of related topics.

5. Most importantly…predictable project expenditures require consistent, verifiable means of back checking; and in the absence of quantifiable measures, your final project cost will most certainly exceed your expectations!

6. Stay away from “Cost Plus” agreements for large scoped projects.

Click on the link below to view Design Build attachment:

http://www.djawest.com/DesignBuildBrochure.pdf

Mountains of Montana

Mountains of Montana

Headwaters Camp Trail – Pioneer Mountain View

Architect’s Journal Entry

MOUNTAINS OF MONTANA #djawest :   Well the day finally came.  I had postponed the dreaded walk since the very day I had arrived early last week.  My discomfort in taking a quiet trek near the origins of the Gallatin River by way of the Headwaters Camp trail wasn’t due to impossibly deep snow; where only a couple of inches had accumulated and that in the heart of winter would have easily equaled several feet.  Nor was there any concern for Grizzly Bears known to frequent these parts; that during a period of hyper-aphasia or storing of last minute calories may have decided that I was the equivalent of a Happy Meal.  No, the real crux of the problem was that I had saved this one remaining experience over a week long visit in review of completed works for my last day, and now that day had come all too quickly.

Words cannot possibly begin to convey a feeling or emotion well enough to be shared or understood by others.  How does one capture the sense of place, song, passage or remembrance that moves the heart or soul?  Such things are often deeply personal and occur in a moment of silence; the kind of silence I had experienced while in the palm of Lone Mountain, the Pioneer Range and Cedar located deep within the confines of the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana http://www.yellowstoneclub.com/  I was once again humbled and pretty sure that it was a hapless snow flake that had caused my eyes to blur in a swell of appreciation, admiration and respect for this magnificent place.

Front page news of the economy, war, politics and paying the bills have been too much of a distraction for all of us in recent days and during this final walk of solitude the mountains gave me pause, perspective and demanded my full attention in a way that only this kind of place could.

During this time of uncertainty may we all think of the Mountains…for our walk in life can sometimes be too brief and may pass all too quickly; be grateful for family, friends and distant places.  For true value resides in such things; events and circumstance will change by the day, however may the things that matter most to you and yours remain forever like the Mountains of Montana!’  http://www.djawest.com/

Dan Joseph + Associates Master Builder

blueprint for construction work with helmet and tools

Dan Joseph + Associates
Master Builder

Dan Joseph Architects now offers Master Builder Services.

Question:  What is a Master Builder?

Answer:  A Master Builder is a career path and chosen profession where real time construction experience is augmented with formal education, rigorous examination and licensure.

Within one person there exists the following capacity.

  1. Design Responsibility – Including deep artistic abilities, design knowledge, drawing skills and an intrinsic understanding of people, environment and dwellings; a formal structured education for shaping and constructing all elements of the built response (including buildings, parts of buildings, landscaping and the urban environment).
  2. Responsibility for Construction – Expert knowledge of construction as obtained from higher education, examination and actual construction experience, on-site project management (involving leadership, organization, supervising workers, financial oversight and artistic discernment).
  3. Complete and total authority on the Building Site – Authority over all on-site activities including design, construction decisions; authority over all workers and unquestioned authority over the entire construction phase from start to finish.

Master Builders greatly differ from today’s Architect or Contractor; in breadth, scope and depth of responsibility.  Today’s Master Builder is a licensed, fully insured Architect who has practiced and thrived in the public arena of a competitive, bid-build industry.

Question:  Why has Dan Joseph Architects elected to offer Design-Build Services as Dan Joseph + Associates, Master Builder?

Answer:  The continued practice of allocating various portions of responsibility separately to Architects and Contractors can no longer be debated as the most practical or cost effective method of project delivery.

Summarizing, placing sole project responsibility in the hands of an ethical, effective, experienced and fully transparent Master Builder, consolidates accountability, preserves integrity and will result in the best solution for the least cost.

At Dan Joseph + Associates we have chosen our career path as that of a Master Builder; we are highly educated in our discipline, have been subjected to rigorous testing and licensing requirements, and have thrived in a open market of a competitive bid-build practice.

Give Dan Joseph + Associates a call…or feel free to visit us in Big Sky, Montana; we offer innovative solutions, are always an Owner’s advocate and welcome the opportunity to assist you with your future Architecture and Construction needs. #djawest

Dan Joseph + Associates, LLC
PO Box 12770
Jackson, Wyoming  83002

Ph 307.733.3735

Dan Joseph Architects – It’s in My Nature

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It’s in My Nature #djawest

Remaining faithful to nature and thus to a greater truth is organic architecture’s yardstick.  Organic architecture should begin and evolve naturally; allowing buildings to emerge from the ground with a sense of belonging.  Nothing is arbitrary, but rather a natural harmony or rhythm as opposed to something strained.

These attributes have also defined my career of assisting clients and companies; refining goals and achieving aspirations alike.  Rare and uniquely qualified, I am a multi-talented and broadly experienced Architect and Construction Administrator; naturally evolving within a challenging and demanding profession.

Beginning as a competitive Bid-Build Contractor, I founded one of the top Contracting firms in the nation. It was during this period that I recognized knowing how to build was a matter of science and technology that often times calls into question ethics and aesthetic responsibility.  Equipped with this knowledge, my desire has been to empower Owner’s from a critical, responsible and fully informed perspective.

I truly enjoy the practice of Architecture.  Applying a comprehensive understanding of the built environment with a professional and artistic response, I design and create unique solutions including structures, relationships and results that are deserving of your consideration.

Specialties: Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) as a “Single Point of Contact Service.”
Award Winning Master Planning & Design
Dependable Cost Analysis
Owner’s Project Representation

Dan Joseph Architects, LLC
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Djawest.com