Hi and welcome to Buildosophy, the Cirrus blog. It begins with a disclaimer;
I am somewhere in the middle of an occupation that I am very passionate about and I love to discuss. It is a practice, and I certainly do not know it all. I welcome your constructive opinions, comments and ideas, especially improvements.
“You are a master on your deathbed”
The relationship between an Architect and a Builder can and should be a harmonious one. Unfortunately, often it is not. Although the two disciplines ultimately share the same goal, they have variables, priorities and influencing factors that can align with or oppose each other as the project progresses.
YOU NEED TO BE MORE PRAGMATIC.
Architects typically will have a folio of builders they like to use, matching the right Builder for, not only the project, but the personality of the client. The Architect’s endeavor is to get enough detail to the Builder that he can do his or her job efficiently and effectively.
There are new provisions for energy efficiency coming into effect this December in the BC Building Code. They place an emphasis on air tightness and insulation. There will be an increase in minimal insulation values in attics, basements and walls. As well new code (section 9.36) will require a higher value of air tightness compared to present values.
This focus on energy efficiency adds to the relevance of ‘House as a System’ ideas and concepts. Efficiency measures that, in the past, weren’t cost effective or would take too long to realize a return on investment are now making more and more fiscal sense. So, yes, these concepts add to the initial cost of building new or substantially renovating your house. However, not only are increased efficiencies realized, but comfort and health benefits increase. Couple that with rising energy costs and you may be back in black sooner than you think.
Achieving Sustainability Affordably in Home Construction:
One of the questions on our new construction and renovation questionnaire is; ‘How important are green initiatives to you?’ This question is met with as much angst as the ‘What is your budget?’ question.
Clients squirm in their chairs like a kid who has to eat his broccoli. A client’s answer to the green initiatives question may be ‘not very’ today but 10 years from now, with sustainable products and methods becoming more affordable and energy costs becoming more costly, that answer will likely change. The program I’d like to elaborate on here is the Built Green Program; it offers measurable results in a scalable format.
Considering a renovation for your home? A Kitchen or Bathroom? An addition or even a new build? Initially you need to ascertain, approximately, what you would like to accomplish- a rough scope of the project.
Unfortunately, this is where most people immediately call prospective builders in to review and cost the job. Hopefully they are referred and hopefully you have called at least 3 of them, good and good, but how do they know what they are bidding on? They base it on the one hour conversation they have had with you and usually that’s it! Most people go into the building section process under prepared which measurably decreases builders bid accuracy.
A good builder will be able to advise a client of this needed data so the bid may be more accurate and the clients expectations are more likely to be fully realized, but what about the other 2-4 other tendered bids based solely on an initial conversation? Are they going to be equally as thorough or particular? Maybe, but highly unlikely.