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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861
http://designlinearchitects.com

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architectural design

Architectural Project Management (Contd.)

Architectural project management is a much more specialized form of project management

Hire a Professional Architect | 480-710-3861

Hire a Professional Architect | 480-710-3861

Architectural Design and Project Management

What is project management?  According to the Association of Project Management:

“Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives.

General
A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. A project is usually deemed to be a success if it achieves the objectives according to their acceptance criteria, within an agreed timescale and budget.

However, many business employers call for them to hold any pertinent specialized degree, including Bachelor involving Architecture (B. Arc. ). Architectural task managers also needs to manage to balancing specialized skills together with creative natural talent while on the toes. They should be well-versed together with architectural rules, engineering software, building edicts in addition to blueprints to be able to communicate together with clients in addition to colleagues properly.

The core components of project management are:

  • defining the reason why a project is necessary;
  • capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and timescales;
  • preparing a business case to justify the investment;
  • securing corporate agreement and funding;
  • developing and implementing a management plan for the project [READ MORE]

Architectural Projects

They layout and manage several stages to create projects. They manage portions of the layout and building processes by site prep to making completion. The supervisory roles they should be carry out call for a significant array of skills in addition to their training, training in addition to licensure.

Architectural task managers make certain that construction initiatives meet functional, safety, structural, zoning in addition to environmental expectations. They identify and program different stages of the building process according to the client’s desires. While browsing the building site, they look at progress in addition to determine no matter if all elements of the building process will be in conformity together with building plans plus the project end date. After completion of the building, they might supply additional services intended for expansion or perhaps relocation initiatives, should there be described as a need.

Through use of effective in addition to efficient executive project management, the complexities of building processes don’t need to be overwhelming. And with the help of a licensed and professional architect, they can be made a lot easier.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Remodeling Projects Part 1: Natural Light

Part one of a series on remodeling projects covers the addition of natural light fixtures to an existing home or business.

Natural Light in Architectural Design 

Call in an Architect to Remodel Your Business | 480-710-3861

Using natural light effectively in an architectural design is important both aesthetically and psychologically.  One of our clients in Scottsdale bought a building to set up their new corporate headquarters.  The building was antiquated and made at a time when everyone seemed to love fluorescent lighting.  When we were remodeling the place, the client was at a loss for what to do where light was concerned.  We installed about three or four skylights, including one large one in the lobby area.  We removed the popcorn plaster ceiling and rerouted the ventilation shafts.

What was a dilapidated eyesore changed into a corporate showpiece, and all because we added some natural light.  However, it isn’t just skylights that can help with natural light.  With the right windows designed by an architectural firm, you can have the best of both worlds, with glare reduction woven together with natural light.

Architects and Window Design

Sometimes, when a building was designed, the tastes of the times dominated the design.  As a result, there are some building designerss that were so keen on the introduction of electric light, that they walled off windows to take advantage of the “marvel of the modern age.”  As a result, a lot of older buildings have an oppressive feel because of the lack of natural light.  By consulting an architect, you can place a window appropriately, without compromising the structural integrity of the building, and also avoiding putting a window that will catch far too much sunlight.

So remember that natural light is a wonderful addition to a building.  It gives people a morale boost, and allows you to save money on electricity.  So if you want to add natural light to your building design, call in an architect.

This concludes part one of our series.  For more information on remodeling projects, be sure to read part two and part three as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Architects and Architectural Design Part 2: An Architect’s Duties

Part two of our series on architects and architectural design explores the duties of an architect.

What Does an Architect Do?

An Architect Can Help You Build Your Dreams | 480-710-3861

lot of times people ask what they think is a stupid question: “what does an architect do?” A lot of other people assume that all we do is make up blueprints, and that’s it. However, an architect follows a deliberate and step laden process to get from conception all the way to the doors opening. Here are the first steps in the architectural process.

Step 1: The initial interview with the client.  This is more than just finding out what the client wants.  During the interview, both the client and the architect see if the partnership will be a good fit.  The architect shows off his portfolio, and goes over their normal process with the client.

Step 2: Gathering information.  This is where the architect visits the site to review the conditions he will be working with. If the project is from the ground up, a surveyor may be called, otherwise, a set of plans for the structure as is is provided.  These plans are readily available at the city/county as a rule.

The Architectural Process

The third step of the process can be summed up by a question: how feasible is my architectural project?  Using the  information from step two this  is where an architect prepares a couple of designs.  So as you see, there is a lot of pre-work before the project begins in earnest.  We will discuss more of this process in our next article.

For now, know that an architect is about more than just drawing plans.

This concludes part two of our series.  For more information on architects and architectural design, be sure to read part one and part three as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Architects and Architectural Design Part 1: Architectural Styles

Part one of a series on architects and architectural design focuses on architectural styles.

What is Architectural Style?

Architectural Style is a Fusion of Form and Function | 480-710-3861

According to this excerpt from Wikipedia.Org, “An architectural style is characterized by the features that make it notable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, materials, and regional character. Most architecture can be classified as a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology or materials which make new styles possible. Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society and are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. The new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism (means “after modernism”) which has in recent years found its own language and split into a number of styles with other names. [READ MORE]

All architecture is a combination of form and function.  Some architecture has become iconic.  Look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York. One key axiom of modern architecture is that form is secondary to function. In other words, the architect must design a building that does what it supposed to.  A library for example has different needs than say a data center or a fine arts museum

The Balancing Act: An Architect and the Roles He Plays

An architect does more than just create some blueprints.  Usually an architect is involved at every stage of the process, and can be an administrator, a financial expert, and other areas that people don’t realize.  Our next article will explore these roles in more depth.

And what of architectural style? Remember, that unless you have given an architect carte blanche, you will always have the final say of how your building is going to look.

This concludes part one of our series.  For more information on architects and architectural design, be sure to read part two and part three as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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The Many Hats of an Architect Part 2: Mechanical and Electrical

An architect is more than just about design.  He’s also an expert in multiple areas of specialty, including: mechanical, structural, electrical, geo-technical, and civil.  Part two of our series explores mechanical and electrical engineering.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and a Phoenix Architect

An architect can help with a project, regardless of how big or small it is

Call in an architect for commercial or residential projects | (480) 710-3861

Does an architect in Phoenix deal with mechanical engineering?  Not on a residential project, but definitely on an industrial or commercial project one would, yes. First off, though, what is mechanical engineering?  “Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools.[1] It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.” [READ MORE]

Say an architect is designing an industrial space, he would need to know a bit about mechanical engineering or work with a mechanical engineer on the design team.  And what about an electrical engineer?

Electrical Engineers and Architects

Electrical engineers design complex power systems.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that a building is more than just walls and floors.  It is a sophisticated combination of logistics, aesthetics,  and components that all must work together or the design is flawed.  So the power system must be able to be included in the architectural design, and everything on a mechanical level must work with the power system as well as the building design.  The more complex a commercial project is, the more an architect should be involved.

So as you see, a commercial project is just that, a project.  It involves ingenuity, discipline, and above all else, coordination.  And who is the best person to coordinate it all?  Why, a Phoenix architect of course.

This concludes part two of our series on commercial architects.  Be sure to read part one as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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The Process of a Phoenix Architect Part 2: The Practical Side

Part two of our series on the process of a Phoenix architect explores the more mundane side of a project.  Be sure to read part one of this series as well.

An Architectural Project:  Plans and Dollar Amounts

DesignLine Architects 480-710-3861

As a professional architect, I get asked one question above all others:  how much will this architectural project cost?  The best way to answer this depends on one’s approach.  The cost question must be answered quickly so that the project can proceed.  First off, you must know the answer to some questions.

What’s your budget?  What about your design goals?  How flexible are you regarding your budget as well as your architectural design goals.  If you identify both your budget and design goals, an architectural firm can provide you with  a low cost conceptual design package. If you need a building that holds 400 people, and your design goals will comfortably fit 200, then you need to expand your design, which in turn will impact your budget.  You must be willing to have up to 20% flexibility on your budget at this stage.

Once your conceptual design and budget align, the project enters into the final phase of the design phase.  At this stage, you must allow up to 10% +/- the cost. You must also start looking into materials and finishes at this point.

An Architectural Project:  From Design to Reality

Before the project is complete, everything must be in place.  There should be no technical issues, and nothing should be out of place on whatever level, be it mechanical, structural, electrical, geo-technical, or civil.  An architect is more than a designer, he is also an administrator, and someone that communicates with the city and/or county governments. He is your representative to the appropriate government entities.

So as you see, the design process is more than just blueprints and budgets.  It is a complex trail that involves a lot of paperwork as well as patience.  And who is  your guide?  Your local architect of course.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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The Process of a Phoenix Architect Part 1

Architecture is a process that results in a finished product.  With that in mind, why wouldn’t you want a process to be followed when you’re looking at either building something from the ground up, or making some improvements?

A Phoenix Architect and Continuous Communication

An architect can help with a project, regardless of how big or small it is

Call in an architect for commercial or residential projects | (480) 710-3861

You know what often separates a triumph from a fiasco?  Communication at all steps of the process is key. While projects undertaken by a Phoenix architect often determine their own courses of action, they usually follow a  pattern.  For example, the first meeting should always be a complimentary consultation.

Architectural consultation should be all about ideas and discussion.  It’s a good time to have your documentation in order, and have field measurements and pictures taken.    At the end of the consultation, it’s a good idea to plan if and how to move further into the design process.

The Architectural Design Process

When you’re going through the architectural design process, you should start to get ideas from your architect.  This in turn leads to a conceptual design.  During this process, things start coming into balance.  What’s practical is balanced by what’s aesthetically pleasing.  On the subject of practicality, your architect is also a guide, and can help you navigate the often complex rules regarding building codes and permits at various levels of government. This is the point that you start entering into the practical phase of your design.

It isn’t as simple as just buying some building materials, hiring some workmen, and putting the building up.  A lot of people have some unreasonable expectations.  A good design will take several weeks to even months to complete.  While you may balk at that time-frame consider this.  Wouldn’t you rather have the building done right, and not have to worry about things like fines or even criminal charges?  That’s why you hire an architect in Phoenix.

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Accelerated Tempe Building Permits

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Tempe offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

Tempe Buliding PlansObtaining approved building permit  in Tempe has been put on a “fast track” for those who are planning for minor commercial tenant improvement for your business OR for a minor home renovation.  These special programs will significantly shorten the plan review and building permit approval process.

City of Tempe Building Permits

Over The Counter Plan Review

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Permit.  The Building Permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

  1. Minor residential additions not exceeding $10,000.00 valuation, patio covers, interior remodels, detached accessory structures, carport to garage conversions, covered patio to livable, and mobile home permits.
  2. Residential Fire Damage Repairs under 50% damage if the Fire Damage Report is available.
  3. Counter plan review may be provided for commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) given the following situations:
  • Under 3,000 sq. ft. for Business Offices (no medical offices)
  • Under 1,500 sq. ft. for Mercantile space
  • Under 15,000 sq. ft. for storage of Low Hazard Storage less than 12’ in height.
  • Fire Damage “ Restore to Original” with no structural requirements
  • Depending upon the complexity of the work to be constructed, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) plans for any tenant space under a, b, or c above.
  • All other Occupancies—Multi-Family Residential, Medical Office, Assembly, Educational, Factory or Manufacturing, Hazardous, and Institutional Occupancies will require submittal.

3.    A counter plan review will NOT be provided when any of the following conditions exist:

  • A Notice to Comply has been issued for Construction Without Permits
  • A Change of Occupancy or revision of required exiting will occur upon completion of construction
  • A Use Permit, Parking Variance, etc. is required from Planning
  • Changes to the exterior of the building which will require Planning approval, including roof top changes that add equipment extending above the parapet, exterior lighting changes, window and door changes, paint scheme changes, etc.
  • Residential expansion larger than 25% on retention lots requiring engineering approval.
  • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing which is part of a pending building project or a building project not suitable for over the counter permits.
  • Projects where structural calculations are required.

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City Of Tempe Building Permits

Tempe house plans

Building Safety Department
21 E. Sixth St., Suite 208
31 E. Fifth St., East Garden Level
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Phone: 480.350.8341
Fax: 480.350.8677

How Do I Know if I Need a Permit in Tempe?

You May Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Upgrading your counter tops.
  • Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Tempe architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Tempe building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Tempe

Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Case Study – Prescription for a Master Bath Remodel : master bathroom remodel.

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

When Dawn, a San Francisco Pharmacist, decided to move closer to her grandkids in Chandler, she found an amazing home that was more than what the doctor ordered.   But despite this home’s idyllic location in an exclusive gated Arizona community, Dawn knew that her first move was to renovate her dark, out dated Master Bathroom.

Using a trusted referral for a reputable, licensed contractor, Dawn called Ken from Behrmann Home Basics (BHB) to start work immediately.  Ken knew that a quick hand sketch would help Dawn visualize a few alternate ideas for her Master Bath Remodel.  So he brought in Gilbert Architect Doug Rusk from DESIGNLine Architects to help Dawn make sense of the many design choices available.

With her casual / contemporary styling preference and a flexible budget in mind, Dawn’s main requirement was to remove the Master Bath Tub in order to make room for a large walk-in shower.  Below are pictures of the original Master Bathroom, showing the dated tub/shower combination and two small windows over the vanity.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Although Doug’s first sketches of Option’s 1 & 2 worked reasonably well (shown above), it was Option #3 (shown below) that Dawn immediately knew was the Master Bathroom renovation she wanted.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Master Bathroom Remodel – Scope of Work

In addition to removing the Master Bath Tub in order to make room for a large walk-in shower, Dawn wanted the mirrors on the closet doors replaced with a wood paneled door in her Master Bathroom Remodel.  She also wanted an electric hair dryer available to grab at a moment’s notice from one of the drawers under the sink that was already plugged in (SHOWN ABOVE).  For the borders over the shower and the vanity splash, we used colorful glass tile.

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

Below are pictures taken during the construction phase, showing the framing, plumbing and electrical work inside the walls.  During the short construction phase, the BHB construction team did an amazing job of installing plastic walls with zippers to seal off the construction zone from the main home.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential design and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

 

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CASE STUDY– Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

A recent office tenant improvement we performed for a national insurance company showcases a great example of why some businesses are more successful than others.   When you’re an insurance business that focuses all day on helping other businesses and individuals with risk prevention, damage protection and safety & Loss control, it’s no surprise to find they are just as smart at handling their own office tenant improvement in a similar way.

So when Mary, their regional Project Manager, needed a reputable General Contractor for her company’s 2875 SF office tenant improvement project in Mesa, she called Joe Harris, managing partner of AZ Construction, LLC.   Joe’s first move was to confirm this project qualified for the “Permit By Inspection” program offered by the City of Mesa for minor tenant improvements projects.  His second move was to retain Doug Rusk, a principal with DESIGNLine Architects, LLC ASAP, who he knew would make him look good to his client by expediting their design/permit submittal package.  And because our client Mary provided a detailed specification package that described all their project goals, Doug’s design team needed only 21 business days from signed design contract to obtain City approved building permit in order to start construction. And Joe’s team needed only 20 business days from building permit approval to finish construction so the tenant could move in.

TENANT IMPROVEMENT  MESA

And as a result of our team’s continuous communication with the City of Mesa, we discovered that the current drinking fountain code requirement could be reduced to only requiring drink cups next to the break room sink.  So including the plumbing work that would have been required, this saved the client over $1200.

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement – Scope of Work

Overall, the tenant improvement scope of work on this project was relatively straightforward:

– Removed several decorative walls and ceiling elements in the main room.

– Remove the old ceiling work, and replaced with a new 11’-4” high T-bar ceiling, modified layout of lights and mechanical as required.

– Removed glass door wall in order to open up the front entry.

– Built 3 new walls to create one new office and two conference room. Painted Orange contract color on new office walls shown on left in photo above).

– Added all the necessary electrical outlets, power panel updates, lighting and data lines necessary for 12 cubical work stations.

– Updated paint and flooring throughout entire 2875 SF space.

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

Have you noticed the growing number of unattended office lobbies these days?  In order to create efficiencies in our tenant improvement, we down sized the fancy lobby and instead positioned one of the typical workstations to act as the reception (see image above).

After removing the curved, multi-height ceiling elements and added the new office and conference room (see left side of top picture), we installed a new single height ceiling grid.   We saved $1600 by carefully designing the new ceiling grid and lighting so that we didn’t have to move too many fire sprinkler heads.  Per Mesa Fire Department codes if you relocate no more than 9 fire sprinkler heads, then you will not be required to submit complete fire sprinkler design drawings to the City of Mesa.

Office Tenant Improvement – Location is Key:

So if you’re business will benefit more exposure, consider some of the moves our subject insurance client performed:

Find a prominent corner location on a busy intersection with a gas station next door. – Provides great drive by exposure to drivers waiting at a stop light.

Locate your business between nationally franchised restaurants on one side and a Fed-Ex type postage delivery store on the other side. This will provide continuous walk by traffic that will build familiarity to your brand.

For other great ideas, read this:  Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial tenant improvement for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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