6 out of 7 of my Unique Selling Propositions (USP) apply to small domestic projects where a simplified approach is a welcomed one.
I illustrate my approach to small projects using a typical package for the construction stage (post concept design) for a little project I worked on: a garage converted into a residential annex ("granny house") that it is currently under construction.
I have developed this package over the years specifically for domestic projects knowing exactly what is at stake here: limited budget and unlimited dreams, practical issues and emotional involvement, the need to trust and understand, desire of controlling and necessity of delegating.
The 7th USP of mine is an exclusive service based on Building Information Modelling (BIM), tailored for medium size projects, and development schemes where a more laborious process is required (Tender, Design Management, etc).
Drawings are not always clear.
CGIs (Computer Generated Images) provide just a taste.
But 360° images bring you into the middle of the space to be.
This is the best way to choose materials and finishes while exploring different options.
In this case I illustrate two different approaches to finishes and colours (Industrial Poetry and Romantic Pattern) specifically tailored for this project.
During the construction stage, besides the impression, it is important to refer to actual products available on the market as they have specific size, finishes, cost, etc.
In most domestic projects clients are happy to procure materials by themselves.
However, technical expertise is necessary to find the right selection of products.
Ensuring that what is designed will be delivered requires conveying all the information to the builder, contractor, specialist, etc.
Elaborated construction packages, which are necessary in a medium size and complex scheme, may be useless in small domestic projects (too much information= no information),
if there is no need for a Tender package, I adopt a much more practical, time-effective, cost-saving approach: all is needed, when is needed, to those who need it.
In this case, a package of technical information that includes General Construction Information, Special Setting Out, Details for finishes, etc.
Sometimes clients think that once they have the drawings and a builder, the rest is straightforward.
The rest is called Project Management and it is anything but straightforward: PM brings together the design (and the architect) with the construction (and the contractor). This includes coordinating activities and managing the procurement (selecting and buying specific products, delivered to site on time).
I can offer to manage the project or, alternatively, I assist my clients.
Preparing the Procurement Document (the shopping list for Finishes, Fittings , and Fixtures to be purchased directly by the client as all building materials should be procured by the contractor) is a way to get clients involved in PM activities.
The Procurement document is a livedocument, shared on Dropbox or Google Drive, constantly updated by me and the clients: I add the technical information, description, product reference information. The clients can search alternatives, find a better price, and, once the order is placed, delivery information.
Sometimes a bespoke piece of furniture, designed exclusively for a project, is required.
Furniture design is one of my side activities and I enjoy working with trusted joinery makers.
Revolving bookcases, extendable dining tables, are some of my most recent space-saving furniture designs.
When the use of a particular piece of joinery is slightly complicated to explain, a simple animation is the best way to describe a concept: in this example, a double door that enables the extension of the small Gym space towards the garden.
Short animation to illustrate a bespoke piece of furniture.
Architects usually use websites to show-off.
I use my web site to show you in.
Every project has a dedicated mini web-site (such as these pages with 360 CGIs, Drawings to download, spreadsheet, etc) to collect all the information as the project develops.
This is much more effective than emails, attachments, emails to correct mistakes and replace attachments, etc.
The dedicated mini-website is not made public and is only accessible by me, the clients, and sometimes the builder. It is up to the client if they want to share it with family and friends to show them the project in the making.
Depending on the complexity of the project and particular circumstances, the mini web site can have one or more pages.
One of the pages could be The Captain's Logbook. This is not just the best way to keep record of progress of the works, but it is also a way for bringing the clients on site being perfectly safe at home, like the example below made for a client living abroad.
Bigger projects and development schemes require a specific approach.
In these cases, efficiency and cost control are paramount.
I have developed an exclusive service based on Building Information Modelling (BIM) which is designed to deliver at the medium size scale what is now mandatory for large projects: