Whether you are undertaking a remodel or designing a new sustainable home, Living Systems provides a different kind of architectural practice; one dedicated to energy and resource efficiency and also to something called VALUE ENGINEERING, a method that both controls and reduces cost and risk while still delivering a beautifully designed and well-crafted sustainable custom home.
Let's look at this method of Design/Build in more detail. In a typical custom design and construction project, an architect draws a set of plans he or she believes will fit the client's budget. Once finished, the plans are then given to a contractor(s) for bidding. Because most architects and contractors come from separate and specialized worlds, communication is usually incomplete. As a result, buildings generally overbid by 20-40% Moreover, costs generally continue to rise throughout the construction process, itself. (READ more about containing cost in "Commentary" by John McLean)
Living Systems, however, approaches the project from a very different perspective. As both architect and contractor, the Design/Build process replaces the unnatural division with one that is seamless and dynamic where problems are addressed forthrightly and creatively with an eye always to the client's bottom line.
Another way to view value engineering is to think of it as a process of both cost and quality control from the very start. Beginning with the client's desires and input, an agreed upon budget is determined. And, because Living Systems is trained in both the architectural and construction side of the business, costs are realistic. Indeed, throughout the design process, every choice can be examined in terms of alternative construction techniques, finishes and/or product selections.
Because this process is fully transparent, the client remains in control of the budget throughout the project. Before final drawings are initiated, a detailed "pre-bid" is executed to aid the architect and client to value engineer costs once again, if necessary.
The final bid on your new sustainable home will be within your budgetary limits and groundbreaking can begin with ease.