Blue Ridge Architects

Architects in Harrisonburg Virginia

What to Know Before You Build

What to Know Before You Build

If you run a busy organization, the thought of launching a building project might seem overwhelming.  Maybe you’ve heard stories about design and construction projects where costs run amok, schedules drag out and the building doesn’t operate correctly when you move in. Cost, complexity, risk and busyness are all reasons for putting off the hassle of tackling a building project

Many people believe they have to know what they need before they talk to an architect. In reality there are only four things you need to know before you talk to an architect:

  1. What are the symptoms? — Doctors want you describe symptoms, not tell them what operation or prescription you think you need.  Architects are the same way.  Tell us what isn’t working; what activities don’t have space; whose office is in the former janitor’s closet; what building systems don’t work anymore.
  2. What are your priorities? – How are the current “symptoms” derailing your strategic objectives?  What are the mission-critical tasks that are hindered by your facilities?  Our diagnosis begins with making sure we understand your mission and strategic plan.
  3. How much can you spend? – Typical operating budgets can’t carry the cost of building.  Having a clear picture of what you can borrow or raise in a capital campaign is crucial. If you don’t know, we can help with rules-of-thumb and our knowledge of the lending market.
  4. How quickly do you need the solution? – The more time you have the more options you can consider.  Acute situations can determine what type of project delivery you choose.  Schedule can shape discussions about renovation vs. building new.

Typically there is more than one building solution for any given set of symptoms.  The right solution will be the one that best addresses your priorities given the time and money you have to invest. Blue Ridge Architects would love to hear about your aches and pains.  Our prescription pad is ready.