RLA-architecture & design
roger leblanc architect
Musings from an Architect
An ongoing series of informational entries regarding how design can make your life better!
Should I expand my office space?
October 13, 2016
Many times we find that clients do not need the expense of adding onto their building or taking over additional floor plates. Space is already available and just creative thought is required to find it.
Typically if the space was taken over from previous tenants with different business operations or if it was completed many years ago they may be inefficiently designed for your particular use! New technology has created massive changes to the way people work and communicate. Offices are different now than they were in the past. More communal work spaces ensure better communication and collaboration between workers both while working and when they are on down time. Staff claims to large office areas of 'real estate' for their personal use are no longer acceptable to progressive businesses today . Offices with walls become less necessary and typically only when a degree of security or privacy is required. Access to natural light and outside views has been determined to employee attitudes, increase productivity and even improve health, with typically less sick days usually taken.
Office furniture also now reflects this change and as a result it is typically more compact and mobile. Many businesses do not provide dedicated offices, work stations and spaces for their staff anymore depending on their business. In many offices laptops have replaced fixed computer work stations allowing workers to be more mobile and flexible allowing them to work easily at the office, at a client, at the coffee shop or even at home.
So if you think that you need more space you should talk to a professional first. We can analyze your present operations, staff requirements, existing configurations and offices and determine what is really needed. Many times your space just needs a reconfiguration and dumping your old clunky furniture and outdated equipment and replacing it with more current efficient ones. A new approach to your spacial needs is a quick exercise for a good SPACE PLANNING professional.
Contact us if you would like us to look at your present space for you!
We can help!
Consultant fees, why choosing the cheapest is not always wise!
December 5, 2016
Consultant fees are typically all over the place when a client asks for fees. Many years ago when I was talking to my preferred Structural Engineer he elaborated on this issue for me. "Cheap fees" he emphasized "can equate to quick, over or poorly designed projects which will cost everyone involved considerably more money at the end than the consulting fees that were initially saved."
This was an important learning experience for me which I now consider all the time whenever a client or potential client asks me to provide fees, when I select my consultant team or provide my description of services for my clients in a fee proposal.
Architects or any consultant for that matter, if not experienced and not diligent could easily lead a project down a 'rocky road'. Many obstacles are presented during a project. Foremost is the appropriateness of the design for budget, planning department acceptance, code compliance so on and so on.
Once down the wrong path costs sky-rocket due to potential short-sights that may not be apparent to the client initially especially with inexperienced clients. Client expectations go far beyond producing a great looking building!
Difficulties with a poorly conceived or unrealistic project most definitely will end up with extra design or in fact complete total 'redesign' affecting both project schedule and project costs for everyone involved!
The creativity and skill of an Architect goes far beyond the creation of a 'pretty building'!