• Studying residential architecture

    As a child, one of the many professions I considered for serious study was building architecture. I loved LEGO and drawing at the time. So, it made sense to pursue this type of work. While I eventually focused more on computer based work, I remember my days of thinking that constructing a building would be fun. To that end, I have revisited some of those ideas for the purpose of my future home. I’m not the type to simply dream. I want to learn and apply my knowledge to the near future. Below are some videos I drew inspiration for designing the layout of my new home.

    How To Think Like An Architect: The Design Process

    Santa Barbara architect Barry Berkus takes us through the process he used to design the Padaro Lane Residence in Southern California. He demonstrates his conceptual design process through a series of raw drawings and diagrams, along with a detailed explanation of the site conditions, and client needs. This preliminary diagramming stage is a necessary first step in creating a functional, and well thought out design.

    video (4 minutes)

    Watch this before starting your dream house

    Where to start and the common pitfalls when building a house (on your own). Enjoy!

    1. Decide budget
    2. Decide size
    3. Find your theme/style of house
    4. Stick to a single theme
    5. Consider layout
    6. Avoid change orders (this makes construction very expensive)
    7. Take your time to confirm your designs and ideas
    8. Easier to spend more time on planning than waste money on change requests
    9. MEPF trade (mechanical, engineer, plumber, fire protection)
    10. Front load your time in planning. Save your cash by investing more time in planning
    11. Be sure you are comfortable with the construction / contractors
    12. Be aware of contractors attempting to take shortcuts (for profit or ignorance)
    13. Payment terms: Bill based on progress
    14. Withhold 10% of the payment to the contractor until the job is absolutely complete (after inspection).

    video (26 minutes)

    Planning a Residential Building : Basic Principles

    In this video a brief introduction is given to Basic Principles in Planning a Residential Building.

    1. aspect
    2. prospect
    3. privacy
    4. grouping
    5. rooming
    6. sanitation
    7. flexibility
    8. communication
    9. consideration

    video (6 minutes)

    Floor Plan Design TUTORIAL

    In this design tutorial I’ll show you how I develop and sketch floor plan ideas quickly. From diagram to rough sketch and on to more formalized plan layouts, you can follow along as I show you everything you need to draw a floor plan using one of our new residential projects as an example.
    I discuss in detail:

    • why you should start with diagrams (and not floor plans)
    • information you’ll need before drawing
    • tools I use and recommend
    • tips for developing better ideas
    • form, space, and order (of course)
    • using grids
    • scale
    • and what I listen to when designing…

    video (9 minutes)

    Architecture A to Z

    This video introduces and defines common architecture terms from A to Z. It is no secret that architecture is full of jargon and unique vocabulary. This can be the subject of jokes and memes but it can also lead to confusion and frustration. The reliance on jargon is somewhat forgivable — the task of translating complex spatial, geometric, and compositional principles into verbal language is difficult. However, it means that one must invest in learning the language to fully grasp written and verbal communication about buildings. This video helps by providing definitions for 26 common architectural terms in alphabetical order. Terms include:
    A) Aesthetic
    B) Buttress
    C) Circulation, corridors, connected
    D) Diagrammatic
    E) Enfilade
    F) Fenestration
    G) Geodesic
    H) Hierarchy
    I) Iconic
    J) Jamb
    K) Kitsch
    L) Legibility
    M) Morphology
    N) Node
    O) Ornamentation
    P) Program
    Q) Quoin
    R) Rustication
    S) Stereotomic
    T) Tectonic
    U) Urbanism
    V) Vernacular
    W) Weathering
    X) Xylography
    Y) Yurt
    Z) Zeitgeist

    video (14 minutes)

    5 Phases of Architectural Design

    Phases of Architectural Design and the architecture design process from start to finish. The design phases are: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding, Construction Administration and Pre-Design . By New York Architect Jorge Fontan owner of Fontan Architecture.
    0. Pre-design
    0.1. Project Scope
    0.2. Goals
    0.3. Buget
    0.4. Schedule
    0.5. Building Program
    0.6. Team selection
    0.7. Site analysis
    0.8. Zoning analysis

    1. Schematic Design 15%
      1.1. Schematic Design 10%-25%
      1.2. Concept design
      1.3. Massing
      1.4. Floor plans
      1.5. Elevations
      1.6. Model / Rendering
      1.7. Wall section
    2. Design Development 20%
      2.1. Development work 10%-25%
      2.2. Further development
      2.3. Building systems
      2.4. Interior elevations
      2.5. RCP (reflected ceiling plan)
      2.6. (general) Details
      2.7. Finishes
    3. Construction documents 40%
      3.1. documents 35%-50%
      3.2. Filing set
      3.3. Bid set
      3.4. document set
      3.5. Trade set
    4. Bidding 5%
      4.1. Interview
      4.2. Compare bids
      4.3. RFI (request for information)
      4.4. Contractor selection
      4.5. Permits
    5. Construction Administration 20%
      5.1. Admin
      5.2. Site visits
      5.3. SKs (sketches)
      5.4. Change orders
      5.5. Review progress
      5.6. Punchlist
      5.7. Progress inspections
      5.8. Coordinate signoffs
      5.9. Certificate of Occupancy (CofO)

    video (14 minutes)

    How to Start an Architectural Design

    As an architect I think there are 5 key points I want to consider when starting an Architectural Design. These are: Program, Site, Constraints, Goals, and Concept. After establishing and understanding these issues an architect can begin their architectural design.

    • Program: Is an architectural term for the use of a building. It is the type of building including a list of spaces within the building.
    • Site: An architect must first perform a site analysis before beginning design on a building as there are many way a site will affect a building or house design.
    • Constraints: These are the limitations on the project and any restrictions for example zoning and building codes are constraints as well as a construction budget.
    • Goals: An architect must discuss the project goals with their client or building end user before beginning the design. The property owner’s goals will heavily impact the direction the design will take. Examples of goals can be: Sustainable Design, Profit, Innovation, and many other countless project goals.
    • Design Concept: After completing analysis of the first 4 points and architect must establish a project concept. This is the big idea for the work of architecture. This is the basis of the building design.

    video (23 minutes)

    Structural Engineer vs Architect - Design Meeting

    A structural engineer is a part of the design team for all my residential work in the studio. In this video you’ll join me for the kick-off meeting with my structural engineer as we begin developing the structural design for the Outpost project. You’ll see how we choose a foundation strategy, work through framing + detail ideas, and understand how lateral loads are transferred and how they affect the materials we choose to build with. The professional tug-of-war between engineer and architect isn’t adversarial, rather it’s collaborative and makes for a better, more efficient project.

    The most interesting part of our dialogue begins around minute eighteen where I ask Albert to comment on one of the most common objections I hear from contractors in the field: “This structure is way over-engineered.” His answer illuminates how a structural engineer can complement the architectural design process in ways you may not have anticipated. Not only do engineers help us to efficiently size structural members and optimize the design, but their practical building knowledge and field experience can prove invaluable.

    Because an engineer’s work is smaller in scope, (their fee is typically about 10% of an architectural fee), they must secure 10X the number of commissions to make a comparable income. This naturally exposes them to many more projects (in theory 10X), ideas, and failures than an architect would typically see. And, it’s those failures that are the most instructive. This symbiotic relationship between architect and engineer has benefitted my practice and my clients in ways that are difficult to calculate but that surely far exceed the engineering fees invested.

    Structural engineering is more than sizing beams, designing connections and specifying concrete mixes, it’s an allied discipline which helps to make our jobs as architects easier and to deliver a home that meets (and often exceeds) our client’s expectations.

    Although this footage is but a small sampling of our conversation, you can appreciate the give and take that a typical design collaboration entails. As professionals, we rely on the expertise of many consultants to realize our architectural goals.

    video (26 minutes)

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