“Design + Build” is a commonly used term, indicating that design and construction are managed by a single party, typically a builder who also engages an architect. Chicago Workshop Architects & Builders takes the Design + Build process to the next level, however. We are an architectural firm, which handles design and construction, as well as interior design under one roof.

Our philosophy and process extends to every aspect of the project. We understand that all pieces, from financial to contractual affect the whole. Therefore, our Design + Build construction management process incorporates all parts:

• 100% DETAILED PLANS. Detailed plans minimize mistakes, help keep project on budget, provide for reliable schedules, minimize conflict, help manage expectations, enable productive communication and improve quality.

• THE TEAM. Architects, designers and construction managers work as a team to provide a comprehensive design and construction process, where all design, budgetary, construction and communication issues are addressed by the same people. From an initial design meeting to a final walk through, the Team, takes a joint responsibility for the entire project.

• FINANCIAL HEALTH. We put our clients first, and handle their deposits, payments and financing draws with a fiduciary responsibility typically expected of trustees, financial professionals or attorneys. Project’s financial health is a key aspect of project success. We make it easy for a client to monitor all financial aspects of their project, so that they can have confidence every step of the way.

1.Use a title company escrow for deposits and for any project funds which may be coming from a client or their lender.

2.Provide an independent third-party accountant (CPA) to handle all draws, payouts, invoices, change orders, and project accounting. The accounting fees are included in the construction contract. The accountants work for our client and are also obligated to provide financial reporting to Chicago Workshop.

• COMMUNICATION. A custom designed cloud-based communication platform and communication policies applicable to all project participants help teamwork flourish. Detailed project notes by construction managers are kept online. Complete transparency provides a peace of mind and a better experience for our clients, while fostering positive cooperation and a sense of direct responsibility in all of the project participants.

• MASTER CONTRACT. We treat all project participants as Team members. All vendors sign the same contract, which creates a common framework for the entire project: schedule, communication procedures, invoicing and payout process, specs, overlapping responsibilities and jobsite handoff, quality and warranty. This also provides the client with additional control and security. Real teamwork flourishes when all have the same focus and the same client.

• INNOVATIVE METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES. When we examine critical paths of a typical residential project schedule, we notice bottlenecks associated with the framing process and carpentry labor, as well as various lumber issues. There are similar issues involved with the concrete works. Both phases are also heavily affected by weather. Therefore, we streamline our projects by employing factory manufactured insulated steel panels for wall systems and insulated precast concrete panels for foundations. This technology has been the staple of commercial and multi-family construction for many years, but has not found its way into single family (infill) construction or additions in a real way. We save significant installation time, streamline project management, lessen the number of variables, drastically reduce mistakes, and provide for a more energy efficient and a healthier project.

Read more – Innovative Technologies.