Irving Pitcher Architects provides a full range of services from pre-purchase site analysis through design and construction. We are an architectural design firm but we are also Registered Home Builders, and our experienced team of craftsmen builders construct select projects each year. Our services can be tailored to meet your needs: from preliminary site analysis and design studies to complete architectural services and construction management.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION
Basic architectural services can involve our participation in a building project from inception to move-in and beyond to the end of the warranty period. A typical home design project is divided into five stages described below. The process is collaborative, with plenty of opportunity for client input at each stage and the client’s approval is required before moving on to subsequent stages.
During this stage the essential character of the project is determined. The architect reviews the client’s program, evaluates the schedule and budget, undertakes site analysis and planning, develops alternate design approaches and schematic design drawings and assists the client in obtaining approvals from local authorities.
With the client’s approval of the schematic design, the drawings and outline specifications are developed to illustrate and define in more precise detail the planning, appearance, and construction of the building. An estimated construction budget is presented at the end of this stage.
On the basis of the approved design development, the architect prepares the construction drawings and the specifications that provides the information the builder requires to establish construction costs and transform the design into a finished building. These drawings include site and utility details, floor plans, elevations, sections, construction details and plumbing, heating and electrical specifications. These documents are also necessary to apply for a building permit from local municipal authorities.
BIDDING AND NEGOTIATION
After approval of the contract documents, the architect advises the client on the procedures for obtaining price quotations from contractors. During this stage the architect also answers contractors' questions about the construction documents and advises the client on the award of the contract.
The architect's role during construction is administrative and includes representing the client in communications with the contractor, issuing supplemental instructions and drawings, reviewing and certifying the contractor’s payment applications and changes in cost, checking shop drawings and samples and providing field inspections to ensure the building is in conformance with the drawings and specifications. The most successful design can be compromised by poor administration during the construction phase. Contract administration by IPA ensures that your project is fully realised.
As Construction Managers, Irving Pitcher Architects role during construction is similar to a General Contractor and we would directly manage the construction of your home. On a typical project we would use our own team of skilled carpenters for the foundations, framing, installation of windows and doors, exterior finishes and millwork and other speciality trades would be competitively bid as separate fixed price packages. These might include excavation and site work, roofing, drywall, electrical, heating and plumbing.
With the Construction Management approach you will have an opportunity to review and approve the sub-trade quotes before construction begins on the various packages. Construction work by our own team is completed on a cost plus basis with invoices submitted at the actual cost of the work plus our Management fee. The Management fee covers the cost of services such as budget preparation and estimates, calling and awarding of tenders, scheduling and administration of sub-trades, review of all invoices, quality control and administration of the warranty period. A benefit of using the Construction Management method is that costs and cash flow are as transparent as possible – the owner actually sees what he/she is paying for.
Our construction team is led by partner Bob Irving. Bob’s practical experience as a builder began in Whistler and Squamish in the early 1980s when he started his own construction company completing 6 houses and a 26 unit townhouse. He left the industry to return to Architecture School and for ten years after graduating with his Architecture degree in 1987 he designed and built homes in the southern Gulf Islands with his company Mayne Island Design Build. His combination of professional training and hands on experience makes Bob particularly well suited to manage the construction of our projects.
A key member of our Construction team is our Head Carpenter and site supervisor Bernd Carolsfeld. Bernd will bring his skills as a master carpenter to your project and, as our full time site supervisor, ensure quality control and an efficient use of resources. He has worked in construction since 1978 beginning as a carpenter’s helper on Vancouver Island. In 1981 he relocated to the budding resort community of Whistler where he spent the next 25 years developing his skills on both commercial projects and luxurious holiday homes. He built Whistler’s first million dollar home in 1978 and went on to build many other significant projects including a floating fishing lodge for Langara Fishing Adventures. He also owned and operated a 5000 sq/ft millwork shop that produced interiors for many of Whistler’s finest stores, restaurants, residences, hotels and conference centre.
LOCAL BYLAW REVIEW
Our knowledge of and experience with the bureaucracy surrounding the building process means that we can advise you of local zoning and planning bylaws as well as the requirements of the CRD and other regulatory bodies.
PRE-PURCHASE SITE ANALYSIS
We can provide a realistic assessment of the physical attributes of your property or a property you are considering purchasing. A site analysis can guide the development or purchase and may include an assessment of existing structures, topography and accessibility, build-able areas, sun angles and natural light and other characteristics to maximise the potential of your property.