It all started when we moved from New York to North Carolina. Dad sketched out plans of our new home on graph paper to figure out who got which room, and where was all the furniture going to go. I was instantly hooked, and started drawing floor plans of houses on copy paper. I knew real architects drew their plans on large sheets of paper – I didn’t have any large sheets, not to be beaten, I taped 4 sheets of paper together, flipped it over, and voila! I have architectural paper!!!
Fast forward ten years later, I’m in my 4th year of architecture school and my sister wants to build her home. Not just any home, but a cabin in the Mount McKinley in Alaska. Her site, across a creek, up a mountain side, accessible by trail only. This was true design build!!
It was then, digging holes down to permafrost for foundations, shaving the bark off of logs, drilling holes and spiking the logs together, is when I had my first visions of what design-build really is.
Around the same time the Macintosh boasted its fully integrated hardware and software. It came back later with the introduction of the iPhone, and apps. All of these things fully integrated, in one platform – phone, camera, schedule, email, apps, etc. Why can’t design and construction be this way?
I left my architecture practice and went to work for General Contractors to see what they were doing that architects weren’t doing and learned from some of the best. After a lifetime of architecture, I wanted to see how the other half operated and learn some more. In the process I became a licensed General Contractor. As I worked closely with several Owners on construction projects, one thing continued to surprise me – the Owners were meeting with the Contractor before the Architect – why? Because they needed to develop a budget in order to make an offer on the land and to figure out the proforma. I was amazed that the decision to buy property was made based upon the land cost, the density and the construction cost – those items added up would then determine if the project would go or not.
Hmmmm, design-build is missing a huge component – yes obviously design, in the above example, but what about the cost of land, or house, or building, or lease, or whatever the real estate parameters are. So, what did I do – I went to work for a real estate firm and go back to school and got my Real Estate brokerage license.
Now, I have a fully integrated Architecture Construction Real Estate firm – WOLK360 – we have the ability to provide you with turnkey services to evaluate and provide guidance to the entire process. It’s just like your phone – you can’t separate the camera from the apps – they work together, harmoniously to communicate your needs in the best way possible.
It’s not just design-build – its WOLK360