The start of the design process brings great anticipation, innovative ideas and the latest trends—the energy and excitement of endless possibilities. Flashy presentations and cutting edge concepts are important for inspiration and taking your organization to the next level. However, beware that soon after this honeymoon stage of concepts emerges the reality of budgets, timelines, building consensus amongst stakeholders and other factors that establish the parameters of a project. Ideas and trends begin to be prioritized alongside of the necessities. This interesting mix becomes the foundation of your unique design solution.
True success is then carrying this design solution through to completion without losing the integrity of the design along the way. That is what The AG Way is all about.
Many architectural firms promise a high level service, but it can often be hard to explain just how such high quality is achieved and what differentiates one firm’s method of service delivery from the other. At AG, we believe the answers are clear. AG distinguishes itself through our Project Management Methodology and our Method of Delivery.Designed to deliver Certainty and Predictability throughout the project, the level of attention we commit to our clients and their projects raises the bar high above industry norms and typical client expectations.
AG Project Management Starts at Day One
At AG, the Project Management process begins before the interview for the project even takes place. Each project is assigned to a Team Leader and a Project Manager. In turn, they are backed up by a skilled support team. Because 95% of our work is in the senior living marketplace, you are assured that all team members have a high level of industry experience. This team oriented structure creates continuity in the project management process and creates a level of confidence for you.
It is essential that your Architect be your Advocate! Whether dealing with code officials, zoning boards or Health Departments, we want to insure that your building meets your residents’ needs and helps them maintain their dignity and independence. Sometimes this vision runs contrary to the interpretation of existing codes. Working as a team, we have the opportunity to positively impact outdated standards that, in turn, will shape a forward-thinking future for the senior living industry.
AG Method of Delivery Controls Construction Costs
At AG, we are constantly addressing the need to both monitor and maintain your budget. AG has pioneered a unique methodology–The AG Method of Delivery–that allows us to provide you with a unique set of schematic design documents that will enable a contractor to do very detailed pricing in the first several weeks after a consensus has been reached on the design. The tremendous value to you is that you can make any necessary adjustments in a proactive manner rather than reacting much later in the process.
Feeling that Sense of Urgency
At AG we understand your sense of urgency. We are keenly aware that your project is your most important task at hand and as such, it is ours as well. Experience has taught us that often the development process is not linear and unforeseen events can happen that may delay or hasten certain deadlines. Our large, flexible and highly skilled staff, along with our in-house engineering capability, allows us the ability to make the necessary adjustments and accommodations.
During construction, who better to observe progress on your project than the Project Manager? They have been invested in the success of the team and the project since Day One. They will see to it that the details and concepts which have been agreed upon on paper are accurately being constructed and are functioning
as intended. The Project Manager along with members of Structural, Mechanical
and Electrical Departments, visit the site at the appropriate times to insure proper construction techniques and adherence to details. In addition, the Team Leader will continue to maintain involvement, keeping a critical eye on the details.
What does all of this mean to you?
You can take comfort in the knowledge that you have multiple AG team members involved with your project from the very first meeting continuously through the construction of your project and beyond.
The Rehab Cottage at Hillcrest Country Estates is a recent project that benefitted from The AG Way. Jolene Roberts, President and CEO of Hillcrest Health Services, understands the importance of having an experienced team on the job. “AG was thorough and knowledgeable. They operate with team work, are organized, and definitely customer-focused.”
AG Senior Associate and Team Leader Ann D’Acquisto believes Roberts’ clear vision for what she wanted to accomplish helped to successfully guide the project. “She had visited a number of similar projects and had decided what she wanted for this community. Having a clear understanding of that vision allowed us to use our knowledge to guide her and lead the project to achieve those results.”
Time and again AG is recognized for the high level of detail typically communicated in a set of construction documents. While this project was only 17,019-square-feet, the drawing set received the same attention and expertise as much larger projects. In fact, AG’s Scott Moseler, who has coordinated the completion of drawing packages for projects such as The Terraces at Bonita Springs—a 386,000-square-foot CCRC, led the coordination of the rehab cottage drawing package.
In addition to the owner’s clear vision and the expertise of the team coordinating the drawings, D’Acquisto credits the success to the diligence of the job superintendent for the project. Team work and operating in the best interest of the client is key to The AG Way.
“AG always comes up with alternative solutions, and they don’t point the finger at the contractor,” Roberts says. “I really like that they work to solve a problem versus worrying about who created the problem. They are so amazingly creative and excellent problem solvers.”
The AG team is about to return to the campus to conduct an 11-month walk-through of the project. “It is another opportunity for us to check everything and address any issues before warranties run out. We want to make sure everything is running properly,” says D’Acquisto.
Three Palms Health Center is a new phase of development at East Ridge at Cutler Bay in Florida. “AG creates beautiful designs, but they also make things work from a practical perspective,” says Troy Hart, President of SantaFe Senior Living. “Everyone can design, but is the building constructible? AG does a good job balancing design with constructability that meets our needs.”
When it comes to quality control throughout the construction process, AG Team Leader Andy Korb, credits AG’s full scale exterior wall mock-up as a key element in the process. “This is typical on most AG projects and a specification requirement on all CCRCs. All exterior details, windows, doors, overhangs, roofs, etc. are part of the mock-up. It is used for quality control and establishing expectations of the level of detailing early in the project,” Korb says.
Korb also credits AG’s efforts to engage with plan reviewers and the fire marshal early in the project as an important factor that supported the success at East Ridge. By inviting these key players to the site early it allowed the team to recognize and resolve any issues early. In the case of East Ridge, Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) inspectors were able to visit the site four times prior to the final review, which helped make the final walk through a much smoother process.
“There is always a critical mass in getting things done, and I am impressed that AG seems to keep the flow going regardless of the workload,” Hart says. “They are also good at dealing with those tough conversations. The ones they need to have in order to manage an owner’s best interest.”
This diligence throughout the construction process proves to be successful as evidenced by the AG related change orders at East Ridge and other projects. In the case of East Ridge, the project incurred 2.6-percent change orders with the amount associated directly to AG being .36-percent.
According to Hart, “They have a depth of knowledge that is refreshing and different than other firms. Their knowledge is outstanding. Constructability, practicality – these are the things that distinguish them.”