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2006 April 24 | Berlin+Opsal Residence :: Dallas, TX

Archive for April 24th, 2006

TRADE OFFS

masonryblock.jpg

So we found the perfect architect. He just happened to be crazy. Loony. Batty. And down right insane.

It’s our first meeting. Russ starts by saying “What if we could build a house, just like any other house, only we eliminate the framer, the taper, the bedder, the drywaller and the painter. And then we minimize the electrician and the plumber.”

A look of fear engulfed Amy. It was quite amusing. All I could think of was, “A. You call that a garage. And B. Oh, boy, Amy’s going to kill me for choosing this guy.”

OK, Russ. Go on.

Here’s the deal. It’s called a concept. The concept was to eliminate as many trades as possible to maximize the budget, yet still build the same house that we would have built in a traditional stick and mortar style.

As a designer, some of my favorite projects are the ones with limited budgets. Why? Because they force you to focus on the concept. Which means there is an idea behind the development, not just a bunch of random elements chosen to make a pretty structure.

So is it possible to eliminate half the trades that it takes to build a house. Yes, it is. Are we going to do it. We are certainly going to try. It’s kind of like when robots started making cars. When email replaced standard postage. When you could check yourself out at the grocery store. Or when mail order DVD’s replaced the video rental store on the corner. They all still produce the same results. They just revolutionized the way we got there.