What does “project stewardship” mean?
Sometimes project stewardship is literal; like when we were recently commissioned for our 5th project for the 3rd owner of the same property. Other times project stewardship involves helping clients make long-term decisions. These decisions, for example, might include using advanced building science strategies that create healthier, more resilient, lower operating cost buildings.
We compare our buildings to a child leaving for college. We want our children to live well and be independent. However, we also want to know when our they are sick, so we can help. We sometimes even keep the scrapbook of how our children have changed over time and who they change with. As architects, we act very similarly towards our completed projects.
4 Ways to can provide good project stewardship:
Our buildings are like family – We archive projects for future current and owners to access. Some of our multi-project properties evolved following a master-plan. Some properties are passed or sold to new owners. However, we try to continue our involvement as the design historians for that building. We carry the combined legacy of the building’s looks and use by our clients. Our responsibility lies both to the owner and the building.
Consider the long term – Knowing long-term use needs during design helps our owners understand choices and results of how our buildings will perform. We can then recommend the best solution, from basic Earth Craft to advanced building science solutions like Passive House. We work best with clients who think about maintenance and operating cost over 10 years, not just the short-term cost of construction.
Build with our trusted building partners – We build with contractors that share our vision of project stewardship or build by managing construction of the projects ourselves.
Keep monitoring the building after construction – We should help our owner monitor performance after construction. That way we know when repairs are made and maintenance is required.
We believe good project stewardship creates buildings that perform efficiently overtime, can tell us when they are sick, and require little maintenance. Our involvement with a project should continue beyond the end of construction because we care both about our buildings and the owners.
We design like we own it!
A house in Ansley Park we have continued to work on:
Before image in 2000
1st renovation in 2001 converting from a 5 unit rental to a single family home
2nd owner and 3rd renovation in 2007 to add a family room
3rd owner and 4th renovation to add a porch over the family room