March 21, 2010

worry about costs?

The first half of the day was spent in the shop.  Randy was doing some volunteer work for his son’s Boys Scout Troop later in the week. Jon and I needed to move the rebar, from the Take a Seat project, up to the loft and out of the way. After that, we pulled some tools off the shelves because the Boy Scouts had to identify and use them.  Also that day, the driveway received a couple loads of gravel.  Because of the extreme snows Omaha had this year, the driveway’s gravel had been plowed away.  Randy, Jon, and I had to rake the gravel to smooth it out and fill the areas that received the most damage.  The rest of the day was spent in the office.

I received an e-mail from Natural Home magazine about the Twist submittal.  Communicating with magazines is something I did not do at the last firm I worked at. At LaTona Architects, publication of work was rarely done.  It is interesting interacting with publishers about the work that has been done at RBA.

We had the office meeting on Wednesday this week. Like most meetings, we went over the jobs needed to be done, in progress jobs, and upcoming projects. One of the projects I will be working on will be the Bisson Bathroom Renovation. The project was first designed by another architect. The budget of the project is $10,000 and this other architect designed a bathroom that cost $20,000, twice the budget.  Our goal is to bring the cost down to budget, as well as bring architectural elements to the design. Because the bathroom is a small space we are going to use light, bright white to make it feel larger. Another goal for the project is to provide towel, make-up, and other storage areas without taking up much space.

After the meeting I received more revisions for the Bellows Book. The director of the Foundation sent more information and revisions to put into the book. This process of refinement is very similar to the design studios at school. I start with a design and through out the project there are many issues to work out and to be modified. The end result is to create a remarkable design. This is just what we are doing with the New York Books.

Thursday I began the Bisson Bathroom. I began with drawing up Randy’s option of the bathroom design in CAD. After that I started to look up materials and tried to find some rough estimates of prices. This was a task I have not done before. In studio, we do not have to worry much about costs. We are told to consider it, but never actually had to estimate costs. There is a lot more costs to consider then I ever would have thought about. Costs for things such as tile and fixtures are all a part of the project. I think a class where you work on a small project and have to figure out how much money it will cost to build it would be beneficial to students. I feel like if there were classes that taught this type of thing, students would be more efficient in the workplace. Thursday was a great day.

For the first time since I have been in Omaha, the temperature pasted 50 degrees. The high for the day was 64 degrees. It felt great outside, and all the snow, except the giant piles in parking lots, were melted. Since it was so nice out, after work Jon and I went for a walk on the well talked about trials. The trial we walked on was only a couple of blocks from Jon’s apartment complex. We only had a few hours before it was dark so we were not able to walk the entire trail. Hopefully, this spring we will be able to get out and ride the entire trail.

On Friday, the Dwell magazine asked for high resolution images of the Optic House to be loaded up to their ftp.  An ftp is a new term to me. I have never used one until I began work at RBA. The first time I ever heard the term used by another employee here; I was completely dumbfounded. I am glad I have learned about it because we do not use them in school. In the working environment an ftp is a very common thing architects know of and know how to use. We rarely load high resolution images or anything up to the web. I think it would be nice to have a small class to explain some of the real world terminology and techniques. There is so much we do not learn in school. One of the problems is due to the lack of time we have. I feel we have a lot of work as is, but maybe the workload could be organized to incorporate these aspects of the career into our studio projects. It seems we spend so much time to our designs, which are very important, but when we get out in the real world there is so much more to the work environment we just don’t learn in our studios. The rest of Friday was spent looking up more materials on the Bisson Bathroom renovation.

Unlike Thursday, Friday was an awful day. The temperatures had dropped throughout the day. It began snowing before noon and by the end of the work day there were about two to three inches of snow on the ground. Almost all the snow was melted by Thursday and by Friday evening the ground was covered again. But, I can’t say I am not surprised. Since I am from St. Louis, I am used to this kind of weather. I just am not the biggest fan of it after such an extreme winter.

Due to the cold front on Friday, Saturday was cold and gloomy too. Since it was not the best of days to go out, I decided to try out a recipe I have been eyeing for a while, Ravioli Bake and Supreme Potatoes. It turned out really well, surprisingly.

Sunday had warmed up a little bit more then Saturday. Jon and I went to a local nursery to browse around for a while. By the end of the day, I bought a kit to grow snow peas and had it ready to start growing. I haven’t grown anything before, but I have watched my parents grow their own veggies for years. Hopefully some of their gardening skill wore off on me and the snow peas will grow like the packet said they would.

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