Thursday, January 20, 2011

Design meeting #1

Good news on the Geotech Report and a very good day for Brad and Trisha and the development team! The news is good for two reasons: the first is because we will now be able to put the client’s full budget towards the showhome from the slab up, and secondly, we will have the option of designing the entire home on one level if we so choose. If we had required pilings we may have been forced to look at a two storey home in order to minimize foundations costs!
More options = a happy design/build team

              OK, so it is time for design meeting #1 – wake up Louis we are ready to get started!!
Tami, Louis and Neil will now spend the next few hours gathering information on The Watt’s lifestyle, their wish-list for home features, examining potential room sizes, room relationships, and possible combinations. The idea is to clearly understand how the family lives, what they like and dislike about their present home, what the future looks like for additional children, visitors or live-in help, entertaining etc. We will have to closely examine the site, the location of sun and shade at various times of the day, the prevailing breezes and the views to all sides of the lot.
From this information we will Icon will generate the first of a series of hand-drawn sketches as we try to get closer and closer with each sketch to the client’s vision of the perfect waterfront home. The home design must be one that meets the optimum size,  the optimum quality of finishes and the look that says “this is who we are!”,  making all of that still meet the budget target that we have agreed on as a team at the outset of the project. It takes collaboration, trust, communication and creativity from every member of the client/designer/builder team to make it happen.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The first item of business, now that the lot has been selected, is to confirm what we think we already know from the developer at Grand Harbour: that the home can be built on grade without any pilings. Pilings are used when the land is not solid enough to support the weight of the house and a series of concrete columns must be poured to support the slab of the home.

The diagram above shows how a drilling rig must be retained to drill through the soil and marl into bedrock (1+2), concrete must then be pumped through the auger or drill bit (3+4), and then a steel cage dropped into the uncured concrete to provide strength. It is common for a custom home to require as many as 50 of these pilings before the construction of the home can begin.  To assure that this will not be necessary we went out to the site with our structural designer Joe Coe from Lloyd Hue Structural Engineers Ltd to have a good look at the site.

Check out the short video on how the testing went here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meet the Design Team

Ok, now we know where we are going to build, it is time to meet the design-build team that will steer the Watts through this exciting but intricate process.

Left to right: Neil Rooney - Project Developer, Tami Scott - Project Architect, Shayne Howe - Project Manager

........and the Icon design team:

Left to right: Tami Scott - Senior Architect,  Amy Letourneau - Intern, Louis Mussington - Architect

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Lot to Decide On

Meet the Watts Family! Mom and Dad are Brad and Trisha, daughter Mackenzie and another little daughter on the way! These folks need a great home!  First we need to decide on a lot – we have it narrowed down to two though!

Sunrise - we like the beautiful grand entrance.  We also liked the beautiful views of the lagoon and North Sound.  We learned that family had recently purchased a piece of land two lots down from us and we were excited about eventually living near them.  To top off that it is family, our daughters are very close in age.  Brad liked being further away from town.  Trisha didn’t like the drive.  We disliked the fact that we would have to build on piles (which is a significant cost increase).  We did not like the fact that a dock was not already in place.

Great view to the North Sound.

But man....those pilings........

And then there is Grand Harbour!

This is a nice lot – NW view!
We liked the fact that the lot comes filled properly (no need for piles) and has a dock already built.  We like the close proximity to Hurley’s grocery store and the kids play area at Grand Harbour.  Trisha particularly likes being closer to town.


The shopping and restaurants close by are great!

Mackenzie can’t take her eyes off the surf pool!

I think this family knows where they want to be!!!

Brad – “Value has always been important to me – we are getting a great parcel at a decent price.  We initially considered building in Crystal Harbour.  In fact, at one time, we owned a lot there.  Crystal Harbour is absolutely beautiful and built around a golf course.  Ultimately, we liked the larger piece of land in Grand Harbour for the approximate same price.  Also, we always knew we wanted to be on a canal.  We looked in Canal Point and Yacht Club.  Grand Harbour just gave us more of an “at home” feeling."

From the Developer’s perspective, we are happy to be able to put that pilings money back into the house. Excellent choice Watts family!