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Archistruction™
The Neenan Process
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A Different Way to Build

What is archistruction, and how is it different from what other companies offer? Neenan trademarked the term “archistruction” in 1997 because it is an altogether different approach to architecture and construction than what you normally see in the world of real estate. There wasn’t a word for what we did, so we made one for ourselves.

Typically, when your business, campus, medical facility, music venue or government facility needs a new or reimagined space to be successful, architecture and construction companies will communicate almost solely through contracts and abstract theories to protect their own interests. This didn’t sit well with us, because the goal of Neenan and our process of Archistruction™ is to transform your vision into a reality by providing you with total responsibility and accountability that is unheard of in the industry. Our holistic approach to your vision includes everything from start to finish, beginning with development, followed by design, and finally construction.

Project Beginnings

Not every client that comes to us is at the same point in their building journey — in fact, it is very common that the project beginnings are very vague, essentially starting from square one. Come to us with an idea and a dream, and we’ll facilitate the forward momentum of your project from beginning to end, taking each step with intention, and making your vision a reality.

Common Starting Lines

We’ve helped hundreds of clients with their building projects, seeing their vision through to completion, and each and every one of them started at one of these points. Schedule a meeting with Neenan’s team if you’re at any one of these points in your vision process:

  • You need help finding a building site
  • Assessment of your current space or spaces to determine your needs
  • Assessment of the building you’re seeking to buy
  • Creating a budget and design for a loan
  • Find dependable sources of capital
  • Formulation of a master plan for your building project
  • Assistance with city entitlements

For each of these needs, Neenan has a solution through Archistruction™. We can provide you with:

  • Site assessment tools
  • Facility assessments
  • Comprehensive building analysis to help with due diligence and contract negotiations
  • A complete collaborative design process
  • Help with grant writing, new market tax credits, historic tax credits, development and financing options, bond elections, and more
  • Master plan formulation
  • Creating a design to have a site re-zoned for appropriate use or to get local city government on board with your project

Conditions of Satisfaction

When you begin your building journey with Neenan’s Archistruction™ process, the first thing that we’ll set out to accomplish is to determine the conditions of satisfaction for your project, ensuring community alignment. When we are able to establish the identity of the community of your team, it will help you and us ascertain the best course of action and forward steps to take. These meetings help us to set a plan in place that makes the best use of your space, making sure that all of your staff can work effectively and efficiently, regardless of whether we’re designing a school, government facility, or medical treatment campus. The fruit of these initial meetings lead directly into our Collaborative Design Process, or CDP, and to the creation of a front-loaded design schedule.

Collaborative Design Process

Our Collaborative Design Process is unlike anything else you will encounter with other architecture and construction firms. The inclusivity and communication standards that we strive for are at a level that should exceed all of your expectations. During this CDP step, new ideas and options are presented and tested, along with budgets and schedules. This process includes your entire staff community and your board members. The main objectives of this stage in Archistruction™ is to answer the following questions as they pertain to you:

How do you want your building space to feel?
If we’re designing a medical facility, what feeling do you want to communicate to your patients while they inhabit their suites?
How can the systems we implement and materials we use streamline maintenance?
How do you imagine the flow of customer traffic to be, both in the building and on the site in general?

The CDP Difference

The series of meetings and check-ins that comprise the CDP help to establish the character of the building you would like designed, as well as determine the site plan overall and the building plan in particular. When we know what major systems need to be implemented early on in this process, we can more accurately estimate all of the factors that will come into play during our project with you

DESIGN
COLLABORATION
DEVELOPMENT

Design & Preconstruction

While many companies will want to dive right into the design and construction phase of development, Neenan’s Archistruction™ design and preconstruction phase take the extra effort to accommodate your values for the project. Every project will have different short and long-term goals. Where one client may want to emphasize a responsible initial cost, others will value low-cost maintenance, while others still desire a balance between the two. This is all completely normal — in fact, we encourage our clients to determine what they value most, and allow them to define the value of the project. Neenan can provide several thoughtful options in regards to the best finishes, systems, and even furniture for your facility.

Target Costing

Neenan’s Archistruction™ preconstruction phase is based on a concept called “target costing,” which essentially is an approach to design that incorporates cost as a factor with the intention of minimizing waste and creating value. Traditionally, when a customer is working with separate design and contracting teams, each side would only be working for its best interests, which could result in wildly inflated costs to you. With Archistruction’s collaboration processes during the design phase, we create an alignment between costs and value, keeping your best interests in our focus.

Concurrent Constructability

Constructability is the term that is used in project development to review each of the processes involved in construction during the preconstruction phase. The goal of maintaining a standard of constructability is to determine any potential problems before they become obstacles in our path, which will help to prevent building errors, unnecessary delays, and unforeseen costs to you. Constructability is something that will be contributed to every single day of your project, delivering the most effective schedule for your needs, resulting in the best possible completed building.

The Three Results of Target Costing

As briefly discussed earlier, whenever a building decision is made, costs are either added or subtracted from the determined target costs. Doing this on a daily basis will provide our clients with real-time cost information, eliminating unpleasant surprises. Rather than being blindsided because of a lack of communication, you can constantly be apprised of your project progress. This target costing process fosters these helpful results:

1. Accurate Cost Information

the more cost information that is compiled about your project, the easier it will be to determine the scope and scale of your building project. Subcontractor and vendor pricing is usually based on this information, so the more accurate this information is, the better it will be in the long run.

2. Ability to Make Value Based Decisions

otherwise referred to by Neenan as “Choosing by Advantage,” every decision that we make together is based on multiple factors of varying importance. We’re trained to help you evaluate the importance of initial costs, schedules, flexibility, production improvements of your facility, lifecycle costs of product, and more. You will be able to make sound decisions about your building, because you will know the advantages to all of the options available.

3. Provide Transparent & Competitive Costs

You will always see the costs and processes to bid out work packages with our Archistruction process. Neenan does not self-perform labor, but instead gives you the market rate construction and options based on the conditions that you have defined for satisfaction.

Construction

The interaction and collaboration between our construction and design teams begins the day that you sign with us, and does not end until your project is completed. You will find that not only are all of our designers, preconstruction managers, and project managers all under the same roof, they actually all sit together during a project, making the interaction between these disciplines natural and inevitable. This is unique to Neenan’s Archistruction™ process.

Design Involvement in Construction

Our designers are not contractually obligated to work with our construction team— they’re two arms on the same body. Their connectedness is a true partnership, ensuring that their shared interests are your interests. Members of our design team communicate with the Field Superintendent daily and attend all of the owner’s meetings. Design is present to help the construction team develop options to increase project value and to review the construction quality.

Owner Feedback and Communication

Open communication and feedback from the owner of a building project is always welcomed and accepted through any channel. We also take the time to set up regular meetings and times for review. These can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Regularly scheduled owner meetings during design and construction to develop cost, constructability, schedules, early problem solving, and to discuss various systems and options available. These can develop into more specific issues as the owner’s building project progresses.
  • Intermittent work sessions that are meant to address specific issues pertaining to staff, community, mechanical systems, and more.
  • Predetermined design checkpoints (or “toll gates” as we refer to them) that are used as formal sign-offs on projects. Every toll gate has criteria that must be met to be signed off on. This involves an internal review with key consultants on the project, and a review by you, the owner.

This Strange Alchemy: Turning Your Visions into Gold

At the end of the day, Neenan’s goal with our Archistruction™ process is to transform your vision into a reality, and to do it in a way that is revolutionary. Although we’ve been referring to Archistruction™ as a process, it is truly an experience more than anything. You’ll work with an integrated team of the most highly trained development, design, and construction professionals to create a space that functions better than you ever thought possible and fits your values perfectly. We’ve seen success with a wide variety of builds, including campuses for school districts, government buildings, medical facilities, and music venues.

The team at Neenan wants to share this experience with you. To get started on turning your vision into gold, we encourage you to contact us and begin our journey together. There is an entire team of individuals that would love to speak to you, and to show you the possibilities that come with our Archistruction™ process. Don’t hesitate to bring us any and all questions you have!

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