A rendering of the courtyard at Castaway House by Cavin Costello

I read this earlier today:

The word “integrity” shares its root with the word “integer,” which means one indivisible thing. – Martha Beck

This idea of ‘one indivisible thing’ ties in very nicely with what I wanted to write about today which is the integrated design kick-off meeting we had last week for the Castaway House.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written about the Castaway House, but that’s because we were in the middle of selecting a contractor to work with and also trying to make sure we were working within our budget.

But now we’re back in action and in essence have kicked off the construction document process required to get a City of Phoenix construction permit. If you’d like to catch up with what we’ve done so far with the Castaway House, you can do so here.

Here are 5 reasons the Castaway House kick-off meeting was awesome and why every project should have one just like it:

1.  It included the owner (Chuck Aton), the project manager (Claire Aton), the designer (Cavin Costello), the architect (me), the landscape architect (Jeremy Stapleton), the Mechanical/Plumbing/Electrical Engineering team led by Prakash Deshmukh of Sunlight Engineers and also the contractor (RC Green Builders).

2.  We presented the green goals and the mission statement for the Castaway House.  This brought the entire team on the same page.

3.  Because everyone involved in the project was sitting at one table, we were able to discuss issues that effected several disciplines at once, allowing the team to collaborate, rather than work by themselves on those issues.

4.  We handed out a team contact information to everyone at the table, encouraging communication and collaboration to continue throughout the project.

5.  This kind of integrated team project kick-off meeting is actually a big part of achieving any level of LEED or NAHB green certification.  This is because this kind of approach reflects the interdependent nature of all the different systems of a building and it ensures a better, more efficient end product.

The conventional approach to building design is to break it up into separate tasks and hand it off to different people. The integrated approach brings it all back together to make sure the building works as “one indivisible thing”.

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2 Responses

  1. Noel says:

    The courtyard of the Castaway house looks just beautiful. Very open and modern.

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