Coastal architecture project management poses challenges, presents opportunities amidst evolving industry

Alcorn & Benton Architects | Paul Benton

Expert architecture project management requires both cooperation and anticipation on the part of the architect.

By Paul Benton

As noted in previous columns, coastal architecture poses a host of challenges; and as modern technology and industry regulations become ever more complicated, so too does the approach to architecture project management. When developing along California’s stunning yet environmentally sensitive and oftentimes controversial coastline, architects and contractors are required to cooperate with the state’s Coastal Commission – the result of which often creates a veritable project within a project. Therefore, it has become essential for architects to design a project twice: once for the Coastal Commission and the community standards, taking into account issues related to height, view access, parking and building area, and then again for the building codes, with a heightened focus on landscaping and irrigation, water conservation, disabled access, air conditioning and energy use. Finally, there are the conventional considerations involving structural support, fire safety, drainage and utility connections – all of which contribute to a complex web that can nevertheless pose surprising opportunities in the hands of a skilled architect and development professional.

When viewed as an opportunity as opposed to a roadblock, the necessity for dual project planning stages actually sets the stage for enhanced innovation and efficiency on the part of the architect. Despite the added elements involved in the design of each building, a two-stage process actually makes it easier to prioritize design and construction activities and significantly reduce the time required to complete a new home or commercial structure. An experienced architect will come to anticipate how one decision can create new pitfalls and demands, and to either determine a way around those hurdles or figure out how to overcome the problem without prompting additional setbacks.

Cooperation, coordination, and creativity: the keys to successful and efficient coastal development

One of the most important elements of the project management process comes at the point when the architect passes control of the project to the contractor – and the ideas inherent in the project design are translated into reality. At this juncture, even something as simple as the sequence and coordination of trade work can be extremely important to the ultimate efficiency and success of the project – and thus the architect’s skill in drawing up and organizing the steps of the project fall under intense scrutiny. It is critical that architects design not only for the unique site, but also to suit the needs of the owner and the specialties of the contractor in mind — and that they continue to follow-through all the way to construction. At the La Jolla architecture firm of Alcorn & Benton Architects, we take pride in our ability to anticipate the complexities of project regulations, permits and planning; and we work hard to optimize the smooth operation of each and every project we undertake, from the moment of design inception to completion. Coastal Commission regulations and contemporary building codes may seem daunting; but in the hands of a well-seasoned architect, they present a genuine opportunity for unprecedented excellence – and for a structure that will stand the test of time while carrying us into the future with hallmarks of sustainability, sound design and awareness and respect for our environment. To learn more or see examples of past projects, visit Alcorn & Benton Architects online: www.alcornbenton.com.

Paul Benton is a principal of Alcorn & Benton Architects, on Girard Avenue in La Jolla.

Related posts:

  1. Looking back, advancing forward: historic renovation and architectural revival for 21st century living
  2. Historic restoration blends modern technique with art and culture from California’s past
  3. California hillside development: converting challenge into creative opportunity
  4. San Diego’s public spaces offer scenic views, year-round destinations for locals and visitors alike
  5. Balanced design and sustainable energy solutions lend protection against erratic temperatures

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=57436

Posted by Social Media Staff on Jan 18, 2012. Filed under Columns, Paul Benton, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Summer 2014 Carmel Valley Open Basketball League Champs: ‘Carmel Valley Spurs’ August 30, 2014
    On Aug. 18, the Carmel Valley Spurs defeated the Solana Beach Stray Cats, 67-41, in the 5th/6th grade championship game in the Master Sports Carmel Valley OPEN Basketball League. Over a 10-game season, the offense scored 659 points while giving up only 364 on defense. The average game score was 66-36. They had the best rebounders, best shooters, and best def […]
  • Hundreds turn out for Carmel Valley planning board meeting on One Paseo August 30, 2014
    Hearts and visions collided at the Aug. 28 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, where an overflow crowd turned out to debate the future of the last major slice of the community left to be developed. All 400 seats in Canyon Crest Academy’s theater were filled, and people spilled out into the aisles and crammed into standing-room only spots in the b […]
  • Del Mar Library book-to-movie club picks fall reads August 30, 2014
    Print Goes to the Movies, a book/movie discussion group held at the Del Mar Branch Library at 2 p.m. every second Friday, has announced its upcoming dates and movies. […]