2 City Studio principals are problem solvers by nature and like nothing better than to get to closure on problems. But we are a little obsessive about making sure we haven’t missed any opportunities along the way. It is common for other problems to be identified while searching for a solution to one problem. We have been successful in finding ways to solve two or more problems with one solution. Whether you call this a solution multiplier, killing two or three birds with one stone, or icing on the cake, we call it expertise or even talent.
Need an example? As part of a school renovation in which the 1950s era single-glazed and inefficient strip windows were in the program to be replaced. They served little purpose at they were typically hidden behind closed blinds – an effort by teachers to reduce glare and distraction. We found that by designing new strip windows that combined a tackboard surface within the window system framing system we were able to reduce glare issues in the field of sight as well as outdoor distractions. Clear glazing overhead was bounced off a lightshelf, which was also part of the window system. Lower window in the system were shaded by exterior shading devices, also part of the system. And finally, the entire are of the tack board allowed for 3” of rigid insulation behind it and added useable wall space area to the classroom. We would count that as one solution to five problems.
One way to limit problems is to not add any to those already expected. We have enormous respect for water and detail our buildings to allow water to drain quickly and efficiently away from the building. So you will likely never see a butterfly roof in one of our concept sketches. We think that working with the environment and not against it is a good strategy for planning and detailing a building. We have been trained in EEBA techniques, Energy Star, LEED and Earthcraft design strategies, and have lots of experience to help us to create long lasting and efficient, low-maintenance buildings.
2 City Studio is standardized on the 2009 VUSBC, Fire Code, Energy Conservation Code, and the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. We regularly consult with local building officials during schematic and construction documentation phases of the project in order to test assumptions against local conditions. We also challenge codes when advantageous and logical after reviewing with the owner. We treat life safety as the driving factor in all of our building planning and let it drive many of the design decisions related to adjacencies, egress path, and door location, among other aspects.
2 City Studio principals have a grounding in the psychological and technical aspects of buildings and systems from both intellectual and practical angles. We will perform materials research and review specific planning issues, such as: acoustics, noise, vibration & audio-visual systems, natural and artificial lighting, air quality, life safety, occupancy, scheduling, and the list goes on.