When Should You Contact an Architect? What Phases of Your Project Can an Architect Help With?

March 31, 2009

There is a common conception that the architect is the person you contact when you need plans for your project. That is only partially correct. In addition to your plans, a good architect can help you with many of the other phases of your project. Some of these services they will perform themselves and some of these services they can hire for you. At EVstudio our services have included:

Land selection and evaluation
Real estate services
Pro-forma, rent and cost analysis
As-built surveys and drawings
Conceptual design drawings
Schematic design drawings
Pricing and opinions of probable cost
Demolition plans
Design development drawings
Construction document drawings
Bidding, negotiation and contractor selection
City processes and planning services
Detailed specifications and product recommendations
LEED and sustainability consultation
Master planning
Site planning and civil engineering
Structural engineering
Mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering
Construction administration
Construction management
Plans review
Local partner for out of state firms
Plans library development
Subject matter experts
Evaluations of existing structures
Entitlements and permitting processes
Interior design
CAD system design
Three dimensional models
Computer renderings
Marketing materials
Changes of occupancy
Contracts and agreements

The important thing to remember is that the architect has experience with most of the aspects of the project. They’ve seen many projects through. Choosing to involve them from the beginning to the end of the process will allow you to utilize their expertise and will allow them to help execute the right design for your project. Please feel free to contact EVstudio at any point in your process and we’re happy to get involved with your project.

When Do You Need More Than One Door? – Spaces That Require More Than One Means of Egress

March 30, 2009

The 2006 International Building Code spells out the conditions where you are required to have two or more exits or as I prefer to see it, where you can have only one exit from a space. Generally the requirements are straight forward but there are a few complex conditions that I’ve called out.

The first test is occupant load. For occupancy types A, B, E, F, M, and U you can have up to 49 occupants with one exit. For day care centers in type E you’re limited to 10 with one exit. For H-1, H-2 and H-3 you can have 3 occupants with one exit and for H-4, H-5, I-1, I-4, I-4 and R you can have 10 occupants. S occupancy allows 29 occupants with one exit. I-2 has a long list of requirements, let me know if you need to go through them.

The next test is common path of egress travel, basically how far you have to go to get to the exit door. For H-1, H-2 and H-3 you are limited to 25 feet with one exit. For other occupancies you’re limited to 75 feet with one exit. There are several exceptions. If you have a group B, F or S and a sprinkled building you can go 100 feet on one exit.  If you have a group B, S or F and no more than 30 occupants you can also have 100 feet to get to the one exit. Group I-3 is allowed 100 feet. In a sprinkled R-2 building you can go up to 125 feet. Assembly spaces have a number of additional requirements, again just let me know if you need them.

Finally there are a number of cases that always require two or more exits. Boiler, incenerator and furnace rooms over 500 sf or over 400,000 Btu in fuel fired equipment require two exits. Refrigerator machinery rooms over 1,000 sf require two doors. Refrigerated rooms over 1,000 sf and maintaining a temperature below 68 degrees  require two exits.

Please note that there is a different set of requirements for buildings with only one exit than this list for spaces with only one exit. I’ll cover that in a future post.

EVstudio.info Passes 40,000 Hits

March 29, 2009

EVstudio.info has passed 40,000 hits on our blog. This time it took 60 days to double our hit count from 20,000. It had taken 59 days to go from 10,000 to 20,000.

Thanks again for reading and please continue to ask questions that we can answer. Seeing the interest doubling so quickly is very gratifying.

Karpov Design Studio – Tenant Finish Design by EVstudio

March 27, 2009



A great location for choosing your finishes is the Karpov Design Studio in Evergreen. Visit their showroom to learn about cabinets, flooring, appliances, window coverings, plumbing fixtures, tile and stone. In addition, they will do the installation and turnkey projects.

We designed the Karpov Design Studio in the Evergreen Tepees Building. We also designed Dima Karpov’s house.

Letter of Recommendation for EVstudio

March 26, 2009

In putting together an award submittal, we ran across this great letter of recommendation from Mark Jermano with Atrium Log Homes and Honka. We’ve worked on dozens of projects with these guys; log homes, commercial buildings, office and retail spaces.


Mountain Modern Project Core Sustainable Concepts

March 24, 2009



The Mountain Modern Residence is a proposed speculative residence designed for  Tomskin and demonstrating EVstudio’s full understanding of green systems, design and technologies. It is a prototype design that the client wishes to reproduce at a normal market price point. The client is currently looking for the first piece of vacant land. In order to reach the sustainability goals we created a list of core sustainable concepts that the design fulfills.

Core Sustainable Concepts Outline:
Smaller footprint with open floor plan & compact shape
Structural Insulated Panels construction above grade
Insulated Concrete Forms for foundation
Slab concrete floors with in-floor radiant
Spray in Foam insulation (wherever necessary)
Resource efficient structural elements
Passive solar design with southern exposure
Glass ratios LEED = North-South glazing 50% higher than East-West glazing
Winter (single) low-e windows on South exposures
Double low-e windows on North, East and West exposures
Well designed overhangs for shading
Thermal chimney for active or passive convection loop in chimney with duct controls
Compost capability and Built-in Recycle centers in kitchen and garage with convenient sorting space
Natural daylighting with windows in every room
Kalwall translucent insulating panel on select windows (R-20 at 2-3/4” thickness– Nanogel provides museum quality day-light transmission
Natural ventilation with operable windows
Natural cooling (air intake through or past vegetation)
Natural cooling (air intake from north side at mechanical mezzanine)
Airlock entry
Contamination control @ entry with permanent walk-off grates and bench and storage area for removal of shoes / coats
Detached garage (unconditioned) for contaminant control and energy efficiency
Southern exposure w/ 4:12 pitch roof  for PV systems with 600 – 700 s.f. would effectively create 800 kWh (avg. 1900 s.f. home/lifestyle)
Geothermal system on certain sites
High-efficiency boiler as primary heat source if geothermal ground source heat pump not available. Sidearm boiler for domestic and a zoned system
All high performing appliances
Low-flow fixtures including dual flush toilets
Ultra-high performance glazing
Air-Air heat exchanger for ventilation requirements with HRV system in mezzanine mechanical space
Heat recovery system on Domestic Hot Water
Energy efficient lighting system
Low VOC / Odors / Emissions for all interior materials & finishes
Durability planning

Bergen Park Paint Punch List Walkthrough

March 23, 2009


I went up to Bergen Park Paint today for a punch list walkthrough.

The store had outgrown their location accross Bergen Parkway and decided to move to Bergen Village. We designed their new space in conjunction with Benjamin Moore. It took about five weeks for Catamount to build out the space and they are hopeful that they’ll be able to open in their new location on Friday.

I’ll take some more pictures when they are completely moved in.