The LaSalle Group is a practitioner of and believer in the collaborative process. We believe it essential to the success of the project to clearly define, at the beginning, everybody's roles and responsibilities and to clearly communicate the owner's goals, objectives, time frames and budget parameters to all team members.
We have enjoyed our work with a variety of architects and consultants and have been able to elicit excellent performance and attention to detail from them by being demanding but fair, assertive but reasonable. We believe that the goals and objectives of the owner are more often achieved by working with, as opposed to against, the architect and contractor. That the team will be more successful if everyone feels they are being treated fairly, their work product respected, and if they are encouraged to strive for excellence. The project architect and related consultants are the creators and administrators of the approved project plans. LaSalle Group has historically been able to use its experience in property management and facilities maintenance to combine aesthetically pleasing design with cost efficiency, sensitivity to owner concerns about on-going maintenance costs, and creation of a final product where "form and function" compliment rather than conflict with one another.
We very much believe that time spent early in the design process, that is, during the programming and schematic phases, is time well spent and one of the most important time periods for careful program and plan review by the owner and the various consultants. What is agreed upon and developed during these stages form the basis for the subsequent design development and construction document phases. At the schematic design phase, documents are reviewed by all team members to ensure that the program is accurate and satisfies the needs of the owner, that the design direction is appropriate to the project budget, that life safety and other code requirements are identified and that preliminary selected materials and systems are appropriate, cost effective, and functional.
At the design development phase, documents are again thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all major system decisions have been identified, life safety issues and other code requirements identified and incorporated into the plans and outline specifications, and the selected materials and systems are both appropriate and within budget based on preliminary cost estimation. The final design of the structure is essentially set at this point, and is, of course, subject to extensive review and revision before final approval of design development documentation.
Prior to the issuance of bid documents, construction documents are extensively reviewed by all design disciplines and by the commissioning agent. The goal of this review process is to ensure that the documents are complete and meet all project and building code requirements. Plans, details, and specifications are reviewed for completeness, readability, and accuracy prior to issuance for bids. A final cost estimate is made just prior to the completion of construction documents to allow for final value engineering and cost reduction steps, if necessary.