ARCHITECTURE:  

Architecture consists of the services defined by the AIA. These services include construction documents or working drawings, soliciting and reviewing bids from contractors, and Construction Administration (CA). CA includes observing the construction of a project to ensure that the facility is being built in accordance with the drawings. CA also involves checking an approving shop drawings, answering contractor's questions or RFI's, reviewing and approving request for payment from the client, and a final punch list.

 

Architecture also involves the coordination of other disciplines in a construction project such as Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, and Electrical Engineering. Dario Designs also provides material samples of the major building products. Typical material samples include the building skin, glass, floor materials and finishes, ceilings, bathroom partitions and tiles, doors, wall materials, paint colors, etc.

A full code analysis and assistance with site plan reviews, applications for variances, and building permits is a part of our standard Architectural Services. When we use the term "A&E" it refers to all of the Architectural and Engineering services listed above.

 

Finally, we also include the coordination of installing major newspaper equipment such as plate processors, presses, ink systems, vacuum systems, roll handling systems, inserters, buffer systems, packaging and distribution systems.
 

ENVIRONMENTAL & SAFETY AUDITS

Environmental & Safety Audits consists of Dario Designs and our associates reviewing a newspaper's operations and touring the facilities. We conduct interviews to understand the environmental and safety procedures.

 

A confidential report is then provided with a list of the violations and some recommended solutions to more complicated matters. Our lists usually include simple things such as illegal extension cords and ladders in poor condition, as well as more serious issues such as the lack of proper egress and dangerous operating procedures.

 

We have never found few than 100 violations as a result of our audits. Most of them are simple custodial fixes. Others can prevent major fines, injuries, or even death. A benefit of this service - beyond the obvious improvement of safety - is that the regulatory agencies look very favorably upon a newspaper that is trying to regulate itself, rather than being regulated by the authorities. It illustrates the intent of trying to be as safe as possible. Finally, we will point out areas of non-compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (A.D.A.).
 

ESTIMATING

Estimating includes Dario Designs providing cost estimates for production equipment and the construction of the facility. These estimates are provided by Dario Designs based on our historical records and experience. We solicit and manage estimates from local contractors that are more familiar with the local construction methods and materials.

 

Estimating gets closer and closer to the final cost as the scope gets more well defined. The various stages where estimating may be provided include the end of the masterplan, schematic design, and design development, as well as the end of 30%, 60%, and 90% completion of the construction documents.

 

The later estimates are normally broken down into a detail level to allow for value engineering. Value engineering is based on estimates and usually involves adding or deleting areas, materials, or finishes based on the construction cost. It can also result in changing the quality of the building or production equipment systems such as waste handling, roll handling, emergency generators, or the building mechanical systems.
 

EXISTING CONDITIONS DOCUMENTATION

Existing Conditions Documentation include the physical field measuring of an existing facility. These computer-generated documents are a valuable tool for all future projects. Because these documents are computerized, they are easily updated to reflect the day-to-day changes in the facility and can be used for all future planning and facility modifications.

 

Other uses for these documents include the following:

 

1.    Illustrate furniture plans and departmental layouts.

2.    Fire, safety, and evacuation plans.

3.    Pricing documents for future facility modifications such as new carpeting, floors, or painting.

4.    Illustrate locations and types of electrical, voice, data, and fiber optics services.

5.    Illustrate heating and cooling zones for mechanical systems.

6.    Security and facility access plans.

7.    Plans for insurance companies illustrating current fire protection systems and precautions.

8.    ADA compliance plans.

 

FEASIBILITY STUDIES

Feasibility Studies are used to determine which of several potential solutions will best meet the needs set forth in the program. Typical scenarios compared in a feasibility study include utilizing the existing facility, renovating the existing facility, adding onto the existing facility, retrofitting a newly acquired building, or constructing a new facility. Other feasibility studies will compare the advantages and disadvantages between staying downtown, building a complete new facility off site, or building just a production facility and running a split operation.

 

Feasibility studies will result in schematic floor plans illustrating the various solutions and a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Budget estimates and milestone schedules are also produced for each scenario. If a new site and building are selected, then an additional feasibility study may be conducted to determine which site best meets the needs of the program.
 

MASTERPLAN Masterplan is conducted after the newspaper has determined (often through a feasibility study) which solution best meets the needs defined in the program. A masterplan is a graphic illustration of the site plan and floor plans showing current as well as future growth areas. It also includes an order of magnitude cost estimate, and a milestone schedule. The schedule should include the time to provide the architecture and engineering services, construction services, and the equipment installation and training. Some schedules will also outline the timing of the newspaper's capital outlay.
 
PROGRAMMING Programming is the most important part of a project. This is where your needs and goals are defined. All of the subsequent results ill be based on how well these decisions have been made. A corporate philosophy and clear definition of quality levels should be understood. On a scale of 1 to 10, determine if the facility or additions will be a warehouse (Level 2), a Taj Mahal  (Level 10), or something in between, as is usually the case. Marketing and business goals need to be defined for immediate (1-2 years), a short term (5 years) and long term (10 years) needs.
 
SCHEMATIC DESIGN

Schematic Design is used to verify and clarify the technical assumptions made in the masterplan. The schematic design carries the project to the level of detail required to identify any critical issue not covered in the masterplan. Some of the tasks performed include the following:

 

1.    Code and regulatory agency investigations.

2.    Existing facility documentation, if renovating, adding on, or purchasing an existing facility.

       This would also include evaluating the

       existing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and structural systems.

3.    If the above tasks are in order, schematic floor plans, sections, and elevations are drawn.

4.    Budget estimate.

5.    Schedules for architecture, engineering, construction phasing if renovation, and equipment

       selection, acquisition, installation,

       and training.
 

SITE SEARCHES

Site Searches are conducted with a masterplan in hand. The masterplan will illustrate the facility needed to meet the current goals of the newspaper. It will also show the size and location of the areas, which have been planned for growth. With the future plans defined, one can be assured that the sites being considered will meet the needs of the newspaper as far into the future as desired. Some things to consider during a site search include the following:

 

1.    Geographic relationship to distribution.

2.    Geographic relationship to employee base.

3.    Access to highways and surface streets for distribution.

4.    Access to rail, barge, an highways for receiving newsprint.

5.    Availability, reliability and redundancy to electrical power.

6.    Unobstructed view of southwest sky to satellite transmissions.

7.    Availability of services such as gas, oil, water, sewer, and fiber optics.

8.    Soils and subsurface conditions.

9.    Environmental situations and regulations.

10.  Proximity to publisher's house.

11.  Regulatory agency issues.

12.  Nearby employee amenities.