Our projects progress in four Stages. We take full responsibility for managing the entire process. Keeping things streamlined and organized helps us get the job done right and helps you feel on track.
The Planning Stage is where we seek to understand your budget, lifestyle, specific goals, and design tastes. In this stage we issue client homework: a collection of exercises that help us learn about your lifestyle and objectives. This helps us to understand the life you aspire to live in your new home, now and in the future.
Next, we review your property’s site, taking note of sun, wind, topography and vegetation. We research municipal regulations such as zoning, conservation and heritage. Keeping within an agreed upon budget, we provide three different concept designs for review. After two or three rounds of revisions, the Planning Stage ends with one chosen conceptual design: your favourite.
The Design Stage is where we collaboratively develop the chosen conceptual design into the final building design. We guide you through all the necessary decisions in order to be ready to build.
Through multiple design meetings together, we finalize the floor plans and exterior look of the home; design the building structure, envelope, interiors, HVAC, lighting and electrical systems; and select all products, materials and finishes.
We produce all construction documents; and coordinate all required consultants, such as structural and mechanical engineers.
The Pre-Construction Stage is where we lay the groundwork for construction. We coordinate permitting and help you select a builder. Once selected, we prepare a 3-way contract between you, us and the Builder.
We work with the builder to finalize the scope, budget and schedule; and to reduce the contract price through Value Engineering if required. We also obtain all necessary building permits and final approvals.
The Construction Stage is when the building becomes a reality. We contract and liaise with your selected builder and routinely visit the site to review progress. We certify all payments and, if needed, we administer any necessary changes or modifications to the design. We ensure that the work is completed to Substantial Performance, and coordinate the completion of deficiencies. At two points during construction we coordinate building envelope air-tightness testing to ensure energy efficiency goals are met.
At move-in we make sure you’re happy with the final product. After your first year, we perform our 1-year warranty review to make sure everything is still to your liking.
THE SOLARES EXPERIENCE
Building a dream eco-home or multiplex is a rare and special occasion. When you work with us, you become our priority. We create a unique and meaningful experience by including you in every stage of the process and taking leadership to move the project forward smoothly and efficiently. The result is a sustainable home you can be proud of for decades to come.
Good organization is crucial for an enjoyable experience and a first rate finished project. We stay meticulously well-ordered and on top of deadlines, permitting requirements, and construction necessities, which allow our client meetings to be creative and exciting.
As our client, you are not just included in the process – you are integral to every decision. By remaining open about our thought processes and ideas, we build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.
We give careful consideration to a variety of options for every major decision. We outline each one, weighing the pros and cons while keeping in mind your specific wants and needs. We equip you with the information required to make informed decisions, including our own recommendations.
When it comes to budgeting and cost planning, we understand that all resources and finances are valuable. If you have a set budget, we review it honestly, and work within those parameters to design a beautiful, sustainable home that suits your needs. If you don’t have a budget in mind, we translate your desires into a cost management plan. Throughout our process we continually keep budget goals in check by weighing the true cost and value of every decision.
There are many strategies when it comes to sustainable design and energy efficiency. At Solares, our priorities centre on passive solar design; all-electric and low carbon energy sources; a high-performance envelope; and durable, high-quality construction. Once those fundamentals are established, we move on to energy efficient mechanical systems and healthy, non-toxic interior finishes. Lastly, if the budget allows, we add active, renewable energy collection systems; and if not, we rough-in for their future installation.
Throughout this process, our projects are tested by third-party building science experts to ensure that construction of the building envelope is executed to the highest standard according to our meticulous design.