BOSTON: ENTRY-LEVEL PROJECT MANAGER

CUBE

We’re on the lookout for a project manager to join our team in Boston. If you’re passionate about architecture and interested in a rigorous, rewarding office and design culture, you might be a good fit for CUBE design + research.

We are a 5-person award-winning architecture firm with offices in Boston, MA and Chapel Hill, NC.  We strive to create design that is inspiring, thoughtful and transformative for those who live and work in our buildings and the communities they inhabit. Our work spans from small to large-scale residential and commercial design. Regardless of the project size, we pride ourselves on exceeding our clients’ expectations with comprehensive construction documents that reflect our commitment to rigorous detail and quality design. As we grow our practice, we are searching for a new team member who, beyond their professional skill-set, has the desire to be a leader and bring value to our culture of design-driven collaboration.  Just as we do with our clients, we appreciate and cultivate each individual’s aspirations, which results in a strong team fueled by genuine enthusiasm.

We are seeking a well-rounded individual with exceptional design talent to join our team in Boston.  An accredited professional architecture degree and 4 to 7 years of post-graduation experience is desirable.  Ideal candidates will possess very strong conceptual, organizational, graphic, and time and project management skills.  He/she will show an appreciation of craft, community and modern design, and will demonstrate excellent design sensibility and rigor as a self-starter within a collaborative environment. Each member of our small firm is expected to have design input into projects and be involved in multiple projects at any one time.

 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

– Collaborate with team members to provide high quality design solutions in all aspects of a project from concept through CDs, furniture and fixtures.

– Provide client, community and in-house presentations for projects in conjunction with firm leadership.

– Manage multiple projects/tasks effectively to meet deadlines in a fluid environment.

– Work with consultants to assess design solutions and maintain the integrity of design.

– Research systems, fixtures, equipment, and materials based on design and functional criteria.

– Create building design solutions and use materials and systems based on an understanding of construction customs and vernacular.

– Manage, prepare and coordinate technical drawing sets and specifications with rigorous attention to detail.

– Assist with business development opportunities and represent the firm outside the office with firm leadership.

 

DESIRED SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE

– Exceptional design and visualization skills.

– Fluent in Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp, V-Ray (or similar) and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).

– Knowledge of building systems, materials and building finish products suitable for multi- and single-family residential and light commercial projects.

– Knowledge of construction to assist in design detailing and construction documentation.  Knowledge of wood construction is a plus.

– Understanding that form is as important as function.

– Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.

– Ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines.

– Strong organizational, management, and leadership skills.

– Fluent in English and imperial system of measurement.

– Architect license is not required but a sense of humor is.

 

WE OFFER

– A large role in a growing firm with responsibility on a range of modern residential, commercial and multi-family projects.

– Hands-on experience with all phases and facets of project design, management and construction.

– Work on a variety of projects in both Boston, MA and the Triangle area of NC.

– Support of IDP and ARE.

– A culture of camaraderie around design-driven collaboration.

– Involvement in business development and marketing strategies.

– Face to face engagement with clients and consultants.

– Flexible working hours.

 

Please send your cover letter, resume and portfolio in PDF format (10 MB max) to the attention of Chris Johns, office@cubedesignresearch.com.  Include “Project Manager” in the subject line.  Check out our website and facebook for more on our work.

We’re also looking for talent in Chapel Hill, NC. If you know someone interested, please refer them to our opportunity posting.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

CHAPEL HILL: ADVANCED-LEVEL INTERN ARCHITECT

We’re on the lookout for a talented person to join our team in Chapel Hill. If you’re passionate about architecture and interested in a rigorous, rewarding office and design culture, you might be a good fit for CUBE design + research.

We are a 4-person award-winning architecture firm with offices in Boston, MA and Chapel Hill, NC.  We strive to create design that is inspiring, thoughtful and transformative for those who live and work in our buildings and the communities they inhabit. Our work spans from small to large-scale residential and commercial design. Regardless of the project size, we pride ourselves on exceeding our clients’ expectations with comprehensive construction documents that reflect our commitment to rigorous detail and quality design. As we grow our practice, we are searching for a new team member who, beyond their professional skill-set, has the desire to become a leader and bring value to our culture of design-driven collaboration.  Just as we do with our clients, we appreciate and cultivate each individual’s aspirations, which results in a strong team fueled by genuine enthusiasm.

We are seeking a well-rounded individual with exceptional design talent to join our team in Chapel Hill.  An accredited professional architecture degree and 3 to 6 years of post-graduation experience is desirable.  Ideal candidates will possess very strong conceptual, organizational, graphic, and time management skills.  He/she will show an appreciation of craft, community and modern design, and will demonstrate excellent design sensibility and rigor as a self-starter within a collaborative environment. Each member of our small firm is expected to have design input into projects and be involved in multiple projects at any one time.

 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

– Collaborate with team members to provide high quality design solutions in all aspects of a project from concept through construction documents, furniture, and fixtures.

– Provide client, community, and in-house presentations for projects in conjunction with firm leadership.

– Manage multiple projects/tasks effectively to meet deadlines in a fluid environment.

– Work with consultants to assess design solutions and maintain the integrity of design.

– Research systems, fixtures, equipment, and materials based on design and functional criteria.

– Create building design solutions and use materials and systems based on an understanding of construction customs and vernacular with leadership support.

– Assist in preparing and coordinating technical drawing sets and specifications with rigorous attention to detail in conjunction with firm leadership.

– Assist in construction administration with firm leadership.

– Assist with business development opportunities and represent the firm outside the office with firm leadership.

 

DESIRED SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE

– Good sense of humor.

– Exceptional design and visualization skills.

– Fluent in Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp, V-Ray (or similar) and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).

– Knowledge of basic building systems and construction methods. Knowledge of wood construction is a plus.

– Understanding that form is as important as function.

– Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.

– Ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines.

– Fluent in English and imperial system of measurement.

 

WE OFFER

– A large role in a growing firm with responsibility on a range of modern residential, commercial and multi-family projects.

– Hands-on experience with all phases and facets of project design, management and construction.

– Work on a variety of projects in both the Triangle area of NC and Boston, MA.

– Support of IDP and ARE.

– A culture of camaraderie around design-driven collaboration.

– Involvement in business development and marketing strategies.

– Face to face engagement with clients and consultants.

– Flexible working hours.

 

Please send your cover letter, resume and portfolio in PDF format (10 MB max) to the attention of Jason Hart, office@cubedesignresearch.com.  Include “Intern Architect” in the subject line.  Check out our website and Facebook page for more on our work.

We’re also looking for talent in Boston, MA. If you know someone interested, please refer them to our opportunity posting.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT WINDOW GLASS

With recent energy code changes and new developments in engineered glass, how is anyone to make sense of all the options and ratings? We break it down for real people so you can select the best glass options for your windows.

When purchasing windows today, you’ll find four basic ratings listed on the glass sticker:

1) U-FACTOR: similar to wall insulation, this measures the insulating quality of glass on a scale from 0 (greatest insulation) to 1 (least insulation). The smaller the number the better the glass is at insulating. Insulation acts like a coat for your house in the winter to hold warm air in, and like a cooler to hold cold air in during summer. Argon gas between two panes of glass will greatly increase the insulated quality. This all equates to savings on your utility bill no matter your climate.

2) SOLAR HEAT GAIN COEFFICIENT (SHGC): measures how well the glass blocks heat from the sun on a scale from 0 (greatest heat blocked) to 1 (least heat blocked). This has the greatest affect on the south side of your home where the sun shines directly year-round.

3) VISIBLE TRANSMITTANCE (VT): similar to sunglasses, this measures how much light passes through the glass affecting the brightness of a room. It’s measured on a scale from 0 (least light / brightness) to 1 (greatest light / brightness).

4) LOW-E COATINGS: Invisible metallic coatings on glass that reflect heat but still allow light through. This affects all the above ratings, but has the largest affect on the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. There are several levels of Low-E: 180, 240, and 366 (and a few in between); the lower the number (180), the less heat blocked from the sun, the higher the number (366) the greater the heat blocked from the sun.

For example, if you have south facing windows that are not shaded from the summer sun, Low-E 366 will greatly reduce the summer heat gain and reduce your utility bill. However, if your home is sited for passive solar – large windows facing south to allow winter time heating from the sun but are shaded during the summer – Low-E 180 would allow the greatest heat gain in the winter, 240 would allow a mid-range heat gain in the winter, and 366 would block most of the heat gain and negate most of the benefits of passive solar heating.

The majority of residential glass in the U.S. is manufactured by Cardinal glass (their website has additional useful info) and used by most window manufacturers. Some window manufacturers have changed the nomenclature, i.e. Low-E 180 may be called “advanced” or the like. Ask your dealer for the Low-E level equivalent.

If nothing else, remember you always want a low U-Factor number, and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient may vary depending on how much heat gain you desire from the sun on a given side of your home.

4 WAYS TO CREATE A COOL HALF BATH

 

half-bath-2

Too often the half bath feels like the corner of the living room – who wants to use that? Here are four simple ways to set it apart  – let guests feel like they’re stepping into Superman’s transformation phone booth!

1.  MIND THE DOOR
Doors (preferably solid core) should open into hallways, not right onto major rooms. No one wants to walk right out of a bathroom and stop the party.

2.  MAKE IT FEEL REMOVED
No guest wants to feel like they’re still in the living room when they step into a half bath. Make the decor and paint color inside the half bath different from the rest of the house. This gives a greater feeling of being removed from the room on the other side of the door. Let guests step into Superman’s transformation phone booth!

3.  ADD SOMETHING UNIQUE
Consider chalkboard paint on one wall, a whole wall mirror, tile all walls like an upscale spa, or other unique textures to set the room apart.

4.  CONSIDER LIGHTING
Changing the lighting is a great way to change the experience of a space. The light brightness level and fixture itself can help set the space apart – like the entire ceiling being a light in the above left image.

SEVEN CONTRACTOR SELECTION TIPS

contractors

Hiring a contractor is probably the second most important decision after your architect. The choice will determine the quality of craftsmanship and the timely completion of the project within budget. You will be depending on them to control your large investment wisely. Some contractors may use only the most skilled craftspeople, while others may depend on day laborers for the same job. The result is differing strengths, quality, and price. Consult your architect to help form a list of potential candidates, and then begin initial interviews. Ask consistent questions for an apple-to-apples comparison.

Some highlights from our contractor interview questions are:
1) Who would be directly supervising the project and what is their background?
2) What type of contract and pricing structure do you normally work with (fixed-price, cost-plus, guaranteed maximum)? Each has pros and cons depending on your project.
3) What type and size projects do you typically work with? Provide a range of typical budgets.
4) How do you help manage and track pricing through construction to avoid significant cost escalation?
5) How many projects do you take on at one time and what is your track record for coming in on budget?
6) How often do you supervise projects on site? All day, part of the day, every few days?
7) How does this project fit within the goals of your company?

Selection Criteria:
1) Have they built this type of work before?
2) Do they have a solid reputation and personal references (for last 3 completed projects)?
3) Are they available to build this project?
4) Is their workload balanced for their size or are they overcommitted?
5) Are their sub-contractors consistent from project to project?
6) Are they thorough and do they communicate clearly?
7) After touring some of their completed projects, do you like the quality of craftsmanship you see?

We normally guide our clients through the selection and interview process, and stay involved on a weekly basis throughout construction. With proper planning and research, your project is more likely to be done well, on time, and within budget.

REACTIONS OF PEOPLE

light
One day during the construction of the Carrboro house, the tile installer interrupted me to ask: “What is this place?” “A house?” I responded, somewhat unsure of the question.
He looked up then over, “Really!?” He started walking away. “Wow… Holy cow!” As he walked down the hallway, his head turned up to the skylights and back to the floor. “Wow! This place is (expletive) amazing!” As he entered the living room, he grinned from ear to ear and said, “I’d love something like this in the country.”
I wish I had video of him walking through the house because his reaction is part of the joy we get from creating places that make people feel good every day. Many others have walked through with more reserved comments: “beautiful,” “fabulous,” “love it!” But once in a while you see people visibly moved like the realtor who walked into the Jetty House bathroom and exclaimed, “Wow! Honey, come here! Look! Now this is architecture!”

MODERN HOME COST RANGE

exterior-cube-architects

One common question we receive is how much should be budgeted for a modern home project? Paying for a home is analogous to buying car: the bigger the car, the higher the cost. More options add cost and higher quality costs more than lower quality. If you’re in North Carolina, we suggest budgeting between $225 and $250 per square foot as a base – in Massachusetts, add $50 to those numbers. This should achieve a good level of quality and energy efficiency with a balanced cost approach. If you desire Porsche-level high design and perfection, add up to 40% to the above. If you’re on a shoestring budget, consider building a smaller home. There are many ways to make a small home live big and you’ll have less to maintain. Our Carrboro house is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 baths, with a very generous living area in just 1750sf.

There are many variables in the cost of building, but controlling a budget starts with the layout and design. A compact 2-story 3,000sf home will cost less than a single story 3,000sf home, as some of the larger building costs are associated with foundation and roof areas. This is why it is often helpful to consult with an architect early in the planning process.

PRACTICING WITH NEIGHBORS

Our recent client Leigh Stringfellow Aiyyer is a harpist who made a delightful unexpected discovery when practicing with the doors open – neighbors with perfect pitch! Check out her blog post.
cube-aiyyer-harp

#Carrboro house hosts visiting Japanese delegation…

#Carrboro house hosts visiting Japanese delegation studying #AgingFriendly design in U.S. fb.me/1ru85ACDc

CUBE’s November Newsletter and Tips now out!

CUBE’s November Newsletter and Tips now out: fb.me/2zoxkZC9h

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