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Announcing Newly Licensed Architect: Chris Warren

Ionic DeZign Studios is proud to announce that Architectural Associate Chris Warren has successfully completed his Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0 and is a newly licensed architect.

The ARE is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is designed to assess aspects of architectural practice that affect the integrity, soundness and health impacts of a building.

Chris has seven years of architectural experience, and joined the Ionic team in 2019.  He earned his Bachelors of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech in 2011.

Chris’ experience includes residential construction, with a multitude of projects involving  low-income housing, multifamily residential and single family homes. As a registered architect Chris will continue contributing his unique vision to Ionic designs, with a focus on creating outcomes that exceed client expectations.

Please join us in congratulating Chris on this achievement!

Ask IONIC #8 – The Final Look

Ask IONIC is a napkin series of questions that we often hear from our client and others that may assist those who are also seeking answers.

No question is dumb… just the ones you don’t ask.

We hope these will help you understand our industry just a little better so you can make informed decisions on your project.

Information that leads to knowledge is the key to success.

 

What will the completed product look like?

Owners are typically trying to find someone…i.e. an architect, that can ensure that what they envision in their heads or scratched on their cocktail napkins will look the same (or better) when it’s built.

So how can an architect best represent what’s communicated from the owner to the real world?

Architects have a variety of tools that we use to help owners visualize their completed projects before shovels even hit the ground. There has been a recent increase in the use of technology and software applications in construction, and we have seen the benefits first-hand. Our team utilizes Computer Aided Drafting Design (CADD) floor plans, elevations, conceptual drawings and 3D renderings that provide a photo-like image of your proposed building.

Basic Autocad is … well, just basic. It’s only a beginning. If this is all your architect is using, you might need something more.

At the start of a schematic design phase most efficient and creative firms will use design technology that represent your project in three dimensions. This is a huge help to see how your project looks and feels with all the appropriate materials. The project can be placed in its specific surroundings or similar one depending on your preferences and needs.

Be prepared to expend more in fees if you want the detailed exact surroundings. The designers will have to create these…they aren’t just “out there” on the internet.

If Interiors are a key part of your project, ensure that your design team has this capability. Often, a lot of other “pieces” are needed to populate an interior and make it visually exciting. Furniture, pictures on the walls, lighting, etc. Image if you went to look at an apartment that was empty versus one that was staged. Get the idea? Again, these take time to develop. If you are wanting the exact furniture or infill items, most likely the designer will have to create it from scratch…there is no “Easy Button”!

What’s next?

How about a walk-through video. These are great and really give you an idea of the flow for how you might enter the building and stroll through each of the spaces. There are a variety of programs that help the architect achieve these. These are very helpful for clients that are trying to receive an approval from a committee or a church. Maybe even for fundraising purposes.

Image it being like a movie set… you aren’t just doing one angle of a scene but rather everything as you turn around within the space. Be sure to ask your professional about these available services and examples that they have previously completed. How did they work for those groups?

What’s next? Can there really be more?

Oh yes, in today’s world of advanced computer modeling there seems to be more everyday. Holograms? Not yet… sorry, maybe next year.

Images that are interactive rather than just still renderings. These are beneficial if you are using them on your website for potential tenants. Like the example below.

How about a “walk-around”? Similar to a walk-through video but typically shared within the architects office. Videos produced by many architects take TIME to render. So they aren’t always immediate for the client needs. A system we often use at IONIC allows the clients to see in real time the space and places that we are designing. They tell us where to walk, where to turn, what to see. Standing inside an important space and turning around looking everywhere, left, right, up and down. It’s amazing!

With ours…none of those goggles needed.

Perfect for design-build teams!

Go back and look at the approved renderings and the final product…how do they compare?

Our team takes immense pride in the work we do. We treat each client’s project as if it’s the only one we have. When construction is complete, you can be confident that your new building or renovation will serve you not just now, but for many years to come.

Let IONIC serve you too.

BGAV Tradeshow Convention

This week IONIC attended the Baptist General Association of Virginia’s annual general meeting and convention in Hampton, Virginia. The event was well attended and lots of guests visited our booth.

 

IONIC featured its Gratitude Grant which you can read about in another blog post here. We highlighted the offer with actual rocks engraved with the word “GRATITUDE.” These handy little gems went FAST. Attendees of the event truly enjoyed them as they reminded themselves of the gratitude we should feel every day.

This was one reason IONIC began seeking more opportunities for religious architecture: the people we have the opportunity to work with. It has given us the chance to reflect on our own gratitude for the years of support our community has provided.

At the end of the day, our team received several significant opportunities to meet with various churches to share how we could assist them in their next step of church growth.

Those who attended and dropped by our booth will receive a free copy of our “8 Considerations for Church Visioneering.” It shares exactly what simple steps you need to consider when building or expanding your house of worship. If you would like your own copy, please reach out to us here and we will email you the link to download it.

Remember that Ionic DeZign Studios is more than a designer of architecture, we help to resolve the issues your church is facing with growth. The obstacles in your current facility are preventing the opportunity for your ministry to grow.

With more than 300 built churches, our team can address any of your concerns. Schedule a low commitment consultation to begin your journey.

IONIC Vision: Creating Places and Spaces that Enrich the Lives of Those Who Use Them.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.
Find out more about IONIC

Providence Baptist Church is an Award Winner!

IONIC returned from the Annual Member Meeting for the National Association of Church Design Builders with two awards for its Providence Baptist Church project. We teamed up with general contractor JH Batten, Inc., a fellow NACDB member, to add an 8,200 square foot expansion to the existing church building in Hayes, VA.

Our partnership with JH Batten was rewarded with an Honors Award for best TEAM NACDB project for collaborating with a fellow member. The job was also a winner in the category for best project under $5 million.

 

 

The 1960s facility presented a challenge to the team, with a large amount of the existing square footage constructed prior to the existence of current Building Codes. To match the colonial style and brick facade of the existing building, special care was needed to meet the requirements of the fire code, without employing a sprinkler system. By designing and building a Firewall between the existing Commons and Fellowship Hall, the Design/Build team was able to isolate the existing Fellowship Hall and then add to it to create the new Fellowship Center. When completed, the firewall allowed the structure to be represented as though it was two separate buildings. The firewall also set the stage for the future Multi-Purpose Outreach Center addition, which could be separated and sprinkled for fire safety.

Creative collaboration and careful coordination between Ionic DeZign Studios and JH Batten allowed the fire code requirements to be addressed in a way that saved the church both time and expense. The client also had an extensive wish list for the new building and the team was able to meet those needs, while staying within budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new Fellowship Center doubled the size of the church’s seating capacity from 150 to 300 seats for dining and fellowship events, while allowing for better furniture placement. Key features of the new center include a new Commercial Kitchen and handicap accessible bathrooms and showers. A new entry Commons with a coffee bar and high-top tables can be conveniently accessed from a covered Drop-off area in the parking lot. Additional parking, accessible walkways and new landscaping and lighting further enhanced the completed Phase 1 design.

The S-Curve

I was recently afforded the opportunity to hear Kyle Johnson, the minister of Next Level Church, speak at the recent Annual Member Meeting of NACDB (National Association of Church Design Build) in Arlington, Texas. He gave the keynote address based on the “S-Curve” thought process regarding growth. It was interesting to hear him compare business and church growth. Something you might not normally expect. I took the following notes and added my own thoughts and embellishments as they apply to our own experiences.

It’s funny how things often tie together. Kyle was about to share his message which often referenced the rollercoaster or S-Curve theory. As I was walking over from the hotel to the convention center where the event was to take place, I noticed a wonderful orange sunrise coming up in the distance. It was striking. But what caught my attention especially was the shadowy figure of the rollercoaster from Six Flags in the foreground. A few hours later Kyle would be sharing his thoughts about rollercoasters and sunrises……hummmmm makes you think.

Growth is linear…up and to the right. Well that’s what we would like to consider consistent growth. Consistent and sustainable growth. But we know that is in theory only and does not necessarily occur in practice. Growth doesn’t happen in our businesses in a linear fashion. Nor does growth for churches happen linearly either. It’s more up and down like a rollercoaster. A continuous cycle that has its ebbs and tides and hopefully moves generally upward as the cycle repeats.

There are several recognizable phases that are evident in this S-Curve process:

1. Launch

The launching is the first phase and can easily be demonstrated by the kick off of a new business. However, other areas can be illustrated by this such as expansion, an acquisition or even a new service. Something different. Anything new can be considered a launch phase. On a rollercoaster, it is when you sit in that seat and pull down the bar that holds you in… and you suck your gut in just a little bit more so you can tug on it just a little bit more and the bar clicks tighter one more notch. Then you hear the air breaks go off on a rollercoaster. Hear we go! Hang on!

2. Acceleration

Seth Godin described the next phase of any business cycle as the acceleration phase. That moment when your movement just begins. It’s slow as first but you are proceeding forward. Gaining a bit of momentum possibly. It’s that first dip on the rollercoaster as it leaves the loading area and heads out on the track. A short  downward portion that we all experience in our stomachs possibly, both on the rollercoaster and in the business world.

3. Rapid Growth

The third phase is all about growth. Business is fun at this point. Work is coming in. So is money. This is what was planned, right? Up and to the right, just as all business models are represented. Growth is rapid. You get more projects than you know how to handle. You have to hire more people to perform the work. Things are good, maybe even a bit frantic. But that’s okay. You are making money. Making progress. Accomplishing a lot. This is good. A little sweat is good… right? Sure it is. Put your hands up on the rollercoaster! You feel like you could do this all day.

4. Diminishing Returns

Oh no, here it comes. You couldn’t really expect it to continue up and right forever, could you? Progress slows, but that’s OK because you were swamped and now you appreciate the breather. It should be nothing. It might last a month, maybe a few before you recognize the slowed forward momentum. Maybe you looked at your financials and see that you increased in revenue in every previous month. Over and over. But not this month. It was still a good number. Maybe even a little dip from last month. Nothing to worry about… or is there? It’s that moment on the rollercoaster when the first car goes over the top of the hill. The question for business owners is are you in the front seat or the back? Can you see what is ahead or are you blinded by an obstructed view?

5. Free Fall

Here comes the sickening feeling in your stomach. We lose a project. And then another. We never lost projects before. What do you mean our prices are too high?After all these years of our relationship and the past work we have performed for you? The other guys? It’s a downward spin on the rollercoaster. You can feel the wheels coming off the tracks just a little bit. Stomach floating upward into your throat. Not enough work for those new people you just hired.

Here is the moment when we have to begin to make a difference in our company. Being a good leader isn’t just about doing good when things are well. That’s easy to manage. A good leader recognizes the issues and takes action. I’ve often heard that it isn’t the challenges that makes you who you are, but how you react to those challenges.

You are going to have to avoid the Doom Loop. You keep doing the same… over and over. Where is that ultimately going to get you? Probably in the same spot you began… without progress. You tried something new and it didn’t take off immediately. You got scared and freaked out! The free fall makes you want to stop what you are doing and go back to something safe. The growth isn’t there anymore and it isn’t happening the way you hoped or planned. Trust the systems, structures, communication and processes. It’s there… give it time.

However, if there aren’t any changes made, your are bound to endure the Doom Loop. A good leader will make the necessary changes. Sticking your head in the sand and expecting it to get better isn’t a solution. If you are not willing to make the changes necessary to get back to the top of the S-Curve then you will certainly suffer. And so will the rest of your team.

So guess what? Every organization will experience some part of the Doom Loop. The real question is for what duration will you remain on this reoccurring cycle? How long will it take you as a leader to react? Good visionary leaders can see across the rollercoaster and see what the future holds. You must be willing to make the changes necessary. Jim Collins describes this trait as a good leader becoming a great leader.

Sunsets: Close your eyes and picture a sunset in your mind. Where are you? What is the perfect sunset that you envision? If this was asked in a room full of people, everyone would have a different answer, right? Is only one person envisioning the correct sunset? No they are all correct but they may not be envisioning your sunset as the leader. Your sunset is the vision of the company. The direction you are going. The master plan or maybe the 3 year vivid vision such as Cameron Herold suggests and our office does. So have you shared your vision with the others on your team so they know what your sunset looks like?

Where are you on the rollercoaster? And can you truly evaluate your current status? The bigger question is what are you going to do about it? How will your react to this challenge?

www.ionicdezigns.com

IONIC in Chicago

Our office is working toward approval with the Architectural Design Commission and Planning Commission for a new furniture retail store.  It has taken several trips back and forth to Chicago to meet with all the approving jurisdictional parties. Planning Commission, Architectural Design Commission and now we are headed to their Board of Trustees. Basically, the same thing as a City Council hearing.

So far, all has gone well without issues. We hope to begin the construction documents soon for both the exterior and interior to be ready by December once we get the final approvals in place.

Be sure to check out more of our work on our website.

www.ionicdezigns.com

Wendy’s Convention

IONIC to Showcase Services at 2017 Wendy’s Restaurant Convention

When we received an invitation to exhibit at the Wendy’s Convention, we were beyond excited! IONIC has had the pleasure of handling architecture and planning for hundreds of Wendy’s restaurants over the years, collaborating with Wendy’s corporate office and franchise owners across several states.

 

What Happens in Vegas…

So, we’re heading off to Las Vegas this week to set-up at booth 2515 in the Supplier Expo. This year, the convention runs from 9/17-9/20, with an estimated 3,000 attendees expected.

Dahlia White, Director of Restaurant Architecture for IONIC, and I will be meeting with franchise owners to discuss their Wendy’s restaurant project vision. We’ll follow-up to address their specific needs, balancing them with requirements, deadlines and budget, to help them create their signature Wendy’s restaurant.

Live from the Show Floor at Mandalay Bay!

Keep an eye on our social posts over the next several days as we will be sharing photos and highlights from our upcoming Wendy’s trade show experience. You can check out our featured restaurant projects, including a Wendy’s restaurant design at ionicdezigns.com.

3rd Street Bethel AME Church

Ionic DeZign Studios, Inc. has been awarded the contract to provide design services to preserve the historic Third Street Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the project is being funded through a National Park Service grant. As part of the preservation of African American civil rights movement sites, Third Street Bethel AME Church was one of 39 projects in 21 states to receive funding.

The funds will be used to stabilize the 1856 Gothic structure, where trailblazing African-American Maggie Walker addressed the Right Worthy Grand Council of Virginia in 1901, saying, ”Let us awake” and urging them to “start and do good in our ranks,” establishing a bank, a newspaper and a business empire in Richmond’s African American community during the infancy of the Civil Rights movement in Virginia.

Be sure to follow up on our progress as we share along the way. Check out other church projects at www.ionicdezigns.com

We currently have offices in Virginia Beach and Richmond to better serve you.  757.499.3510.