The ICONIC Residence – Brantford
The ICONIC Residence – Brantford
Deadline: January 22nd, 2021 / Total Contract Value: $55,000 CAD
The City of Brantford is revitalizing the Downtown region as an emerging Urban Growth Centre and has delegated this high-profile location for an ICONIC residence building. The site is a gateway arrival point to the Downtown area overlooking the Grand River and is clearly seen when crossing the Lorne Bridge or traveling southward along Brant Avenue. The City plans to further expand and intensify the downtown area.
The vision is to be a rental property hence the developer is looking at long-term ownership. All the finishes should be good to high quality, easy to maintain, and long-lasting to minimize the need for frequent replacement. Long-term operations calls for consideration of high-efficiency technologies/systems for cooling/heating, appliances, and renewable energy options to minimize operational costs.
The core focus of this project RFP is to maximize and optimize living spaces, as well as creatively incorporate green features that residences can not only visually appreciate but interact with the space.
The ICONIC Residence – FAQs
Our goal is to provide ALL Designers as much information and support as possible. We have received a number of great inquiries regarding the ICONIC Residence RFP however due to the volume, responding to questions individually takes significant time. We will be aggregating questions and answers on this project page so that all Designers may have access to these responses. We welcome Designers to still submit inquiries however we cannot guarantee a time frame that Designers will receive responses due to the varying complexities.
Please check this page for answers you may have. If it has not been answered, please submit questions below in the comment section.
1. Interpreting By-Laws and Guidelines
We have received many inquiries regarding the application of by-laws and guidelines. Given the generality of these items, the application depends heavily on the individual design. One of the biggest challenges even for experienced Designers is to interpret the information and design with these considerations in mind. The best way to approach EveryUrban Projects is to focus on the RFP materials as it has been created with the local project Architect of Record and Planning Consultant specifically for the project. The City By-Laws and Guideline are shared with Designers to provide perspective on the benchmarks City Development Approval Authorities will be reviewing ( more elaborated in the next section “Understanding Development Approvals” ). We advise Designers to focus core design decisions on what is stated in the “Desired Design” section in the RFP as this is what the Client would like to see and reviewed by a professional local planning consultant to devise where boundaries could be pushed to balance City and Client needs.
Example of By-law/Guideline Interpretation for Setbacks:
Colborne St is the North lot line. Page 12 of the RFP states “Up to 3.0m or established front line building of the adjacent building. Setback can be increased for Patios on the ground floor”. This implies that the standard is up to 3.0m. If the Design incorporates the defined items such as Patio space, this could be increased. Taking account of the By-Laws in the City Urban Design Guideline, if the frontage is on Colborne Street with a lobby entrance and/or other elements stated, 25% of the frontage can be set back up to 5.0m to accommodate for these areas.
As can be seen from this example, the baseline setback for the North lot line is up to 3.0m with consideration of adjacent buildings. Bylaws are in place to help maintain a level of consistency across all developments such that the City does not end up with inconsistent odd-looking variations of the streetscape. The reason for the 25% frontage at a 5.0m setback limit is to maintaining uniformity while allowing sensible considerations that features such as the main entrance, patio, or bike storage requiring more space for the convenience of use as well as visual compatibility. We encourage Designers to challenge themselves to interpret information on a deeper level to understand how it applies to real use scenarios rather than viewing it on a static level from a visual design perspective. Considering the end users which are the people who will be interacting with space and structure is the best way to make decisions whether it conforms or pushes boundaries.
2. Understanding Development Approvals
One of the most difficult parts of Design and Development is City Approvals. Many City Guidelines and By-laws have been drafted for the past and have not been updated for present-day use. Since the original creation of these parameters, cities, and neighborhoods have grown in densities, and the needs of the local community changes with the ever dynamic world we live in. Apart from City Planning, Developers have other external considerations such as land and material costs whereby there must be a balance between the City and Client needs. In short, if Designs complied entirely within City parameters, there would be very few developments taking place due to feasibility reasons. This is why projects are accompanied by local professionals in particular a Planning Consultant in order to advise where areas of Design could push beyond the set By-laws and Guidelines. This is a high-level process that requires back and forth negotiation with the City during applications and typically requires 2-3 rounds of design revisions depending on the complexity and City comments. RFP submission review is focused on Design Concept and quality of work in order to select a winning Designer for collaboration to take the Design to formal Development approvals.
3. Focus on the Design Concept
Due to the volume and nature of questions we are receiving, we urge Designers to focus more on the big picture which is the Design Concept. A large portion of inquiries can be answered upon reading the Project materials carefully such as submission requirements ( see next section “RFP Details and Requirements” ). The Support Team is prioritizing inquiries where the currently available material does not address. We cannot guarantee a particular time frame or response to all inquiries hence we urge Designers to do their best to move forward independently and prioritize important questions for a faster response as well as regularly checking this page to see if the FAQ covers your questions.
If there are details that will not ‘make or break’ a design, we encourage Designers to exercise discretion and note the considerations in your submission material. The panel will be focused on potential and viability. As long as Designers show a promising understanding and the necessary skillsets to complete the project contract, minor items and errors are acceptable.
4. RFP Details and Requirements
EveryUrban project RFPs are designed to only cover the bare minimum material a panel would require in order to assess and select a winning Design Concept. As long as mandatory elements are present, Designers can include any additional materials as they deem fit to better outline or display their work.
All Designers are deemed as professional independent contractors. Similar to a job application or formal project proposal, how the Design Concept Proposal is presented and communicated is part of personal branding and career growth. EveryUrban seeks to push all Designers to take ownership and control over their work from the perspective of being your own boss rather than that of a student or employee handing in a work assignment. This mindset will be what sets you apart in the field and give you the confidence to create your dream career path.
5. Participation Eligibility
EveryUrban seeks to break traditional barriers and promote innovation through inclusivity and opportunity. Unless specifically stated in an RFP, Projects including the ICONIC Residence is open to ALL Designers regardless of title, education background, experience or location.
With that being said, these are still professional job contracts with paying clients and proper procedures for development approvals. This means that all Designers must be able to confidently execute the work and exercise industry-standard knowledge and skillsets to complete the job contract. All projects are accompanied by a local Architect of Record and Planning consultant to provide support and guidance where local experience is needed. The winning Designer is expected to be able to utilize provided information/feedback to complete the work on the same level of a standard industry professional even if the Designer is a student. Opening opportunities to all does not mean professional expectations are lowered but that those who are talented beyond the formal certifications can still take on these opportunities if they are capable.
One of the biggest criticisms we hear from Architectural firms regarding students and new designers has been the lack of experience and understanding when it comes to real scenarios. We cannot know what each person is capable of until they are given the opportunity to shine. For young designers who may not be at the necessary technical skill level to win a professional contract are still encouraged to participate. Building out your portfolio and experience from real projects will hold a high level of educational value and personal growth towards future opportunities.
6. Availability of Additional Materials
Any and all materials available are accessible by ALL Designers in the Project RFP Folder. The EveryUrban team seeks as much information and documentation from Clients as possible however the ideal items may not always be available.
In the event additional items arise:
> Designers with verified accounts will be notified by email.
> The project page will be updated with a dated notice that additional materials have become available.
> Items will be uploaded to the Project Folder.
We want to ensure all participants have fair opportunity and accessibility hence no individuals will receive additional material due to private requests. If you do not see a notice or the material in the folder, this means the items are looking for are not available.
Project Specific Questions:
*** Currently being processed – Updates will be posted by 13/01/21. ***