Quality Starts with Understanding the Vision

The first question I typically ask of a project team when I visit a jobsite is, “Have you been to the architect’s office to understand their vision for the project?” If the answer is “no,” I know, without even having set foot on the jobsite, that we will have quality challenges on the project. Effective quality control always starts with understanding the vision.

Vision and Execution Aligned

The structure of the Streamsong Golf and Spa
facilities beginning to take shape.

Jeremy Voss, PCL project manager, is sharing the
vision of the client and the architect for the project
he is building.

I recently visited the Streamsong Golf and Spa Resort project southeast of Tampa, Florida. It is a wonderful example of the alignment of execution and vision. The resort showcases two championship golf courses by renowned course designers Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, and Tom Doak. It also includes a contemporary clubhouse (now open) tastefully built into natural dunes and a 242-room luxury main lodge and spa accompanied by a 14,000 sq. ft. conference center (scheduled to open in late 2013) designed by Alfonso Architects.   
During my site visit to Streamsong I spoke with the PCL project manager Jeremy Voss, who had just returned from a meeting with the architect in Tampa. Jeremy’s first words to me were, “Boy that was a great meeting. We were discussing the vision for the spa and how the structural elements were going to be incorporated into the design of the space. Amazing concept.”

Look at That View!

As we toured the massive concrete and steel main lodge it became clear to me that Jeremy thoroughly understood the architect’s vision for this project. He described in intricate detail how the lobby and reception area would set the tone for a relaxing stay by drawing the guests’ attention to the award-winning bass fishing lake stretched out before it. On the upper floors, Jeremy showed me the metal studs that would become the walls for the guest rooms. Again, Jeremy demonstrated his understanding of the project’s vision by describing the yet-to-be-built, brightly colored curved feature walls and other elements that were all designed to pamper and soothe those who stay at the resort.
As we ascended to the top of the structure, Jeremy described the architect’s vision of guests enjoying a refreshing drink on the roof-top lounge and outside patio bar. What a view! You could see for miles, with unobstructed views of nature, the golf course, and the expansive bass fishing lake. My eyes were transfixed by the setting Florida sun as he painted a picture of future wedding events, special occasions, and ceremonies that would occur here.

Inspiring the Vision for the Project

We continued on our tour. Back downstairs in the breezeway, directly below the lobby reception area, Jeremy showed me inset plaster castings in the sculptured concrete columns which supported the structure above. “The columns represent the structure rising up from the earth like the trunk and limbs of a tree,” he told me. “Also, this part of central Florida has a lot of phosphate mining, and the plaster castings depict that rich history. They have been strategically placed in the concrete to inspire the guests to look for them, and in a way, inspire an impromptu treasure hunt.”


I’m Too Busy to Worry About the Architect’s Vision; I Have a Project to Build!

What is the vision of the project that you are working on now? Excuses like, “I don’t have time to understand the project vision because I’m too busy ordering the materials, aligning the subcontractors, and scheduling the work” just don’t cut it. It is important that you share your client’s vision so that you can build a successful project.  
It’s a simple question. Jeremy knows the vision of his project—he’s living it and breathing it every day.  I concluded my tour of the Streamsong project and thanked Jeremy, not only for his time but, more importantly, for his dedication to producing a quality project, the first step to which is clearly understanding the architect’s vision. I have every confidence that Jeremy and his team will “Build it Right and Build it Once.”  
TAGS: Quality



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