Faqs & Design Tips


What is needed to start a project?
How can we plan for flexibility such as future growth into our facility?
What information do we need to properly analyze our site?
How can we achieve flexibility in the bidding process?


More and more, owners are looking to reuse existing buildings through remodeling and expansion by additions. Although this is usually an effective course of action, there are special items of note regarding remodeling and additions.

What should I obtain regarding our existing building before meeting with an architect?
What are important concerns with the construction schedule process?
Will the new building codes affect my building plans?

Design Tips


More and more, owners are looking to cut costs, save money, yet still end up with a QUALITY building that is efficient, functional and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some tips to cut costs:

  • Limit or eliminate the use of Allowances in the project specifications.

Examples of this are face brick, carpet and door hardware, which are often specified as a lump sum (or unit price) allowance. By insuring that these are specifically called out in the project manual (specifications), the savings (or increase in quality) would be 10%- 20% of the material or item.

  • Separate certain equipment & furnishing items from the General Construction Con- tract.

With equipment such as lockers, shelving, signage and telephones, we recommend that the owner or the Design Team work directly with the suppliers rather than writing the products into the Project Manual. The estimated savings here would be 12% – 24%, with the added benefit of additional personalized service from these suppliers who are set up to accomplish work this way.

  • Bid certain components of the project separately.

Work such as landscaping and millwork (cabinetry, counters etc.) can be bid separately from the general contract. The estimated savings here is about 5% – 12%, plus the added benefit of more control over project quality.

  • During Construction, obtain cost proposals for minor change orders from local subcontractors in addition to the General Contractor’s proposal.

This will not only serve as a good check and balance, but we have seen savings of up to 80% for certain items.

  • Save on bid-set printing costs.

During the Bidding process, we advise that a portion of the plan deposit be non-refundable. This will not only save 10% – 35% of bid-set printing costs, but will also help insure that those checking out bid sets are serious about bidding the project.

  • Obtain copies of all warranties at project closeout.

We make certain that the General Contractor submits all product and system warranties be- fore final payment is approved. This warranty information will be of great value to you through the life of your building.

We hope these tips have been of value to you and we welcome any questions you may have about the building process!


  • At JEA Architects we strive to not only comply with to but exceed Energy code requirements.

Tips for cost effective energy construction:

To insure the maximum reasonable amount of insulation is utilized in the roof system design, we recommend:

  • Polyisocyanate on flat roof construction
    Fiberglass within sloped roofs with attics
  • Wall construction can vary. We utilize:
  • Fiberglass batts within stud walls
  • Polyurethane and granular fill in concrete block walls with cavity type construction.
  • Polyurethane within doors and precast walls.
  • Insulated glass with low E coating and argon gas at windows.

Energy Rebates

Rebates are available from utility companies for various building components involving:

  • Energy efficient light fixture ballasts
  • Utilization of geo – thermal heating
  • Retrofitting new insulated windows

Recycled Materials Content Listing

  • Hollow metal doors and frames utilize 25%-30% recycled materials.
  • American made steel typically utilizes a minimum 25% post-consumer recycled material.
  • Concrete and concrete block (can) utilize 25% recycled material.
  • Fiberglass insulation typically utilizes 35% recycled material (from glass).
  • Ceramic tile finish utilizes up to 40% recycled materials.
  • Acoustical ceiling tiles utilize up to 35% recycled materials.
  • Special gypsum board can achieve 92% recycled content (at no extra cost).
  • Solid laminates can achieve up to 40% recycled content.