Architecture is perceived in various ways ranging from a Client’s business venture to an Architect’s vision. Undoubtedly, it is an art form and, when undertaken correctly, a lasting piece of a city and a bold representation of a tenant’s business enterprise. It is the sum of all of these perceptions to JA Weir Associates. It is our job to ensure that the façade – what represents the buildings to others – is completed efficiently and correctly.
Consulting is a service industry. The job consists of working with people – professionals in the industry – in order to assist the Client in obtaining the most appropriate building façade for the project. Our purpose on a project is direct and single minded - to provide innovative design and pragmatic advise to assist the project team in designing and constructing a high performance wall system for the building. As exterior wall designers, we use our vast knowledge of systems to design one which embraces the features expressed by the Architect. Providing innovative, cost effective designs along with timely advice during the early stages of a project is the best means by which to ensure the aesthetic and financial success of the project.
Experience is paramount to good consulting. There is no substitute for years of hands on consulting service. We offer many years of experience consulting both within the United States and overseas. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2000, our principal, Jon Weir, lived and worked in Hong Kong for seven years working on projects throughout that part of the world. Prior to Hong Kong he was in Chicago working on US and United Kingdom projects. This domestic and international experience is paramount to remaining abreast as to what is happening in the world and not just what is happening in select parts of this country. We strive to continue this work to provide well rounded consulting experience to our Clients; wherever in the world they may be. Presently we have work in various parts of the United States as well as China and Korea.
Exterior wall consulting has been undergoing a change in the past decade. Prior to the present, it took ten to fifteen years of construction experience in the exterior wall industry before venturing into the consulting realm. Now, given the demand for consultants, some companies attempt to provide services with personnel from related fields (such as roofing or waterproofing) or those with limited or no experience. There are even firms who are contractors who provide consulting services “on the side” and in direct violation of conflict of interest issues. As with all firms, you are not just paying for the experience of a company, you are buying the experience of the consultant working on your project. In light of this, large firms offer no different or better service than small ones and tend to use projects as a training ground for inexperienced personnel.
Exterior wall design, similar to architecture, is an art form. It is not mastered at the drawing table. It is mastered by years of experience in working with systems and cladding methods. For those of us who are fortunate, this experience has been gained not just in our own neighborhood but in all regions of the world. Identifying the myriad of possibilities and then matching the most appropriate system type to a building is important to gain the performance and aesthetics required by the architecture. This can also provide dramatic savings to the Client in lieu of forcing a system on a building simply because “it is the best”. Contrary to some belief, there is also no such thing as a “standard system”. Every job requires changes to either the exterior wall system or to the architecture. Therefore, to design an exterior wall system by simply downloading a standard system from a manufacturer’s website does the design process an injustice and sacrifices not only the architecture but the ultimate performance of the wall and comfort of the tenants.
We spend a significant amount of time working on due diligence and forensic projects throughout the country. This work not only aids our clients on an immediate basis, but also provides essential experience in façade systems such as what has been done before and how well did it work. It is sometimes amazing what we have forgotten in the interest of building a better mousetrap. This experience is then utilized for new construction to provide the most well rounded advise on a project.