Blog: February 2014
At BRS, we’ve always kept up with unconventional sports like pickle ball and cycle cross. But nothing quite compares to the curling, ice dancing and biathlons that make up the Winter Olympics.Continue
This year, rather than going to Sochi and neglecting our clients for two weeks, we decided to bring the games to our office instead for the first ever biennial BRS Winter Olympics.
The office was divided into four countries and instructed to:
- Come up with an original name for your country
- Design a uniform for your athletes
- Designate individuals to participate in each event
- Compose a national anthem for the closing ceremonies
- Provide a beverage and/or snack that best represents your country
The Games: Snow-Bike, Bobsled, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating and Hockey
Trying to capture the action and excitement of our Olympic events in words would be an exercise in futility. Thankfully, we have pictures.
Needless to say, plans for the 2016 BRS Summer Olympics are already in the pipeline.Hide Full Post
Posted on February 20, 2014 at 10:47pm
There are many elements that go into writing a request for proposals (RFP). While some of the criteria vary by project, the cornerstone of a successful RFP process is to clearly define the needs and goals of the owner and project.Continue
Highlight what the owner feels are the two to three most important aspects of the project. This ensures that those responding provide the information necessary to help the owner select the most appropriate firm. Outlined below are some key elements to include in your next RFP issue. Being succinct in the request will yield uniform responses and allow for the best “apples-to-apples” comparison.
Know Your Project – For the RFP process to be efficient and effective, you must first do your homework. Describe your project and process in as much detail as possible. This will not only save you time by eliminating unnecessary questions from submitting firms, but it will also provide them the information they need to get excited about your project and share how they can help you achieve your goals.
Describe the following in detail:
- Project location
- Needs and goals
- Project delivery preference
- Approximate size
- Anticipated program
- Estimated budget
- Important dates (general project schedule)
General Information/Instructions – Share the details of the RFP to keep your committee and all submitters on the same page. These are hard facts about the RFP schedule, number of copies required, the prescribed format and where to send or submit the response.
Provide specific dates (and times, when applicable) for the following items related to the RFP process and schedule:
- RFP issue date
- Pre-proposal meeting date (and whether it's mandatory or optional)
- Questions due and responses posted dates
- Submission due date and time (be sure to specify the time zone)!
- Response review timeline
- Shortlist issue date
- Anticipated interview dates
- Anticipated contract award date
Also be sure to specify:
- Number of copies and delivery method (hard copies, PDF, Word doc, etc.?)
- Address, email address, etc. where submissions should be sent or delivered
Proposal Requirements and Selection Criteria – Eliminate the guessing game from your submitters and get the information you really want! Be specific about your request, but at the same time allow some room for flexibility and creativity so you can evaluate not only the firms’ qualifications, but their “personality fit.” Remember, you’ll be working with them for the next one or two years (maybe longer).
Specify these formatting requirements/restrictions:
- Page limit and what is/isn’t included in the page count (e.g., appendix items that do not count toward the page limit)
- Whether divider tabs/sheets may contain images, whether they should be included in the page count, etc.
- Single- versus double-sided document
- Page size
And last but not least, be specific about the content you're seeking:
- Cover letter signed by the main contact at the submitting firm
- Firm capabilities
Relevant projects, including:
- Project description
- Owner contact information
- Project size
- Project cost
- Project completion date
- Additional references
- Organizational chart
- Résumés of key members
- Project understanding, approach, work plan and schedule
- Two to three specific questions, relating to the project, that demonstrate how responding firms can help the client achieve their objectives
- Fee proposal/hourly rates (only if the scope of services is specifically defined)
- Appendix (consultant team, additional information, etc.)
Note: City requirements may be added to any of the sections above.
Posted on February 20, 2014 at 12:28pm
Drive 2 at TAXI is moving right along! Watch six months of construction zip by in under two and a half minutes.Continue
Construction of Drive 2, the cutting-edge office building being erected a mere stone's throw away from its predecessor, Drive, began in October 2013 and is slated to finish in June 2014. This time-lapse video shows the project's progress between the October groundbreaking and today, February 20, 2014. Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture is the architect of record in partnership with design architect (and our good TAXI neighbor), Dynia Architects. We will continue to bring you more Drive 2 news in the coming months as the project nears completion. If the grand opening is half what the groundbreaking ceremony was, you won't want to miss it!
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Posted on February 20, 2014 at 11:11am
The BRS studio is looking a little different these days. We started the new year off with a fresh renovation of our office. The goal: to create a more open and collaborative workspace.Continue
We lowered our desk partitions and created more team collaboration spaces throughout the studio. The lower partitions give us all better views to the outdoors. This is especially fun in the northern "train studio," where we get to watch the Drive 2 building we worked on go up right before our eyes. So far, the changes have been great! We’re collaborating more than ever in these new informal meeting spaces and things feel brighter and more open.
The even greater change I’ve been noticing, however, is a silent health and wellness revolution that seems to be sweeping the studio. As designers of recreation centers and other project types, we end up at our computers more than we think is healthy. To that end, people have been switching out their chairs for fitness balls or adding raised platforms to create standing work stations. Several coworkers have opted for ergonomic "handshake" mouse devices for their computers, which reportedly reduce incidence of carpal tunnel and other hand and wrist complications that arise from frequent computing. And there is even talk of getting a treadmill work station back in the office.
Countless articles have been popping up in the past few years about how "sitting is the smoking of our generation." Just yesterday, NPR hosts were discussing the high incidence of disability related to our sedentary culture. So, as we create healthy spaces for our clients in which to live, work and play, we have to remind ourselves to maintain a healthy work environment at the office!Hide Full Post
Posted on February 12, 2014 at 03:54pm
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