INTRODUCTION

Work­shop for Con­struc­tion Inc. (WFORC) is a con­struc­tion com­pany that spe­cial­izes in building archi­tec­turally unique and tech­ni­cally chal­lenging designs at the scale of new con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tions. WFORC grew out of the suc­cess and expe­ri­ence of Work­shop for Archi­tec­ture LLP (WFORA), an award-winning archi­tec­tural firm based in New York City. Together or indi­vid­u­ally, the people in our com­pa­nies offer clients a resourceful mindset that under­stands how to appre­ciate great design, under­stand its real­i­ties and build it with intel­li­gence and rigor.
      With the exe­cu­tion of each con­struc­tion project, we aim to build the client’s design with care and respect while tightly man­aging and sup­porting our team of tradesmen who com­prise the foun­da­tion of our work. We under­stand that con­struc­tion is not just bricks, mortar and money but more impor­tantly people and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. While meeting the spe­cific demands of the project, we stress the impor­tance of the right people knowing the right infor­ma­tion at the right time. In this way, we can achieve our goal to use smart man­age­ment to create fresh, inter­esting designs.


On site at the Richardson Town­house, a three-story, total ren­o­va­tion and roof project

As a means to ensure this quality, at WFORC, we have estab­lished our own under­standing and inten­tions regarding the fol­lowing aspects of our business:

PEOPLE

As an orga­ni­za­tion com­prised of archi­tects, con­struc­tion man­agers and skilled tradesmen, WFORC brings together a unique team that infor­ma­tively unites design and building. Every project is staffed with the archi­tec­tural designer who devel­oped the project as well as a con­struc­tion project man­ager. From the early design phases, both team mem­bers dis­cuss the demands and para­me­ters of the project, from aes­thetic details to overall exe­cu­tion. By doing this, mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion that often occurs between archi­tects and GCs in a tra­di­tional bid-build approach is avoided from the begin­ning. This pre­emp­tive atti­tude towards infor­ma­tion flow reduces the amount of time wasted during construction.


Our team works intel­li­gently to com­mu­ni­cate on every aspect of a project to ensure clarity, effi­ciency and quality

MONEY

Bud­gets are either in the fore­ground or back­ground of every dis­cus­sion of a con­struc­tion project. To ensure everyone on our team under­stands the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of design to dol­lars, the archi­tec­tural team works with the con­struc­tion man­agers to under­stand not only the dollar value of spe­cific design inten­tions but also ‘what’ and ‘why’ deter­mines those values. As archi­tects under­stand better the rea­sons for cost, they under­stand better how to pro­vide less expen­sive options if needed. Every project under­goes moments of ‘value engi­neering’, when the cost of the work must be reduced. WFORC aims to pos­i­tively assist in these moments by pro­viding infor­ma­tion that helps main­tain design quality while nego­ti­ating dollars.


Bud­gets are thor­oughly researched and fre­quently reviewed to ensure the highest quality product for each aspect of the design

BIDDING

Many approaches exist in the con­struc­tion industry for estab­lishing profits and fees for the gen­eral con­tractor including the tra­di­tional ‘stip­u­lated sum’. We prefer to sim­plify this con­di­tion by using an ‘open book’ accounting system in which all sub­con­tracts and product bids are revealed to the client under a ‘cost plus fee’ con­tract. In this approach, we present more than one sub­con­tractor bid for a spe­cific trade, and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the owner based on cost, ref­er­ences, avail­ability, and quality of work­man­ship. After the owner approves a bidder, our profits and oper­ating costs are then added to the bid as a simple fixed per­centage. In this approach, the owner under­stands the ratio­nale behind the selec­tion and the expec­ta­tions of a spe­cific sub­con­tractor or supplier.


Our up front accounting system reveals the real­i­ties of costs so there are no fears of hidden profits

TIME

One of the key ele­ments in deter­mining the suc­cess of a project is the effi­cient sched­uling of con­struc­tion work. We imple­ment three key sched­uling bench­marks with all sub­con­trac­tors: Pre-Award Time­line, Pre-Start Time­line and Daily Work Time­line. We become part of the man­age­ment team to mon­itor and main­tain project effi­ciency. We require all sub­con­trac­tors to fully describe the inner-workings of their com­pany, as well as their sources for sup­plies and delivery. Through these types of dis­cus­sions we are better able to adhere to sched­ules and uncover unre­al­istic time­lines pro­vided by sub­con­trac­tors and suppliers.


Under­standing the hidden meaning behind sched­ules is the key to making sure the design is com­pleted on time

LEGACY

While our senior staff mem­bers run all daily activ­i­ties, we encourage our younger employees to spend time on-site, whether they are involved in that spe­cific project or not. WFORC and WFORA believe the con­nec­tion between studio expe­ri­ence and on-site expe­ri­ence is a crit­ical part of making mean­ingful archi­tec­ture. Too often this rela­tion­ship is dis­con­nected as one side tends to over­sim­plify the impor­tance of the other. Even though tech­nology and the internet allow our people to better find and use infor­ma­tion, this is all sim­u­la­tion. For our pur­poses, there is nothing more infor­ma­tive than walking through a con­struc­tion site and absorbing the incred­ibly com­plex dynamics of con­structing a design from scratch. Fac­tors like weather, momentum, drying time, trade coor­di­na­tion, etc. cannot be under­stood in absentia. By exposing our younger staff to these less evi­dent ele­ments, we are nur­turing a more thor­ough team of professionals.


We cul­ti­vate an expe­ri­en­tial work cul­ture, one where interns and new employees are exposed to every aspect of the design-build process

CONTACT

Work­shop for Con­struc­tion
526 W 26th St #410
New York, NY 10001
Tel 212 674 3400
Fax 212 674 0400
info@wforc.com

JOHN LEE
President

John Lee (AIA, LEED AP) is the founder of both Work­shop for Archi­tec­ture LLP and Work­shop for Con­struc­tion Inc. Based in New York and having worked as an archi­tect for over twenty years, he brings an impres­sive level of expe­ri­ence from both the archi­tec­tural and con­struc­tion indus­tries. More

A grad­uate of the Har­vard Uni­ver­sity GSD, John has worked for sev­eral respected firms including Pei, Cobb, Freed & Part­ners (aka, Pei Part­ner­ship) and KPF & Asso­ciates. Even­tu­ally he became a Partner at HLW Int where he super­vised the design direc­tion of the Finan­cial & Devel­opers Studio. There, he led the design of projects including the Schering-Plough Cor­po­rate Head­quar­ters, Bloomberg Office Head­quar­ters and Novartis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Campus all in New Jersey. He also worked closely with Mack-Cali Realty, SJP Prop­er­ties and other devel­opers designing var­ious com­mer­cial com­plexes. John also worked inter­na­tion­ally designing office towers in Shanghai, China for the Ciros Cor­po­ra­tion and in Seoul, South Korea for the LG Group Corporation.

In 2003, having left his cor­po­rate posi­tion, John estab­lished his own prac­tice, Work­shop for Archi­tec­ture, with the MIG Offices project. In 2008, the project was awarded a Design Merit by the AIA New York Chapter. Since then, his office has been steadily com­pleting projects of varying sizes and types both in NYC and abroad.

In 2008, to extend his prac­tice and pursue his growing interest in the building process as an inte­gral part of archi­tec­ture, John estab­lished Work­shop for Con­struc­tion. Cur­rently, the two enti­ties work together to create a wholistic approach to designing and building.

John was served as a Vis­iting Instructor at Pratt Institute’s School of Design in the Inte­rior Design depart­ment and has lec­tured at the SUNY School of Archi­tec­ture. He has served on design juries at sev­eral archi­tec­tural school including Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­vania, Columbia Uni­ver­sity and Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. He was a fellow at the Mac­Dowell Colony in 2010.

Kevin Deshar­nais
Project Executive

Kevin brings senior lead­er­ship to the con­struc­tion side of the com­pany, with 17 years of expe­ri­ence in the con­struc­tion industry, as well as formal training as an archi­tect. Having worked with the most respected res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion firms in New York, such as Clark Con­struc­tion, Xhema and Hobbs Inc., Kevin brings an impres­sive under­standing of project man­age­ment for high end con­struc­tion. More

His rela­tion­ship with sub­con­trac­tors pro­vides an impor­tant con­nec­tion to the sub­con­trac­tors from both union and non-union back­grounds. He has been a project man­ager on pri­vate res­i­dences with bud­gets of up to $18 mil­lion dol­lars as well as com­mer­cial projects in and around New York City.

Cur­rently, Kevin is man­aging sev­eral projects as well as the con­struc­tion of a $14 mil­lion dollar pri­vate res­i­dence in Millerton, NY. Involving a sig­nif­i­cant number of trades, this project has employed both union and non-union com­pa­nies to pro­vide the client with the highest level of con­struc­tion quality in the tri-state area. Kevin has been the pri­mary con­tact with these trades, defining their scope of work as well as orga­nizing the overall project schedule. He is a grad­uate of the City Col­lege of New York with a dual-degree Bach­elor of Archi­tec­ture and Bach­elor of Sci­ence, also in Architecture.

STEPHEN LEE
Senior Project Architect

Stephen is not only a senior archi­tect with WFORA, but also a key con­nec­tion between the archi­tec­ture group and WFORC. With over 9 years of expe­ri­ence as an archi­tect working on a variety of building types and scale, he joined the firm after having man­aging an award-winning project for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Obser­va­tory with Payette Asso­ciates in Boston. Because of the com­plexity of the project, Stephen was instru­mental in super­vising the design as the senior con­struc­tion admin­is­tra­tion archi­tect on site. More

Since joining WFORA, he has been respon­sible for sev­eral pri­vate res­i­dence projects as well as a number of com­mer­cial inte­riors. His chief achieve­ment has been man­aging the con­ti­nuity of design and con­struc­tion of a $14 mil­lion dollar pri­vate res­i­dence in Millerton, NY. Working closely with the con­struc­tion team and inter­acting daily with the sub­con­trac­tors, Stephen has taken on a lead­er­ship role in suc­cess­fully man­aging the first design-build project under­taken by WFORC. Stephen is a grad­uate of the Har­vard Uni­ver­sity Grad­uate School of Design and the under­grad­uate pro­gram at Syra­cuse University’s School of Architecture.