The Albert Group Architects is a full-service architecture firm founded in 1979 by Stephen Albert, A.I.A. We design buildings for individuals, developers, religious organizations, companies, retailers, schools, universities, local governments, community organizations, and other entities. We are a small firm that maintains principal involvement in all projects.
The Albert Group has experience with a wide variety of construction types, project delivery methods, and contract structures. We have designed ground-up projects, renovations, and additions. We provide zoning and initial feasibility concept studies, we advise and aid our clients in the land-use entitlements process, and we are an architect-of-record.
"CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY FOR 254 APARTMENTS IN RESEDA"—URBANIZE LA
LOS ANGELES BUSINESS COUNCIL 44TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES ARCHITECTURAL AWARDS
LEGADO ENCINO—BEST MIXED-USE PROJECT
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL
BUSINESSWEEK ARCHITECTURAL RECORD AWARDS
SAVINGS BY DESIGN
AMERICAN CAMPING ASSOCIATION ARCHITECTURE AWARDS
By using a systematic approach, we identify 80% of the cost determinants through 15% of the design process. Our project managers are able to front-load the design process using BIM software to identify and resolve potential conflicts within the building design before they become cost and constructability issues.
Management and control begins with a detailed understanding of the project scope and constraints. We identify a critical path schedule, establish milestones, and include tasks to be accomplished by the client, our staff and consulting engineers.
The majority of our work is accommodating agencies with inflexible schedules and limited budgets. We understand the importance of meeting deadlines, obtaining approvals at each step of the project developement, and the need for reaching a consensus. Our specific steps for schedule control include:
-developing work plans sorted by responsibility
-alerting the Client when approvals or information will be required
-monitoring the design and entitlement process
-establishing a file transfer site for the project
Cost control is tied to schedule control. Meeting cost limits requires the time to work through realistic options for the building process, materials, and life cycle costs. The client needs to be informed of the cost consequences of the various options that will be presented.
If cost is fixed, the design challenge is to adjust the levels of Quantity and Quality to match the Cost
We have estimating systems and cost databases from our previous projects. We employ 3rd party cost consultants for our cost estimating. They have been within 2% and 3% of the low bid proposals for our last public projects.
PREVENTING COST OVERUNS
Cost suprises emanate from:
-scope creep: letting minor program enhancements creep into the design process
-misunderstanding of the RFI process during construction: the rules for the Construction Contract are that "the bidder warrants they have included everything needed for a complete project." Flurries of RFI's from the contractor, once the contract is awarded, can indicate a lack of understanding of the project requirements more than any inadequacies in the drawings.
Our philosophy has always been to design energy efficient buildings that extend beyond LEED requirements and ultimately strive for carbon neutrality.
We maximize sustainability through:
All team design charrettes to set sustainability goals, potential LEED credits, challenges and opportunities at the begining of the project
SITE MICROCLIMATE ASSESSMENTS
Evaluate important site parameters such as sun exposure and prevailing wind patterns. Make informed decisions on building orientation to capitalize on opportunities for natural ventilation, daylight harvesting and passive heating/cooling systems.
COMPREHENSIVE SITE PLANNING
Incorporate water efficient landscaping, storm water management, increased permeable surface and efficient site lighting early on into the design process.
HOLISTIC BUILDING DESIGN
Integrate building envelope design with structural, electrical, mechanical, and lighting systems. Integrate solar panels and other sources of renewable energy with building roof and facade systems. With this approach to energy efficiency we have consistantly achieved energy saving goals 20% to 40% above Title 24 energy requirements.
STRIVING FOR OPTIMUM INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Enhance quality of indoor spaces with better acoustics, increased natural light and views to the outdoor. Provide higher degree of user interface for controlling lighting, shading and ventilation systems.
Specify local and renewable materials with high recycled content and low VOC content.
Set up post occupancy evaluation to track utility cost savings, life cycle cost analysis and user satisfaction.
Projects registered with USGBC for LEED Silver Certification:
Pasadena Ice Rink, Pasadena CA
Projects designed for LEED Silver/Gold Certification:
Southern California Edison Savings by Design award for Ice Station Valencia, Valencia CA
Collaborative for High Performance School design for Alliance Charter School, Los Angeles CA
100kW building integrated photovoltaic system installed at Victorville City Hall, Victorville CA.
NEGOTIATED CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
A general contractor or construction manager may be retained early in the design process for a fixed fee to provide:
-pre-construction cost and constructability reviews
-value engineering of structural, mechanical, and electrical systems.
-construction management of the project including providing a job superintendant and administration of the general conditions.
-bidding out of individual trades to pre-qualified subcontractors.
We have in-house construction management capability to manage this process.
We can provide construction services and combine design and build contracts into one seamless agreement. The owner may rely on an integrated team of architects and builders to deliver superior buildings in both design and construction quality at a predetermined cost. In order to integrate our design and construction expertise we rely on building information modeling.
The Albert Group has 36 years of experience gaining approvals for community projects with:
-local neighborhood associations and community groups
-local building departments
-county building departments, health departments, flood control districts
-state agencies including the division of state architect, fish and game, and water districts
We are especially experienced with making public presentations to local staff, user groups, neighborhood commissions and city councils. Each of these groups is invited to participate in our design process.
Involving community users in the decision process helps establish consensus on functional goals, project priorities, space adjacencies, and needs for flexibility or expansion.
Together, we explore options, reach consensus, and, through the use of our 3D modeling programs, create a virtual building. We will walk through the facility during the design process. We will see how the structure interacts with the mechanical systems, how daylight shapes and enlivens each space and how it will feel to work, play, read, and learn within the proposed building.
STEPHEN M ALBERT
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Before founding the Albert Group Architects in 1979, Steve worked as a project manager and senior designer for Dworsky and Associates in Los Angeles and then for Caudill, Rowlett & Scott in Houston, Texas. He is a former Architectural Commissioner for the City of Beverly Hills and member of the Affordable Living for the Aging Board of Directors. Steve received his Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University in 1966 and his Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967.
Adam possesses extensive experience working with educational institutions, including pre-kindergarten through high school private and charter schools, as well as non-profits specializing in education. Adam brings to his projects a strong sense of social and environmental responsibility, a detail oriented managerial approach, and an outstanding facility for working with a variety of BIM and 3D modeling programs. Adam was born and raised in Los Angeles and received his BA in from Brown University in 1998 and his MArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2007.
Before joining the Albert Group, Mehrzad was an Associate Architect for West Pacifica Design in Beverly Hills and a Project Manager for Opal Construction Co in Isfahan, Iran. She served on the facaulties of the Islamic Azad University of Falavarjan, the Daneshpajoohan Institute of Higher Eductation, and the Islamic Azad University of Khorasgan, where she also received her continuous Master of Architecture in 2006. In 2012, she received a Master of Design Research in Emerging Systems and Technologies from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. She is a licenced architect in Iran.
Nicola earned his MSc in Architecture in 2012 from the University of Genoa and a building energy certification in 2013 from CENED in Milan. He is a licenced architect in Italy and cofounder of Gruppo Informale, a company that designs and constructs installations and furniture in public spaces. He has worked for Vora Arquitectura in Barcelona, Luca Clavarino Architettura in Genoa, and as a teaching assistant at the Polytechnic University of Milan.
Yulun received his MArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and his BArch from Nanjing University of Technology in China.
Brittany earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Philadelphia University in 2012 with minor concentrations in Environmental Sustainability and Architectural History and Theory. Before joining the Albert Group Architects, she worked for McHugh Architecture in New Jersey, focused largely on single-family residential homes and flood resistant design. During her time in NJ, she also served as her local AIA chapter’s Treasurer and was active in volunteer work with the YWCA Princeton and Habitat for Humanity.
Max is an Argentinian architect and graduated from the University of Buenos Aires. His professional experience includes a wide variety of projects, programs and scales, ranging from single family residences to international airports and city planning. Before founding his own firm in Argentina -FACT-, he worked for international renowned offices such as Bjarke Ingels Group, Dieguez Fridman A&A and Merkli Architeckten, as well as serving as a design professor at his university for the past four years. At The Albert Group Architects, he contributes with his design-focus management of multi-family residential projects.
Todd earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate in Real Estate Development from the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.