Architecture is created through an interactive process. At BBS, this process allows us to define the parameters of a project in terms of the expected end result as well as associated resources needed to reach it. As the facilitator of this collaborative, interactive approach, BBS is able to skillfully achieve success for any type of architectural project.
It is our responsibility to understand the challenges that are placed before our clients. Our experience allows us to achieve solutions that are responsive, supportive, and fully functional.
Good architecture comes from hard work, creativity and an essential understanding of basic human needs. For BBS’s work to stand true and endure the test of time, it must have a strong foundation – a foundation that is bolstered by the dedication and experience of the BBS Architectural Design team.
BBS interior designers strive to create “approachable”, human-scale spaces. We believe that while the exterior of a building may often receive the accolades, a properly designed interior is a true measure of an architect’s understanding of the building program and its intended purpose. A visually pleasing interior is much more than just an ambient enhancement of the building program. We seek to optimize the usefulness of the space and offer a flexible solution for future growth.
Finish materials are chosen for their durability as well as their economy and aesthetic effect. Most finish materials today support the “Green” design initiative and truly do make it somewhat “easy to be Green”! When required by the type and proposed use of a space, acoustical treatments are added to properly support the environment.
BBS interior designers are highly knowledgeable of systems furniture, casework products, seating solutions and freestanding furniture, as well as standard and specialty equipment. Their thorough knowledge of ergonomics, furniture construction, and fabric characteristics is essential to providing appropriate furniture, fixtures & equipment (FFE) selections for each client’s specific situation and program needs.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Design
The ADA protects the civil rights of disabled persons regarding access to public facilities by requiring building Owners and Operators to construct new facilities and make modifications to existing facilities to allow unobstructed access and movement. Building Owners are increasingly aware of their responsibility to be compliant with the law and are acting to make their spaces and programs accessible to all. BBS’s ADA compliance review helps our clients achieve that goal. Typically, our ADA compliance review for both new and existing facilities includes, but is not limited to; site and building access, a facility’s common areas, building entrances and exits, door hardware and door widths, toilet room access, plumbing fixture arrangement and dimensions, grab bars and other accessories, upper story access and egress, visual and sensory aids, areas of rescue assistance, etc. When specifying furniture and equipment, accessibility and equity of access is always taken into consideration.
Existing Conditions + Facility Studies
The purpose of our typical facility study is to visually evaluate a building in terms of its current physical state and ability to serve its intended purpose. BBS focuses on assessing all architectural structures and engineering systems. We will begin with the site and its amenities and utilities and will then proceed to review all exterior envelope components followed by interior elements and materials. We will also assess the building’s ADA compliance, identify code and physical condition related issues, and evaluate existing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems regarding their existing condition and their remaining “life expectancy.” In addition, we will identify possible environmental concerns and any potential impediments to future building renovations. If any elements require additional, more specific, review, we will notify the Owner and advise accordingly. For example, a structural concern may require additional review by a structural engineer via invasive testing.
Typically, our existing conditions and facility studies are accompanied by initial cost estimates which serve as a tool to determine appropriate renovation scheduling and financing options and sequencing of potential future work. Our studies often provide the basis for the development and implementation of a plan of action for our clients with respect to securing the funding for the implementation of the project.
Building Code Review + Compliance
We at BBS are knowledgeable of local building codes and are ready to assist with such building code and zoning regulation analysis. We examine all applicable Federal and state building codes, local zoning ordinances, municipal laws, site plan review regulations, and adopted building codes as may be relevant to our clients’ projects. The impact of all such regulations on a project is thoroughly examined and evaluated; if the project requires an amendment in scope or size to comply with any particular code or regulation, we work closely with our clients to devise realistic and cost-efficient design solutions that preserve programming goals for the project while conforming to the applicable building codes and zoning regulations.
BBS Architects are capable of investigating problems related to the durability and performance of buildings, with respect to the indoor environment and its quality; architectural, engineering, and structural systems; condition of construction materials; original construction methods; and overall quality of construction. Our forensic investigations of building problems may vary from identifying the most imminent safety issues such as structural defects or load-bearing system failures, to moisture and indoor air quality related issues and annoyances including mold, rot, odors, high humidity, etc.
Initially, we provide our clients with a thorough analysis of existing building conditions which is followed by a prioritized repair recommendation, typically outlining several approaches to remedy existing unwanted conditions in the building. Depending on their constraints and preferences, our clients then can make informed decisions on the appropriate course of action that best suits their needs. As a full-service design firm, BBS is able to produce specific Construction Documents which reflect the client-selected options while fully accommodating constraints and preferences.
An intrinsic component of our integrated building design approach, it is our mission to preserve the Long Island architectural history for generations to come. Our historic preservation experience spans various assignments and projects requiring visual and forensic inspections; restoration feasibility studies; building condition surveys; planning and budgeting for repair and restoration activities; Construction Documents; interactions with local and state historic & cultural agencies; and strict oversight of contractor compliance with historic preservation and restoration procedures.
BBS always strives to “preserve” rather than “demolish,” and “restore” rather than “replace.” With minor modifications, BBS designs promote adaptive re-use of local historic buildings to new, innovative functions and/or programs. In our experience, existing building systems – architectural, engineering & site – can always be altered to meet modern codes and requirements for safety and comfort. For our clients, this not only makes good economic sense, but preserves our history and is an inherently sustainable practice.
We have been designing energy-efficient facilities, with consideration how our decisions today will affect our lives tomorrow. Working together as a team of architects, landscape architects and engineers, we are able to define the sustainability parameters of any project comprehensively – in terms of the expected result and its function, needed physical resources beyond “standard” design and associated finances, and coordinated scheduling to get the sustainable project completed. At BBS we are committed to contributing to both the built environment as well as the community at-large by creating sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces.
BBS proactively integrates sustainable design practices into its multi-disciplinary approach, while providing the client with a clear idea of long-term costs and benefits of implementing “sustainable” instead of “standard.” Based on the specific requirements and unique character of each and every project, BBS’s collaborative of sustainable design professionals can render creative, environment-friendly solutions based on the guidelines of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Advanced Buildings (AB), and other sustainability rating systems.
“Whether or not a project pursues LEED certification, we have always incorporated sustainable and green principles in our design philosophy. Instead of imposing a signature style into each of our projects, we try to create balance between natural and built environments for maximum benefit of our clients and their communities”.
NYSED Reporting + Compliance
BBS has extensive experience and a long-standing working relationship with the New York State Education Department (NYSED). In 2017, BBS was selected by NYSED as one of very few multi-disciplinary Architectural and Engineering firms across New York State to perform third-party peer reviews of other firms’ designs on behalf of NYSED. In 2018, BBS was retained – as one of very few multi-disciplinary Architectural and Engineering firms across New York State – to perform third-party peer reviews in all project review areas: Architecture, Engineering and Site. This expression of trust validates NYSED’s respect for our time-tested architectural, engineering, and site design expertise. As the program is currently on-hold, between 2018 and 2023 BBS was one of top Third-Party Reviewers for New York State.
Building Condition Surveys (BCS) are a required by NYSED. Every five (5) years, Public School Districts must have a full facility survey and report performed by a NYS Registered Architect or Licensed Professional Engineer for all student-occupied buildings. The BCS examines conditions of the exterior building envelope, interior spatial and physical components, HVAC systems, plumbing & electrical systems, and site features. BBS has been performing NYS SED BCS and 5-Year Facility Plans for New York State public school districts and educational institutions since the program’s inception.
Our experience reflects BBS’ deep knowledge of NYSED’s reporting requirements, submittal procedures, building aid process, The Manual of Planning Standards, The Collaborative for High Performance Schools, NYSED forms, and project review timelines.