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An interview with Lew Zaumeyer

Adding a new dimension to multi-family design.

Opportunities. Alternatives. Possibilities.

Pacific West’s construction efficiency does more than lower costs. It provides freedom from convention, from the ordinary. It provides a “path to success.”

“One of our goals is to provide clients with more opportunities, more possibilities,” explains Lew Zaumeyer, chief architect with Integrated Design-Build Solutions. “We want to do the same for renters and townhome buyers.”

Zaumeyer and IDBS believe that apartments and townhomes should be more than a compromise, more than a quick stopover on the way to a single-family home.

Zaumeyer: The apartment market is growing due to high single-family home prices and stagnant wages. It’s forcing a lot of people to choose renting over owning. But that doesn’t mean apartments can’t be aspirational.

We make communities more affordable to live in by making them more affordable to build. But we’re just as committed to making those communities more desirable, more feature-filled, more ambitious.

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We make communities more affordable to live in by making them more affordable to build.

What role does construction efficiency play toward that goal?

Zaumeyer: It would be relatively easy to reduce costs by eliminating features and quality, by sacrificing form and function. That’s not what we do. We want to offer developers and, just as importantly, renters more for their money, not less. We want them to choose multi-family living on merit.

Increased construction efficiency allows us to cut costs without cutting corners. We’re able to compete with single-family homes feature for feature and still offer the same level of quality while being significantly more affordable.

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We want to offer developers and renters more for their money.

You mention providing more possibilities and opportunities for clients; how so?

Zaumeyer: We have extensive experience working as a developer, so we understand the goals and needs of our clients. Our business model isn’t based on a project’s completion date. It’s based on a project’s longterm success, on whether it meets our client’s income goals.

We’re always exploring new ways to help clients meet or exceed their goals. Sometimes that means improving the construction efficiency of a client’s existing product. Other times it means designing and developing an entirely new product, either for rent or for sale.

A client should never feel constrained, limited. We study the project site, the market, and the client’s financial objectives to determine the best, most profitable, opportunity. In some cases, it might come from a market-rate community. Other times the best opportunity might come from a luxury community. It might even come from a mixed-use project combining commercial and residential. It’s about providing the most possibilities.

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We have extensive experience working as a developer, so we understand the goals and needs of our clients.

What are some of the other benefits of using IDBS?

Zaumeyer: As our name suggests, we offer developers a fully-integrated, inclusive system. Design, engineering, construction, every resource, every process is involved and synchronized from the very beginning.

We make full use of BIT (Business Information Technology) and Virtual Design. We secure all resources in the planning stages and work closely with them throughout the design process. It allows us to bid-out 100-percent of a project and provide clients with complete costs before construction begins. With the more traditional design-bid-build method, inal costs usually aren’t determined until 50-percent or more of a project is complete.

We feel IDBS is the multi-family industry’s most powerful collection of services. Every dollar we save a client gives them more flexibility. It allows them to quickly respond to market conditions, to develop the kind of communities the West desperately needs. It provides a path to success.

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IDBS is the multi-family industry’s most powerful collection of services.