Reimagining Urban Spaces: Designing a Waterfront Multifamily Residence 352 196 Alexxis Plata

Reimagining Urban Spaces: Designing a Waterfront Multifamily Residence

Reimagining Urban Spaces: Designing a Waterfront Multifamily Residence

Restoring Contaminated Spaces Into Luxurious Condominiums

Reimagining Urban Spaces: Designing a Waterfront Multifamily Residence

Restoring Contaminated Spaces Into Luxurious Condominiums

Embark on a captivating journey of transformation with Clark / Barnes, an esteemed Architecture Firm based in Seattle, Washington. Renowned for their commitment to creating timeless, sustainable buildings, Clark / Barnes specializes in ground-up, multifamily projects that seamlessly blend urban living with environmental consciousness.

In this exclusive narrative, we unveil the intricate process behind the remodel of a 4-story, 20,000-square-foot multifamily residence nestled in the scenic landscape of Kirkland, Washington. We explore how Clark / Barnes navigated through challenges, harnessed innovative solutions, and partnered with us to breathe new life into a space marred by contamination.

The Challenge: Contamination and Reconstruction

The six-unit condominium faced significant contamination of all interiors through the ventilation system, leading to the complete stripping of its interior down to the studs. This necessitated a comprehensive remodel, a process complicated by the involvement of insurance companies and the need for individual permits for each of the six condo owners. Clark / Barnes undertook the task of coordinating with all stakeholders, guiding them through decision-making processes and ensuring alignment with design specifications for communal areas.

This project was brought to Clark / Barnes by the general contractor for the building. Although they don’t usually take on insurance projects, Clark / Barnes, always being interested in recreating spaces for high-profile projects, found this one to be a match.

Before Clark / Barnes got involved, the remediation company came in to do testing, demolish parts of the interior, and make sure that the building was safe to safe to enter. They left whatever they felt was still acceptable by testing methods.

Scope and Design

The multifaceted scope of the project demanded careful consideration and planning. Clark / Barnes opted for a full set of As-Built plans to serve as a strong foundation for their design endeavors. With these plans in hand, the firm reimagined the condominium’s layout, accommodating both practical considerations and the diverse preferences of condo owners. Part of the remains were electrical, but after reviewing them with their general contractor, they decided to remove the electrical components and build them into their new design from scratch.

It was important for Clark / Barnes to identify plumbing throughout the building to avoid making major changes to the plumbing structures. In the instances where they did have to make adjustments, they wanted to make sure the new plumbing structures could be retrofitted in the existing lines.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Revit Model
  • Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Sections
  • 3D Virtual Tour
  • Still Images

“Having PPM create our As-Builts is easy. It gives us somewhere to start from and we can focus on what we're good at. PPM has a set of tools that we don't have, so projects move a lot quicker when we work with them.”

- Craig Carney, Director of Residential at Clark / Barnes

Leveraging Revit for Seamless Design and Management

Clark / Barnes works primarily with Revit models for their projects. Revit makes it easy for Clark / Barnes to show their clients a mockup of what their building can look like based on different designs. Their Revit models are also referenced when they coordinate with consultants. All mechanical, electrical, and plumbing fixtures and any overlays are presented to their clients through Revit.

For this specific project, they used the Revit models to display different material options for the recladding of the exterior, the addition of rain screens, and elongated windows. Overall, Revit was an excellent tool for designing and managing this project.

Diverse Design Needs

While some units underwent minor modifications, others saw major transformations. The floor plans for three of the units stayed as they were, one unit had minor modifications to open the kitchen space, and two units had substantial changes.

Once example of a substantial change was adding an outside deck to increase the square footage of a top-floor unit. This created a second primary suite within the space.

Most of the unit owners opted for an upscale interior design. One of the owners had just completed a remodel in her unit only six months prior. Her aesthetic preference is a unique lodge style, so Clark and Barnes helped her recreate her original design as best as they could.

One desire all six owners shared was to convert from wood burning fireplaces to gas fireplaces. This posed a challenge for Clark / Barnes because the homeowner on the very top floor wanted the chimney in the middle of his deck space removed. To make both ideas work, they had to think creatively to come up with a way for the new gas fireplaces to have ventilation. Having the As-Builts correctly showing where the floor joists were helped them navigate the best way to successfully install gas fireplaces with proper ventilation.

The owners also decided to raise the header heights on all the windows and all the doors to bring in more natural light and take advantage of the beautiful views out of the lake. To achieve this look, the building design includes getting entirely new windows and doors.

Partnering for Success: Collaboration with PPM

Integral to the project’s success was their partnership with us for their As-Built plans. Our Surveyor meticulously captured the building’s dimensions and details, while our Revit Coordinator translated this data into a comprehensive digital model.

We interviewed these experts about their involvement in creating the As-Built plans that enabled Clark / Barnes to begin their design process and streamline their workflows.

Interview with Ben Johnson, Architectural Scan Surveyor at PPM

Ben outlined the meticulous strategies employed to ensure proper data capture for the project. Prior to scanning, Ben propped open all doors to minimize any potential movement during the process.

Ben chose to use the GeoSLAM Revo scanner, which he selected for its efficiency. This mobile LiDAR scanner facilitated comprehensive measurements of both the building’s interior and exterior within a mere 45 minutes.

To verify the data, Ben took additional measurements of the windows, doors, and perimeter using a Leica Distometer. He highlighted the unique challenge posed by the property’s stripped-down state due to a previous biohazard, which required extra precautions including wearing a KN95 mask and a Tyvek suit.

Ben expressed appreciation for the property’s stunning view of Lake Washington, which provided a refreshing break amidst data capture tasks.

Interview with David Sperry, Revit Coordinator at PPM

David employed specific techniques, such as cutting section views through the plan and utilizing section boxes in the 3D view to isolate complex areas. He noted the uniqueness of the property, that most of the interior walls were stripped down to the studs and offered clear views of the framing throughout the building. Challenges included modeling the exposed floor-ceiling assembly, which required David to determine the thickness of the subfloors and interpret the ceiling attachment points.

David enjoyed visualizing the wall framing and detailing the exterior, as well as setting up profiles and paths for wall sweeps.

Great Things Come To Those Who Wait

As the project nears completion, Clark / Barnes stands poised to breathe new life into the Kirkland condominium, transforming it into a beacon of urban revitalization. Through meticulous planning, innovative design, and collaborative partnerships, the firm has overcome significant challenges to deliver a project that not only meets but exceeds expectations. This multifamily remodel serves as a testament to Clark / Barnes’ commitment to excellence and their ability to navigate complex urban landscapes with finesse and expertise.

Urban Living: Revitalizing an Multi-Family Residence 352 196 Alexxis Plata

Urban Living: Revitalizing an Multi-Family Residence

Transforming Urban Living: Revitalizing a Multi-Family Residence

Navigating Challenges, Empowering Design, and Crafting the Future of Washington, D.C.

Transforming Urban Living: Revitalizing a Multi-Family Residence

Navigating Challenges, Empowering Design, and Crafting the Future of Washington, D.C.

In the heart of Washington, D.C., Teass \ Warren Architects, an established firm specializing in urban infill projects, embarked on a project to rejuvenate an affordable housing, multi-family property. With a keen eye for urban redevelopment and a penchant for innovative design, they sought to transform this 16,000 square-foot property into a refreshing living space for families. Guided by their commitment to excellence, Teass \ Warren Architects partnered with PPM to obtain accurate As-Built plans, laying the foundation for their transformative vision.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Revit Model
  • Floor Plans
  • Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Still Photos

As-Built Plans: Accurate Guidelines for Transformation

To breathe new life into the multi-family residence, Teass \ Warren Architects delved into a comprehensive evaluation of the property’s existing layout. With the support of our meticulous As-Built plans, they embarked on a journey of feasibility analysis and schematic design, envisioning a future where the 30 small, cramped units would give way to about 20 spacious, two-bedroom homes.

Teass \ Warren Architects are considering an addition to the building to increase the space available. Because of the extensive approval process, Teass \ Warren requested a more intricate level of detail to be shown in the Exterior Elevations. By leveraging the Revit model and As-Built plans provided by us, the architects gained invaluable insights into the structure’s potential, propelling their design process forward with confidence.

Empowering Design with Digital Clarity

Harnessing the power of technology, Teass \ Warren Architects opted for a Revit model as part of their deliverable from PPM, streamlining their design process and accelerating project timelines. By digitally overlaying additions and alterations onto the existing As-Built plans, the architects could visualize their vision with unparalleled clarity, eliminating the need for tedious manual redraws and expediting the path from concept to reality.

“We used to always do our own As-Builts. From the first time we hired PPM, I noticed it saved my staff a ton of time and we were happy with the product. We enjoy working with you guys.”

- Charles Warren, Principal of Design at Teass Warren Architects

Navigating Challenges with Ease

Amidst the busy urban landscape of Washington, D.C., every inch of space holds significance. Teass \ Warren Architects encountered a myriad of challenges, from zoning restrictions to a four-foot grade change, each demanding thorough documentation and strategic navigation. With PPM’s As-Built survey delivering accurate measurements and critical data, the architects could navigate complex zoning regulations and floor area ratio calculations with ease, laying the groundwork for informed decision-making and regulatory compliance.

Understanding the Roadblock

To understand why the decisions Teass \ Warren Architects made were so critical, one must understand compliance with Floor Area Ratio (FAR) restrictions. In their specific scenario, the elevation of their floor line fell below the threshold of five feet above the adjacent grade. Consequently, this portion of space was exempt from contributing to the FAR calculation, thereby limiting the potential for additional construction within the building.

Solutions in Consideration

This revelation served as a pivotal juncture for the client, prompting them to consider pursuing a variance process to mitigate noncompliance. Options including a Developmental Board of Adjustment (DBA) or zoning adjustment were on the table, necessitating a thorough entitlement process rather than a straightforward matter-of-right project. Through the meticulous documentation provided by Precision Property Measurements’ As-Built survey, Teass \ Warren Architects gained invaluable clarity regarding the achievable yields of their design endeavors.

Meet Ryan: As-Built Surveyor Behind the Scenes

Which equipment did you use and why?
Using the GeoSLAM Zeb Horizon mobile scanner was crucial because it meant we could merge the hallways that were identical. We were able to copy the point cloud data and extrude it up the whole property.

What challenges, if any, did you face while surveying this property, and what techniques or process did you use to overcome the challenges?
All multi-family projects have their own unique challenges, and this one was certainly no exception. Coordination was key. I worked closely with the site contact and the architect to make sure that I knew exactly what they needed. When it comes to surveying a multi-family residence that has tenants present, it’s important to be respectful of their space and answer any questions so that they feel comfortable.

What did you most enjoy about surveying this property?
This was an older building with a lot of history, which made it feel like a walk back in time. I really enjoyed going down to the basements and looking at how the mechanical systems and plumbing of the laundry worked. Seeing the square-peg-round-hole retrofits was novel.

Meet Tyler Littlewood: The Revit Modeler

Tyler ensured accuracy by focusing first on initial elements to maintain consistency. The property had varying types of rooms across floors, which required Tyler to be meticulous with how he organized the data. Crafting the building’s front façade was particularly satisfying because it combined blending creativity with capturing its aesthetic appeal.

“There was one tall stairwell that went through all levels. It was challenging but fun to model. I took it flight by flight and made sure each was adjusted correctly all the way up the building. ”

- Tyler Littlewood, Southern California Pod Lead at PPM

Building Tomorrow's Urban Spaces in Washington, D.C.

In the dynamic landscape of urban redevelopment, precision and innovation are paramount. Teass \ Warren Architects’ collaboration with Precision Property Measurements exemplifies the transformative potential of accurate As-Built plans in reshaping communities and redefining urban living. As they embark on the next phase of their journey, armed with insights gleaned from meticulous surveying and modeling, Teass \ Warren Architects stands poised to breathe new life into the fabric of Washington, D.C., one revitalized building at a time. To learn more about Teass \ Warren and their work, visit their website at

Innspace Elevates Hotel Guest Experiences 352 196 Alexxis Plata

Innspace Elevates Hotel Guest Experiences

Innspace Elevates Hotel Guest Experiences

An Innovative Hospitality Renovation

Innspace Elevates Hotel Guest Experiences

An Innovative Hospitality Renovation

Innspace, a leading national hotel renovation company, has mastered the art of elevating guest experiences through comprehensive in-house capabilities. A 138,000 square-foot project dating back to 1969 demanded a transformative approach to renovation. With a commitment to accuracy and innovation, Innspace utilized our advanced LiDAR scanning and Revit BIM modeling to navigate decades of changes. In this article, we explore how this cutting-edge technology reshaped the property and supported Innspace’ high-end designs.

Innspace’ Unique Methodology: Designing and Building Together

What is unique about Innspace is that they not only design projects, but they also build them. This gives them the advantage of every team member being engaged in collaboration throughout the process of a project. They bring the full experience of their client into one space, from design and project management, to procurement, logistics and construction. Innspace’ specialty is taking outdated buildings and completely transforming them in ways that attract guests.

The Motivation Behind the Remodel: Aiming for Success

The property was struggling with having a very outdated and tired feel, so InnSpace’s client made it their goal to formulate a new brand for this hotel that would spark excitement and attract people. With the property located Washington’s capitol and near a highway, they hoped they could attract heavy government-affiliated foot traffic.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Revit Model
  • Electrical Plan Sketch
  • Still Images of MEP
  • 360° Photos

Meet Nayive: The Creative Director Driving Design Excellence

Nayive Kalkach is a creative director at Innspace and focuses on the design and documentation of projects. Her work is to make sure that each property they work on has a design story. Her involvement in this project was to create the interior design while making sure that all the documentation of those design decisions crossed the finish line.

“Even though we approach design from a conceptual perspective, we make sure that we are designing to reality, which is where PPM comes in. We want to make sure anything we're proposing fits within the boundaries of the building, and this is only possible if we're working with an As-Built model.”

– Nayive Kalkach, Creative Director at Innspace

Design Inspirations: Nature's Influence in Reviving Spaces

When it came to designing, the Innspace design team’s touches evolved around bringing a fresh and revived feel into the space. They took influences from the beautiful nature surroundings, and the local tradition. For example, upon entering the new lobby guests would be greeted by vibrant elements that effortlessly coalesce with the earthy tones, patterns, and organic materials inspired by Olympia’s natural surroundings, establishing a strong connection to the environment. Large windows were part of the design to instill relaxation by showcasing gorgeous views of the Pacific Northwest.

Achieving Milestones: Transitioning to a Voco Hotel

It is significant to note this hotel’s approval to be built into a voco hotel. Voco is an international hotel brand owned by the IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and this hotel was the first voco on the West Coast in the United States. This was exciting for the team because of the extensive process involved in receiving approval to become a voco. Currently, there are voco’s located in the UK, Singapore, Australia, and more, all offering upscale lifestyle hotel experiences.

Advantages of As-Built Technology in Project Management

Our advanced point cloud data and Revit BIM models are used by all of Innspace’ teams. They use our 3D scans and As-Built plans to collect important information such as the material square footage and ff&e quantities. This is then translated into budgeting and construction time-management logistics.

In addition to internal use, Innspace uses the Revit model to communicate ideas to their client by moving the model in different angles and virtually walking through the space. This use of visuals helps the client make decisions in a more accurate, efficient, and confident manner.

Revit Model: the Right Choice for Design and Build

For Innspace, this is a no brainer. They want to be in control of the full project from beginning to end and provide accurate information. Because Innspace takes full liability for the accuracy of the information they provide to their client, they come to us to document their existing conditions. Our use of the most forward technology that exists, LiDAR, allows Innspace the ability to propose plans, materials, and elements with confidence.

Unveiling Hidden Insights: Discoveries Invisible to Photography

There were several conditions that were not able to be documented through photographs or by viewing the site in-person. When the As-Built BIM model was completed, Innspace was able to view the full and true conditions of the property.

To give one example, hotels typically have two to four floor levels of similar heights; what Innspace discovered through the help of the BIM model was that the hotel had half levels and a restaurant located between levels one and two. This is very important information to have on hand and would have posed a challenge to accurately document this data without the use of LiDAR technology.

The Partnership with PPM: Ensuring Accuracy in Documentation

Nayive received As-Built plans from a different provider who did not include enough detail regarding lighting fixtures. InnSpace discovered several discrepancies between the documentation they received and the actual locations of items. Nayive’s colleague, Dennis, had worked with PPM at his past company and liked the proximity of our Seattle office to his business, so he reached out for us to partner with them on this project.

When it comes to As-Built drawings and models, any inconsistencies between the measurements and actual building elements pose a massive risk to the success of the project. At PPM, our QA process involves 14 steps, including verifying measurements, element placement, and more before we send it out for use.

Behind the Scenes: Angelo's Dedication to Detail

When we interviewed the modeler for this project, Angelo Maldonado, he commented on the unique lobby and restaurant area. Angelo impressively modeled this building completely on his own and was motivated by his enjoyment of seeing the model come together floor by floor.

“I paid close attention to every detail and made sure to reach out for help when I wasn’t sure about any part of the model. I’m grateful to have been able to model on the entire project on my own.”

– Angelo Maldonado, Production Lead at PPM

Integrating Innovation and Precision in Hospitality Renovation

Innspace’ renovation journey exemplifies the seamless integration of creativity and precision. From conceptualization to execution, their commitment to accuracy and innovation has resulted in a transformative guest experience. As we reflect on this project, let us carry forward the lessons learned about the power of collaboration and the importance of embracing technology in shaping interior design abilities and the future of hospitality.

Bringing Cohesion to a Single-Family Residence 352 196 Alexxis Plata

Bringing Cohesion to a Single-Family Residence

Bringing Cohesion, Comfort, and Functionality to a Single-Family Residence

Establishing Order in a Home That Has Undergone Several Add-Ons

Bringing Cohesion, Comfort, and Functionality to a Single-Family Residence

Establishing Order in a Home That Has Undergone Several Add-Ons

Embarking on the quest to transform houses into homes that burst with uniqueness, TriVistaUSA Design + Build, based in Arlington, Virginia, lives by the slogan “building cool projects for cool people”. In an interview with Kieran Fannan, Project Architect at TriVista, we explore a captivating remodeling journey that not only aligns with the company’s ethos but also showcases the pivotal role of precise As-Built plans in their creative process.

TriVista architects revel in projects in which their clients’ special interests and unique features shape the blueprint of their homes into something new. For this project, TriVista immediately resonated with the client’s vision and teamed up with her to make it happen.

Where There’s a Vision There’s a Way

Partnering with PPM for their As-Built plans is now part of TriVista’s process, and our collaborative journey spans 58 remodel projects since 2021. This particular project was located in Vienna, Virginia and totaled approximately 4,000 square feet.

Kieran enjoyed how the homeowner compiled her ideas by creating collages in PowerPoint. Kieran would take her collages, put them against some of photos included in the As-Built drawings we delivered, and imagine the space as his client desired it to be. It was an unorthodox yet effective way for the homeowner to communicate her vision, a creative example of picking whatever tool works for you, as long as you get the message across.

Every Home Has a Story

The homeowner owned this house for a few years prior to initiating the remodel and had been renting it out while she waited to retire. At the beginning of her retirement, it became the starting point for her “forever home”. This house was interesting because it resembled a LEGO house that had a patchwork of additions built over several decades. By the time it reached TriVista, there were no cohesive plans or documentation for the house to begin remodeling. Kieran explained that the house appeared small from the street, but when someone would walk inside, it felt easy to get lost.

Plans for the Home

The homeowner wanted to utilize the space well by creating a primary suite upstairs in what was then a loft and bathroom that a previous owners had redone themselves. Kieran’s goal was to design the space to be more livable for the homeowner and to fix the lack of cohesion in the house. When redesigning a home, comfort and functionality are top of mind for him. Below you’ll find the scope of work for As-Built plans that was needed for Kieran to accomplish his goal.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Floor Plan
  • Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Still Photos

Discoveries Through As-Built Plans

Kieran requested full plans and elevations for the house. At the time, the architects at TriVista were using AutoCAD, and PPM’s drawings were easy to transfer into their AutoCAD templates. What was most important for Kieran was being able to see accurate wall thicknesses. There were several areas of the house where it was difficult to see what was going on. Viewing the plans stacked on top of each other enabled Kieran to see where specific plumbing chases and HVAC lines were, which prevented potential issues and delays in the construction phase.

Unpredictable Roof Lines

Because of the numerous additions, the home had differing roof lines that were easily visible in our As-Built roof plan. PPM’s As-Built surveyor mentioned the property had a complex roof that appeared to have been added onto several times and had vegetation all around it.

Expanding Underutilized Space

There was a portion of the second floor that had been underutilized. One part of TriVista’s plans was to add a dormer to the front of the house. Originally, the space seemed small looking at the plan view compared to walking through the attic. Once the space was opened up, they managed to gain a bedroom's worth of space, which became a reading nook when construction was done.

“Working with Justin at PPM is wonderful. At times, he'll give us a call and advise adjustments to our deliverable requests to best fit our scope. He helps us save money in the end. If we save money and the client saves money, everybody is happy.”

– Kieran Fannan, Architect at TriVistaUSA Design + Build

Interview With the As-Built Surveying and Modeling Experts

To get a deeper understanding of what went into creating the As-Built Plans for this house, we interviewed the surveyor and modeler for this project. Read more about their experiences from their perspectives.

As-Built Surveyor Interview

Which equipment did you use and why?
We chose the GeoSLAM ZEB Revo for this property because it’s the best scanner for working with small spaces.

Which specific strategies/techniques did you employ to make sure you captured all the data properly?
This was a fun, but challenging property to survey. It was early in the pandemic, so the owner was working from home. I had to time my scanning between the homeowner’s online meetings and school classes. It was important that I worked around the people in the home, so I ended up scanning one of the bedrooms separately.

What was most unique about surveying this property?
The original cottage design, plus the many additions over the years, created unique spaces throughout the home. The layout challenged me as a surveyor in almost every facet of the surveying process.

What challenges, if any, did you face while surveying this property?
The scanners don’t produce accurate data if they scan people moving, so I had be very careful to avoid running into anyone while moving through the spaces. I also had to use the upper deck to capture a large amount of roof data. So essentially, I had to plan a good path, be diligent to capture all the small and unique spaces, work around moving objects, and utilize some techniques for capturing data at angles, all while trying to not have a scan that was too large. Because I did have a few partial scans, I had to create some overlap, so that I could successfully merge in the spaces later.

As-Built Modeler Interview

Did you work on drafting or modeling this property, or both?
I modeled this project in Revit and exported it to AutoCAD.

Which specific strategies/techniques did you use to make sure you modeled all data properly?
As all projects do, it required me to thoroughly check the linework to ensure it matched the point cloud and the photos. I usually run through each room’s photos, both the 360 and still images, to make sure I catch everything. I usually end up going through photos two to three times with houses like this one.

What was most unique about modeling this property?
The most interesting exterior element was the circular entryway.

What did you most enjoy about modeling this property?
In the end, the details were a lot of fun to see come together. These kinds of details make a project feel more complete and finished, making it more satisfying.

The Final Result of the Remodel

Transforming Homes through As-Built Plans

This remodel project is a testament to the transformative power of precision and collaboration. PPM’s As-Built plans unraveled the layers of the property’s history and empowered Kieran to create a home that brings tranquility to the owner. The journey encapsulated not just the physical evolution of the house but also the emotional importance to its owner.

Reviving Baltimore’s Historic “Clifton House” 776 420 Alexxis Plata

Reviving Baltimore’s Historic “Clifton House”

Reviving Baltimore’s Historic Single-Family “Clifton House”

A Cultural Heritage Restoration Journey

Reviving Baltimore’s Historic Single-Family “Clifton House”

A Cultural Heritage Restoration Journey

Preserving cultural heritage goes beyond bricks and mortar; it intertwines with the narratives of families and communities, forming an integral part of our shared history. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, an initiative of the National Trust of Historic Preservation, champions this cause annually through a grant program.

In this article, we delve into a poignant project funded by this program — the restoration of the Clifton House. This historic residence, once home to influential figures Lucille and Fred Clifton, embodies not only architectural significance but also a rich tapestry of activism, art, and community engagement.

This program provided a fellowship for a student to study, document, and preserve the historical structure. In addition to its historic significance, the Clifton House was selected because of its community and cultural significance with the original owners. Lucille Clifton (pictured left) was a poet and artist, and she and her husband were both activists in the community fighting for African American rights.

Choosing a Cultural Beacon

The personnel at the National Trust build relationships with sites and work that possess diverse histories. When the time came to pick a fellow and site to which to allocate funds, they passed the torch to Joel Randolph, a member of the Digital Documentation Fellowship, a program of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. At the time, Joel lived in Baltimore, was studying environmental design and architecture at Morgan State University, and participated as a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

A Vision with a History

The Cliftons' daughter, Sidney Clifton (pictured right), is an Emmy-nominated film producer passionate about bringing recognition to the impact her parents had on both the arts and activism in Baltimore, as well as encouraging other young people to be more active in their community.

When the house was purchased after the Cliftons first owned the property, it was transformed into a duplex for rental purposes. The bottom of the building was designed to be one unit, while the top was the second unit. To fulfill this concept, the new owners installed a second kitchen, so the house could be appropriately subdivided.

Sidney Clifton then repurchased the home in 2019 with a vision to restore the property back to a single-family home and align it with her and her siblings’ memories of the original house. The “Period of Significance”, or time period when Lucille and Fred Clifton’s family lived there, is what Sidney wanted to restore.

Architectural Symphony

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund contacted Quinn Evans, an architectural design collective, with the project, and they agreed to take it on. Sydney Clifton was particularly interested in working with an architect of color for this project. Senior Associate at Quinn Evans, Nakita Reed, was familiar with the fund and was a perfect fit to lead this project with her firm. She understood the family story and the significance of the project. It was a passion piece for Nakita, as well as a specialty of Quinn Evans, as they do historic preservation in sites around the US.

One of the main deliverables of this project was a Historic Structures Report. This is when Quinn Evans engaged Precision Property Measurements to perform an As-Built survey and produce 2D and 3D plans of the Clifton House in AutoCAD and Revit. The Quinn Evans team used the plans to provide recommendations for restoration purposes. The purpose of attaining the plans was not to create a new design for the building, but to create this special report.

“It’s easier to tell the story of the existing conditions using the As-Built plans as the backdrop. The As-Built plans allowed us to diagram areas of the building that have been altered historically.”

- Nakita Reed, Senior Associate at Quinn Evans

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Floor Plans
  • Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Revit Model
  • Still Photos

The Art of Preservation with As-Built Plans

PPM’s part in the fellowship was to guide Joel and his team through the process of capturing As-Built data, while teaching the laser scanning, point cloud, and point-cloud-to-Revit processes. This enabled the fellows to use the point cloud and Revit model to highlight elements of the existing structure that were important for the Cliftons to preserve as they renovate with respect to the history of the building.

The fellowship didn’t already have existing drawings, so having As-Built plans created quickly provided base documentation from which they could design. Since the main purpose of their project was to create a Historic Structures Report, they didn’t progress the project to construction. The intent of the As-Built plans was to serve as a diagram on top of which to draw concept sketches and schematics.

“Blending new technology with historic buildings is something that people often overlook the importance of. Using laser scanning as another tool in the toolbelt of preservation architects and documentation of historic structures is something that is really viable.”

– Nakita Reed, Senior Associate at Quinn Evans

Using the information gathered, the Quinn Evans team advised the client to focus any changes on areas that had already been altered, so that areas that had not been altered could remain intact.

The rear of the building had been significantly altered throughout its transformation from a single-family residence to a rental property.

The As-Built plans were a visual advantage that enabled them to highlight which areas had been changed and make recommendations to revert areas back to their original form.

Preservation Zone Plans

Quinn Evans used the floor plans to highlight which zones were primary, secondary, tertiary, or non-rated from a historic significance standpoint to help communicate where preservation efforts needed to be focused throughout the building.

The front and the exterior of the building, as well as the porch, all needed to be maintained. The approximately 170-page report included the drawings from PPM as an appendix to provide clients access to the plans of the exterior and interior.

The Impact of As-Built Plans on the Students in the Fellowship

Joel and a few students visited the site with the Historic American Building Survey, where they hand measured a few elements of the structure, learned about the history of the site, and used the As-Built plans to create some drawings of what the home looked like when Sydney lived there.

Because the students weren’t able to document measurements of the entire home, the As-Built drawings and 3D model gave the students a deeper understanding of the structure. During the site visit, they compared what they saw in person to what they saw in the plans.

Leicester B. Holland Prize is an annual competition that recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of a historic building, structure, or site. Joel and his classmates submitted the sheet they created to officially document the site, have it listed in the Library of Congress, and increase the number of places celebrating African American heritage. Though not the primary goal, winning the competition became a perk of their hard work! The submission board for the Holland Prize included data and select drawings they were able to create from the 3D Revit model. The fellowship sliced the model and summarized their findings for an academic setting, and those records are now held in the Library of Congress.

To view the records, you can visit the Library of Congress at

Behind the Scenes: Perspectives from the Surveyor and Drafter/Modeler

After learning about the intricacies of this project, we interviewed the surveyor and drafter for this project. Indulge in the Q&A of their experiences with this historical structure. The historical home was surveyed by our Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Justin Yotter.

“I enjoyed surveying this site because it was challenging and unique, and most critically, it has a tie to a unique cultural and political family that made a huge impact on their community.”

- Justin Yotter, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director at PPM

Q&A: Perspectives from the Surveyor

Which strategies/techniques did you employ to make sure all data was captured?
We covered the mirrors with paper to avoid reflections of cloud data, propped open the doors, set up ladders to the detached garage and the porch roof, and made sure we could access all the doors. Because the back stairs were closed off, we had to close the loop with the scanner by getting as close as possible to the exterior and the stairwell that was blocked off. We had to be extra diligent in our path for scanning, as we had to go up and down two ladders to two different roof surfaces and up an exterior staircase to the prior roof area.

Which equipment did you use to capture the measurement data?
We scanned the site with the GeoSLAM ZEB Revo because it provided the best blend between volume of data and range for a house of this size. We also utilized the Leica Distometer and a Stanley 25-foot tape measure. We used both of those to capture some hand detail measurements and follow our standard quality assurance process that addresses overall perimeter and window and door measurements. We took still photos and then 360 photos for our production team with a Ricoh Theta camera.

What was most unique about surveying this property?
It is a historic house that has a wraparound porch and tons of nice woodwork and hardwood floors. In addition, it has a lot of various architectural features that we made sure to capture.

What challenges, if any, did you face while surveying this property?
The challenges were many, but by setting everything up in a way that was conducive to the scanner’s ability to best capture the data, we were able to get high-quality data of the home. We scanned two structures, the house and the detached garage, and there was a staircase to the roof, with some flat areas, plus another roof to access. In addition, the basement had very low clearance with very little light.

Q&A: Perspective from the Drafter/Modeler

What was the most unique aspect of drafting/modeling this property?
The emergency escape feature stood out as exceptionally distinctive for this property, as it’s an uncommon element in single-family homes. This one was especially unique because it involves navigating multiple roofs and staircases from an upper-story window. Capturing these details without point cloud data would pose a significant challenge.

What challenges, if any, did you face while drafting/modeling this property?
Drafting and modeling the top story presented difficulties due to the variety of sloped ceilings. These complexities required precise attention to detail to get the items modeled accurately.

History Lies Within the Buildings That Surround Us

Historic preservation paves the way for a sense of place and community for our past. It can serve as inspiration in our lives when we tie the historical, architectural, and aesthetic character of buildings to our families and legacies the way the Cliftons did. We’re grateful to have played a role in such a historically significant project orchestrated by the National Trust of Historic Preservation and Nakita Reed from Quinn Evans.

Repurposing an Abandoned Church into Affordable Housing 1080 602 Alexxis Plata

Repurposing an Abandoned Church into Affordable Housing

Transforming Oakland’s Abandoned Church into Affordable Housing

Historical Preservation as a Work of Art

Transforming Oakland’s Abandoned Church into Affordable Housing

Historical Preservation as a Work of Art

Originally built in 1892, the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church of Oakland sat vacant and unused for over seven years. In 2022, Detra Harris, Principal and Developer at Strive Real Estate, stepped in to transform the location into affordable housing through adaptive reuse. At the beginning of the process, Precision Property Measurements was hired to measure and model over 17,000 square feet of the building to make this remodel possible.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Revit Model
  • Floor Plan
  • Roof Plan
  • Electrical Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Interior Elevations

A Century of History to Preserve

The church originally housed many of the homeless who needed shelter after the 1901 San Francisco earthquake. This was the perfect project for Detra, as she was particularly targeting opportunities that could bring affordable housing to homeless seniors in Oakland. To pay further respects to the rich history, Detra adopted “Brooklyn” from the original name of the church and used it in the new name. The building is now called Brooklyn Arms Apartments. The outstanding history of this church remains preserved through the remodel. Because the city made restoring the original designs of the building a requirement, the architect for this project required As-Builts to revert modifications that were made over the century.

Refreshing the Layout With a New Purpose

The developer discovered a large open space in the original plans (pictured left). This space was used for the main office in the original build. This finding benefited their project as they proposed studio spaces in that large space. They received pushback from the city, but because the original drawings had divided that space into small rooms, they were able to bring back the style of the 1800’s in favor of their entitlements. The As-Built plans helped them get their design approved by the city.

“We received three bids and selected PPM based on the cost, response time, and communication. PPM was able to meet our timeline with expedited turnaround.”

- Detra Harris, Principal and Developer at Strive Real Estate

17,000 Square Feet Surveyed in One Day

The property is large and has varying pitches for different sections of the building. Our surveyors used the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon scanner for this project because it was the best scanner to reach the heights that needed measuring while ensuring accuracy. To accommodate the building, our surveyors scanned each space and the entire exterior to capture as much data as possible. The work was split between three people: one person scanned the main sections of the building, one person scanned the more difficult areas, and person one photographed the building. Dividing the work helped each surveyor focus on one task and complete the data capture in one day.

The most unique parts of this property to survey were the attic spaces. The pitch of the roof was far too steep to walk along, so they had to capture data from inside of the attic. Aesthetically, our surveyors agreed the historical detail of the building was exquisite inside and out.

The Challenge of Modeling 180° of Slope Variations

One of our BIM modelers, Pyra Pao, modeled this project in Revit. He explained that everything about this property was intricate. From the interior decor to the support posts, seating bleachers, and facade – everything was unique.

The most significant challenge Pyra experienced was modeling the upper seating bleachers in the main sanctuary. The seating wrapped around 180° of the room on a narrow slope connecting to the walls, and the slope alternated between different angles before it returned back to its mirroring side. The solution to this challenge was to use duplication in the extrusion. For the facade, he used the sweep command to save time and satisfy our client’s delivery timeline.

"What I enjoyed the most about this project was modeling the organ located in the main sanctuary. I’m very proud of myself for nailing the details and how awesome it looks on the stage."

- Pyra Pao, Production Drafter at PPM

Remodeling Is an Art

Alongside providing a home to many elderly in Oakland, this building is considered public art. You can find this property on the national registry for historical projects. Brooklyn Arms Apartments has one of the largest stained glass arts in Northern California from restorations during the development. Strive Real Estate and Detra Harris are proud to bring public art and affordable housing to their communities under a duo umbrella, and our team was honored to provide accurate As-Built plans for such a beautiful redevelopment project.

To learn more about Detra and her work at Strive Real Estate, visit

A Modern Redondo Beach Dream House Remodel 1080 602 Alexxis Plata

A Modern Redondo Beach Dream House Remodel

As-Built Plans for a Modern Redondo Beach Remodel

Unlocking the Blueprint of Precision

As-Built Plans for a Modern Redondo Beach Remodel

Unlocking the Blueprint of Precision

When embarking on a remodel project, it’s essential to lay a solid foundation for meticulous planning with accurate building measurement data. As-Built plans serve as the cornerstone, providing architects and developers with the necessary details to bring their visions to life. In this showcase, we delve into a project that highlights the significance of As-Built plans, as shared by three key contributors: the client, PPM’s Quality Assurance Specialist, and PPM’s As-Built Surveyor.

Client’s Vision: Building Their Dream Home

For our client, architect Bryan Winters, the journey began with a homeowner’s dream – the dream of transforming their tired existing home into a modern marvel in Redondo Beach, California. Years of hard-earned savings culminated in the homeowner’s decision to embark on this ambitious project. The question that arose was, “What sparked your interest in taking on this project with the homeowner?” According to Bryan, he was drawn to the project by the unique collaboration opportunity. His clients, who happen to be custom furniture designers and fabricators, shared a common vision of creativity and precision. This alignment of creative minds set the stage for what would become a remarkable venture.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Floor Plan
  • Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Sections
  • Still Photos

The Role of As-Built Plans: A Custom Blueprint for Success

To turn a dream into reality, precise and comprehensive As-Built plans are indispensable. Bryan believes that the foundation of any large-scale remodel project hinges on two crucial elements: an accurate site survey and a well-documented set of As-Built plans. With this knowledge, he chose to work with professionals who could deliver with precision. His confidence in the expertise of Precision Property Measurements was unwavering.

"Both these pieces of information (an accurate site survey and a well-documented set of As-Built plans) need to be spot on and accurate, or else ours won't be. That's why I trust PPM."

- Bryan Winters, Owner + Architect at humnlab + architecture /

LiDAR Laser Scanner: Capturing the Essence of the Property

To capture the essence of the property, the surveyor plays a pivotal role. They are responsible for gathering data with absolute precision, often utilizing advanced LiDAR technology to create an accurate representation of the property in a point cloud. The choice of equipment is paramount, and in this instance, the surveyor explained their decision.

"For this project, I used the Leica BLK2GO for my scan. The scan provides most of the information needed for most of the plan types we offer in a more accurate way than I can do by hand."

- PPM As-Built Surveyor

Surveying the property unveiled unique aspects of the building that set it apart from others. It had an interesting spiral staircase to a full basement with storm doors. This is not a common sight in California, so the surveyor was impressed by this diverse feature.

However, unique properties often come with their own sets of challenges. In this case, the challenges were met head on. The surveyor elaborated, “The basement was a tight fit with the scanner, so I had to do multiple scans and merge the scans together while double checking them with check measurements.”

Quality Assurance Specialist: Ensuring Accuracy and Excellence

To confirm the accuracy of As-Built plans before delivery, a rigorous analysis of each plan is performed by a PPM Quality Assurance Specialist. This step plays a pivotal role in avoiding mistakes and delays in the construction phase of a remodel, which can be caused by any incorrect measurements. The Quality Assurance Specialist sets the stage for the architectural vision to come to life with confidence. Their responsibility is to ensure that the drafting of every As-Built plan we deliver is accurate and consistent with the data and measurements collected onsite.

We asked the QA Specialist who worked on this project about the most critical aspect of the project to quality check, and the answer was clear: “The roof on this project was very interesting. It was a focal point of the main elevation of the house and thus a key area to get accurate in the drafting process.”

The strategies and techniques employed to guarantee precision are multifaceted. In this case, the specialist shared, “All the survey data was crucial to modeling the property accurately. Making sure the plans align with our point cloud and with the other plan types in the project ensures that we have a top-quality project for the client.” Precision is the name of the game when it comes to data accuracy.

Architecture Creates Forever Homes

In conclusion, this project exemplifies the collaborative efforts of an architect with his clients, in tandem with PPM’s QA Specialist and Surveyor, bringing a dream home to life. As-Built plans are the bedrock in modern remodels, as they help ensure that every detail aligns seamlessly with the project’s vision. With the right blend of expertise, technology, and commitment to excellence, projects like these not only transform spaces but also create lasting impressions of creativity in the world of architecture and design.

To learn more about Bryan Winters and his work at humnlab + architecture /, visit