One of the things that distinguishes Hansen Architects is how computer aided design is not used in the initial design phase.
Although able to draft on the computer, Hansen does not believe that using the computer is the best way to visualize a building's aesthetic and functional potential during schematic design.
Instead, she uses her training as an artist to compose hand drawn perspective sketches with two major benefits.
First, being able to hand-sketch shows that the architect can think and compose fluently in three dimensions; visualizing spatial relations while in conversation with the client, on site, or in the office, without having to rely on the slow, distant, and often homogenizing process of computer mediation.
Using a more fluid visual method during design increases the chances of achieving a truly well composed, non-formulaic result tailored to each project.
Second, this reduces the architectural fee because hand drawings take only minutes compared to taking days for computer renderings.
Once the design is approved by the client, computers are brought into the process by loading the plans and elevations into AutoCAD.
The project can then be seen at a larger scale, enabling us to focus on the details. AutoCAD is by far the most commonly used software in the building industry, so our projects can easily interface with engineers, consultants, and suppliers.
Hansen Architects has spent decades refining its comprehensive building specifications and contractual templates enabling detailed cost comparisons in the competitive bidding process.
This transparency helps keep projects on budget throughout construction by minimizing the risk of costly change orders, often saving clients more money than the total architectural fee.