• Design team and project at substantial completion.
  • Grandpa breaks the news that the third floor must go because the project is over budget. Emmett’s reaction was similar to that of some clients in the same situation.
  • The completed Graham Cracker House and Tract House.
  • Drawings for the Graham Cracker House, formerly the Emmett Hotel.

Architectural Graham Cracker House

When your Grandpa is an Architect, there is no limit to the creative spirit. Combine this “seasoned” Architect with a Mine Craft skilled seven year old and you get a whole lot of Holiday cheer. Grandpa (Brad Wright) and Grandson (Emmett Wright) began planning their gingerbread structure when Nana (Suzanne) brought home a box kit gingerbread house hereafter referred to as “the tract house”.

Grandpa and Emmett began Schematic Design for the graham cracker house the week before Christmas. They planned for Construction to start Christmas Eve with a substantial completion date of Christmas Day. Using only materials that were readily available, they prepared construction documents. The Hotel Emmett project was to be a three story building using graham crackers for the structure and façade, and royal icing for the mortar.

List of Materials – staging on site:

3 boxes graham crackers: plain, chocolate and cinnamon (see change order No. 02)
2 lbs powdered sugar (see change order No. 01) enough to make 5 batches of royal icing
1 dozen eggs – whites only with vanilla added
3 bags pretzels: knots, sticks and snaps
1 bag cinnamon imperials
3 cans assorted color squirt icing with decorator tips
1 bag red twist licorice whips
1 box fruit roll up – roll style in variety pack
1 lb dehydrated banana chips
Assorted sprinkles per specifications
1 bag medium chocolate M&Ms – only red, green and blue to be used as indicated on drawing
Enough additional assorted candies to give oral hygienist Aunt A. (Abby) nightmares
1 duck sculpture to meet Percent for Arts Program as required by City Ordinance

Grandpa breaks the news that the third floor must go because the project is over budget. Emmett’s reaction was similar to that of some clients in the same situation.
Design Modification: After the Notice to Proceed, the Architect determined that the project was significantly over budget. The design team modified the design, eliminating the third floor and adding a penthouse with green roof balcony.

Change Orders:
C.O. 1) Two additional bags of powdered sugar purchased by the project manager (Nana)
C.O. 2) Two Additional boxes of graham crackers procured by Architect and Intern Architect

Security Concerns:
Significant on-site pilfering of materials anticipated and witnessed.

There were some initial concerns about a competitor’s building that was under construction simultaneously on a nearby site. The Tract House was a prefabricated unit constructed by the unlicensed team of Harry (little brother) & Nana. Though completed quickly, they found it lacking in creativity. They also observed that the roofing (gingerbread singles) were incorrectly installed upside down, which would inevitably lead to water infiltration problems down the road. Undoubtedly the design team of Grandpa and Emmett might be required to rectify the problem at a later date.

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About the Author:

A founding Principal Architect of PWA, Brad is an avid outdoorsman with a keen appreciation of the environment and the Natural Order. He strives to apply environmentally sensitive and balanced solutions to all design and construction issues.

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