19 Nov Draft On Site Profiles in Full Service Design: Shira Rosenberg
Our Full Service Design company only works because of the incredible people we have on our team. One of our incredible team members is our CEO and Principal, Certified Residential Designer (1 of only roughly 100 active ASTTBC certified Residential Designers in BC), Shira Rosenberg.
How Shira Came To Lead Our Full Service Design Company
Real-world Design philosophy
Shira is the daughter of a Lawyer and was cross-examined at the dinner table throughout her childhood. This led to her always looking at the letter and intent of the law and making sure she knew how to follow the rules. This transferred beautifully to designing buildings due to the vast number of rules regarding building design and how they are ever-shifting, as Building Code and Zoning By-Laws are updated throughout the province on a weekly basis.
But we will get into that later.
Shira’s father was always teaching her interesting things in his workshop and one of her fondest memories was of some of his friends coming over to find her arc welding in the garage. They hadn’t expected to find her being the one welding.
Once out of high school, Shira went to college in California for Industrial Design. As Shira was going through the program she realized that she was different from the teachers and students in the program: the only thing that mattered to Shira was whether the product worked and whether it could be sold for a profit. Whereas the teachers and students were very focused on the feelings behind the form or appearance but did not seem to notice what the product specifications called for, nor the profitability of the design.
As this went counter to all of the business philosophies Shira believed in, especially as she was planning to enter the industry and design products for clients, Shira couldn’t align herself with these ideologies. This difference in ideologies led to her school labelling Shira as “having no soul” and Shira identifying that the school did not teach their students about the realities of the industry or how to succeed in business. So Shira left the school and returned to Vancouver.
Model-making experience in film
From that point on Shira ended up working in high-end Architectural Model Making and apprenticed under some of the premier Model Makers and got to work with industrial CO2 laser cutting systems and C&C machines. At the same time, Shira started apprenticing under a family friend who is one of the most sought-out props and special effects prosthetics makers in the film industry. There, Shira ended up working on some of the largest physical effect-heavy movies at the time, creating hundreds of life-size models, sculptures and props. Shira eventually even led her own miniatures and wild sets team for a BC film. This was an amazing time and Shira loved everything she got to work on.
However, the chemicals and the hours were not necessarily good for a person so Shira decided to move on from the movies. Soon, her career in Residential Design began.
Shira’s next career move was to work in Floor Plan measuring and drafting, eventually managing an entire drafting department. It turned out that Shira’s apprenticing in Architectural Scale Modeling had led to her developing incredibly fast and accurate drafting techniques and she applied this to her new department.
The birth of Draft On Site Services Inc.
After almost a decade of working for or managing other companies drafting departments, Shira decided to break out on her own and start a new company, Draft On Site Services Inc.
Shira was so well-respected by her team that within a month of starting the new company 10 people from her old company had contacted her and said that they wanted to work with her. This was an amazing vote of confidence and a testimonial to all of her hard work.
At that time the company was primarily a drafting company, providing best-in-class Floor Plans and the occasional renovation design, but Shira quickly realized that she had a talent for design and could think three-dimensionally in a way that very few other people could. This led to designs that were more efficient, effective and produced in record time.
Recognized as an expert in her field
Since then Shira has become an expert in Zoning, By-Law and Building Code, often being called on by Cities to provide expert opinions on design and Zoning.
Shira also has become an ASTTBC Certified Residential Designer, one of only approximately 100 active Designers certified by the ASTTBC to design homes in BC.
We cannot express how proud we are of Shira and her accomplishments, instead, we will quote what so many of the Builders we work with say: “Shira is a Wizard!”
What Shira Does At Our Full Service Design Company
Client relations, Lead Designer, CEO and Principal
As the CEO, Principal and Lead Designer of our Full Service Design Company, Shira oversees all the Design projects and keeps all of our projects on track. She researches Zoning to determine the maximum allowable build options for a project and how to achieve the objectives specified by the client. She communicates with clients, contractors, and other professionals to ensure everyone is on the same page as the project progresses. At the same time, Shira works with and advises all of the different teams on project updates and changes, as well as identify hurdles and develop plans for resolving them so that the design comes together as smoothly and elegantly as possible.
Shira focuses on the objectives and functionality first, because although you can find a way to make any design pretty, you can’t make every design functional.
Salesforce custom development
As a testament to her ideology of functional living and working spaces, Shira worked with the rest of the team to develop a fully customized instance of Salesforce, including developing new fully custom utilities for scheduling. From there, Shira then learned how to become a Salesforce Administrator so that she could rebuild Salesforce internally and has been developing new functionality for the organization. This has led DOS to have the ability to manage dozens of projects simultaneously allowing different teams to collaborate and work more effectively.
Contact person for local Cities
Shira also is one of the points of contact with the City, specifically the more senior members of the City, as Shira is seen as a subject matter expert on the topics of zoning, new home design, commercial and residential renovations, character home retention and the documentation of sites and the related sampling of the City. For context, Shira has overseen the design of roughly 400 projects and the scanning and measuring over 24,000 properties.
A holistic perspective
Shira has a different approach to everything: she first wants to find out what the objectives are, then the budget and finally the fun elements like appearance and materials. Sometimes the objectives are a fun design with playful layouts or private spas and garden oases, in which case Shira dives in wholeheartedly researching the styles the client loves so that they can be integrated.
Sometimes the objectives are the most cost-effective design for a specific Lot that has the best number of features for resale, in which case Shira will jump in researching the Zoning and By-Laws for that Lot and then start working out what are the best options that use all of the relaxations and design guidelines to max out the Build for that Lot.
Of course, the budget is the most important restriction, you can only build what you can afford, so Shira uses the DOS construction calculator to give relative guidelines to what the project will cost so the scope of work can be scaled appropriately.
Well-respected by clients
Shira’s clients love to come to her for advice on what is possible, affordable and what the requirements are before they get started on a project and run into requirements and costs they weren’t ready for.
In Her Words
“I do not have a signature look: every project is unique and I adapt to the look that the Client would like. The most signature thing about my work is that it is as efficient in the layout as I can make it. I can’t count the number of times that I hear Builders and Engineers asking how I had made the design as efficient as I had: it’s especially a compliment when I am reworking a design on a rescue project, where another company wasn’t able to comply with zoning or code, and I find solutions to all of the non-compliant problems and successfully attain permits.”