We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of company stakeholders

At GIS International Group, we care deeply about the health and wellbeing of company stakeholders – including our builders, subcontractors, employees, their families and the communities where we live, work and recreate.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve taken great care to do our part in combatting the spread of COVID-19 by shutting down our active construction sites, working from home and following best-in-class safety protocols in compliance with the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Like everyone else, we understand there is a great deal of uncertainty and concern about this pandemic, and we want to assure you we are taking every step necessary to adapt to this ever-changing business environment.

To that end, GIS has been working collaboratively with several industry- and community-based associations to stay up to date on safety precautions, local and state regulations, and the ongoing decision-making process for reengaging our economy. We are encouraged by the Governor’s recent announcement of low-risk guidelines for restarting construction activity, and are communicating with government officials on the development of a COVID-19 Safety Plan that will enable us to return to work at the GIS Plaza project in downtown Bellevue and the Madison Plaza job site in Kent.

GIS has one of the region’s best construction-safety records, and we will meet government requirements to ensure a safe, healthy work environment for all our building teams and subcontractors. We are fully committed to overcoming this challenge together and will continue to monitor this economic and health issue as it develops, as well as institute further safety measures as needed.

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The DIY-er

We have had the pleasure in recent years to mostly get our business through referrals. We consider referrals the highest compliment we can receive. We do get several inquiries from folks via our website or that call us up to get us to “bid” on a project. We are always humbled with these opportunities to ‘compete’ for business. It seems in a majority of the cases that we are being used or “shopped” to keep someone else honest, and in many cases we are being asked what is the difference between us and them, in terms of how we charge for our services and structure our fees.

Somewhere about 80% of people we talk to seem as if they never intend to use us or even one of our competitors when we meet and speak to them. Their first question invariably is, “What is your price per foot?” which we always compliment our potential clients by acknowledging that that is a question smart people should be asking. A lot of times this price per foot conversation happens before there are even designs in mind. While this is good from a budgeting perspective its impossible to predict the price of a home without a design. Let say we discuss price, after a design is realized, but before we have had a chance to truly conduct a ‘Pre-Con’ or pre-construction service… we are only guessing. This type of guessing is only worth in direct proportion to the amount of time we spend. And we do not work for free, otherwise you probably wouldn’t want our work product. So be wary of anyone in this biz that can quickly give you an estimate or bid.

If you have had success is your respective field and feel like it transfers to real estate development and construction, we can only caution you. The most accurate way we can warn you is to frankly say, “you do not know the correct questions to ask to get the kind of answers you require” meaning you can go down to the city, talk to a broker and have a few high level chats with consultants, but that doesn’t make you an expert. And none of these people (professionals) have an agreement in place designed to save you from yourself. It’s what you do not know that will cost you $50k, $100k maybe even $250-500k. In short, we are here to help, pride the value we add and charge accordingly for it. Please stay in your lane “Do It Yourselfers” unless you want to make building your home your full-time job and prepared to take on these risks yourself.

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custom home

Case Study: A dream home for a single family.

The GIS Advanced Building Methods allows homeowners to build on a picturesque mountainside with jaw-dropping Views Of Bellevue Below

A couple purchased gorgeous acreage east of the hustle and bustle of Bellevue. Their dream home presented a challenge: for a new home to take advantage of the remarkable views, it would have to be built on a steep slope and over challenging terrain. Most builders are out of their element working on sites like theirs. They needed someone to truly take in their needs and goals, while balancing their wants with the budget.

What Were They Concerned About?

They knew many builders with expertise, some that even specialized in commercial building, though they were needed a builder who could handle building their dream home. Learning of GIS’s expertise in environmentally sound and sustainable building practices they were excited to work with GIS. One concern they had is that they may need to compromise some comfort and convenience when they chose to build a sustainable, energy efficient home. However, as they told our GIS team about their vision and what they wanted, they were thrilled to learn that the GIS team could make an energy efficient, environmentally low-impact home while providing them with all the comforts and conveniences they’d hoped for and then some.

We began with their goals in mind, and then took them through the building process. Not only our did we have the ability to create a comfortable, environmentally responsible home, we can also deliver luxury and smart features that serve to highlight the home’s elegance.

This Family Loved Our Ability To Integrate The Building With The Environment, And Deliver All The Modern Advantages Luxury Home Building Can Provide

GIS offers the unique combination of the most modern, technologically advanced building techniques while rigorously adhering to an environmentally-focused process.

What challenges are owners having before they came to us?

While they are familiar with building and construction, they focused on commercial buildings. They know and can identify quality building when they see it, but they also realized they were not familiar with the nuances of residential buildings, styles and trades.

They Wanted To Preserve The Natural Habitat During The Building Process While Staying Within Their Budget

They also wanted to preserve the environment around their future home. The area also was habitat for fauna and wildlife that they greatly hoped to have surrounding their home. This meant that the builder would need to properly assess the land and take all necessary precautions to avoid disruption of the wildlife – without having a negative impact on the project budget.

They Wanted A Design That Accentuated The Views

The homeowners wanted their new home to dramatize their views of the lakes and mountains around the Seattle area.

The Process:

Throughout the due diligence and site preparation process, GIS conducted site surveys, feasibility studies, and all additional steps required for development. The result is to accelerate the pace and efficiency of those initial steps in the custom build process.

Maintain The Natural Environment:

GIS followed best practices in working with the land to preserve and maintain the natural habitat so that the home became a part of the natural site instead of removing and replacing the foliage and fauna in the area.

The Foundation:

At GIS our expertise allows us to regularly build where other contractors cannot. Based on the site surveys, soil testing, and measurements of the slopes, our engineers determined which foundation to use – comprised of pilings, piers, and a shoring system. This allowed the home to be placed at the precise location near a stream and keep the home on a firm footing while allowing the views from the home to feature the surrounding environment.

The Design:

Our design team worked seamlessly with the technicians and engineers to create a home that takes in the breadth of the views of Bellevue and Seattle, and the forests, lakes, and far off Puget Sound. Each of the floors of this over 5,000 square foot home includes a walk-out deck, and each has a luxurious finish, state-of-the-art smart technology and warm living spaces. The entire home functions on green building principles, with sustainable design and smart energy programming that set the standard for new home construction.

The Outcome:

This home is a prime example of what modern sustainable technologies and an adherence to the finest building practices can achieve.  Best of all, while the home is certainly one-of-a-kind, we can employ our expertise as we create other new homes for our future inspired homeowners. Whether you already have a location selected, or if you just have a dream of a new home with gorgeous views of the Seattle area, we can help you at any point along the way.

The Result:

The family LOVES their new home. They are amazed by how much the home fits with the context and surrounding environmental features and by how much nature is a significant part of their lifestyle.

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