top of page
Blanco 2016-66 B&W.jpg

WHO WE ARE

 

BAI’s tight-knit team of technical architecture consultants is comprised of not just individuals with formal architecture training - we are also individuals who are well-versed builders, mechanics, tinkerers, and artists. We believe that our well-rounded skill sets translate nicely to understanding the real nuts and bolts of architecture, including the nuances of construction methods and materials, their capabilities, and their limitations. Our experience allows us to understand and problem solve for difficult construction projects where advanced building techniques and materials are employed. Our keen attention to detail and affinity for quality can play a pivotal role in affecting projects in a positive direction.

 

 

PHILOSOPHY

 

As technical architecture consultants we believe that simple is always best in our approach and in the details we help craft. Our industry can be complex and challenging to navigate at times, and so can the projects we work on. At BAI we have a pragmatic no-nonsense approach to the work we do. We are adept at understanding the construction process, visualizing potential problem areas in construction sequencing and details, and bringing them to the forefront of the conversation in order to affect necessary change in the project. We collaborate with project team members to help boil down systems and details to their essential function.

We believe that organizing team working meetings, particularly via video conference, can be a highly efficient way to steer, align and organize thinking in the right direction. We help the process by analyzing big picture issues and asking the right questions in order to evoke critical thinking, which ultimately often leads to greater simplicity in the details and greater possibility of higher performing systems and details.


 INTERNAL LEADERSHIP

At BAI we have adopted and naturally developed a mix of democratic and transformational leadership ideologies, along with a sprinkling of Stoic philosophy. We strive to be supportive where everyone’s voice is heard and appreciated. We encourage and allow our team to realize overall success by maintaining an environment that raises morale and self-confidence.

 

We nurture the growth and success of each other by cultivating and celebrating the achievements of all individuals within the firm, both professionally and personally. We encourage autonomy and empowerment, while still providing necessary support and guidance. Through delegating responsibilities, we empower team members to demonstrate their capabilities and take ownership of their work. We believe in not only leading down the chain of command, but encourage leading up the chain of command, which further develops self-confidence, growth, initiative, and greater autonomy. 

We strive to provide an overall environment where we can all thrive, contribute our best, and reach our full potential.

At BAI we believe that dogs are people too, and we proudly donate to the Marin Humane Society. Click on our dog bios below to learn all about our furry assistants.

Adrian N. Blanco, AIA
Principal

Adrian with Waffle

Adrian is the Principal of BAI. He is involved in all aspects of running the firm, both with technical consulting work and administrative operations. Making his team and clients happy is what initially motivated him to launch BAI and that continues to motivate him everyday. Adrian has a formal Architectural Technology background and is a licensed architect in California, Hawaii, and Arizona. He has provided consulting services on a wide range of project types. He has provided construction litigation support for attorneys, including trial testimony, and has led forensic investigations. He has designed and constructed custom spray racks for differential pressure fenestration testing, and he and his team have performed many, many ASTM E-1105 tests on windows and doors.

 

From an early age Adrian took to working with his hands, first in auto mechanics, rebuilding cars and dabbling in welding. He then became interested in and fell in love with construction work. In his college years he spent time in the summers working at a golf course where he became an Operator, operating a wide variety of heavy machinery, including loaders and backhoes. This led to a hobby of owning and operating heavy equipment. Adrian’s early mechanical and construction experiences led him to his formal technical architecture education. 

 

Adrian has continued to work with his hands throughout his entire career, building several of his own construction projects, including completing six office renovations. Adrian particularly loves seeing his own visions come to life with his own hands and enjoys continually improving his craftsmanship. He also continues to tinker with and operate a small collection of heavy equipment for his own use. In addition to his current residential projects, he is embarking on a larger three phase renovation/development project at BAI headquarters. Following a lengthy planning and permitting process, the first phase is currently in construction. This phase requires the building to be shored and moved in order to drive helical piers to bedrock as part of the new foundation system. With the help of Jeremy Berger (BAI Field Manager), Adrian is self-performing the helical pier installation with the use of his CAT305 excavator, which has been fitted with special attachments necessary for driving piers and monitoring installation torque.

 

Adrian’s hands-on experience, coupled with his technical architecture training and career, have given him a unique perspective and a much deeper understanding of architecture and construction as a whole, and, most importantly, where they meet. It has made him particularly well suited for technical architecture consulting and adept at developing designs for practical details and construction assemblies. His hand-on perspective and pragmatic approach are also valuable when interfacing with contractors in the field.

 

Adrian likes learning about and practicing Stoicism and strives to lead with elements from that philosophy. He appreciates the pragmatism and also enjoys other related subjects, including time management, team development and empowerment, and self discipline. Adrian enjoys the freedom he finds through practicing self discipline, particularly via exercise and eating a simple diet, and can be found early in the mornings each day in his gym on his Concept 2 rower, stair climber, and lifting weights. Adrian also loves to travel when he has the time to do it. Outside of work and his own projects, and, most importantly, he spends as much time as possible with his master, Waffle.

 

Sara has worked in finance and administration of small architecture firms for twenty years. She brings extensive knowledge of finance, payables, receivables, budgeting, analysis, planning, and project management to our team. In addition, prior to working in architecture, she had fifteen years of experience in small business, banking, non-profit, and Fortune 500 companies.

 

Sara was instrumental in founding BAI, from creating company financial and administrative systems, to forming corporations, LLCs and LLPs, to acquiring and managing mortgages and SBA loans. She also has created policies and structures that help BAI succeed, such as business and marketing plans, HR administration, time and expense policies, employee handbooks, invoicing, and AR procedures. Sara also manages various insurance policies, legal matters, tax matters, and risk control measures.

 

Sara works closely with outside counsel, CPA’s, brokers, and other experts to maintain and improve company structures and policies that are instrumental to BAI’s success. She also works closely with Adrian in a business advisory role.

 

Prior to her work in architecture and after being inspired by her first rescue dog Rosie, Sara began a two-year sabbatical in animal rescue at Best Friend’s Animal Society in Kanab and Salt Lake City, Utah. There she managed a marketing program and also worked directly with the dogs in Dog Town, including taking care of a wolf! She found it extremely rewarding not only to help the animals, but to work with people who were passionate about making the world a better place. Although she went back to school for her MBA at the University of San Francisco and re-entered the for-profit world, working with non-profits remains an important part of her life. She has continued to rescue dogs, including Little, Bella, Hoss and now her fifth rescue pup Whiskey, who was adopted from a rescue organization run by a previous co-worker in Utah.

 

After being diagnosed with migraines, Sara started advocacy work in the migraine space. Currently she volunteers for two migraine organizations whose goals are to increase funding for migraine research.  Sara has attended Headache on the Hill at the Capitol in Washington DC regularly since 2014, advocating with doctors and other patient advocates and meeting with Senators and Representatives. Sara also volunteers for Miles for Migraine by raising money for their San Francisco event, where she has been the top fundraiser several times. She has also attended many other migraine events around the country, including once giving a presentation in front of hundreds of people.

 

Sara loves to knit and sew - she’s worked on a number of toques, scarves, blankets, and sweaters. She is currently working on dog sweater prototypes, much to Whiskey’s chagrin, and is thinking about opening an Etsy store. She loves to travel, especially to Scotland and Canada. Recently she traveled with her two sisters across the UK for two months. She loves to bake gluten-free treats and is currently working on a BAI team recipe book. Other interests include genealogy, politics, and gardening. 

sara
adrian