Jeffrey Dallenbach

Ask more questions before resolving issues.


At the tail end of a recession Jeffrey S. Dallenbach, AIA graduated from Texas A&M University. Jeff dove into the development industry while earning pennies rather than dollars but truly solidified his knowledge of architecture and the built environment while working with the prominent Architecture Firm of Phelps Garza Bomberger. After learning the industry and completing internship requirements Jeff petitioned the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners to take his licensing exam early. This was granted, Jeff passed the licensing exams and became an Architect in September of 1995. Following licensure, Jeff had the opportunity to work with the San Antonio based and well-known Marmon Mok Architects. High profile clients and work all across Texas taught Jeff the finer points of project management and leadership. As a Senior Associate, Jeff managed an immense amount of work in the K-12 Educational department and became a leader in the American Institute of Architects. While a commissioner in the AIA, Jeff led a committee on Professional Development and soon became a member of the Board of Directors. Through years of work all across Texas and involvement in the AIA Jeff maintained a dream of becoming a Master Builder.

This dream of becoming a Master Builder (both Architect and Builder) became a reality in 2003 when Jeff collaborated with a small construction company to establish an Architect led design-build company – ARCHCON design-build. While designing buildings as an Architect, Jeff dove into the bidding, management, and accounting of Construction Projects. The result of gaining knowledge in both sides of the development industry was an in-house and collaborative approach as the Architect and Contractor working as one to best meet our Owner needs. Jeff gained control of the entire design-build company shortly thereafter and opened an Architecture firm, ARCHCON architecture, to parallel that of the design-build company. For years, successful buildings were completed in both companies with a Master Builder mentality and achieved goals of exceeding our client expectations and developing repeat clients.

This delivery method proved successful, but the continued growth of our companies was re-established as we changed to a Hybrid Design-Build approach. This approach created a collaboration of Architect-Owner-Contractor where ARCHCON design-build and ARCHCON architecture merged to establish DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE. In doing so, we focus on Architecture with an innate knowledge of the General Contractor role. Jeff’s development of this Hybrid approach has resulted in many project types but predominantly the Storage industry where he has written many articles, conducts seminars and has won multiple national awards. Jeff’s endeavors are now nationwide as we have completed projects from New York to Las Vegas. As the Founder and Managing Partner, Jeff’s roots entrench DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE in a collaborative approach to the development in the built environment.

Where did the idea for Dallenbach-Cole Architecture come from?

Through years of success based on meeting clients’ needs I felt the growth of my company from within was necessary and my existing companies were merged into DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE. The growth was necessary to recognize the leaders of the Architecture Firm and to convey to staff members that commitment is rewarded. Partner name recognition projects the commitment I have as the founder, designer, and business manager and the commitment Cheryl Cole has provided in production management and operations. Our diverse talent complements each other and lays the foundation for our success.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A productive day starts with two cups of coffee and not addressing any “fires” until after 9:30! I try never let email or the telephone dictate my day. Review of tasks on a priority basis and allocating the appropriate amount of time for each task in the morning’s kick-off. Setting aside time for work without interruption and addressing the most complex issues at allocated times of the day are keys to my productivity. When these things are a success I can focus on the creative process of Architecture.

How do you bring ideas to life?

A “Kit of Parts” is a key to successful Architecture. These parts come from past experience, historical references, regional materials, and collaboration with our team at DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE. Architectural design is a process of growth where our buildings do come to life. Infancy is the conceptual phase where our location is studied and building form takes shape. A combination of site analysis, sketching, reviewing materials, and computer animation makes our drawings pop off the page and come to life as buildings that shape your environment.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The trend of collaboration in the development process with owner, architect, and general contractor involvement throughout both design and construction.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The habit of priority management enables me to focus on the most important facets of DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE and best meet our clients’ needs.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Ask more questions before resolving issues.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

There is a technique or procedure that can be developed for any task.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Manage your priorities which includes making time for personal life and family.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

The strategy of not trying to know a little about everything but instead learning a lot about a few things. Architects, in most cases, are a wealth of knowledge in many areas as that is how we are taught throughout our education and career. An architect and mentor taught me to become an expert in the specific area in which you practice.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Creating a partnership without a written agreement and with a partner that I did not know well enough as a person. It was overcome when leaving became the springboard for starting my own business.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Outlook as my Priority Management schedule and to-do list.

Sketch Up is a program that enables 2D drawings to be projected into 3D models in a very short period of time. It is said a picture is worth a thousand words and 3D modeling is proof.

Key Learnings:

  • An architect and mentor taught me to become an expert in the specific area in which you practice.
  • One trend that excites Jeffrey S. Dallenbach is the trend of collaboration in the development process with Owner, Architect, and General Contractor involvement throughout both design and construction
  • The habit of priority management enables me to focus on the most important facets of DALLENBACH-COLE ARCHITECTURE and best meet our clients’ needs.