Although demands placed on buildings are changing at a screaming pace, human values remain fairly constant. The lesson to be learned in design is FLEXIBILITY. Projects can be obsolete long before they are worn-out.
Our design process has 5 distinct parts:
.....Assembling the design team
.....Problem seeking (the programming phase)
.....Post Occupancy Evaluation
Our clients are the key players while the design professionals are the facilitators. It is the Client’s part of the design team that drives issues of cost, quantity, and quality and, in the end, determines the success of the project. We seek a dynamic team that can:
.....focus on results,
.....build upon individual strengths,
.....effectively make objective AND subjective decisions.
During the design phase, organizational relationships are established and systems are defined. This phase is the foundation of scope, quality, and budget. It is both parametric and reiterative as each concept response must be tested in light of the overall solution. Good programming effort minimizes the need for frequent client questioning. The whole team already knows where the design is going and what is to be accomplished.
When Schematic Design Documents are well defined and Design Team input is virtually complete, we begin the Construction Documents phase. Construction Documents are the specific instructions for building the facility and include the drawings and the Project Manual which clearly identify all project requirements and contain:
.....Notices and Instructions
.....General and Supplementary Conditions
.....Project Summary, Alternates, and Allowances
.....Definitions and Standards
.....Requirements for Schedules, Reports, and Payments
.....Procedures and Controls
.....Policy for Products and Substitutions
.....Information regarding Project Closeout
Our final phase is critical to OUR continued success. Virtually every building is a one-of-a-kind prototype, even though it may have major similarities to others, and we believe there is always room for improvement. What can we do to make our solutions better? First, we need useable feedback on how we have done in the past.
About one year after occupancy, we go back to the facility and do several things. One task is the warranty inspection. Just like your car, you need to service your building just prior to the end of the warranty period.
We also look for tell-tale indications of user’s adaptation of the space to suit their needs. If there are signs taped on the walls telling people where to go, we know that the users are confused and we want to know why. If maintenance is not good; why not? Is there something about the building that is discouraging it? What is showing signs of wear? What is holding up well? This feedback is an important tool in our continued improvement and, over years, has identified several elements that create a better experience for users, economies in construction, and savings in life-cycle building costs.