To effectively solve a design problem, we must first define it thoroughly. Our DQC is our structured process of defining the challenge. The process establishes a platform of project goals, needs, wants, facts, and budget. The process is inclusive and involves owners and managers, the design team, staff, and sometimes users, depending on the project characteristics. The DQC participants discuss the physical concepts and identify unique project requirements. This is like designing the building verbally before we design it visually. It causes decisions to be made early and gives the design team a clear understanding of design direction and performance requirements. We all know where we are going before we start drawing. With our DQC, we develop an understanding of your needs and answer those needs in the most appropriate way.
The DQC team will:.
.....recognize challenges and conditions,
.....make good predictions,
.....ask important questions,
.....locate, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and record information and ideas,
.....assume multiple stances,
.....apply exploratory problem-solving strategies,
.....apply understanding to new problems.
Each project is an opportunity. We can only do it once: we are driven to find the best solution.. The DQC is our tool. It truly is a tool, rather than an end product. It is made to be modified on the fly as information is received and analyzed.
The DQC centers on five key elements:
The information gathered ranges from tangible data, such as specific room sizes, to abstract goals of image and subconscious response. The result verbally designs the facility. It forms the journey’s map and its complexity varies from project to project. The process may be as simple as a meeting with the client but may expand, depending on the design complexity, to workshops, on-site charettes, field trips, or full scale mock-ups. It is a collaborative planning process that brings stakeholders together to develop project parameters.
The Design Quality Companion
begins with this list of queries:
100 - Function
101. Purpose of the project.
102. Number and type of people accommodated.
103. Maintaining sense of individual identity within large mass of people.
104. Degrees and types of privacy and group interaction.
105. Hierarchy and promotion of human values.
106. Analyze physical, social, emotional, intellectual characteristics of people served.
107. User behavioral patterns.
108. Promotion of certain activities as prime interests and their quality level.
109. Priority of relationships.
110. Evaluate movement and segregation of people, vehicles, services, goods and information.
111. Establish parking and outdoor area requirements.
112. Promotion of chance & planned encounters.
113. Identify the need for common space dedicated to multi-directional, multi-purpose traffic.
114. Generate area parameters from general activities.
115. Time-distance movement requirements.
116. Space adequacy for the number of people and their activities to be housed.
117. Test services as best being centralized or decentralized.
118. Uncover the need for closely related activities to be integrated into a unit.
119. Security controls used to protect property and control movement.
120. Establish the space requirements for each activity.
121. Understand the cost implications of functional alternatives.
122. State the unique performance requirements to accommodate the major activities of the project.
200 - Form
201. Attitudes toward existing elements on the site.
202. Facility response to its environment and relations with the neighboring community.
203. Identify client attitudes toward the psychological environment to be provided.
204. Identify goals concerned with the promotion of personal individuality of the user.
205. Identify goals dealing with the flow of people and vehicles to provide a psychological environment with a sense of orientation, and a sense of entry.
206. Implications of form on the movement of people and vehicles.
207. Uncover the general character of architectural form which the client intends to project as an image.
208. Analyze the existing site conditions to include: contours, views, natural features, buildable areas, access and egress, utilities, size and capacity.
209. Analyze the climate: temperatures, sun angles and wind direction.
210. Evaluate the form-giving significance of code and zoning requirements.
211. Evaluate soil test report and determine the implications on cost and design.
212. Analyze local materials and the immediate surroundings for possible influences.
213. Understand the effect of building efficiency (net/gross) on quality.
214. Establish the adequacy of functional support spaces (such as assigned storage) as an indication of quality.
215. Evaluate policy concerning the neighboring community to uncover the concept of sharing or interdependence.
216. Expose preconceived solutions as a basis for analysis and discussion.
217. Consider the factors of the physical and psychological environment as well as site conditions as influences on the construction budget.
218. Identify and abstract the major form giving influences of the site on the building design.
300 - Economy
301. Identify the extent of available funds.
302. Establish trial budget.
303. Investigate goal for minimizing O&M costs.
304. Priority on life cycle costs vs initial costs.
305. Analyze the climate factors, the wear and tear level of activities and their implications on building materials.
306. Evaluate the time-use factors to determine the feasibility of combining various functions into a multi-function space.
307. Uncover the need for the concept of merchandising used to promote business activities.
308. Understand the Cost - Quantity - Quality equation.
309. Establish an attitude toward the initial budget and its influence on the fabric and geometry of the building.
400 - Time
401. Attitude toward historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
402. Significance of existing building as having historic, aesthetic and/or sentimental values.
403. Consider the possible influences of historic surroundings.
404. Uncover the concept of adaptability in recycling an historic building for new activities and functions.
405. Identify activities most likely to change.
406. Identify long term functional projections indicating growth.
407. Test the concept of tailored precision versus loose fit, in determining the area requirements for an organization which might be static or dynamic.
408. Uncover the concept of convertibility used to provide for interior changes in a building to accommodate future changes in activities.
409. Identify the desired occupancy date.
410. Test the conventional and fast-track procedures against the occupancy date to determine a realistic time schedule.
411. Define phasing of development.
500 - Energy
501. Identify levels of efficiency.
502. Participation in certification programs and desired status.
503. Benchmark energy use comparison.
504. Identify attitude regarding passive design, active alternative systems, and renewable fuel use.
505. Analyze past energy budget and identify projections and O&M impact.
506. Determine the impact of mass on response time.
507. Access impact of orientation and shading.
508. Determine unique energy demands.
509. Identify form giving influences of environmental response.
510. Identify load reduction opportunities.