Ryan Davis, Assoc. DBIA, ADMG
What does my proposed new facility need to include? This is one of the most daunting questions an owner has to answer. The problem is that most organizations and businesses do not have the ability to allocate the required time and resources into exploring this question. Or, they do not have staff that is trained in preparing and organizing this type of technical information. The end result is usually a lot of wasted time (and dollars) spent with a design professional starting at square one to develop the standard from the bottom up. Worse yet, is getting to opening with a building that does not fully meet your needs!
At the heart of the question lie all the requirements for a building to function properly for its intended end use. These requirements do not only include the structural and aesthetic considerations, but more importantly the “programmatic elements” or the various pieces, such as different functional spaces that make up the “whole.”
A client may approach an architect or engineer and spend a lot of time trying to determine the spaces a building requires, their sizes, the seating, storage, the adjacency and circulation to other spaces, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements, audio visual and the list goes on. Figuring out what each pieces is, what its requirements are, how it fits in to the puzzle, and that it includes everything you intend is where a Criteria Development Consultant can come in.
The solution to this problem is to have a written standard of requirements, “criteria”, used as a guideline standard for your organization or business. By doing this you can ensure all stakeholders have their say in the design process and that nothing is left out when it may be too late, too costly to redesign or even rebuild.
Before starting a new building project it may be a cost effective solution for your organization to talk with a Criteria Development Consultant. Handing off an approved written standard to a designer is a lot easier than trying to get all stakeholders on the same page, let alone the same room during design and construction. Doing so just might save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road!