Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stages of Building Design: A mismatch of expectations


The timeline for almost any building design-project goes like this:
Brief, concept, schematic, developed design, working drawings, approvals, tender, construction.
That is what I was taught a quarter of a century ago.
That is still used in design offices around the world to scope jobs, bid for them, deliver and invoice.
Milestones are set accordingly, budgets and resources are planned for, business plans worked agreed on.

Everyone clearly knows what each stage encompasses, the type of information, the output to expect.
Bubble diagrams, flowcharts, perspectives, details, depending on the stage of the design delivery timeline.
Everyone is in full agreement. Expect for the building owner.

They expect a ‘finished’ building from day one.
And this then becomes a source of trouble for everyone.

They (the building owners) know that building creation takes time. They, themselves will change their minds numerous times.
They accept, even expect many possible options to be considered for their spatial problems.
Fittings, colours, materials to be chosen, ideas explored, settled on to be discarded again and started afresh.
They understanding the time needed, they appreciate the effort.

They just want to have a ‘buildable design’ from DAY ONE.
 And, the important bit is this: this expectation is unlikely to change.

So the process has to!
Roll in BIM, the only building design toolset/approach really able to handle this mismatch of expectations.



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