Friday, 27 January 2012

The Architectural Design Quality

Design Quality

Assessing the Quality of the Design

The Design Quality Manual: Improving Building Performance

Every client should regard himself as a ‘design champion’ and that means keeping a focus on quality throughout. In the early stages of the project, only the client can make the right decisions. The following four main sections represent the four main areas of quality that contribute to the overall quality of design:

1.     Impact

This section refers to the building’s ability to create a sense of place and to have a positive effect on the local community and environment. It also covers the wider effect the design may have on the arts of building and architecture.
  • Character and innovation
  • Form and materials
  • Internal environment
  • Urban and social integration

2.     Build Quality

This section relates to the engineering performance of a building, which includes structural stability and the integration, safety and robustness of the systems, finishes and fittings.
  • Performance
  • Engineering systems
  • Construction

3.     Functionality

This section is concerned with the arrangement, quality and interrelationship of spaces and how the building is designed to be useful to all.
  • Use
  • Access
  • Space

4.     Value

A well designed building has a greater value to all involved. It is likely to be easier to gain local acceptance and get planning permission, it will provide better service to the users, and it should be cheaper to run. A well designed building is one that is suitable for its intended use, built to last, safe and sustainable to build and occupy, contributes to its context and looks good. It should convey its function and role, be easy to understand and a delight to use, visit and pass by. If it fulfills all these criteria it will be a good investment. Sound financial management and an aspiration for excellent quality go hand in hand. The real costs and benefits of a building are in its occupation and you should be striving from the outset for a building that will maximize whole life benefits. Extra resources spent on design or construction to achieve high quality can pay for themselves many times over during the life of the building.
Architectural Design

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Architectural Client Role

The Client Role in Building Projects

How to be a Successful Architectural Client

A Client's Guide to Engaging an Architect: Guidance on Hiring an Architect for Your Project
The process of creating buildings is one of the most complex, challenging and fulfilling activities that an individual or organization can undertake. The client role is a crucial success factor in the quality of the final product. To be a successful client requires a combination of attributes and attitudes: leadership, boldness, shrewdness, excellent communication, determination and dedication.

Success Factors in Building Projects

The key success factors described here will help any client through the development process to produce an excellent building. These key skills and attributes are frequently shared by clients on successful building projects:
  1. Provide strong client leadership. Great projects need great leadership to inspire a great team to a great performance. It is when you, the client, contribute your strengths, knowledge, care and commitment to quality that you will get the best out of those working for you so that together you can create wonderful buildings and exceptional environments that meet your needs.
  2. Give enough time at the right time
  3. Learn from your own successful projects. Experience can be a great advantage. Good clients learn from their mistakes.
  4. Learn from other successful projects. Many clients do not have the benefit of experience. Some will be undertaking only a small number of projects, perhaps just one building. One way of avoiding the pitfalls and achieve an excellent outcome is to borrow from the experience of others.
  5. Develop and communicate a clear brief
  6. Make a realistic financial commitment from the outset. One of the first concerns is always money. There is almost never enough to spend on a project and you want to make sure you get good value. Being concerned from day one about the budget is not something to be embarrassed about – it’s good sense. Honesty about how much you’ve got to play with is always a right starting point. Your architect should be able to work with a reasonable known budget and the discipline can stimulate creativity and innovation. Sound financial management and an aspiration for excellent quality go hand in hand.
  7. Find the right people for the job. Get the right team and you can expect professionalism, design skills and expertise in project delivery from the best players in the construction industries.
  8. Respond and contribute to the context
  9. Sign off all key stages.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Design Brief – A Project Management Tool

Giving Shape to the Design Brief

Revision and Management

Project Management: Designing Effective Organizational Structures in Construction
While writing the brief, it is important to specify the main operational features of the building as early as possible. You should include a preliminary program and target deadlines. The brief should outline cost priorities and be explicit about whether costs outlined include design fees, VAT and landscaping. Elements of the brief which directly affect the future operation of the building will need to be highlighted for detailed review and should be translated into part of the maintenance manual.
You may still be uncertain about some of these issues, in which case your architect may be able to carry out some preliminary research or feasibility studies that will help you firm up your requirements.

Revision of the Design brief

When the first draft is completed you can review the content of the brief as a whole:
  • Does is clearly state your aims for the project and set limits for cost and time?
  • Does it clearly state your expectations for design quality?
  • Does it ask the architect exploit the opportunities for making links to adjacent public space and the wider context?
  • Have you considered future flexibility and changing needs?

The Brief as a Project Management Tool

Once the architect is appointed the brief will be developed and tested through drawings and detailed in the specification. The architect will make a thoughtful considered response to the brief at the outset of his appointment, exploring the opportunities, costs and constraints. He will begin to give shape to the brief and may propose altering or rearranging the content. At this stage you will be engaged in a creative and interactive process with your architect. Your aims stated in the brief will help to steer this process.
The project will need to be properly resourced and managed at your end as well as by your architect. Make sure that one person becomes the designated point of contact with your architect. He or she should carry authority as your representative at planning sessions and project meetings.
The costs defined in the feasibility study will give a baseline throughout the project. The architect will develop a cost plan and program in tandem with his design proposals.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Architectural Design Brief’s Development

Architectural Design Brief

Function and Development

Workflows: Expanding Architecture's Territory in the Design and Delivery of Buildings (Architectural Design)
Your architect will be responsible for ensuring that the project aims and vision are clearly expressed and these are pursued throughout the project.

The Function of the Architecture Design Brief

A good Design Brief should:
  • State your vision for the Project.
  • Set limits about the budget and timescale
  • Set the scene and state where you are in the process, how you got there and your aspirations for the Capital Project
  • Design criteria and principles for the design
  • Set out the practical requirements for the relationship between spaces and the proposed spaces, focusing on performance requirements rather than detail. You may wish to give a schedule of areas (possibly arising from a feasibility study) but you should expect your architect to review these figures as they develop a spatial strategy for the project.
  • Communicate as much factual information about the current condition of the building or site as is available. Give a summary in the brief and include relevant drawings and document in the appendix.
  • The brief should not re-iterate government guidance and regulations, as your architect will have a knowledge of these, though you may wish to list sources that you consider a priority.

The Design Brief’s Development

The brief can be a useful consultative tool. The process of producing a brief can be carried out by developing a series of drafts, which contributors can review and amend. The Design Brief will draw together and synthesize diverse sources of information. It can follow on from a Strategic Brief and/or concluded Feasibility Study and can give a précis of the decisions arrived at here.
The brief writer may wish to refer to existing sources of information. The following ones may be helpful:
  • Briefs for a similar scale/ type of project
  • Generic guidance and empirical evidence about space standards and performance requirements and specific points of reference or exemplars. Generic guidance should always be tuned to your specific site and requirements.
  • Existing buildings and spaces as a qualitative reference.

Contents Page for the Design Brief

The contents page should give a skeletal overview of the content of the Design Brief. The headings will organise the information and give a framework to the brief.

Design Brief and Contract

Writing the Design Brief

How to Start a Building Project in Spain

The Design Brief, also called Project Brief, must be written prior to the appointment of the Architectural Practice. The writer may be you or an expert employed specially to fulfill this task. For large projects you may require the expert advice of your architect to compile the brief.

Compiling the Design Brief

The Design Brief is a written document, which will be translated spatially and technically by your architect. It doesn’t need to fix the form of the design but instead to provide a clear framework for the development of a design that meets your needs and aspirations.
A good, thorough brief will form the basis of the professional agreement you sign with your architect. Clarity on services, costs, timings and procedures is vital to the relationship. The principle aim of the Design Brief is to communicate your expectations to your architect. The brief should provide a coherent description of the project, which can be understood by all those likely to use it. It should clearly identify the objectives and main priorities of the project. It will need to articulate your specific needs and aspirations as a client and also the issues relating to the site and situation which you wish your architect to address and respond to in his design.
Every Brief should set out:
  • the mission
  • the objectives
  • performance requirements and measures
  • priorities
  • management decisions and responsibilities
  • timeframe
  • who is expected to respond.

Architecture Contract

A Guide to Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts:  What every project manager needs to know  (English Edition)
Your architect will define and record the terms of your agreement provide professional services.
The contract will be a form of agreement designed for use on projects. It should comprise a short menu of services and a sheet of conditions relevant to the appointment. Ask your architect to run through it with you.

Starting the Project

Once you have your practice signed up, the project can start. Your architect can advise you on all the issues regarding planning approval, building regulations and health and safety legislation, and will offer to deal with the various authorities on your behalf. Once planning approval is granted, he will be able to recommend the most appropriate form of building contract and prepare drawings of the agreed proposals for builders to cost. Once work on-site is underway, he can take on the role of monitoring the standard, efficiency and cost of the builder’s work.
Architectural Designs

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Project Brief

Finding Architect in Spain

Project Brief and Architectural Fees

Project Brief (Project management Templates Book 2) (English Edition)
You can start by visiting architects' websites. You can listen to recommendations and contact previous clients to discover what they are like to work with. If possible, visit finished projects or ask to see a portfolio of work. All this information will help you write a shortlist of architects.
Call your shortlisted architects, outlining your project and the services you need, and find out if they are able to help. If they are, ask them for more information about their qualifications and experience.
You need to be sure of their creativity and ability to get things done. Good architecture needs collaboration and dialogue. You have to respect each other’s views.

Writing the Project Brief

The quality of your finished building will reflect the quality of your brief. This is the key document defining your vision of the finished building, and also of how the project will be managed. For your architect, the Project Brief is the central reference point that will guide the direction he takes and the services he provides.
Your brief should be clear and unambiguous and it should enshrine a common understanding between you and your architect. Seek his help in formulating the brief. The process may involve a number of discussions and help to establish the dialogue. Some architects may charge for the consultation but others will be happy to advise you without charge on the understanding that you are going to appoint them for the project. Above all, the project brief should describe:

  • The functions of the finished project: who will use it, and for what? Have you visualised how these activities will be accommodated and provided for in the new space(s)?
  • Your motivations and expectations: what do you hope to achieve by this project, in the short and long term, for yourself and others?
  • A design direction: contrasting or in keeping with existing buildings? Contemporary or traditional? Are there certain materials, fixtures or finishes you favour? Is sustainability an issue for you?
  • Authority for decision-making: who will sign off decisions about design, about costs and about day-to-day matters on-site?
  • Timetables and budgets: when should key stages be completed, how much should they cost, and how will they be financed?
For clients, that may mean banishing the commonly-held but misplaced idea that architects will impose their own tastes and ideas on their clients –on the contrary – architects’ aim will be to follow your brief closely and reflect the aspirations it contains.

Architectural Fees in Spain

Spanish architects’ fees may be charged as a percentage of the total construction cost or, depending on the service supplied, at an hourly rate or as a lump sum.
In paying for architecture services, what may seem like an additional cost will normally turn out to be money well spent. As professional problem-solvers, the input of architects could be invaluable in developing design solutions that cut construction bills, reduce running costs and add long-term value to the property.
Architectural Design in Spain

How to Hire a Spanish Architect

Working With an Architect in Spain

How to Establish an Effective Working Relationship With your Spanish Architect

Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence
There are stages to engaging an architect on a project. Do your homework upfront on what services you need and on your brief for your architect, and your project will be off to a good start.

Why you Need a Spanish Architect

When you are making major alterations to your home or building an entirely new one, your architect can help you to manage the design, the builders and the money. Architects are trained to make the most of the site, space and materials to maximise what you can get for your budget and reduce your future bills. They are familiar with the construction industry’s working methods and with legislation, regulations, and standards, and can guide you at every step of the project. Architects interpret your ideas with imagination, creating spaces that can be used, enjoyed and valued for decades.

The Project

Before appointing your architect for your project, you need a clear idea about what you want and the services you will need, and how much these will cost. Your architect can initially assist you in defining your project and the services you require from him. Architects offer a wide range of services beyond design, from site analysis and building surveys to project management and tenant related services.
Balance what you need with what you can afford. It could be just an hour’s general advice, help with planning approval or project supervision all the way to completion.

Developing the Scope of Services and Fee Proposal

A Work Breakdown Structure and Detailed Task List can facilitate the development of the scope of services and fees. In addition to better defining and customizing the services and fees for a particular project, the use of the Work Breakdown Structure will ensure that all personnel involved in the preparation of the proposal are following the same parameters.
The Work Breakdown Structure will confirm the scope of services of the contract needed for the project; it’s also used as project management tool during the life of the project.