The Value of Effective Preparation
The client has the greatest impact on the success of their project during its earliest stages when there is scope to innovate and experiment without increasing costs. This opportunity is quickly succeeded by a requirement to maintain tight control over costs and changes. Our focus is on supporting clients during the scoping, modelling and briefing processes which are vital to ultimately achieving value for money. It is therefore worthwhile to view the preparation stage in highly integrated ways.
Setting out the vision for a new project is the most critical step, so the brief needs to be closely linked to the core business strategy of the institution. A new facility will have a significant impact on and should be closely aligned with, other strategic developments.
With this in mind, we recommend:
Revisiting current strategic plans
Considering the relationship between current activity levels
Projecting future activity levels
Space Modelling and Budget Setting
Throughout the project, a key driver of the brief, the costs and the ability of the project to support planned activity levels, is the volume of space to be built. We recommend that a Strategic Space Model is employed to assist in controlling the relationship between activity and costs.
The hallmarks of a good model include:
Consultation, Briefing and Communication
The project life-cycle lends itself to early engagement and this provides an opportunity for staff to participate in the briefing process and contribute to the brief itself. However, as the need to maintain cost and change control becomes paramount, this opportunity evaporates quickly.
We recommend that early involvement of curriculum teams in the briefing process is explored with a view to balancing the opportunity to contribute, be consulted and to keep teams informed about developments.