Optimized Solutions, Beautiful Spaces
We all appreciate beautiful photographs and computer-generated images of architecture. On occasion, these images may have too much influence on the architect selection process. Don’t get me wrong – I like to have great images of my work. Every building should be appealing driving or walking by. Image and curb appeal are important. However, the working value goes much deeper than just what the building looks like.
Some of the most famous buildings through history are riddled with problems. The number one complaint in buildings is that people are too hot or too cold. A leaky building can bring on fits of rage. High energy bills are a drain on profit. Eye strain impacts the staff productivity. Every owner struggles with having enough space for the work that needs doing. Even with enough space, are the rooms arrange properly for efficient operations? Construction cost is substantial and difficult to justify, but the cost to operate, maintain and repair a building dwarfs the initial construction. At TSA we are continually helping owners remodel, refit, update, and reorganize older buildings.
At a deeper level, what really benefits owners and occupants? Start with defining the goals and aspirations of the project. Match up expectations and budget. Understand the choices that need to be made between want, need and afford. Value is established early. The Owner and the design team now understand what defines success. Meeting the needs for operations, schedule, and budget is where the architecture truly shines.
Tools for a diligent Owner, Architect and Construction team include a documented program, showing every room, the size it needs to be, how many people occupy the space, and what other rooms/functions need to be close by. Each room will have a list of equipment. Equipment needs power, water, and special connections. The people require fresh air, heating and cooling, a desk to work and equipment to support their roles. Appropriate lighting allows work to proceed. Which rooms need special environmental conditions? Will a handrail keep residents safer? Do staff have room for their work and personal needs? Can maintenance easily access and control the systems? Will the cleaning crew be able to store their wares? Which spaces generate revenue, and which do not? Knowing and writing down these parameters and more keeps the project on track.
At TSA, we excel in creating beautiful spaces that also function at a high level. We’re proud to help our clients define their visions, goals, and create a lasting project that supports their mission in every way.
- Contributed by Sean Bujold, Senior Architect