In order to produce a strong space plan and design, Schmidt Associates believes a proven process must be followed. In simplest form, the process can be defined as having five main components:
Mission and Goals
A “Core Group” comprised of key decision-makers will help define the objectives, desired culture, and vision. By creating common expectations, the remaining process elements will have a clearly defined path for success.
Develop a Baseline
This looks at how you are currently operating (from both the soft side and the building systems) to develop a facility baseline. The soft side includes how you use your space, how many occupants there are, and an evaluation of the current program. The assessment of the building systems looks at things like mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology.
Vision for the Future
Your vision reflects the desires of your key stakeholders and building occupants. Users should be surveyed about workplace environment to understand how the occupants would like to use their work space and to engage them in the process.
Also, an evaluation of the existing building systems needs to occur. This will create a vision from the baseline data to determine the most effective improvements to reach your systems’ goals.
Bridge the Gap
Next, you will need to create the plan that will bridge the gap—taking you from your Baseline to your Vision for the Future. This bridge will include a Conceptual Space Plan to maximize your building space utilization and reflect your vision. It includes a Building Systems Plan so you can easily make system changes that will save you money and maintenance. A schedule and budget will be defined to determine possible ways to implement the plan.
One of the most important steps in the process is to build in time for re-evaluation of the planning effort. Does the plan truly reflect the mission, vision, and goals? If so, the planning effort is complete. If not, the interim steps must be evaluated and repeated if necessary.