Design-Build Step #2 – The statement of requirements

In my last column, I discussed the importance of conducting a feasibility study before embarking on any design-build construction project.

This week we’ll look at the next step in the process: the statement of requirements.

Once you’ve determined that your design-build project is feasible, the next step is to ensure that you and your design-build team are on the same page. In my experience, the best way to do this is with a clear and professional statement of requirements.

This statement lists all the items and elements you need for your space, the problems you’d like the project to solve, your unique aesthetic preferences, budget and anything else that you require.

The degree of integration inherent in a design-build project (as opposed to contracting a designer and a builder independently) enables better problem-solving to occur. With a clear understanding of expectations from the outset, both parties are able to correct any false assumptions and in effect start solving problems before they even arise. Any passionate designer will tell you that the birthplace of authentic design is problem-solving. In an industry that tends to rate the success of a construction project by how cheaply and quickly it is completed, with little thought to quality design, design-build stands out as an attractive alternative.

Design-build projects are priced during the design phase and, upon completion, are deemed a success when they meet the owner’s original statement of requirements.

Bethany Van Hecke is principle at Capstone Dwellings Design-Build, a boutique design and construction company in the Comox Valley.

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