Prioritizing

9m 24s

In this ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PA exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to programming, site analysis, and zoning & code requirements.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam including project type analysis, the establishment of qualitative and quantitative project requirements, evaluation of project site and context, and assessment of economic issues.

As we're talking about programming and we sort of move away from the idea of data, and data collection and analyzing the data, we start moving into that idea of prioritizing. Like which are the aspects of concepts here, that are really gonna be the driving force. All of them are gonna be important, you know every project needs to have an idea of the scale and the budget and you know how things are gonna be organized and what the general directives are, but the question is, which are the key ones, you know if you have to give up something, usually you're gonna go back to the priority list and make sure that the high priority items aren't giving anything up, but the low priority items, maybe those can be given up a little bit here and there, so every time you're doing a program, this idea of the priority is always gonna sort of come back to a same, similar grouping of lists, of issues that become important to think about.

So, one we started to talk about, was the idea of circulation, and this has to do both with that organizing principle, but also with the idea of way finding, so let's say for example, hospital project that we're doing, well, it may be really important that it's not just circulation, but in fact that circulation is all about the idea of service to the customer, and so the circulation is, we're bringing people in, we're moving them through and into the right position and into the right place, there's little confusion, they feel good about being at this particular hospital, right, that can be really important in that scenario.

Whereas another scenario, where it's a small office that people go to every day, over and over again, really way finding, way finding's not gonna be that big a deal as part of that discussion, I may still think that the circulation is important, because maybe the circulation speaks to the way that I have people meet each other and informal ways, in the kitchen break rooms and in the hallways in those sort of lounge spaces, things like that, because I want to have them, if I'm the client, I want to have them talking to each other in informal ways, because hopefully that's gonna help them be better employees, right, and so I may still be interested in the circulation system without really thinking of it as a way finding system.

So you're like, you're figuring out, well which is the priority, what are the things we really want to get out of this, and you're starting to get very specific about it, is there a hierarchy, is it very clear what that hierarchy is, is this a very corporate structure and you want to really emphasize that, because that's how you get the best employees, the best talent is, you know, you give them the corner offices so you know you gotta have a bunch of corner offices in order to be able to do that, so kind of, are we reinforcing a hierarchy, or is it all one big open space and really that's the whole, like everybody keeps talking about, we're all in it together and we're all here in as one, well, that's an important idea that is saying, this is a priority for us, this isn't about a bunch of corner offices, this is about us all being in that same space.

So, you're figuring out what the priorities are, so that you can use that when you're designing later on.

Key concept that shows up an awful lot is the idea of the front of house versus the back of house. This is the, there's a bunch of parts of any office, or even residential or any kind of project that are really sort of the front face, right so the reception and the main sort of administration and all of the sort of the front, what we face out to the public, and then there's a whole bunch of stuff that's sort of not really meant to be seen by the public, so maybe the facilities department, or something, where they're kind of in the background, they're making things work and they're, you know, making sure the building's functioning, they're keeping the mechanical system up and running, they're getting the loading dock schedule worked out, so everything can flow quickly and easily.

Right, that's not something that you need to necessarily sere when your first coming in the building as a potential customer or something. So, being very clear about this idea of the front of house and back of house, it's not gonna matter for a lot of people, but for some projects it's gonna be really important right, is that a priority, is that something, so we start thinking about as different floors, is there a clear wall separation, is there a finish type difference, so that you know, there's sort of clarity to this as a process, so just sort of that kind of level of understanding once you start breaking things down in that way, becomes clear how to set up the priorities, or at least it can begin clear how to set up the priorities.

What is the idea about efficiency? You know, I just mentioned earlier the idea, that maybe some places want to have that big open space, and they have a lot of lounge space so that people can sit and discuss you know, what they did over the weekend, 'cause maybe that actually somehow becomes useful information, as they start becoming better and more bonded to each other, and so they become better employees, or small side pieces of information become useful in later discussions. Well, it's hard to say that that extra lounge is actually efficient, right so, is efficiency important?

That would be something you would be prioritizing, if it's super important to get as many people in, like I said, maybe it's a call center, it's all about the numbers, right can you fit as many people in as you can, and still have it be safe and reasonable, and acoustically separated, you know, alright that's all about efficiency. But in other situations, the idea of efficiency can be a much looser term, right this is where we would be talking about that.

There might be aspects of the systems that we would want to prioritize, like the way that the circulation and the systems for the heating and cooling work, or the idea that we're gonna have a certain kind of system that's gonna run around the perimeter and it's gonna create a sense of coziness of warmth in the winter, or you know these ideas that could have sort of importance beyond just sort of the simple straightforward sense of just meeting a code, these might have much higher level of priority and importance, structural systems, are we trying to be dramatic and structural and have you know, 50-60 foot clear span spaces so that people bustling around you, really feel the, sort of excitement of that, or does it not really matter, and we're really just gonna go with the most efficient system that's gonna work for the steel or work for the concrete, do we want to be expressive, do we want to have an industrial look, you know, like what are the kinds of things that are gonna be important to get across an idea for how we can design later.

The whole thing that you're really doing here, is you're creating a narrative, you're telling a story and the story is, what is this project? And again, I don't think anybody at NCARB is gonna use the word narrative in this context, but I think that's a useful way of thinking about it. The program is a small story, I start off with some goals and ideas, I go through a bunch of little details of the story that make it so I understand the importance and the reality of these key pieces, and then I come back at the end and I kind of wrap it all up, right, it's you're telling a story so that everybody else at the table, your team, the client's team, all can have the same basic idea about what's gonna be happening as you move forward.

As part of that narrative, you can't really get away from thinking about the budget, the budget has to be part of the program, that starts with how much money the client has available, it starts with, you know, this is how many people we need to fit and this is how much room each of them will likely take up, and therefore our project is a certain size, you know, what's the likely cost of something that's that size, so you're coming at it from both ways, like what's the project need, but also what do they have?

The reason that's such an important conversation to have at this programming level, is that if you don't have it now, well you're gonna have it later on after all the money's been spent, and you wanna have it now.

If you find that to fit all those people in, it's gonna cost a million bucks, but what they think what they're gonna be spending is $600,000 you need to have that conversation right away, otherwise it's gonna be a big problem. So, you're really, it's really important to make sure that the budget is a clean and clear part of this whole programming and priority thing, because the budget is how you're gonna say yes, the circulation and the hierarchy are what's really important to us, really setting that tone, well, that's gonna say, we're spending money on that, is what we're saying, right so, when we talk about prioritizing, we're actually talking about money.

And often, in order to really understand whether it's plausible for it to work or not, you're also putting together pro forma, that's not usually what the architect does, but somebody is putting together pro forma, developers, or somebody involved in the process, and the pro forma needs to know the costs in order to be able to make the pro forma make sense.

Right, so all of these things are, you're putting together all of this data, you're putting this all in a process to tell a specific story in order to know what to design. In order to know what to design, you need to know how much things are gonna cost so you know whether you can afford it or not.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Prep

Duration: 19h 11m

Author: Mike Newman