Step 6: Use the 9 Design Considerations Checklist to guide the design process. Use the Operation and Maintenance Considerations Checklist to reality-check the design process.
“The Design Considerations Checklist is an invaluable guide to the key issues that influence the quality of affordable housing developments. You won't be able to incorporate every consideration into any one project, but careful and systematic use of the Checklist - particularly during the Concept and Predevelopment phases - will go a long way toward helping any development achieve the highest possible levels of design excellence.”
Community Assistance Design Center,
“Careful attention to operation and maintenance issues during design can pay big benefits after construction is complete. The more O&M considerations you can "design in" to a development project from the beginning, the easier and less expensive it will be to operate and maintain that development over the long term.”
Supportive Housing Network of New York,
New York, NY
Why is this step important?
The 9 Design Considerations Checklist [LINK]was created to ensure that key issues with the most direct impact on overall design quality are addressed at the earliest stages of the development process. The design components discussed in the Checklist are essential to a project that meets its users' needs, enhances its neighborhood, and is built to last.
Based on real-world projects and the experience of some of the foremost designers and providers of affordable housing in the country, the Checklist provides a systematic way to take advantage of as many major design opportunities as possible, and to make sure that the most important design components are built into a development project from the very beginning.
Design and construction are complex processes subject to intense time and financial pressures. Specific design elements can easily be overlooked or overwhelmed, particularly "small" items that simply get lost in the rush to complete the project on time and on budget.
But very often these "small" elements have a big impact on the operation and/or maintenance of the buildings in the development. Sometimes they must be retroactively added back into the project so that it can function as intended - a process that adds cost and time to the project.
The Operation and Maintenance Considerations Checklist was created to help a developer avoid these costly oversights. Effective use of the Checklist ensures that key design elements contributing to a development's operation and maintenance are not overlooked and are, in fact, "built in" to the project
When should this step be done?
The 9 Design Considerations Checklist can be reviewed as early as the Concept phase for the project. It should be actively used as a tool during the Schematic Design phase of Predevelopment.
The O&M Considerations Checklist should be reviewed at the end of the Schematic Design, Design Development, and Contract Documents phases of design and at least twice during construction
Who should do this step?
The 9 Design Considerations Checklist should be reviewed by the owner/developer together with the architect and other members of the design team. The 9 Design Considerations Checklist can also be used to help focus community participation in the design process.
The O&M Considerations Checklist should be reviewed by the owner/developer together with the architect and the contractor.
What should be done?
- Go through the 9 Design Considerations Checklist once very early in the Predevelopment process.Go through it again at least twice over the course of Schematic Design.
- Consult the 9 Design Considerations Checklist on an as-needed basis when specific issues or design components are being analyzed and designed.
- Use the 9 Design Considerations Checklist to help guide the schematic design process, facilitate participant input to the process, and focus design reviews.
- Print out the completed 9 Design Considerations Checklist and add it to the Project Book.
- Go through the O&M Considerations Checklist with the design/contractor team once at the end of Schematic Design, once at the end of Design Development and once at the end of the Contract Documents phase.
- Go through the O&M Considerations Checklist at least twice during construction, once early in the process and once when construction is roughly 85% complete.
- Print the Operation and Maintenance Considerations Checklist and add it to the Project Book.
- Go through the Checklist at least five times (see above) over the course of the project.
How can doing this help move my project forward?
- By carefully and consistently considering key design issues during the early phases of project development you will ensure that these issues are dealt with systematically and, most important, not overlooked as the project moves forward.
- Using the 9 Design Considerations Checklist will also help guide and streamline decision-making during the critical early phases of the design process.
- Finally, using the 9 Design Considerations Checklist can and should improve the credibility of the project as a whole - with occupants, neighbors, funding agencies and regulatory bodies - reinforcing the project's perceived commitment to design excellence.
- Design doesn't exist in a vacuum. The finished product will have to be cost-effectively operated and maintained. The O&M Considerations Checklist provides a good basic framework for reality-checking design.
- Using the O&M Considerations Checklist will help avoid time consuming and costly "retrofits" of key design components.
- The O&M Considerations Checklist is one of the important tools that help control construction costs and speed the overall construction process.