Managing the construction of new facilities or renovation and maintenance of existing facilities with multiple design and construction firms can be a daunting task even for the most experienced owner. One way to help eliminate miscommunication and set expectations of all project stakeholders is to have written design and construction standards. If you own, operate or manage multiple facilities with ongoing maintenance, renovation and/or building programs, having defined standards will save you time and effort in getting what you want. Too many organizations rely on their staff, design professionals or existing repeat relationships with contractors to determine the types of systems and equipment that go into their facilities. Having defined design and construction standards benefit all parties in that they:
- Eliminate the need to recreate project goals with each project
- Set uniform expectations for both internal and external team members
- Reduce time and effort in communication and documentation
- Streamline training, operation and maintenance time and cost
- Allow for reduced maintenance inventories
- Allow for bulk purchasing
- Facilitate continuous improvement and integration of best practices
- Provide a vehicle for transfer of knowledge within an organization
Defined design and construction standards can range from a couple of pages of design or product preferences to a complete master specification by CSI section. The process of creating standards starts with getting input from all stakeholders including but not limited to: user groups, facilities staff, information technology staff, purchasing, trusted design professionals and contractors. Having a framework to guide these discussions will help to expedite the process. We have facilitated this dialogue and can help you to create a living document that communicates expectations both within your organization and to external partners. It is a critical part of the design, construction and maintenance process that will help to eliminate miscommunication and surprises during the construction and operation of your facilities.
For more information on defined design and construction standards, please contact Michael Rader, PE at 717-845-7654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.