Every project faces 6 key issues. They are Needs, Character, Context, Constraints, Schedule and Budget. You will need a good understanding of these six because the goals for your project lie in these six areas.
Needs encompasses spaces and the types of spaces you require. Part of this issue is also the relationships that these spaces should have to one another. Specific functions that you need to accomplish are part of this issue:
- area of spaces
- types of spaces
- relationships among spaces
- special functions
Character includes non-spatial issues and some of these are immaterial as well.
- appearance of exterior and interior
- green initiatives
- building systems
Context considers the environment in which your project takes place. Whether you are considering a free standing building, an addition, or a remodeling project, there will be issues arising from the surroundings of the project.
- location /access
- availability of utilities
- orientation (solar and wind)
- shape and size of site
- available transportation
Constraints are the limitations and restrictions that you will encounter. Some are universal, but most are specific to you and your context.
- building code
- environmental regulations
- permissible contract styles
- parent organization processes
- source of funds
- stakeholders' desires
The schedule issue is part of many endeavors. However, most projects have schedules that consist of innumerable tasks within four broad phases before occupancy occurs.
The issue of budget is the most crucial issue for the majority of projects. The budget has income and expense sides to the issue. In a general way the whole project is usually an attempt to match the sources of funds with the expenditures that the other five key issues prompt you to make. The costs fall into 2 categories - hard costs and soft costs.
Hard costs are:
Soft costs are:
- other services
- interest expenses
You will find that you return to these six issues over and over. Some resolve themselves fairly early in a project, but others, for example Schedule and Budget, will require attention right up to occupancy of the project.