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Concept / Planning
Budget, Scope and
Project management
Planning is the process of establishing objectives and choosing the most suitable means for achieving these objectives prior to taking action. It is anticipatory decision making. It is the traditional model by which organizations plan for new capital facilities.


The primary goal of any Program is to insure that the institution or facility will be able to carry out their mission and meet their goals in the next century.  This is the essence of strategic planning and is one of the most important processes we can guide our clients through.  Attention to the overall needs and long range issues will tremendously add to the success of future projects. 


Our team’s approach to planning science facilities is somewhat unique, since we are dealing with scientists and and the field of science.  We modeled our approach after the scientific process of inquiry, where in highly interactive meetings we challenge and inspire our clients to become consultants to the future generations that will use the facility. 

Our design process starts with evaluating the Program of Requirements (or Basis of Design).  This document sets the path through the woods.  This path can, and will, often change, and to a degree we encourage this.  Through continual evaluation we are assured that a static design is not the focus.  A series of User Group meetings during design further defines the needs and wants.

In our user group meetings, we ask for the “golden wish list” as a means of understanding what an ideal design would provide.  Once the ideal is established, we can offer intelligent suggestions on how to maximize the critical needs and wants within the budget available.


We believe that open communication is the key to keeping the needs of the lab as well as the project scope within sight.  Sometimes we have to say unpopular or difficult things to achieve this, but we encourage all project partners to do so.  When the issues and problems are on the table, collectively we can work to resolve them.

Our goal in every project is to provide a high-quality design which satisfies user needs while meeting both budget and schedule constraints.  We use proven project management methods and tools to assist the owner in establishing and maintaining project scope, cost, and schedule.


As design professionals, we have to be proficient at asking the right questions and offer the appropriate advice to keep the project on track.  Taking the time to fully understand the issues is paramount.  Without knowing the needs or the problems, we cannot solve for an intelligent solution or provide a design which meets or exceeds the needs.


We talk directly to industry partners providing laboratory equipment and casework - including installers and contractors - to ensure that our cost information is accurate and up-to-date.  We look at recent historical data and compare it with industry-projected future costs.  Surprises are best left for birthdays and anniversaries.

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