# BASIS for ESTIMATES

Post 734Gautam Shah

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QUANTITY ESTIMATES
Quantity estimates form the prime database on which monetary estimate is scheduled. Quantities estimate, help us to compound simple measures like lengths, widths, heights, weights, numbers, etc. into quantities with fewer variables. Typically a volumetric quantity is more inclusive than linear or surface quantity. Similarly a numerical estimate far more comprehensive than even volumetric estimate.

It is generally experienced that certain form characteristics, dimensions (widths, depths etc.), etc. of parts and components remain constant not only through a project, but across projects of similar nature. Such constants are recognized and minor variables are levelled out within certain dimensional ranges. Dimensional ranges become effective in modular dimensions and through the methods of taking measurements. (See section on Modules of measurements and Modes of measurements). Modest qualitative differences are evened out through flexible and wider rang of specifications.

There could be several levels of conversions before a quantity estimate becomes relevant. One of the most important conversions is through monetary rating. Such conversions are carried out by many different agencies, without the author or the originator of the quantity estimate being aware of it, or being informed about it.

MONETARY ESTIMATES
Monetary estimates result out of a process called costing. Costing or cost-finding is done for the item as deliverable by a single agency, or for its parts, which have market equivalents, and so definite prices. However, where parts have no readily available market equivalents, these are evaluated for the cost of their constituent raw materials, labour and other inputs required for the assembly or construction.

Monetary estimates are based on items or jobs which no matter how complex are, consist of only few elemental parts, or very simple tasks. The elemental parts and tasks are usually comparable to many others used in different items or situations. Elemental parts, though similar in form and constitution, acquire a unique personality depending on the position of the component in the whole, nature of use, method of installation or erection and time schedule of installation.

In a monetary estimate, the parts of different types are categorized on the basis of external factors like a guarantee mechanism, life span, utility, depreciation, finance, cost, return, energy consumption, waste output, hazards, ecological value, replacement schedules, etc.

NON MONETARY ESTIMATES
Non monetary estimates, follow a process called Valuation. The valuation or value providing creates a basis for judgement of an item. The value may be real and may match the monetary estimate of the item. The value could be a hypothetical one based on a perceived use, commonness or exclusivity, observed affectation, future cost of acquisition or disposal, etc.

Non monetary evaluations help define projects from many different aspects for which monetary costs are available. Yet, appropriateness and success of a design depend substantially on decisions made through such evaluations.

Non monetary evaluations are like: Average space provided to a clerk, average area per resident in a hostel, proportion of area between rooms and a corridor, proportion of usable vs. service areas, energy consumption per user, load per bearing area, garbage outputs per resident, noise level per vehicle, water consumption per unit, etc.

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# DESIGN PROCESSES -Design Handling –Issues of Design 32

Post 714 by Gautam Shah

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Designs occur as a concept, idea or theme, expressed in the form explanation, process of creation, or representations like drawings, models, surrogates, samples, digital images. All Designs are documented briefs for realization. Design also carries a meaning of forming a pattern. Creations by artists or craftsperson may occur as experiment or improvisation, and are not truly designs. Designs need not be realized as a physical reality. A design can be a strategy for operational management or conducting services.

For a designer, knowing means to achieve a specific end are very important. Proper record keeping of all design processes helps here. It is very difficult to register dreams, intuitions or inspirations. One needs to recall them in a different time and space context. All intuitions or inspirations, however, absurd, have some physical context of origin. Designers unlike a lay craftsperson or artist, are trained and disciplined, to record their design related thought processes. The thought processes thin out or obliterate completely with passage of time, so must be recorded as early as possible.

Design Processes for a Lay person and a Designer are very different. A creative lay person simply goes on creating (assembling, modifying) things without being aware why certain things manifest in a certain manner. For a creative person the end is important and means irrelevant. A Designer, on the other hand, tries to discover the logic behind it. Selection of an element may be initially intuitive, but there is always a later effort to justify the actions intellectually. A designer justifies all actions like selection, rejection, inclusion or composition of various elements. In doing so the designer refines the intellectual prowess by equipping with an experience that is:

• definable
• repeatable or recreate-able as a whole or in selective parts
• recordable -its perceptive aspects
• transferable to another person
• increase or decrease its intensity (time scale) and diffuse or intensify its concentration (space scale).

For these (above) purposes Designers rely on documents. The expertise of documenting all aspect of design helps a designer to handle extensive or more complex intuitions or inspirations. Personal and impulsively formed systems tend to be Holistic, with few or no recognizable sub systems and being very unique require more extensive definitions and so complex documentation. On the other hand, planned systems, whether personal or evolved through multilateral effort, and over a longer period of maturation, consist of many sub sets. Planned systems have subsets that are already formed by vendors and well prescribed.

Documents are personal method of transmitting a design to stage of realization. In large projects designs are transmitted to professional executors and in different locations. Design transmission and interpretation, require ‘culture’ of protocols. Many such protocols are not defined but accepted as the traditions. Such traditions make a Design transmission and interpretation fast, but are prone to errors.

Designers create both, Closed and open-ended systems. Closed Ended Systems are intentionally made holistic. Closed-ended systems are planned to protect the intellectual rights of the innovators. Closed systems are improvise-able only by the author or inventor, whose capacity to update it continuously is finite. Proprietary computer software may be used by a licensee, but its code remains restricted. The closed systems cannot be dissected for inspection or repair, the form is compact and rigid. Closed ended system need nodes of connectivity or gateways to be useful. Such gateways may or may not allow access to others. Such systems become irrelevant as soon as an open-ended option is available. In the world of mutual dependency, closed systems cannot survive much longer.

Open-ended Systems evolve from multilateral effort or multi trial endeavours. Where large number of people are involved in design and execution, and where these processes are likely to take place at different time and locations, the system automatically becomes Open ended. The subsystems usually offered by venders, to be replaceable, are conceived as substantially independent systems, by their vendors. Open-ended systems have a ‘design-architecture’, formed through common measurements, materials and procedures. To allow these, open-ended systems have a skeleton type frame structure (infrastructure) and fit-in modules. Open-ended systems have built-in reserves or additional safe capacities, often wasteful, but such reserves make systems more persistent. Open-ended systems allow replacements, improvisations and up-gradations of their subsystems and components.

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# UNDERSTANDING DESIGN FEES

Post 713 -by Gautam Shah

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Designers often help their clients to acquire or dispose off entities in their completely prepared form. When the transaction originates at producers’ end, it is little above the cost, at a price. Price, reflects the value a producer attaches to an entity. Later transactions may not in any manner relate to an entity’s cost.

For a thing to have a value, it must be transferable. A latent value becomes potent when it is perceived that someone needs the entity in some time and space, for a utilitarian or hypothetical purpose. A demand for a perishable commodity, if it, does not occur within the life span, is irrelevant. Similarly demand for something in a far off place cannot be satisfied, due to transportation hazards and handling problems. Air has a lot of utility but is not scarce. Rotten eggs may be scarce, but hardly have any utility. Friendship is very useful and scarce, but is not transferable or marketable.

Historic cost of creating a painting may be few drops of colour, a canvas and artists’ few moments. But once the fact is accomplished, the painting gains a very high value due to its extra ordinarily high relevance to the society. Relevance of a product in terms of its utility is (more) likely to degenerate over a period of time, but its value may appreciate or depreciate depending on its relevance to the owner or the society.

Prices are effected in money. Prices go up or down depending on the fall or rise in the (universal) value of the money. Any change in money (monetary value) affects the prices of all things across the board. Value of a thing, however, is specific. There cannot be a general fall or rise in value of all things. Value of a thing goes up, when we can acquire or aspire for more or superior things in exchange. Value of a thing goes down, when we can acquire or hope for less or inferior things in exchange. Value is relative, referred in terms of something else.

Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Value has many different connotations, typically, it has relevance in terms of, emotions, remembrances, associations, ageing, maturity, heritage, rarity, ecological, environmental, social, etc.

Valuation, in functional sense, is done to determine what one would gain by acquiring, or forgo by disposing the item, but not necessarily doing so. Value of a product means an addition or deduction to wealth, Cost at the moment of transfer may or may not reflect the value of an item, but it helps in a better judgement of the value.

A rare painting or an antique may have an indeterminable cost, but will have a probable value. Value could be several times more or less than the actual cost of the item. Value is considered to be the true worth of an item, more lasting, but not necessarily reliable. Cost and price are very realistic and reliable, but not always representative of the true worth of the item. Both, perhaps, are required to gain a full insight of the situation.

Monetary versus Non-Monetary Valuations

Valuations are of two types: Monetary and Non-Monetary. Monetary valuations are not very different from costing exercises. Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Though here utility, desirability, scarcity, availability and marketability etc. of an item are assessed in monetary terms rather than market equivalent costs of such items.

Valuations of non-monetary type are made to check adherence to values, customs, traditions, ethos, rules regulations, laws, etc. Greater adherence to these issues results into higher value realization for the product. Often negative or repulsive aspects of an entity, such as Hitler’s memorabilia, black magic tools, due to their rarity, invite a connoisseur’s favour. Non-monetary valuations have a relevance only to people who are concerned with it in some way. Non-monetary valuations based on one aspect or few concerns are not very useful, desirable, or even reliable. Non-monetary valuations based on too many aspects are not comparable, so must be scaled into some economic or monetary component. These makes, a valuation, very complicated process.

Costing versus Valuation

Costing is a logical (mathematical) process, and any technically proficient person can carry it out. Costing process must always remain justifiable, and requires many exact inputs, including latest market costs etc. Valuations, however, involve many hypothetical judgments, are very subjective, and so may not seem rational. It is the experience of the valuer that imparts some degree of objectivity and also reliability to the valuation. Valuation on the other hand is a subjective judgment, and no explanations may be asked for.

Costing helps a designer in planning, budgeting and auditing the expenditures. Valuation is used to confirm or justify expenditures, indicate non monetary savings, and to convince a client for quandary options.

Design Practice and Cost Determination Methods

Designers choose entities, increase or decrease their usage by predicting the costs. Designers develop their own cost determination methods, appropriate for the jobs they handle, and for types of items specified in their projects. Input data like market rates for materials, parts, components, labour etc. are continuously updated or sought as and when estimates are to be prepared. Updating feedback is also available through the historic estimates conducted on completion of a project.

In design offices predictive cost analysis is made through Rate analysis. Average prices of all commonly used materials, operations, etc., are collected routinely, reformatted and stored. These are presumed as standard rates, and form the basis for the cost analysis. To simplify the process of cost analysis, number of items and their individual rates or prices are reduced by approximation (through definition of a factor for variation) in quantity and quality.

Routine jobs and jobs with substantial intellectual effort

Routine jobs have a determinable cost (and by adding a customary margin of profit, etc. one can derive the price). However, jobs with substantial intellectual effort accomplish more than the cost of implementation. So, dilemmas occur, should one charge a professional fee on the total cost of the job, or value accruing out of the job? Authors of creative efforts must know how to value their accomplishments, and thereby demand a fair compensation for it. Designers need to know both the cost and value of their professional services.

Cost versus Value for Designers

The understanding of Cost versus Value of an entity helps a designer at TWO distinct levels:

1 Determination of Fees: Cost-based and Value-based

2 Helping a client for the value-assessment of their possessions.

Cost-based Fees

Design practice follows age-old traditions of Architectural practice. Jobs are generally executed by appointed contractors or selected vendors. These third party (away from the Architect and the Client) business entities present an invoice, which reflects the nearly true cost of the job. Architects base their fees on this foundation after adding certain percentage amount to account for miscellaneous expenses, (such as on power, water, etc.). Substantial part of Designer’s work follows a similar path.

Value-based Fees

Value-based Fees are charged for jobs like renovation, extension, addition, conservation, etc. that make substantial change to the existing environment, upgrading the commercial value, or advantages deriving out of it. A unique concept that costs very little to implement, provides a substantial benefit to the client. Should one charge a fee on the cost of a job or on the value of the completed job? Here determining an appropriate cost base for fees is very difficult.

Value Assessment of Possessions

On some sites there are pre-existing structures which are to be only reformed or reused. The design cost of continuing or protecting such structures is difficult to compute, and so must be value-based. Cost of works or supplies by third party vendors and contractors are accountable, but items supplied by the Clients from the existing stock are difficult to document. Cost of Retained Structures, Antiques, Curios, used in a project are often indeterminable, instead their values, if available need to be used. On sites where several Professionals operate simultaneously, exclusive authorship to a creation is disputable, so cost of a patent idea is disputable.

Cost Plus Fees

Fees for very complex jobs, or jobs that are unique, and without any precedents are very difficult to predefine. A Client wishes to see the job properly done, and the Professional wants a guaranteed, but a fair amount of income. Such jobs are executed on Cost Plus Basis.

The office work of the professional and the site work of the project, both are executed in a very transparent setup. All the expenses at the Processional’s Office (salaries, stationary, conveyance, rents, service charges for equipments, etc.) and at the Project Site (on raw materials (stationary), wages, and salaries, rents for equipments, conveyance, postal and telecommunication charges, taxes, etc.) are well monitored, documented and audited. The Professional is then allowed a percentage over the Audited Costs.

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# LIST of BLOGS on DESIGN PRACTICE

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##### Post 637 –by Gautam Shah

This is a random selection of BLOGS on Design Practice (Professional Practice) from several of my blogs on the subject.

Flickr Image by Denis Jacquerye

• INTERIOR DESIGN and CLIENTS>>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/interior-design-and-clients/

• CLIENT and DESIGN PROFESSIONAL -Relationship >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/client-and-design-professional-relationship/

• FEES NEGOTIATIONS WITH A CLIENT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/fees-negotiations-with-a-client/

• PROFILING CLIENTS >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/profiling-clients/

• DETERMINATION of PROFESSIONAL FEES >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/determination-of-professional-fees/

• CONTRACT and ENFORCEMENT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/contract-and-enforcement/

• A PROFESSIONAL and PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/a-professional-and-professional-behaviour/

• Differentiating COST from VALUE -Interior Design Practice >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/differentiating-cost-from-value-interior-design-practice/

• DESIGNERS DILEMMA – RIGHT FEES >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/designers-dilemma-right-fees/

• DATA for PROFESSIONALS >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/data-for-professionals/

• PROJECT REPORT OR PROJECT PROFILE REPORT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/project-report-or-project-profile-report/

• INTERIOR DESIGNER – the role

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/interior-designer-the-role/

• QUALITY CONSCIENCE and COMPLIANCE in DESIGN PRACTICE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/quality-conscience-and-compliance-in-design-practice/

• INTERIOR DESIGN PRACTICE > FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/interior-design-practice-fees/

• MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – III

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iii/

• MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – IV

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iv/

• MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – II

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-ii/

• MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – I

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-i/

• PROFESSIONAL FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/professional-fees/

• SPECIFICATIONS CONTENTS (Design Practice)

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/specifications-contents-design-practice/

• DESIGN PRACTICES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/design-practices/

• DESIGN PRACTICE and CONSCIENCE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/design-practice-and-conscience/

• WRITING SPECIFICATIONS in DESIGN PRACTICE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/writing-specifications-in-design-practice/

• COMMITTING a CLIENT for JOB

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/committing-a-client-for-job/

Pexels Image by Kaboompics // Karolina > http://www.kaboompics.com/

#### A set of articles on DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES that were offered as PG Level course are also available at >

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02 Essentials of Design Organizations

03 Design Organizations

04 Projects of Design

05 Job or Assignment Handling in Design Organizations

06 Deliverables from Design Organizations

07 Dealing with a Client in a Design Organization

08 Specifications

09 History of Specifications

12 Bureau of Indian Standards BIS

13 International Standards Organization ISO

14 ISO 9000 and other Management Standards

15 Quality for Designers

16 Quality Conscience

20 Data, Information and Knowledge

21 Design Processes 21-1 to 21-4

22 Decision Making and Problem Solving

25 Guarantees and Warranties

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# BLOG LINKS for articles on DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES

##### Post 632 –by Gautam Shah

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These Blogs formed the course for Masters level Design students at Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. The course was initially planned for Entrepreneurship for Designers. Design graduates were expected to professionally operate in the role of Designers, Producers or Services providers. For this purpose, it was decided to include Design creation, Management of design organizations, Design processes, Standards and specifications, ISO management systems, Risk management, Human resources, Basics of finance, etc. The course was offered as two lectures per week over a semester of 16 weeks. It could perhaps include many other modules, but it was not possible in the time schedule of a semester. — Gautam Shah (contact@gautamshah.in)

1 Organizations

2 Essentials of Design Organizations

3 Design Organizations

4 Projects of Design

5 Job or Assignment Handling in Design Organizations

6 Deliverables from Design Organizations

7 Dealing with a Client in a Design Organization

8 Specifications

9 History of Specifications

10 Standards

11 Liabilities

12 Bureau of Indian Standards BIS

13 International Standards Organization ISO

14 ISO 9000 and other Management Standards

15 Quality for Designers

16 Quality Conscience

17 Consumerism

18 Human Resources

20 Data, Information and Knowledge

21 Design Processes 21-1 to 21-4

22 Decision Making and Problem Solving

23 Systems Thinking

24 Risk Management

25 Guarantees and Warranties

26 Finance

. a combined *.pdf file may be available to few genuine users.

# DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS and ENTITIES

Post 521 by Gautam Shah

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Flickr image by PEDS

Design organizations are conceived to serve external clients. Such organizations are distinctly detached from their clients, and so are internally fairly cohesive or homogeneous. The detachment helps in enforcing professionalism in the services being offered. It also reflects on fees being charged which are neatly defined and in direct proportion to the jobs being handled. Design entities that serve internal clients like ‘sister concerns’ or para departments, are indistinct in constitution, offering of services and enumeration of fees. The heterogeneity is often so diverse that relationship between the services provider and the internal client are too incoherent, to be distinguished into neat role models. The principal objective of such design entities is to serve the routine solutions for its member-clients. Such solutions are efficient in terms of time and resources but less daring or critical.Design organizations those serve external clients tend to be individual-specific. The hierarchical structure is distinct when 8 or more persons are involved. The single-person leadership remains the final authority. The Design entities that serve internal clients such as like ‘sister concerns’ or para departments may be lead by non-designers. It could also be multi-lateral arrangement. The decision making process is long winded and formal as several persons are involved. For outside observers or auditors the Design organizations, due to their dense homogeneity are difficult to penetrate and study. The effort lies in studying their efficiency not of delivering the results, but ‘projects in pipe line’. Design entities need a continuous assessment, or could be dissolved. The design solutions are valued in comparison to any offering available from out-sourcing. An internal or departmental design entity is valued for the continuous improvisations it can offer due to its immediacy.

Wikipedia – Flickr image > Source Author Mitch Altman https://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/15372193433/

Multi lateral organizations that conduct activities like design, manufacturing, on-site installations, servicing, etc. have modules that are subservient to the central management. Design is not an organization but a departmental entity. Not just design, but all other entities are well delineated. Their activities are not just mutually dependent, but in many instances concurrent and so overlapping. Their distinction is in the assignments and not in the activities they conduct, or things they deliver.

Wikipedia image

Design organizations led by professionals, who are under the registration formalities of their professional bodies such as Architects, various branches of Engineering. Such organizations do not opt for multi-lateral format. Many other design businesses such as product design, graphics, etc., at certain stage of expansive growth become multi lateral entities.

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# MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – II

Post 497  by Gautam Shah

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A design client visiting a design office or querying about design fees through a communication channel, is expected provide some basic details about own-self and the project (its location and scope). Such inquiries however, routine may not be answered instantly or orally. A design fee statement is not a commodity rates list, and should be presented after knowing, meeting or vetting a client. A design fee statement presented to a client should be very specific. It should never be a standard print-out with few filled in blanks.

A designer must mention as to why (under what circumstances) the fees are being stated in the presentation. For this purpose a Fees statement must mention the name of the client, and some details of the project, including its location.

Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, Kerala India. A large building complex design has many overlapping design interests and fees for a component must have Limitations Statement.

A typical Starting Line could be > In reference to our meeting / your query of Dated: Date-Month-Year, I/We present our Terms, Conditions and Schedule of Charges for the Design Services1 for XYZ project2 for Client3 at, Location of project4.

1 = Architectural, Interior Design, Landscape Design, etc.

2 = Residential, School, Hospital, Office, etc.

3 = Mr or Mrs XYZ or M/s ABC Co (The Client).

4 = Plot or Building number, Suburb, Town, State, etc. (Location of the Project).

It is very necessary to define precisely the scope of design services and for this Statement of Limitations must become part of Design Fees Statement. A statement of limitation restricts the liability to only the listed nature of services.

Pic from Wikipedia by Author Wolfgang H. Wögerer, Wien > French photographer en:Jean-Pierre Sudre, France, 1975.

TYPICAL STATEMENT OF LIMITATIONS >

1 We offer Design Services in the field of ____ . This statement relates to, our offer for design only services. Design services will mean and include designing, describing, specifying and facilitating (by our selves and other consultants to be appointed for sub services) the total project and its systems that are necessary. Design shall mean all drawn, written or digitally formatted documents, oral or otherwise instructed or implied schemes emanating from our office or the staff. The Period of design services shall nominally last 12 months from the date of payment of first payment of fees. On completion of this period, the Design Services will have to be renegotiated as a fresh project.

2 We offer our services as Designers, and for that we do not sell, supply or help procure any components, units, goods or materials, or provide on rent, hire or provide on any other basis: human resources, plants, tools, equipment, implements or gadgets. We also do not undertake any type of operations or servicing of jobs. We do not provide any operational surety or performance guarantees or warranties for the items, systems, or schemes likely to be generated or formed through implicit or explicit design, suggestion, instructions drawn, described, specified in our design.

3 All payments to vendors, contractors and suppliers shall be made to the party concerned, directly by the client. As a designer our responsibility will be restricted to checking the work bills, and approving for payments, provided such bills or their authenticated copies are presented by the client with appropriate request to us.

President of UW Mark Emmert with an architect Pic from Flickr by Wonderlane

4 The job of Design shall mean designing and specifying all things for a building and its immediate surroundings (if listed in scope of a design project), and apparently for which no sanctions from any authority will be required. However, if any such sanctions / permissions are required, the client shall on own cost arrange them, or negotiate the issue separately with the designer.

5 As a consultant Architectural Designer we operate on our own, providing all such services to cause a building structure. We do not collaborate or agree to take in any help from any other designer or such experts or consultant, working on the behalf of any other agency weather paid by the clients or not. We will not accept or abide by reports, advise or observations offered by such persons or agencies. We will also not allow access or make available any copies of our documents, studies etc. to such persons or agencies.

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# DESIGN DOCUMENTS and Liabilities – Part – I

Post 491 –by Gautam Shah

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Design Documents consists of Views such as Plans, sections, elevations, Write-ups in the form of sheets, files or books, for explanations about things that cannot be adequately represented through views and for people who are not trained to interpret drawings (such government officials and law agencies), Structured Documents such as estimate sheets, reports, etc., and Enhanced Views such as isometrics, perspectives, walk-through to reinforce the perception of elements or their compositions which are generally not used as valid means of execution.

Peter Behrens Tower building

Design Documents created in a design office have a well-defined purpose, specific exposure and so vulnerable to various levels of liabilities.

Design Documents are of Following types:

• Personal
• In-house
• For clients’
• For consultants’
• For permissions – approvals by authorities
• For presentations – publications
• For job award or execution

Manchester Town Hall Drawings

1 PERSONAL DOCUMENTS are created by the designer or scheme formulator. These are concept sketches drawn impressionistically and often like doodles or bubble diagrams. These are for designer’s personal references or reminders. Sketch or preliminary drawings are too small in size, not to exact scale, lacking in details, and do not carry all the graphical views to convey the intentions. These documents are not meant for anyone else, and are thin in content, or just indicative and abstract in nature. Similarly materials, components, procedures and design parameters which have not been fully conceived, or not crystallized into a formal structure, are all placed as notings. The sketches may not have any apparent order, and contain any trade, technique or material specific details. The orientation, scale, format, language, signs, metaphors, symbols, etc., are very much subjective and so illegible to others. This are very personal, un-interpretable or mis-interpretable documents. Yet these are ‘intellectual properties’ documents (copyright, patent, exclusivity).

2 IN-HOUSE DOCUMENTS are created to explore various aspects of the project. These documents always remain within the office and accessible to only authorized staff members. The composition is very casual as the contents are private and not binding to anyone. The contents can be altered at any time without any liability. Here options regarding materials, finishes, parts / subsystems, techniques, are explored. The methods of indication follow the traditions prevalent in the office, and as a result its format and language are very abbreviated. However, some sort of standard format is required, to create documents that are comparable and interpolating with other such documents within the organization. Such documents are never exposed to consultants, clients or anyone else. As whatever is shown or implied in the drawings may be construed to be a promise to deliver.

3 DOCUMENTS FOR CLIENTS are in the form of presentations. Clients’ are shown (and given) drawings and other documents at several stages of the project such as First for the approval of concept, then with intermediate improvisations, and finally for the execution worthy scheme. Besides these clients require presentation for marketing the spaces, which are being, created or altered. Few clients, however, understand all the technical drawings, but in case of a dispute every sketch, drawing or document will be reinterpreted by someone else (lawyer, arbitrator, judge, etc.) and that can create liabilities. The clients consider the design documents as Bench-Mark during the post project evaluation. Presentations should be simple and in non-mechanical form, as the essential purpose is to impress the client and solicit a required response. These documents may additionally convey broad policy of operational modalities and related structure for guarantees and warranties. The presentation format is open, allowing several options and possible interpretations. A client needs two basic things through the initial presentations: 1. A layout scheme that shows how the project relates to the site and 2. A sketch / view showing the form of the building, with reference to the surroundings. On later date presentations other details (materials, colour, textures, etc.) may be included. Clients’ presentations are for information and for initiating a debate. Whereas, a set of all drawings, submitted just before the invitation of bids, is a formal ‘transfer of records’.

Next part of the article will cover remaining Design Documents such as >> 4 Documents for Consultants’ Assignment, 5 Documents for Permissions or Approvals, 6 Documents for Presentation and Publications, 7 Documents for Job Award or Execution.

And also Layout drawing, Working drawings, Detail drawings, Component drawings, Written details, Written details within the drawings, As a separate document but attached or referenced through the drawings, Memos and Short Messages to and from the site, Certificates for completion of a trade specific item, component, stages, payment of bills, etc..

# PROBLEM SOLVING

Post 439 – by Gautam Shah

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Decision making involves some degree of problem solving. Alternatively it can be said that problem solving itself is a decision making process. In decision making some intuitive and alogical processes are operative, but problem solving occurs in a more realistic situation. Problem solving can be defined as an exercise of observing situations, vis a vis change causing elements.

To solve a problem, it is necessary to separate it, as a unique entity or event. The issue is seen by severing its connections and dependencies with other entities and happenings. To make such a dissection, one has to define the level and intensity of various connections. This can be done by raising questions.

• What is the problem?
• Is the problem due to (external) multiple opinions or ideas?
• Is the problem due to possible subjective assumptions?
• Is the problem due to doubtful evidence?
• Is the problem related implications and consequences of its outcome (decision)?

We have read Sherlock Homes, Agatha Christie, Perry Mason and other characters raising-solving problems. Some problems are stated at the start, the book discovers ‘How the issue occurred’, and only in the last chapter or page one finds ‘Who caused the problem and How?’ In another scenario, one is first told ‘How and, Who causes the problem’, but one find later, ‘Why the happening was circumstantially caused?’ In still another setup, one is shown the event and the circumstances Which caused it. Here one is led to believe some false truth, or several conflicting possibilities. The author wants you to get involved in the process of investigations. The truth (at least in fiction) always is a surprise.

Assignments are simplest of problems as these are enforced exercises. There is a party which assigns the work and there is another, who undertakes the task. It is like a contract, where in goals or tasks are neatly defined, resources allocated, and delivery standards specified. Assignments deal with known things, but involve application of skill and management techniques. Students, employees (clerical) and jobbers (workers) are assigned such problems. It may lack a creative effort but productivity and sincerity are important factors.

Difficulties occur for two reasons, either, we do not know, How to manage a situation, or feel that we lack the resources. Difficulties are subjective or objective. In the first case, the problem lies within the person. The person has the capacity, but is unable to accomplish a task. In the second case, the problem lies outside the person. A person may not have the talent, know how, motivation, resources etc. Difficulties, if subjective in nature, require training, exposure, motivation, etc. whereas objective ones need other physical inputs.

Mystery is an unexplained deviation from what is expected. Our efforts are in finding out what has caused the deviation. But for a mystery to happen it is necessary to understand as to what is a deviation (size, scale, measure, range etc.) and what forms a standard. A deviation is not necessarily a bad or foul thing, it may be an advantage or even a gain. Mysterious problems get tackled as soon as deviation causing elements are identified.

Opportunities self presumed or situational offerings. A person or group defines a condition as the problem or a larger environment (social, political, academic) poses a specific situation worthy of a rethink. The specific situation is looked upon as consisting of opportunities. Evaluation of opportunities in terms of the potential benefit or loss leads to solution of a problem. Opportunities are time related, and so need to be perceived early.

Puzzle is a situation where one knows a correct solution exists, but sufficient efforts are necessary to discover it. Puzzles are of Three types: Soluble, currently insoluble and ever insoluble. Soluble puzzles can be tackled with current knowledge. Currently insoluble puzzles will be hopefully solved, when resources and information are adequately available. Puzzles, however, remain insoluble, when certain important sections are irretrievably lost. Puzzles have such inbuilt solutions that in real sense, there are no need to solve any thing, but locate the solution and identify the way to reach it. Puzzles are solved as soon as the end itself, or the means to the end are in sight.

Dilemmas offer multiple choices, each of which seems equally fitting. Dilemmas remain in-force only for a particular time span, situation or value judgment. Dilemmas, if handled by a different person, attended at another time, or dealt in another situation, may not be a problem at all. Dilemmas pose as twin offering, of which only one need be appropriate. So if the problem is probed further and deeper and separated from its dependencies one of the solutions is likely to be just slightly more superior or less inferior.

The problems in life relate to what one may want to gain or possess, and forget or dispose something. Situations are known, but need some support to make it better managed. The support may be different attitude, and additional knowledge, resources or time. Situations seem to strange because one needs to realize that a problem does exist.

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# DESIGN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

DESIGN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Post 414 ⇒   by Gautam Shah

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A design project is carefully planned set of activities to achieve a comprehensive objective. Design projects handling aims to achieve the objectives within the defined scope, time, and costs. The fourth parameter of the project handling is the quality of the delivery. This requires advance management of the effort and required resources.

Every design project is a unique endeavour. Design projects are of many different types such as form a concept, create a product or render a service. A design project could be an idea or concept taking shape in mind, being readied for an outward expression, a strategy to actualize an idea, to recollect a happening, reckon the scale of an event, reproduce an experience or a search for a match or fit.

Managing a design project is distinctive activity from other more traditional, routine and administrative efforts. Design projects emerge out of circumstances –aided by all kinds of debate and analysis, by managerial or political policy decisions. It embodies not just strategy and solution to solve a problem in its physicality but is also a unique way of addressing social, business and organizational issues, within increasingly complex environments.

Design project handling is circumspect with time, money, people, other resources, and conditioned by the available technology, and by legal, social and such obligations. Design project take time for physical realization and during the period any change in its scope, time schedules, costs and quality requirements requires tactical reformation.

Design projects are so Scope or Extent dependent that an increase or decrease affects the scaling of the project, changes the cost profile or compromise the quality. A Time dependent design project, when gets delayed impacts the benefits or losses out of it. With early or accelerated execution, extensive benefits could be derived. Cost generally determines the extent of a project in the early stage, but costs are extremely variable and can change the perception of extent. On the other hand when conditions are abnormal and survival of an individual or the society is threatened, such as during war, natural calamities, catastrophes etc. the quality parameters are worst affected. Though best or most challenging projects planning methods have emerged in such acute conditions.