Why do this?
Residential construction is a rapidly changing field. Performance expectations are increasing, material options are expanding, energy sources are in a period of diversification, health concerns are growing. It is increasingly unlikely that any one person has enough experience and training in all of these areas to meet high goals. The addition of different perspectives can help to identify potential oversights or problems in the plans and smooth them out at the design stage — before they can cause issues or delays on the construction site.
All of the “new” criteria addressed in Decoration 5 add elements to the design process that have not typically been addressed by the industry or in professional training. The best way to meet comprehensive criteria is to involve people who have experience in meeting each of those criteria.
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A team effort can also help to keep the design process on track, with team members responsible for providing their input and deliverables according to the team’s schedule.
There is no sure-fire template for coordinating an integrated design team. The need for the whole team to meet at once is quite limited, and may only need to happen once, near the beginning of the project. The design will be iterative, with each person’s contributions paving the way for another person on the team to undertake some or all of their scope of work. Many of the discussions after the first meeting can happen directly between team members; the coordinator is the one charged with being certain that the necessary information is making it to appropriate team members.
It is likely to cost some extra money in the early stages to engage the entire team in the design process, but experience among integrated design teams indicates that this approach typically saves a great deal of money; the result is better design solutions, improved building efficiency, and minimized oversights that end up costing money on the job site.