are manageable and a limited universe of possible solutions are well behaved and
predictable. An example of this approach would include a “prototype” design that
is simply being adapted to a new condition. This process is often the most direct,
conventional, and least costly when “first cost” is a primary consideration. For
example, a reduction in the time required for design and delivery can mitigate
the impact of price escalation due to inflation and other market variables. Most
projects are planned around schedules that appear to be linear, but the actual
activity within each phase tends to be somewhat nonlinear (e.g., feedback loops
are needed when unexpected events occur).
Building Design Process
The process of design and delivery of buildings in particular, from conception to
completion, has generally followed a linear or stepwise model in which distinct
phases guide the design from definition of need or problem statement, followed
by drawings through technical evolution, construction, and final completion.
As illustrated in Figure 1.3, the path from project conception to completion
follows a stepped progression with discrete phases for each stage of the project's
development. Much of the work and many of the insights are provided by
the designer well into the process. Some technical input is sought early, but
it is very limited. The builder typically does not provide input until midway
through the process, but at the end is almost exclusively responsible for the
project. This “hand-offs” approach can lead to miscommunication and the lack
of opportunity to leverage different perspectives. Even if the builder has good,
green ideas from experience, the process may be too far along to incorporate
them without substantial costs and need to retrofit.
The progression of the stepwise process from idea to realization is a sequence
of events and involvement of specialized expertise. This process can be thought of
Figure 1.3 Rational, linear
Note: D, design expertise; T, technical
expertise; B, building expertise;
* = review cycle.