The short answer is that Architectural programming is everything you need to know before you draw. The longer answer is that programming is a process that an Architect leads a client through to identify and articulate what the projects objectives and constraints are now and in the future. This process will involve our asking questions then listening. At the end of the process we will establish the project design objectives a list of your needs, wants, and priorities in written and numerical form. The result will be a detailed work plan that will guide the Planning and Design process. Good, detailed programming is imperative to a successful project.
The final deliverables of Architectural Programming are a Project Narrative, Program Statement, Adjacencies Diagram, and a Preliminary Budget. The Project Narrative is an overview of the entire project explaining the project scope and goals. It also contains descriptions of each department and functional spaces such as lobbies, meeting rooms, and cafeterias. The Program Statement is an overall numerical summary of the project (spreadsheet) identifying all individual requirements at a departmental level. We suggest that this statement include the following minimum information: existing spaces, proposed new spaces, future expansion, and tabulation of all space requirements including circulation, wall, and mechanical space. The Adjacencies Diagram is a graphically depiction of the spacial relationship of all the program elements to one another. The Preliminary Budget is an opinion of probable cost based on simple square footage cost of similar projects. Using experience from similar past projects we will recommend space needs, in the case of a unique requirement we will specifically study special space needs and adjacencies.
Recommended Steps in the process
1.Identify the basic elements and set up a structure for collecting information and making decisions.
a.Review existing organizational charts and employee lists
b.Identify all influencers and decision makers
c.Clarify how decision will be made
i.Who reviews and makes recommendation
ii.Who makes final decisions
2.Interview Key Personal
3.Distribute a questionnaire to Staff
a.Collect, tabulate and analyze survey results.
4.Perform a detailed survey of the existing space
a.Identify structural elements
b.Identify wall construction including demountable partitions for possible relocation
5.Inventory existing furnishing, fixture and equipment
a.Identify items for reuse, refurbishment and replacement
6.Conduct Engineering analysis of existing electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, life safety, phone system and data infrastructure.
7.Conduct building code analysis and meet with local code authorities.
8.Produce Program Deliverables