Comprehensive pre-design studies of workplaces : the case of the twin cities, Minnesota

Adams, W. Graham and Salama, Ashraf M (2003) Comprehensive pre-design studies of workplaces : the case of the twin cities, Minnesota. AUEJ: Al-Azhar University Engineering Journal, 7 (Specia). R7. ISSN 1110-6406

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During the last two decades pre-design studies have become an integral part of design phases required for successful creation of built environments. Now, they are taking place as part of contemporary architectural design practices. Pre-design can be regarded as a phase that precedes the detailed architectural programming and space planning stages. It may include tasks and activities that range from defining functional needs and adjacency analyses to establishing design imperatives and prioritizing design recommendations, and from cost analysis and financial modeling to establishing urban design criteria for locating new buildings. This paper reports on a pre-design study conducted over the past three years for the Minnesota Departments of Agriculture (MDA), Health (MDH), and Human Services (DHS), toward developing new office facilities and laboratories. The methodology of the study is based on establishing a rigorous collaborative process that includes five major procedures. The major components of the study are programming the workplace environment, defining functional needs and relationship analyses, establishing principles for urban intervention and developing financial modeling. The paper concludes by outlining how emerging opportunities can be stemmed from pre-design studies, how employees’ productivity and comfort can be addressed, and how urban and environmental resources can be preserved and conserved.