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© 2007. Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 1 Takoma Park Dog Lounge Project Management: Setting the Stage for Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2007. Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 1 Takoma Park Dog Lounge Project Management: Setting the Stage for Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 1 Takoma Park Dog Lounge Project Management: Setting the Stage for Assessment

2 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 2 I’ve now read the Terrier’s letter and memo. I want to start work. But what work should I start? I need to do some basic project management. I charge for my time. My clients want to get value from their investment in me. So, before starting work I will sit down and come up with a work plan: Prepare a “to do” list of pre-design tasks specific to the project. For each task, I will identify: A project issue that, if left unresolved, could interfere with feasibility or design excellence. The scope of the task necessary to assess each issue – what is involved in doing it? How will I know if a particular sub-task is within the scope or beyond it? The source (person, book, place, etc.) that will most likely have the information I’ll need in order to start the assessment Any resources (techniques, fees, consultants, or equipment) that I will need to have in order to undertake the assessment. Rank the tasks in order of criticality so that if I run out of time, at least the most important ones will have been completed. Tentatively decide how much time it will take to complete each task.

3 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 3 A Dog's Life 7000 Carroll Ave Takoma Park, MD Cardinal Architects 620 Michigan Ave, NE Washington, DC Dear Cardinal Architects, My wife and I run a dog care business in Takoma Park, MD. A parcel of land at 7000 Carroll Avenue has just come on the market. We think might make a good site for a building to house an expanded version of our current business. We need to hire an architect, but first would like to hire you to prepare a thorough pre-design analysis to use as the underlying documentation for an RFP we will distribute to a few select firms. We need it to summarize the issues, identify conflicts and opportunities, and propose one or perhaps a few alternative definitions of the design question, the question of what, exactly, it is that we want the architect to design. We have additional information (by no means complete) that we have started collecting. We will make it available to you. We hope it’s enough to get you started, but clearly you'll likely need to gather more. We leave that to you. Looking forward to working together, Jack John Russell Therrier, Owner I’ll start by identifying the issues that will inform my design decisions. So let me review the limited information I know at this point. I have the initial letter from Jack.

4 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 4 And I have the memo. And Jack has delivered his other notes, as I had requested. The cover note says: We have the following information set aside for you. Let us know when you want it. A Memo: Cairn’s and my ideas about the project. Information about the location: Maps we’ve collected of the region, city, district, neighborhood, and Metro system; excerpts from the Master Plan for Takoma Park. Aerial photos. Survey of the block that includes the property. Information about the property: A zoning map; excerpts from the Montgomery County Office of Planning. Eye-level photos to and from property, showing adjacent buildings. Excerpts from the building code: Excerpts from IBC 2000 on use group, height and area limits, construction classification, and egress. Well, this could be useful. I’ll quickly flip through it to get some sense of the project.

5 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 5 Target market population: 1.The primary market segment is people who own dogs but need help caring for them. This could be for several reasons: 2.Dog owners who need substantial help due to time limitations, especially if they are their dog’s only source of care. When there is only one person, or perhaps several people who are all too busy (people who really perhaps shouldn’t own dogs to begin with until their lives become less busy), our services become critical. 3.Dog owners who need substantial help, perhaps due to disability or age. We even have some funds available to help those in this group who can’t afford our usual charges. 4.Dog owners who opt for substantial help. They generally aren’t interested in learning how to provide care beyond feeding and walking and can afford to have someone else do it. 5.Dog owners who opt for once-in-a-while care. These people are interested, able, and can take turns caring for their dogs: When dogs are owned by families or groups of people, there is usually more than one person capable and available to provide the care. In such cases, they may bring their dogs in only occasionally for a grooming. 6.People who just love dogs and enjoy socializing with other dog lovers. Activities to take place in the proposed building 1.Dogs will be groomed. Shampoos and hair cuts will be typical, but we will also provide flea treatments and rabies vaccines. (Once a week Dr. Carey will visit to administer the vaccines.) This gets a bit messy and wet. We’d like 4 grooming stations, each with a spray hose, tub, floor drain, and shelves for storing grooming tools (clippers, combs, blow driers, etc.) and various shampoos and other products. 2.We will operate a “doggie day care” facility for owners who work too many hours and don’t want their pets to be lonely, with a kennel for the temporary boarding of perhaps ten dogs maximum while their owners are away or occupied for several days (or maybe even weeks) at a time. It’s important that this kennel be well lit during the day, but views can be a problem—the sight of a mailman or ambulance or squirrel can get the dogs to barking. Speaking of which, acoustics is a major issue. If we can’t keep the noise inside, our neighbors will be very unhappy. We understand that well insulated walls combined with laminated glass in the windows (when they’re closed) will handle the situation. 3.We will run an obedience school where up to 6 (maybe 8 or even 10, but probably not) dogs and their owners will take classes. In nice weather, we’d like the option of doing this outside. 4.We will operate a dog walking service. Our store will need a “mud room” where we can keep leashes and clean off dogs (if needed) just back from a walk. 5.We will sell dog food and dog care products (shampoo, nail clippers, etc.), but not accessories (collars, leashes, etc) so as not to compete with The Big Bad Woof. 6.We’ll have a dog-themed coffee house/pub where dog owners will be able to relax and socialize, with or without their pets, in the company of other “dog people”, whether waiting for their pets or not. There’s the memo from Jack and Cairn, that outlines a bunch of ideas: Activities to take place in the proposed building 1.Dogs will be groomed. Shampoos and hair cuts will be typical, but we will also provide flea treatments and rabies vaccines. (Once a week Dr. Carey will visit to administer the vaccines.) This gets a bit messy and wet. We’d like 4 grooming stations, each with a spray hose, tub, floor drain, and shelves for storing grooming tools (clippers, combs, blow driers, etc.) and various shampoos and other products. 2.We will operate a “doggie day care” facility for owners who work too many hours and don’t want their pets to be lonely, with a kennel for the temporary boarding of perhaps ten dogs maximum while their owners are away or occupied for several days (or maybe even weeks) at a time. It’s important that this kennel be well lit during the day, but views can be a problem—the sight of a mailman or ambulance or squirrel can get the dogs to barking. Speaking of which, acoustics is a major issue. If we can’t keep the noise inside, our neighbors will be very unhappy. We understand that well insulated walls combined with laminated glass in the windows (when they’re closed) will handle the situation. 3.We will run an obedience school where up to 6 (maybe 8 or even 10, but probably not) dogs and their owners will take classes. In nice weather, we’d like the option of doing this outside. 4.We will operate a dog walking service. Our store will need a “mud room” where we can keep leashes and clean off dogs (if needed) just back from a walk. 5.We will sell dog food and dog care products (shampoo, nail clippers, etc.), but not accessories (collars, leashes, etc) so as not to compete with The Big Bad Woof. 6.We’ll have a dog-themed coffee house/pub where dog owners will be able to relax and socialize, with or without their pets, in the company of other “dog people”, whether waiting for their pets or not. Target market population: 1.The primary market segment is people who own dogs but need help caring for them. This could be for several reasons: 2.Dog owners who need substantial help due to time limitations, especially if they are their dog’s only source of care. When there is only one person, or perhaps several people who are all too busy (people who really perhaps shouldn’t own dogs to begin with until their lives become less busy), our services become critical. 3.Dog owners who need substantial help, perhaps due to disability or age. We even have some funds available to help those in this group who can’t afford our usual charges. 4.Dog owners who opt for substantial help. They generally aren’t interested in learning how to provide care beyond feeding and walking and can afford to have someone else do it. 5.Dog owners who opt for once-in-a-while care. These people are interested, able, and can take turns caring for their dogs: When dogs are owned by families or groups of people, there is usually more than one person capable and available to provide the care. In such cases, they may bring their dogs in only occasionally for a grooming. 6.People who just love dogs and enjoy socializing with other dog lovers. MEMO TO ARCHITECTS Reasons for doing the project: 1.We are both dog lovers. 2.We fell in love with Takoma Park, and moved here several years ago. And we believe in the idea of a strong local community. 3.We think there is a need for this kind of facility in Takoma Park. It is a traditional small town kind of area; many of the neighbors have dogs. It will nicely complement other nearby businesses such as The Big Bad Woof/Paws of Enchantment pet furnishings store up the block, and the Takoma Park Animal Clinic (Dr. Joanne Carey and Pat Kriemelmeyer’s veterinary office) both about a half-mile east on Carroll Ave. 4.I have been working for a dog grooming place in Arlington, VA, and the commute finally got to me. 5.I’ve been walking dogs as a side business for several years now, and it was time, with some added services, to open my own business anyway. This may not make us rich, but Cairn and I are banking, quite literally, on it being our ticket to retirement some day. 6.That almost abandoned parking lot has been an eyesore ever since the drive-in bank moved out (actually it was an eyesore while they were still there, too, just more trafficked). Activities to take place in the proposed building 1.Dogs will be groomed. Shampoos and hair cuts will be typical, but we will also provide flea treatments and rabies vaccines. (Once a week Dr. Carey will visit to administer the vaccines.) This gets a bit messy and wet. We’d like 4 grooming stations, each with a spray hose, tub, floor drain, and shelves for storing grooming tools (clippers, combs, blow driers, etc.) and various shampoos and other products. 2.We will operate a “doggie day care” facility for owners who work too many hours and don’t want their pets to be lonely, with a kennel for the temporary boarding of perhaps ten dogs maximum while their owners are away or occupied for several days (or maybe even weeks) at a time. It’s important that this kennel be well lit during the day, but views can be a problem—the sight of a mailman or ambulance or squirrel can get the dogs to barking. Speaking of which, acoustics is a major issue. If we can’t keep the noise inside, our neighbors will be very unhappy. We understand that well insulated walls combined with laminated glass in the windows (when they’re closed) will handle the situation. 3.We will run an obedience school where up to 6 (maybe 8 or even 10, but probably not) dogs and their owners will take classes. In nice weather, we’d like the option of doing this outside. 4.We will operate a dog walking service. Our store will need a “mud room” where we can keep leashes and clean off dogs (if needed) just back from a walk. 5.We will sell dog food and dog care products (shampoo, nail clippers, etc.), but not accessories (collars, leashes, etc) so as not to compete with The Big Bad Woof. 6.We’ll have a dog-themed coffee house/pub where dog owners will be able to relax and socialize, with or without their pets, in the company of other “dog people”, whether waiting for their pets or not.

6 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 6 There’s location information -- mostly maps and aerial photos:

7 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 7 There’s property information -- a zoning map and photos:

8 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 8 There are the building code excerpts:

9 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 9 It’s a bit overwhelming. It’s a lot of documentation, and there’s a lot more that the client didn’t provide. But I’ll start with what I’ve been given. What should I look at first? All of it maybe? I need to be strategic. How? I could be tactical, focusing on one element of the design at a time. If I were painting this scene, I’d paint the street first. But that approach might lead to a poor painting because the tactic (the street) will drive the strategy (the overall composition). But I could also be strategic, focusing on one issue of the design at a time. If I were painting, I’d develop the composition first. I’d add color, contrast, and texture later. I’d resist focusing on specific elements except to the extent that they inform strategic issues. So I’ll focus on issues and proceed strategically.

10 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 10 OK. I’ll make a list of issues. Later I’ll rank them by criticality. What qualifies as an issue? I know what an issue isn’t. It isn’t an element. So that leaves out such things as the way rooms are proportioned or arranged into floor plans, or the way windows and wall materials are arranged into elevations. Elements are the things that designers design. Issues are the ideas behind the design decisions. So what might I consider as issues of this project, its strategic characteristics? I might include such concepts as: How it relates formally (meaning: in terms of form) to other buildings near it in the urban fabric, in terms of such issues as scale, proportion, materiality, expression, etc. How it fulfills the needs of the human communities in which it exists (one project can have multiple roles with respect to multiple communities), and avoids conflicting with those needs, in terms of such issues as program, health and safety, value, etc. How it interacts with its natural environment, in terms of such issues as drainage, topography, soil quality, vegetation, views, etc. How it works with respect to existing construction on the property, in terms of such issues as programmatic adaptability, structural integrity, infrastructural adequacy, etc. How it meets financial goals in terms of such issues as revenues, operating costs, etc. So…what issues are the most critical, strategically, for the Therrier’s project?

11 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 11 Here’s a quick list of possible issues. Note that they are very project-specific and reflect my careful reading of the information I’ve been given so far. Takoma Park seems to be a tightly knit, primarily residential, community with an appreciation of its architectural heritage. The project’s form will be critical; how it (the building, the parking lot, and any other exterior spaces) relates to the buildings and spaces around it in terms of urban design. Not everyone loves dogs. The project’s impact on its neighbors may be critical. Excessive noise (barking), odors, and problematic interactions with dogs (like someone getting bitten by a dog on its way to or from the building) can doom the project. The program seems complex, mixing dog care, obedience training, perhaps retail sales, the human consumption of food, and a blend of indoor and outdoor (dog walking) activities. A good design response might be difficult. The financial feasibility of the project. The Therriers are expecting this business to succeed and finance their retirement. The site may not be large enough. It’s not yet known if existing parking lot is there because nobody has developed the site yet, or because that many parking spaces is required by zoning code to meet the parking needs of the buildings that are currently there. Even if not all of the parking is needed, it is not clear that site is big enough to hold the existing and proposed buildings, parking for both, and the needed exterior spaces. Note that all of these are either deal-breakers or strongly impact design. Note also that it is a very incomplete list. I’ll need to add more to it. But for now, I’ll continue the demo.

12 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 12 I’ll tentatively rank these issues in terms of criticality. _Takoma Park seems to be a tightly knit, primarily residential, community with an appreciation of its architectural heritage. The project’s form will be critical; how it (the building, the parking lot, and any other exterior spaces) relates to the buildings and spaces around it in terms of urban design. _Not everyone loves dogs. The project’s impact on its neighbors may be critical. Excessive noise (barking), odors, and problematic interactions with dogs (like someone getting bitten by a dog on its way to or from the building) can doom the project. _The program seems complex, mixing dog care, obedience training, perhaps retail sales, the human consumption of food, and a blend of indoor and outdoor (dog walking) activities. A good design response might be difficult. _The financial feasibility of the project. The Therriers are expecting this business to succeed and finance their retirement. _The site may not be large enough. It’s not yet known if existing parking lot is there because nobody has developed the site yet, or because that many parking spaces is required by zoning code to meet the parking needs of the buildings that are currently there. Even if not all of the parking is needed, it is not clear that site is big enough to hold the existing and proposed buildings, parking for both, and the needed exterior spaces. Next, I’ll go through each item on this list and figure out what specific tasks need to be done to resolve them. I’ll start with the highest priority: Site fit

13 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 13 What tasks need to be done? Assess fit of program and parking on site What tasks do I need to do to figure out its design implications? I’ll brainstorm some ideas. I’ll make sure that for each one, I’ve considered: Ask I know that, on a general level, I need to ask “How do I resolve a site that may not be large enough to fit program and parking needs?”. But l also need to get more specific. Gather The information necessary to dealing with the issue that I’m currently missing Finding out who or what might have that information Figuring out how I am going to get the information from it or them Enhance, Notice Figuring out what form or pre-design tool I will use to assess the information. Should I develop a pro forma calculation, a zoning envelope diagram, a comparison matrix, a figure-ground study, etc.?. Translate Figuring out the implications this issue has for my design options. Perhaps it will provide cues for plan layout, façade organization, materials selection, code compliance, or something else. 1

14 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 14 So, what can I come up with? Assess fit of program and parking on site Building size Ask. Can a program this size fit on a property that size? Gather Get a site survey that shows dimensions. Go to the zoning ordinance on the Internet Find bulk requirements (FAR, Lot Coverage, Setbacks, Height). Note exceptions. Enhance: Prepare a maximum zoning envelope diagram using site and zoning information. Notice: Compare envelope with program requirements to see if program fits into envelope. Translate: Wait until Parking Count is assessed Parking Count Ask. Can fit enough parking for the program on that site with that building? Gather: Go back to zoning ordinance. Find requirements for parking count and size of different parking spaces and aisles. Take note of exceptions. Enhance : Apply findings to the specifics of this project (site size, program area) and calculate required counts. Notice : Review calculations and figure out how much area (in SF) each option would need. Translate : (Do jointly with results of building size analysis. See next page) 1

15 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 15 So, what can I come up with? Assess fit of program and parking on site Combined Translate If program doesn’t fit, draw several alternative zoning envelope diagrams that presume the granting of variances, and calculate several alternatives for shrinking the program. For each combination of program and envelope that fits, draw several site plan alternatives for arranging parking onto the site using different but valid assumptions for the number of parking spaces required. Now I have a set of tasks that I feel I can do, and that a more junior member of the project team would understand well enough to do if I’m unavailable. I probably wouldn’t write all this down, but I would certainly think it through in my head, and say it to that junior staffer if I need to turn it over to her. It also give me a tool for calculating time required. I can just go down the list and project approximately how long each would take me. I’ll do that next. 1

16 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 16 So, what can I come up with? Assess fit of program and parking on site Building size Ask: Done Gather Get a site survey that shows dimensions. (I have it already. Finding it: 5 minutes) Go to the zoning ordinance on the Internet Find bulk requirements (FAR, Lot Coverage, Setbacks, Height). Note exceptions. (1/2 hour) Arrange: Prepare a maximum zoning envelope diagram. (45 minutes) Recognize: Compare envelope with program requirements to see if program fits into envelope. (10 minutes) Propose: Wait until Parking Count is assessed Parking Count Ask: Done Gather: Go back to zoning ordinance. Find requirements for parking count and size of different parking spaces and aisles. Take note of exceptions. (1/2 hour) Arrange: Apply findings to the specifics of this project (site size, program area) and calculate required counts. (15 minutes) Recognize: Review calculations and figure out how much area (in SF) each option would need. (1 hour, since this involves some designing.) Propose: (Do jointly with results of building size analysis. See next page) 1 3:15 total so far. I’ll do the same with “Develop” and add it to the total.

17 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 17 That got me to 5 hours. Now I’ll use the same process for the rest of my plan. Assess fit of program and parking on site Check the zoning ordinance’s requirements for parking count and location: 5 hours Measure distance to Metro for possible reduction in parking requirements: ½ hour Check zoning ordinance’s parking size requirements, calculate square footage needed: 1 hour Compare parking with size of program and site, assess options: 3 hours. Assess impact of dogs on neighbors Find other similar facilities: 2 hours Read or conduct phone or in-person interviews to find out what kind of experience they have had and how they handle these issues, taking notes: 2 days (including travel time if needed) Generate alternatives, write memo with findings: 1 hour Assess financial feasibility Ask Therriers to see their business plan: ¼ hour (send ) Obtain copy: 0 hours of work, but necessitates a wait Review business plan to understand it and find out what financial assumptions it makes: 4-6 hours Assess implications of financial assumptions on design options: 2-4 hours Prepare findings: ½ hour 1 2 3

18 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 18 Continuing: Assess urban design factors Get Google Earth aerials: ½ hour Go to Takoma Park Town Hall or Montgomery County Government Center in Rockville, get plan of area showing curbs, building outlines: 4-8 hours Visit site, take photos, do sketches showing datums, symmetries, etc.: 3-4 hours Analyze sketches, propose design alternatives: 3-5 hours Prepare findings: ½ hour Assess program Read carefully through Therrier’s memo: 2 hours Find some similar facilities, if possible, and note their programs. Check Internet. Check Time Saver Standards. See if there’s an AIA Knowledge Community that might have insight on this: 2-3 days Write up tentative program alternatives based on research findings: 2 hours 4 4

19 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 19 OK. Now I’ll put this all together in a memo addressed to the clients that requests their authorization to proceed. If they think I misunderstood anything, or have a problem with the amount of time I intend to spend of this work, this will give them a chance to say so. And once we’ve agreed on all of this, the chance of a misunderstanding is greatly reduced while the chance of the project going well is greatly increased. And the best part is that now I have a plan. If I need to adjust it, I can decide how to do that, and inform the client of the change if needed, instead of being at the mercy of random chance.

20 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 20 Here’s my note to them. MEMO Project:Dog Lounge Number:00002 From:B. Yatt To:JCT Date:9/6/2007 RE:Project Management 1.Work Plan A.Issue – Authorization to begin assessments B.Discussion – Yatt has prepared a tentative work plan for pre-design assessment. The complete and itemized work plan is attached. In summary, the key tasks on that plan are: 1)Assess fit of program and parking: about 10 hours 2)Assess impact of dogs on neighbors: about 9 hours 3)Assess financial feasibility: about 6 to 10 hours 4)Assess urban design factors: about 11 to 18 hours 5)Assess the program: 20 to 28 hours Total time needed (net of time waiting for requested data to arrive): 55 to 75 hours, or about 6½ to 9 business days. A.Action – JCT to approve work plan or request revision by 9/10.

21 © Barry D. Yatt. All rights reserved. 21 As soon as I hear back from JCT, I can either revise this work plan per their comments or I can start doing assessments. The best part is that, so long as I assess what I said I would assess, JCT and I should experience a fairly predictable relationship (we’ll both appreciate that). And if I find that I need to spend more time on a task than I had planned for, or afterward find that I already have, I can decide how to adjust, either by… Reducing the time I had planned to spend on other tasks. Requesting addition time (and compensation) from JCT. That’s it for now. When JCT responds, I’ll proceed.


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