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In a previous article we went over some of what is so important about the process of choosing the right designer, and how important it is to identify what goals you have and want to accomplish when choosing your materials and structures. It is not only important to have your design-build be done by someone who can make your dreams reality, but also someone with the experience to make sure that any factors given are accurate, and to control the other processes that go with construction. 

No matter what you are designing, it needs to serve its purpose. If you are a private venture, that means achieving the means of your non-profit in your space or turning a profit if a business. If a public venture, it means understanding who is going to use your facilities and how to make sure that you are achieving the goals you have in mind.

A business will need to make use of their space effectively. A school, on the other hand, is likely to plan around logistics, utility, quality materials, and a design complementary to the existing campus and athletic grounds. And of course providing an education and an area for community gathering and athletic competition.

Concerns like water lines both for a restroom and a separated line for drinking water when building athletic facilities might arise. While in the interest of providing the best training options there will be a lot of unique outdoor activity structures, but also the need to cover all the bases when it comes to track and field games. A full stadium would cover bleachers, concessions, and more, but oftentimes what are deemed “practice fields” are usually also for game overflow, so that when one school campus has two games for the same sport booked at the same time, both teams can still play. In that case, either a centrally located and thus larger area for concessions and rest facilities will need to be planned ahead of time, for if not then it is possible there will need to be a secondary building for that near the practice field, depending on size of overall athletic area. But when it comes to the specifics of what outdoor activity equipment and structures to choose, there are quite a few that are great for training for any sport. One is jump up boxes with differing heights for training one’s vertical jump height, for which the lower ones can also be used as ledges for basic calf raises.

When you are planning an area to design, it is important to have someone with knowledge of commercial ordering and construction management so you can accurately quantify costs. Especially for private ventures, the design itself can be important when it comes to deciding what centers of profit you will have available to you.

For example, if you are making a grocer, then there will be the necessities dictated by the industry. But to ensure that you are making the most profit, you should base your design around what will be the profit earners. Some grocers might opt to install a small dining area and a kitchen, to sell food onsite. Or they might opt for a small area in the center that prepares things such as fresh sushi, and then sell it there.

Some grocery stores will also have other services offered such as business services or something along the lines of a garden section. Another example might be a coffee shop that offers cold food but wants to expand to a full kitchen, and expand their dining area. This business will need to have accurate information on their costs before they can make any decision. But if they were to miss out on the opportunity, that might be worse. A business that can make smart use of their space and make money and provide value to all customers is a company that will survive.

To understand if you are truly going to be able to earn a profit, it can always help to have someone familiar with the existing processes that can help you decide what something is going to cost, so you can decide what it will earn, and do the calculation of if it is worth it. On the battlefield, this lack of information is called “the fog of war.”

Because humans do not know the future, and have imperfect information, it can make making the right decision harder than it would be if we otherwise have complete access to information. One of the most important things to get right in construction management is knowledge around the price of any build. There are complex factors that affect proper site management including labor costs, commercial contracts, material ordering, equipment rental, insurance and more. By having someone who can guide you through this process, you can reduce this “fog of war”, and make sure that when you are making a decision you can choose the best course of action. 

Another thing to consider is how the use of specific materials and design can be affected by the weather. For example, in areas that are likely to get large amounts of rain, or exist in or near a flood plain, it can be important to make sure that the outside area has proper drainage done. It’s important to keep in mind that certain materials will absorb the heat better, and certain designs can make sure that hot air is filtered out or that the heat/temperature stays consistent compared to the outdoors when needed. When it comes to concrete, you can pick the type of concrete, but when an engineer needs a material that functions like concrete, that will be your best course of action. But at many points there will be options, gradations and variants that can be chosen when choosing the look and materials of your buildings.

No matter what you choose, make sure to be prepared and have someone who can achieve what you’re aiming for.