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Pre-Design

Pre-Design

1.0 Pre-Design Phase
The Pre-Design Phase includes the following steps that reflect the order with which a Centre should proceed with the pre-design work:

Summary Description

1.1 Role Study: establish the overall vision and direction for the Centre

1.2 Facility Programming: identify the services / programs to be provided at the Centre and the staffing / volunteers needed. Translate this information into specific space requirements (Master Program).  Create a complete list of all structures, interior and exterior spaces, along with their square footages, specific attributes and interrelationships.  The list can be developed in more and more detail as the Project progresses.

1.3 Master Planning: develop a graphic illustration of the requirements identified in the Master Program including preliminary cost estimates (Master Plan).

1.4 Feasibility Studies: investigate what is actually possible or allowed for a particular site or building, given the vision for the Centre and the requirements set forth by the Master Program and Master Plan exploring ‘what if’ scenarios before committing substantial dollars.

1.5 Sustainability Evaluation: determine the level of sustainability that is preferred for the project in terms of building envelope and energy systems. This will be directly impacted on whether the space is rented or purchased.

1.6 Site Selection: for a Centre considering relocating their facilities they should first complete the Role Study, Facility Programming which will provide the overall size of the space you are seeking. Then, the Centre can embark on a Feasibility Study as noted above to explore if the relocation might involve buying land with the intention to build, buying a property with existing facilities, or leasing new space within an existing facility.

Detailed Description

1.1 Role Study – This step identifies the vision and direction both in the present and the future for the Centre. This process is important to complete before developing the facility programming and feasibility studies as this is the ground or view that the next steps will be based on. Without this step the subsequent steps will be a challenge to get support from the community. The Role Study is completed by addressing the following questions:

  • What are the current needs (programs, services and staff – paid / volunteer) now and projected for the next 5-10 years?
  • What do you offer that works well now? What do you offer that does not work well?
  • Where do the participants and members live (mapped using zip or postal codes)?
  • What are the gaps in the services / programs / staff / volunteers?
  • How can these gaps best be addressed?
  • Where and how should you deliver your services / programs? Could these be addressed through satellite locations in the region?
  • What partnerships do you have/need that might help meet these needs?
  • How is membership coordinated / initiated? Could this be improved / expanded?
  • What are the deficiencies with the current space?
  • What is your current financial situation (one time donations, program income, recurring donations compared with staff, program and facility costs)? What will the impact of a new vision / approach have on the financial picture or what room do you have for increasing the income at the Centre?
  • Assemble this information into a draft report. Approach this first step with an open mind and open ended questions. It is best to setup a steering committee (of staff and selected community members say 8-10 people or what seems to work for you) to gather and process this information. With the draft in place, setup meetings with the full community to present the findings, outstanding questions and seek their input and guidance.
  • With this input create the Role Study can be published, handed out and posted on your website. This can then be updated as you go along.
  • Once this work is done you are ready to move onto the next phase of planning.
  • Review Process

1.2 Facility Programming, called a Master Program is a narrative document that describes the services / programs to be provided at the Centre and the staff to carry out that work as delineated in the Role Study and then translated into a list of required space. The components of the Master Program include:

  • A list of the services and programs to be provided including the volume of people attending each, when they occur during the week/month/year and a projection of what those volumes might look like in the next 5-10 years.
  • A list of existing staff (paid) and volunteers and a projection of the number of staff and volunteers to be present in the next 5-10 years.
  • A list of existing space. The net square feet or meters of each useable room / space in the Centre (the useable area of each room).
  • Room Summary – translation of the projected services and staff / volunteers into space requirements on a room-by-room basis. A code (W) will be provided to indicate which rooms should be wheelchair accessible. The spaces will be listed in net square feet or meters (the useable area in each room); departmental square feet or meters (the area bounded by all individual rooms in a department including circulation within the department, interior walls and ½ of any shared corridors with other departments); and building gross square feet or meters (as required) to account for exterior walls, elevators, stairs, mechanical shafts and mechanical / electrical equipment rooms.
  • Review Process

1.3 The Master Plan provides a graphic illustration of the requirements identified in the Master Program. It demonstrates how the required space in block schematic form can be situated at a given location or site. As required, this would include a Master Site Plan showing the proposed placement of the building, building entrances and parking areas. The Master Plan indicates the location of all spaces and their relationship to other spaces on one or more levels. The Master Plan includes an estimated opinion of probable construction and project cost. This is a cost effective step before the Centre commits significant dollars for design / construction work. This step is often done in parallel with a Feasibility Study.

  • The Master Program and Master Plan constitute the Programming Specifications that the Architects / Engineers require to develop their design solutions. These documents are comparable to the working drawings and specifications produced by Architectural /Engineering firms for a General Contractor. These two documents are the method of quality control that the Centre uses to ensure that they receive from the design team what is required.
  • Review Process

1.4 Feasibility Studies are the investigations into what is actually possible or allowed for a particular site or building, given the vision for the Centre and the requirements set forth by the Master Program and Master Plan including the impact of governmental authorities requirements having jurisdiction over the project. The advantage of this phase is to explore ‘what if’ scenarios before committing substantial dollars for design services and/or construction.

  • Utilizing the information developed in the Master Program and Master Plan you can explore various options: 1) renovation, 2) expansion in adjacent space, 3) relocation to new rental space or 4) purchase new space. You will need to build a reasonable business case for whichever option appears to work best showing in your financial projections how the increase in operational costs and/or debt serve will be paid by the Centre and the overall benefits of the change.
  • Review Process

1.5 Sustainability Evaluation – Determine the level of sustainability that is preferred for the project in terms of building envelope and energy systems. This will be directly impacted on whether the space is rented or purchased. This evaluation should occur in a general terms during the Programming / Feasibility phases of the project and then explored in more detail during the Design phase. In addition, as per the work at Dorje Denma Ling, the sustainability elements should be integrated within the context of Sacred Architecture and you should pursue the highest sustainable solution that is possible.

  • Review Process

1.6 Site Selection – For a Centre considering relocating their facilities they should first complete the Role Study and Facility Program which will provide the overall size of the space you are seeking. Then, the Centre can embark on a Feasibility Study as noted above to explore if the relocation might involve buying land with the intention to build, buying a property with existing facilities, or leasing new space within an existing facility.

  • The Sakyong’s Advisory Panel highly recommends that prior to, or in conjunction with exploring any of those considerations, the Centre have a K’an-yü/Feng-shui evaluation done for their city. This kind of evaluation can determine, based on the energy of the land itself, the areas in your City that are most powerfully conducive to the activities of a Shambhala Centre. Panel Reviews have a direct relationship to that ground.
  • The first step is to determine the appropriate area to relocate to. When comparing site locations it can be helpful to create a simple chart that lists each site along with a short list of criteria as applicable (location – demographics, what is next door, parks nearby, restaurants, grocery stores etc.; zoning regulations; size of sites; physical issues – existing buildings and their conditions, flood plains etc.; accessibility – wheelchair, public transportation, parking etc.; cost of the land / existing buildings and property values) that you can provide rank as they compare to each other providing a degree of objectivity to the analysis.
  • Review Process