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Concept and schematic design are the keystones of any successful capital project, offering the vision and details that set the course. While it may seem like a rollercoaster ride, your choices can dictate a smooth journey or a tumultuous one. In this blog post, we explore the significance of concept and schematic design, the hurdles in traditional approaches, and how to embrace new solutions for this crucial design step. 

Concept and schematic design: What is it and why is it important?

In the design process, concept and schematic designs are closely related. Monograph explains that concept and schematic design differ in resolution and detail. The concept design is an early exploration that establishes underlying ideas that will drive your capital projects design. During the schematic design phase, your concept becomes more detailed as the design gets refined.

But, it’s not just about identifying opportunities in the designs to create space or identifying dimensions. It’s also about efficiently using real estate and making data driven decisions that help you save time and resources.
The goal is to spotlight the most efficient design iterations, making choices with speed and confidence.

To make good design choices and decide on locations, we need plenty of information. We also need an efficient process for managing the budget and materials.

Launching into concept and schematic design can be a rollercoaster. For example, the process intensifies as space limitations and stakeholder demands come up against deadlines, prompting a proactive consideration of risks. But remember, you’re the one steering the ship.

Sometimes being meticulous allows one to sidestep potential pitfalls, setting the stage for a smoother ride later. However, most of the time problems and obstacles are inevitable, resulting in missed deadlines and dissatisfied stakeholders.

Struggles with traditional approaches to concept and schematic design

Time is money

The time it takes for the concept and schematic design phase can be different for each project. It depends on things like how big the project is and how well the project teams are able to interpret and deploy the design standards. Clear guidelines and standards at work can speed up your company’s processes.

If guidelines are not clearly understood and easily accessible, designing becomes more complex. To understand the project, your team needs to do lots of trial and error work.

Other roadblocks in the process

A major influence in concept and schematic design is your company’s pre-design standards. If the guidelines are unclear or outdated, it can cause problems. This will need more communication and research to solve.

Another challenge arises when test fits reveal physical limitations in the potential office spaces. Some sites may not meet the required square footage, leading to complex decision-making and potential setbacks.

These challenges get exacerbated in traditional workflows that require transitioning between many software platforms, leading to inefficiencies, potential communication gaps, and the need for manual data transfers. This back-and-forth process can slow down decision-making and introduce room for error.

How to create effective concept and schematic design processes

Here’s where Saltmine comes into play. When you use Saltmine, you’re opening a unified, cloud-based single platform, eliminating the need to go back and forth between various software tools.

Saltmine simplifies the design process with a single platform. The advantages are threefold:

  1. You only need one platform for all your concept and schematic design needs. You don’t have to switch between different software tools for programming, space planning, analytics, and presentations. This will make your work process smoother and help you get more done.
  2. Everyone can access workplace guidelines and design standards on the Saltmine platform. You no longer need to memorize the latest workplace handbook; the latest standards are available, ensuring compliance.
  3. Saltmine enables real-time collaboration among all stakeholders, regardless of their expertise or location. This removes the need for long email conversations and eliminates siloed knowledge held in software only used by specific SMEs. Everyone can join and take part.

hi res contextual collab

All of this helps you focus on problem solving and decision making, preventing task overwhelm. It gives quick access to data, workplace standards, and promotes collaboration. This makes the concept and schematic design phase quicker and more efficient.

Prioritizing creativity [conclusion]

As you progress in designing and building your office space, things get more detailed. Saltmine enters the game early, providing comprehensive and accurate information when important high-level decisions are being made. It gives you detailed information, with little time and effort.

Saltmine isn’t only for designers; it’s a catalyst for accurate business case planning and creativity. It makes procedures easier and lets you access important data and frees you to create new and creative workspaces. Saltmine simplifies concept and schematic design by collaborating, being efficient, and using data. This leads to better decisions and workplace outcomes.

Fintech Co. cuts schematic design timeline in half

One of Saltmine’s customers has effectively cut their pre-design and schematic design timelines in half. To learn how they did it, click the button below:

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Kostas Tsamis

Director of Customer Life Cycle Strategy, Saltmine