#5: Programming Phase

After the Project Team is assembled, their first order of business is to begin the process of programming.

Programming is the very first step in designing the building, and serves as the backbone to the building design. During programming, the Project Team confers with major stakeholders, in this case the Fire and Police Departments, and curates a detailed breakdown of the spaces required by the proposed building’s future occupants, as well as their current spaces for comparison.

First, the designers need to understand and define the purpose of the building. In this case, it is a Public Safety Headquarters. The Project Team sat down with the members of the Taunton Police and Fire Departments to explore and analyze their current facilities. These interviews and explorations allowed the Design Team to view the project through two lenses:

                    1) Find the functional requirements of the building: users of the building, equipment needed within the building, and vehicles that will be housed at the facility.

                    2) Find the operational requirements of the building: systems required for building operations (i.e., HVAC, security, technology, accessibility, etc.)

The result is an extremely detailed document that lays out the number of spaces needed for the building, such as administrative, storage, dispatch, exercise, and training spaces, as well as notes the estimated square footage of each space. Included in the program are long lists of spaces, even down to the size of each closet! The program is a working document, and can be adjusted as the project progresses as needed.

The Design Team will use the program when working with the Project Team to determine where each space needs to go and what other spaces need to be adjacent to each other. This will help the stakeholders understand how the proposed facility will flow for the most efficient use of space and operations.

The next step in the design process is to use the program to generate a rough, two-dimensional representation of the facility in a phase called Schematic Design.

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