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In this special 'In Short' edition of Built Environment Matters, Head of Global Systems, Jaimie Johnston MBE gives us a sub-ten-minute lowdown on the benefits of 'Reference Design.' Here are the key takeaways:
In the design and construction industry, ensuring consistency across multiple projects while allowing for site-specific adaptability can be a challenge. The term *reference design* is emerging as a beacon of efficiency and uniformity, offering design and construction professionals a new approach to achieving streamlined and flexible outcomes.
Reference design is a game-changer in the design and construction landscape. It is about formulating a centralized and highly-optimized core design that can be localized and tailored to individual sites and specific conditions. Instead of reimagining a structure or facility from the ground up for every project, design and construction professionals use reference design to maintain a core structure that reflects tried-and-tested layouts and operational strategies. The very nature of bespoke design in construction can lead to unnecessary variation, potential design errors, increased costs, and elongated timelines. In contrast, reference design provides a roadmap, ensuring 80% standardization while permitting 20% adaptability based on site-specific demands.
The extent of adaptability in reference design is influenced by the client's requirements and the construction sector. The Ministry of Justice, for instance, deploys a highly standardized model for its buildings, which primarily alters only in orientation. On the other hand, the healthcare sector demands a reference design with more flexibility, factoring in variables like local demographics, existing facilities, and clinical specialties. In both scenarios, design and construction teams can focus their expertise on local requirements, confident that the foundational design is rooted in industry best practices.
While the public sector offers illuminating examples of reference design, its relevance in the private sector is undeniable. Crucial sectors like data centers and fulfillment centers are increasingly leaning on reference design.
The New Hospitals Programme, a significant construction initiative in the UK, is integrating reference design principles for the development of 40 new hospitals, presenting a model of standardized yet adaptive construction.
Reference design is reshaping the paradigms of the design and construction industry. As the industry grapples with the demands of swift, efficient, and quality construction, embracing reference design provides a robust foundation, merging consistency with adaptability. It's an innovation that not only champions efficiency but also propels the design and construction industry toward a future of continuous improvement and streamlined processes.
Listen in to learn more.