Development Model Generation
Acting as development advisor to one of San Francisco’s most cherished civic institutions this past year has been a great opportunity to showcase our instant feasibility process. Our development model generation tool has provided almost instantaneous project feasibility on several locations, allowing the building committee to make smarter, more informed choices as they search for a new headquarters. Civic institutions have a responsibility to be effective stewards of the funds their donors provide—and for an institution evaluating whether to build a new headquarters for their next 100 years of service—our instant feasibility and development model generation tool can be invaluable.
The guiding document is a one page summary of salient facts, development costs, intended building program, and The Raise—the amount the institution needs to go out to their donors and raise. This document, together with our 3D spatial demand overlay, provides a narrative to the action required to reach the end.
Balancing program with budgets via this tool reduces friction, dynamically evaluates options, and speeds time to generating truly compelling development alternatives.
Decisions become easy when you have a compelling option—this instant feasibility process means you spend less time deciding and more time manipulating the model to arrive at a truly outstanding, and balanced, plan.
Feedback loops within the tool provide early warning signals. In a recent case, the tool showed that the institution’s intended offer price for the site was markedly greater than the program’s land residual value, and close to the commercial property bubble pricing last seen in 2007.
We begin at the end—taking the end client’s perspective on its spatial demand needs, and then loop back to the beginning—the site context and the bones of the property currently being considered. Rinse and repeat on the program until costs, time, and existing conditions balance.
The institution's spatial demand was projected onto the existing bones of the building—in this case it included the original 1907 construction brick walls, 1996 seismic braced frames, stairs and vertical transport shafts—to understand how useful the bones are to this new program.
Rapid prototyping and conceptual costing is potentially the most valuable tool a board can have when searching for a new building or location. The reduction of stress and upfront due diligence friction on boards, their architects, and most importantly, their lead donors makes me wonder why this powerful tool is not more widely used.
Development model generation is a prototyping tool providing a close enough “horseshoes and hand grenades” level of costing, critical path implementation, and program definition. I admit upfront that our forecasts…
“…are always wrong. The real question is how wrong they are.”
This tool combines an architect’s creativity with our structured approach to development delivery—the best of both worlds—when you need it. Now.