Early stages in the processes are crucial for built environment

Few things create debate and emotions as the development of urban space and infrastructure investments. The redevelopment of Slussen in Stockholm, the tunnel through Hallandsåsen, Väst- Länken in Gothenburg, and The Million Programme in its time are all good examples of major community investments that affect the city and country for generations to come.

But even small and nearby projects, such as wind farms, nurseries and schools, and most recently the laughed at water game at Götaplatsen in Gothenburg engages people. Whether it’s successful or not often depends on how well the communication and planning worked out between the parties involved in the early strategic stages, before the projects were formulated.

November 15 Chalmers Professional Education starts a new course in cooperation with Byggherrarna, "Early stages of the construction process." This is a 12-day course where the participants meet during four occasions. Nina Ryd is the Program Director. Her research at Chalmers within the Department of Architecture, focus on the collaboration between architects and client during conceptual and planning stages through the management of requirements and the end user’s needs.

Nina Ryd: “The course is for clients and developers, but also consultants, architects and project managers. They should all be involved and interact during the planning stages, idea stages. Here you can do research and consider whether your building meets the requirements needed the day it will be used. This involves both the short and long time span. It is important to get it right from start, when the project is completed, there is no cooling off period. Obviously it's all about immense value, both the taxpayer and private money spent on infrastructure, public buildings such as hospitals and homes."

Several societal challenges triggers a course like this. Much of the building should be reset to changing needs. So from the start, there should be space to reflect both the new, flexible and long-term.

"It's the long-term business benefit rate is in focus", Nina Ryd says. "Obviously, we have challenges as climate change, sustainable development and that we are living longer. Today controls digitization, it will change a lot. The drawings are now no sketch on paper, but three-dimensional, where it is easy to add new ideas. And then it can become more authors. Furthermore, you can now with the new VR technology to see what the end result might be. Here, the construction sector developed. In addition, the course will help the various parties to get an understanding of each other's needs and skills, with a focus on the good end results. Architect industry is divided relay race. There are competitions and procurement that determine who ultimately get a project".

"Unfortunately, this means that many architects do not want to be in the early stages because the big money is in the design stage. But at the same time, many freshly architects working for municipal and county just to follow a large project from the early stages until it is finished." Nina Ryd says that the definition early events in the building process is more about strategic developments. Word soon depend on who the operator is in the construction process. And early on it until the project is formulated:

"We have wrestled with this, the project theory is a very clear definition of what a project is, schedule, budget, organization, goals. Is there any one of these factors is not clear, then you are in the early stages. And just water game at Götaplatsen in Gothenburg could be an example of those responsible have not done their homework in the early events in the building process. Politicians have to be confident in the decisions they make." Nina hopes that the participants will broaden their horizons, they understand the responsibility they have. The course should be inspiring, you should understand that you can really make a difference.

A developer is a legal person for whom a project is carried out. It can be a company, or often today, actors in the public sector, such as municipalities. The developer will take the financial risk and has ultimate responsibility for the project. To be a good client should be the client's skill to be at least as strong as the consultants and contractors can rely on.