Matrix provides two general types of facilities planning services – those related to specific building projects, and those involving more comprehensive system planning or policy development.

Our Services in the Project Delivery Process

Our services focus on Stages 1 to 3, Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning and Facilities Programming, continue through Stage 4, Conceptual Design and complete the cycle in Stage 6, Project Evaluation.

Needs Assessment

Matrix assists in determining the demand for services and facilities. This market analysis can be extensive, involving statistical research, examination of existing programs, and resolution of fundamental policy issues. Other times, the need is clear and requires confirmation only. Needs assessment is generally the first step of a building project, but it can also be a stand-alone study.

The product of Stage 1, often called a Role Statement, specifies key aspects of the service delivery system being planned. The degree of detail and emphasis in these reports varies, depending on client requirements. It typically focuses on such issues as level of service, options for centralized or decentralized services, and alternative approaches to integrated or specialized facilities.

Building projects respond to many pressures:

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Strategic Planning

Once the need for facilities is established, Matrix helps to determine how to meet the need. We may prepare estimates of the size and anticipated cost of facilities. Development alternatives, such as combinations of new construction and re-use of existing facilities, may be considered and tested for economic feasibility. Our analysis may be expanded to include the operational cost impacts of program alternatives.

The result of Stage 2, often called a Development Plan, answers key questions related to the provision of facilities:

The Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning Stages often are conducted concurrently, since the options available can influence the services delivered.

Many of our projects have focused on the re-use of heritage buildings such as courthouses. This has including examining the implications of the historic designation, identifying criteria for the selection of an appropriate tenant, preparing urban design guidelines, developing a facilities program for the proposed tenant, and illustrating how the requirements could be met within the physical constraints of the building.

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Facilities Programming

We work closely with clients to define facilities requirements for new or redeveloped facilities by:

Stage 3 results in the production of a Facilities Program (sometimes called an Architectural Program) which outlines building requirements as a basis for conceptual design and detailed design development by the project architects. Our approach and documentation is tailored to the scale, urgency, and other specific parameters of each project. We may also conduct architects’ briefing sessions and work with the architects during the design phase.

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Project Evaluation

Evaluation is as much the beginning as the end of the facilities planning cycle. We believe there should be more emphasis on the post-occupancy evaluation of buildings, since feedback is an essential ingredient to improving the designed of future projects. Renovation projects, in particular, require careful examination of the existing facilities. Matrix analyzes the utilization and management of facilities. We also assess large inventories of buildings (often leading a multi-disciplinary team) in preparation for major construction programs.

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System Planning and Policy Development

Matrix assists clients in system-wide planning and policy development. Many projects result from the need to identify the most cost-effective allocation of limited resources, or to respond to other external pressures. System planning projects can respond to such factors as:

Matrix has assisted several clients in the development of long term capital plans and facility masterplans. We have also worked with clients on policies and procedural guidelines for the planning and development of facilities, including design guidelines and space standards manuals for building types ranging from highway maintenance yards to schools and courthouses.

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