Design and Engineering/Materials

The Two Most Important Questions Architects Can Ask Themselves When Designing Custom Glazing Systems

Like it or not, budget limitations play a role in all construction projects – from cookie-cutter strip malls to the custom architecture and sophisticated design intent of a corporate headquarters building. It is rare to have an open checkbook on all systems within the building. So when you are developing your concept for that structural glass, jewel-box entry at the podium level, which is built around a custom glazing system, how do you give it the design flexibility needed to:

  • Protect it from budget cuts?
  • Maintain the accuracy of the design intent?

The establishment of project drivers (aesthetics, material quality, budget, etc.) is the critical first step in defining your signature design element. These drivers will guide design teams as well as the supplier of the custom glazing system to put them on the same page with you. And we find that the two most instructive questions that you can ask in identifying the project drivers are:

  1. What are the “Need-to-have” components of the project?
  2. What are the “Nice-to-have” components of the project?

What we’re getting at with these questions is: What design or material elements truly define what you are trying to express, and what elements would not have an impact on that core intent if they were altered?

The answers to these questions help custom system designers to identify what is critical to you, and not spend time working on items that are not as important. If we, as systems designers, know what you absolutely can’t or won’t change for the sake of the design intent, we can advise you of the associated costs and challenges, and discuss strategies to absorb the cost impacts in other, less critical areas of the design.

This is where our creativity works in tandem with yours. You are the expert in how the building design will translate your intent. We are the experts on how to interpret that intent in the form of products and systems that meet with your aesthetic, budget, performance criteria, etc. The more we know about your preferences, how the design came about, and what you can’t live without, the better we can be at giving you options to meet your goals.