Design Strategy: Code minimum or Client satisfaction?

To determine the proper design strategy for a project, the design professional must consider building classification, safety factors, comfort factors and cost.

These considerations will lead to one of two basic design strategies:

Code Minimum Strategy

Not necessarily a designer’s favorite approach, but if you are a fan of do more with less, it does represent a very stimulating challenge. Sometimes however, this way of doing things is simply imposed by the budget allotted to the project.

The “code minimum” road, can be considered a “Value Engineering” approach, i.e. making the most efficient use of the materials to be specified.  The capabilities of engineered wood products make them ideal for such a strategy.

Wider on-center joist spacing can be used to reduce materials cost and long spans can reduce the costs of bearing walls and beams.

With fewer components to install, framing materials costs are minimized and installation time is reduced. Overall, the installed cost of the floor system is minimized.

Client Satisfaction Strategy

The classification of a building normally dictates the application of this strategy.  Custom residences and other privately commissioned projects fall into this category.

In these projects client preferences are foremost and, as a result, code minimums will be exceeded, comfort and performance being the ultimate end.  Your project will likely be measured against customer satisfaction. In such a situation it would be wise to communicate frequently with the client during the planning stages to make sure you stay on track with their expectations, while also ensuring you are building project approval into the process.

Cost is not usually of primary concern in this design strategy, but it certainly will be on the customer’s mind. Present options with estimated costs in order for the customer to understand the impact of those choices on the final outcome.

Engineered wood happens to be an ideal material for the Client satisfaction strategy as well. Open-Joist Triforce® for example, has an extremely high level of precision and reliability, due to it’s completely automated manufacturing process and highly demanding quality control.

Engineered wood

Whatever strategy you choose, the superior stiffness, load-bearing capability and quality of engineered wood will be highly useful in your design project.

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