We want to know more about your project.
Jump Start is a short study to understand a project's complexities before diving into the design and construction process. It is a tool for discovering unknowns. The resulting information portfolio is a clear guide for answering questions about everything from the building code to the feasibility of construction.
Below is a structured list of categories with example questions where Jump Start explores a project's unique requirements. For detailed questions under each category related to your project, call or email.
- Concept: What is the purpose of the project and what basic functions does it have? Does it have a name?
- Construction: Is this new construction, an addition, an upfit of existing empty space, or a renovation?
- Project property address:
- Program: What are the spaces? Are there unusual features or functions?
- Size: What is the general scale (area in square feet)? Are there multiple stories?
- Contractor: Has the contractor been selected or do you need to find one?
- Budget: How much should be budgeted for the different areas and features of the project?
- Schedule: What is the timeline for design, permitting, and to complete construction?
- Survey: Is there a survey available of the property?
- Flood Zone: Is the property located in or near flood zones?
- Aerial Photography: Is there existing aerial photography?
- Zoning: Is the existing zoning correct for the intended use? Is re-zoning required?
- Existing: For renovations, additions, and up-fits—are there any drawings of the existing construction? Are they available in electronic drawing format (CAD)? Are there adjacent spaces or buildings that might impact the building code, parking, noise, access, or design?
- Ocupancy Group: What is the building code occupancy group for the intended use? Are there multiple?
- Construction Type: What materials will the construction be? Will they be non-combustible?
- Allowable Area: How does the proposed area and use match to the area sizes permitted by code?
- Occupancy Load: How many occupants are calculated for the uses?
- Exiting: Are multiple exits required? Are there multiple stories and is the level of exit consistently on grade?
- Ratings: Are rated area separations, stair shafts, or exit corridors required?
- Accessibility: Are there unique special requirements for accessible furnishings, parking, or transit access?
- Site Review: Will the local jurisdiction require a site review process?
- Grading: Does the site topography need changes for building siting, water management, site features, or erosion control?
- Stormwater: Will the site be restricted by the amount of impervious area and are there special requirements to manage water runoff in ponds?
- Civil Engineering: Are there hard surfaces required for parking or roadway? Do existing connections need adapting by the project for drive access, turning, or cross connection?
- Flood Hazards: Are there any features or risks related to natural water features and flood hazards?
Site Analysis and Landscape Architecture
- Shade: Do features on the site or on neighboring ones cast shade, especially during Winter months?
- Solar Exposure: Are there areas without sunlight or with glare?
- Predominant Wind: Is natural wind direction or convection favorable or worrisome?
- Hardscape: Are there areas for walks, patios, terraces, gardens, fields, fountains, large signs, or other special site features?
- Plantings: Are planting plans for groundcover, bushes, trees, and other plantings required?
- Waste Water: Is the site served by a municipal system or will this be treated on-site?
- Water: Is municipal water available or will a well be required?
- Electricity: Is power currently provided to the site? If not, is it easily dropped or will the power company need to add infrastructure?
- Natural Gas: Is natural gas available to the site?
- Phone/Data/CATV: Is the site currently served?
FFE (Furnishings, Fixtures, and Equipment)
- Food: Is there any food storage, cooking, or preparation equipment required?
- Machinery: Are there special equipment related to the use?
- Function: Are there functions with specialized conditions, processes, or utilities?
- Casework: Will there be any built-in casework?
- Furnishings: Is furniture being provided by a vendor? How are the furnishings being planned?
- Specialties: Clarify the specialties required and if they are being provided through construction or by third-party vendors: bathroom accessories, signage, marker boards, televisions, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, trash cans, display cases, storage lockers, wall protection and rails, fireplaces, awnings and canopies, flagpoles, screens, mirrors, and lighting.
- Materials: Are any special interior materials required for the floors, walls, or ceilings?
- Messaging: Is the interior design used for branding, customer-facing impression, or productivity?
- Detailing: Are code-required conditions required for flammability, durability, or accessibility?
- Structural System: Is there structural system logic for the use, budget, and code limitations?
- Incidential Structure: Are there structural considerations in the structures for code-required ratings, wind or seismic loads, roof, equipment, floors, and walls?
Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical (PME) Engineering
- Utilities: Do services exist for the required sewer, water, electricity, natural gas, and phone?
- Fire Protection: Will sprinklers be required? Are there fire supression systems needed for cooking, atirums, or assembly spaces?
- Sewer: Are there complications with waste water connections? Are any grease separators required, such as for kitchens and maintenance shops?
- Hot Water: What quantity of hot water is required and what equipment will create it?
- Heating and Cooling: Will package units be used for heating and cooling or are more complex systems required?
- Ventilation: How many locations and uses require mechanical ventilation?
- Ductwork: Are there clearance concerns for supply and return ductwork and plenums?
- Electrical Service: Does the service match the expected projectuse?
- Power Loads: Are there non-standard equipment, lighting, or use loads to be considered?
- Data and Telecommunications: What provisions are required for internet connectivity, network, and data closets?
- Character: Does the project require refined aesthetic expressions to reinforce a business brand, encourage sales, or improve productivity?
- Performance: Good building science principles create better envelopes to manage rain, moisture, air, humidity, and temperature. Is there interest in ultra-high quality design to maximize energy savings or environmental impact?
- Full name:
- Mailing address:
- Phone number:
- Email address:
- Site Visit: Can we meet at the site or in the space to walk around, discuss, and see for ourselves?
- 4D»2B: What are the details behind the design-construction process? (Here is our 4D»2B guide with a general overview.)
- Value: "Price is what you pay, value is what you get."
- Goals: Good ↔ Fast ↔ Cheap (pick any two)
- Quality: Good → Better → Best
- Priorities: Bigger ↔ Better
- Scope = Scale + Quality (see our article, Project Math)
Special Design Services
- 3D: Are physical or 3D virtual models for visualizing the project needed?
- Renderings: Are architectural drawings or renderings needed for marketing, press, or communications?
- VR: Are virtual reality views (via headset) needed to understand various design options?
- Test Fit: Are any tests of the program across various tenant spaces required?
- Design Scope: Do I need to hire an architect, structural engineer, interior designer, landscape architect, civil engineer, or engineers for fire protection, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, or telecommunications design? What are the alternatives?
- Fees: How much do services cost? How are payments arranged? What happens if the project is cancelled in the middle, before design is completed? (See fees, approach, and working with an architect.)
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