Design’s growing role in facility development
When a community is vying for a coveted relocation or expansion project, economic development leaders form a robust team of partners that work in concert to build the best business case.
Architecture and engineering firms are routinely part of this team. But in a changing business landscape that is currently ripe for industrial progress, these same design firms are coming to the table as part of the conversation, yet, with a new seat location.
The process of client engagement for design firms is evolving from a late-stage entry into the game by RFP response to a proactive approach that includes crucial due diligence factors that come before any facility design can even be conceptualized. Project development elements like site selection, master planning, and business climate analysis have become design firm buzzwords considered in the same light as blueprint, AutoCAD, and sustainability.
As the dialogue changes, so too does the level of integrated service clients are receiving from one source. This shift in thinking is the new reality design firms are embracing as industrial and manufacturing companies seek ways to shorten facility development lead times and bring their product to market more quickly than their nearest competitor.
Beth Kirkland, a career economic development professional who has served on both the private industry and community sides of the profession, talks to Brian Curtin, president of BRPH, an international architecture, engineering, and construction services firm, on the trending role of site selection in the design process, how firms can adapt to the changing landscape, and how the seamless process benefits growing companies.