A successful design-build project starts with a shared vision. As an example, I cite the recently completed MTA LIRR Enhanced Stations Initiative design-build project. On this effort, LIRR was seeking spatial and visual enhancements at eight of its rail stations within a compressed twelve-month schedule. The agency wanted each facility to serve as a distinctive landmark within its community while also displaying unified LIRR iconography. As visual guidance, LIRR provided renderings of each station as part of the scoping documents, but the methodology to realize the concepts was left up to the design-build team.
To meet the client’s needs, our partners and we adopted a workshop model to execute the designs, facilitating a productive, collaborative process among the partners at the outset. In this setting, the owner, designer, and builder each attended weekly charettes to vet the designs and agree on major decisions in real time. To be honest, there was at times a chaotic feel to this nonlinear approach, but because we had a collective commitment to realizing LIRR’s vision for its enhanced stations, the approach worked. Everyone on the team was “all-in,” and the result was award-winning station enhancement design.