A needs study can be a crucial part of the planning process. Through this phase, the Police Facility Design Group team works closely with the client. Real problems in your existing facility are identified and solutions are explored from the beginning. The needs study arms the client with powerful decision making information, allowing the client to enter into the design phase with confidence. Needs are established from an understanding of the unique goals of the client, but also informed by standards for what a typical public safety department should be expected to have to deliver effective and efficient services to their community. With space needs, land area requirements and a cost estimate from an objective third party, the project will be more tangible, the established need more credible, and therefore the project more supportable.
Understanding how your current facility fails to meet your needs, your facility’s suitability for rehabilitation, or if another existing facility in your community will meet your needs is sometimes a necessary part of determining how to advance your project. In-depth evaluation of a facility is necessary to understand the viability of reuse. Beyond an ability to address core space needs, additional areas must also be studied. Issues relating to security, parking, structural system suitability, condition of mechanical and electrical systems, deferred maintenance, ADA compliance and building code issues must all be studied carefully. Police Facility Design Group has an understanding of how facilities can impact police operations and routinely evaluates the suitability of existing facilities. This can be accomplished as part of a need assessment study or as a separate service.
Beyond establishing the core facility needs, an understanding of what a project might ultimately be is sometimes beneficial to an agency and to help build support within a community. Conceptual design services involve the preparation of preliminary site plans, floor plans, and conceptual building views. In some cases, master planning how a facility might fit within a larger development is also necessary. Police Facility Design Group routinely provides conceptual design services and has the technological capacity to produce photorealistic renderings for use in promoting the project to the community and stakeholders.
It is crucial to the success of a project to garner the support of the community and project stakeholders. We can assist agencies with public presentations, town hall meetings, preparation of project promotional material, and advising how communities can leverage technology through social media, project web sites and community engagement services to help you with the task of informing the public and building support for your project. We also have established relationships with public finance entities and grant writers that may be able to assist your agency with funding mechanisms available for public safety projects.
Design phase architectural services involve not only establishing the preliminary design of the project but also completing the detailed construction drawings and technical specifications. This involves coordinating a complex team of architects and engineers to ensure a project is coordinated, complete and will meet the needs of the public safety agency when built. Police Facility Design Group is a full-service architectural firm with experience in planning and design, but also with an understanding of the smallest details necessary for a successful public safety project. Our experience avoids the need to subcontract a specialist consultant, a requirement for general practitioner architects who complete public safety projects.
As a full-service architectural firm, Police Facility Design Group (PFDG) is routinely involved on projects through construction and into occupancy of a completed facility. Working closely with the Contractor, we support our clients during this phase to ensure construction professionals understand and follow the plans and specifications. Though teaming with local architects is necessary in some cases, PFDG believes it is critical to maintain involvement throughout this phase of the project so that the facility, when complete, will meet the needs of the public safety agency that will occupy it. Our experience throughout the life of a project means that we understand not only big-picture planning issues but also the smallest of construction details – both of which are crucial to project success.
Few project types have greater security concerns than a public safety facility. Designing for security begins with the first touch of pencil to paper. The foundation for a secure facility begins with an understanding of how these facilities should be designed to provide separation of public and staff; and between victims, witnesses and offenders. Securing expensive agency equipment, the proper handling of detainees and for the critical processes of evidence intake and storage are also of special concern. Knowledge of the correct products and equipment necessary for this type of facility to ensure security, durability and safety is critical. Beyond core facility design, the use of electronic security and surveillance systems is an important part of these projects. Police Facility Design Group designs the security systems for all projects in-house, without the need for a security consultant.
The concept of providing high quality and efficient design based on total life cycle costs is not a new idea. Operations and maintenance costs will far outweigh construction costs over the life of an average building and your agency’s payroll is likely your largest budget item each year. Designing responsibly, with a focus on reducing energy consumption and improving the environment for your staff will help you reduce your operational costs and improve personnel productivity. Not all projects require LEED certification, but the LEED accredited staff at Police Facility Design Group will explore possible strategies on all projects to determine what is possible within your agency’s project budget and to meet the goals of your department. We consistently provide long-term solutions that are responsible environmentally as well as economically.