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First stop, Code Analysis; Next stop, Conceptual Design

The importance of a complete and thorough #codeanalysis at the onset of any project engagement prior to any schematic design work being attempted is vital as a first step in any design process. To appropriately meet any owners needs and expectations, this key step holds value whether it be a bid spec, a design-build effort, or any large and small project.

#MODLOGIQ’s design department much like many professional design partners, have internal and external consultants who can assist getting design efforts started on the right path; this is important not only for #OffSiteConstruction but for all #construction design efforts. Unfortunately, we often see a trend of consultants and sales teams launching schematic work well ahead of the code analysis step, so we hope this detailed list helps inform design teams and consultants of this potential pitfall.

So, why is this this so crucial?

At a minimum, a rough location plot plan and physical address for the proposed project needs to be accessed to establish applicable codes that will apply and to determine energy compliance wind, snow, seismic requirements, etc. This may sound like common sense, but often times is not the first item on the list for developers or sales team’s initial client contact.

In order to determine the size, number of stories and the type of building requirements, use of the building needs to be determined and the relative use group selected from the applicable IBC code.

  • Initial construction type determination is also important, to do this some data like property lines set-backs and distance from adjacent structures needs to at least be preliminary verified with a plot plan of the proposed location. Construction types vary greatly by the applicable code, use group, and set-backs that can be achieved. This is often overlooked and can result in initial budget miscalculations causing unexpected cost increases later in design development.

  • Also implemented at this stage is preliminary egress and fire rating analysis and fire protection requirements should be implemented at this step. The applicable code, use group, construction type, number of stories, building size and occupancy can have significant design requirements that also need to be identified before design begins.

  • Some initial considerations should be taken to do a rough civil layout with whatever site plot information is available for the best primary positioning for the building on site while considering drive approaches, parking, and basic storm water mitigation needs.

  • Finally, after completing the nuts and bolts of code analysis, the team needs to fit the code required space into the program the owner needs both aesthetically and within a realistic preliminary budget concept, then you are ready to start your design engines and produce schematic designs that will work within code constraints.

We hope you enjoyed this short dive into the initial crucial steps of completing code analysis prior to the conceptual design of projects. If you are moving along with a project and are looking for more participation to better your design, #MODLOGIQ welcomes any interested party whether it be a direct client, architectural firm, general contractors, construction managers or modular dealer, to reach out to our team on any opportunity to engage in achieving this first vital step, prior to spending any funds on even schematic floor plans.


Lee Bachman

MODLOGIQ Design Dept. Manager

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