One of the first keys for a lighting designer to truly be effective in their design process is to understand the budget for the project. Analyzing the budget and determining if key elements are missing from it allow us to alert our clients early to concerns. We use the budget as a means of determining the design approach for each facility or area. Designing without concern for the budget can result in wasted time and effort and we work diligently to eliminate that potential stumbling block.
Breaking It Down
Many times we find the project budget numbers are single line items based on large areas or types of lighting. Our approach is to break those budget numbers down into more specific building or location based placeholders. While somewhat dynamic, these allocations allow us to more closely monitor budgeting for each location being designed, especially key in a phased project. While one area may be under budget as we design, another may require additional resources and this breakdown allows us to more easily shift and effectively make design decisions that are in keeping with budget restraints.
The objective is to work with the design and construction teams to allocate funding where the resources have the most guest impact. Allocating funds appropriately is key to ensuring that the highest visual interest is achieved while establishing that the practical lighting needs are sufficiently met.
Our proprietary integrated AutoCAD/Revit & database system allows us to immediately see costing changes based on design revisions. All equipment lists are generated directly from the drawings and allow “what if” scenarios to be more easily analyzed. We use this tool frequently in the design process to evaluate if a different lighting approach provides any cost savings.
To summarize, Point of Light will work with the project team to analyze the budgets and begin to break them in manageable line items, if required, to allow us to work effectively in the design process. We will hold to designing within these parameters and work to keep the team informed of any areas that we feel may be of concern.
The goal is a project that is well lit and under budget. We strive to achieve that goal.