Marc, today's charrette was terrific. Thank you for your truly generous collaboration. You've caused me to turn a mental corner. Until recently, I thought that that to do really intelligent buildings, we'd need the right clients, the right engineers, and a premium budget. Thanks to you, I now believe that to do intelligent buildings all we need is INTELLIGENCE!—and the guts to ask the simple questions until we get the answers, and the courage of our convictions to persuade others...

We can do this and it will change things. You've empowered us. Thanks. –Ellen

Facilitating a Visioning Process

The most successful projects result from a shared vision of the ideal outcome.  We’ll help you create that vision in an open process that includes all stakeholders.  People participating in a visioning process are encouraged to contribute their highest aspirations for the organization, and to state clearly how those aspirations translate into requirements on what the building or project must do to support those aspirations. 

Often, we will begin this visioning process with a presentation on the features and benefits of green building.  We’ll include case studies of similar projects so participants can see what other people have accomplished.  The goal is to expand participants’ knowledge about green building and to elevate their idea of what is possible to achieve – you can’t ask for what you don’t know exists!

The visioning process begins with brainstorming goals in a non-judgmental atmosphere.  Then the goals are prioritized and the group takes the prioritized goals one at a time and develops a set of measurable objectives for each one.  A goal is typically an abstract aspiration, such as, ‘the building should be very energy-efficient.’  A measurable objective sets a target that the project should achieve.  Examples under the goal of ‘very energy efficient’ might be, ‘the building should use 50% less energy than a building built to code’ or ‘the building should derive 40% of its energy from renewable sources.’  During the design process, and once the building is occupied, objectives provide a way of evaluating whether the project is achieving the goals that were committed to early in the process.

Having a clear vision of the outcome and measurable objectives that describe it helps the players stay on track when the inevitable difficulties emerge.

Case Studies of Facilitating a Visioning Process

  • College of the Atlantic Campus Center
  • College of the Atlantic Student Housing
  • Williamstown Elementary School
  • Cambridge School of Weston Science Building
  • University of Cincinnati Teacher’s College/Dyer
  • Northeast Sustainability Center
  • Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center
  • MIT East Campus