Pre-Design Concepts


Robert Stow. Architect PLC can draw on over 30 years of experience when helping
clients develop comprehensive building programs.


Building Program Documents outline the needs and goals of the client for each project.
The Program Statement helps both Owner and Architect understand the what and why of
a project before design services begin. Program development is, under most industry
contracts, an Additional Service separate from design services or is the responsibility of
the project owner.

Robert Stow, Architect, PLC has special interests and qualifications in building
programming issues. Mr. Stow has spent much of his 30+ professional years involved in
the special art of helping project owners and users define their building needs. Working
through a combination of questionnaires and face to face discussions, we will create a
document which describes the space required, the activities house or performed within
that space, the number and classification (staff, customers, students) of those who will use
the space, and the relationship of each space to each other space in the project. The
completed Program Statement typically includes preliminary space and project budgets.
Robert Stow, Architect, PLC is prepared to assist clients in developing Program
Statements for projects of virtually any scope and complexity.

Facility Evaluation

Facility evaluations can be useful to building owners for a variety of purposes ranging
from long range improvement planning, energy conservation planning, purchase or sale
decisions, and developing addition /renovation/new construction decision points. Facility
evaluations can consider the condition of the physical structure and/or the suitability of a
structure for an existing or proposed use.

Physical Condition Evaluations

Robert Stow, Architect PLC typically assembles a team suitable to the project
needs to conduct a physical evaluation of your facility and its major systems
through review of existing drawings, on site evaluations, discussions with key
personnel, review of utility and maintenance records and review of applicable
codes and standards. The resulting report will identify any immediate, mid-term
and long range areas with potential problems and/or opportunities for

Suitability Evaluations

A Suitability Evaluation explores the options for using a specific existing building
for a new use and/or for continuation or expansion of an existing use. The team
will compare the spaces and systems available with those typically required for
the proposed use. The study will also identify major issues with applicable codes
and standards.

Educational Facility Suitability Evaluations

Because educational facility projects typically require voted funding, it is
imperative that any evaluation of existing buildings be transparent and
understandable to the voting public. Over the past 25 years, Robert Stow has
helped school communities develop their own standards for what comprises an
acceptable school facility. The evaluation standards are developed during a
public forum led by the architect. The resulting standards are then published and
used by the community members to evaluate their own facility (ies). The final
report is the work of the community applying its own standards to its own
buildings and carries considerable weight with the voters.

Master Planning

Master Planning provides building owners with the opportunity to plan beyond
their immediate needs, to determine the ultimate capacity of a site or facility and to
set building project priorities.

Master planning starts with a review of the site and facility and a gathering of
existing documents. We interview key staff to determine existing deficiencies,
existing strengths and current and future needs. A series of plans are then
prepared to identify locations where the needs can be met. We work with the
owner to select the best option or elements of each option and prepare a final
master plan.

Depending upon the needs of the owner, master plans can include long range
phasing, broad brush cost estimating, recommendations for property acquisition
or disposal, and recommendations for zoning changes or modification.
Master planning services can be of benefit to the full range of projects from single
family homes to large corporate complexes by providing a clear, logical path for
improvements, replacements or acquisitions.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility Studies differ from but are related to Master Plans. A Feasibility Study
asks if an existing building can be converted, modified or expanded to serve a
projected need or if a new building can be constructed or a property developed
to meet that need–all at a cost that meets the economic and functional goals of the

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