May 1, 2007
by Canadian Architect
ARCHITECT Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.
LOCATION Calgary, Alberta
The architects of the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) won an RAIC Innovation Award in the Business category for developing its Door, Hardware, and Access Control Schedule Database. Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning was motivated to develop a system of coordinating the 90,000 pieces of hardware for the 2,500 doors, 500 access control points and 125 power-operated door openings needed to be managed throughout the various phases of this fast-tracked construction project. Each type of door assembly would contain precise information at any point in the project’s timeline. This was an important innovation, given the large volumes of information affecting the status of the aforementioned equipment. The database allows the user to control and manipulate data for the designer, consultant and contractor.
In planning the approach to the project’s construction drawings, the contractor requested from Kasian a consolidated 8.5″ x 11″ document containing all the door, frame and electrical information in lieu of a traditional drawing package schedule and shop drawings. This request resulted in a system whereby a three-page report of each opening could be taped to every opening so that the necessary hardware and electrical work could be done without cross-referencing three or more pieces of information.
Developed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. to streamline the typical time-consuming shop approval process common to large, complex building projects, this special database was credited with contributing to the substantial completion of the ACH months ahead of schedule–allowing the project to arrive at several million dollars under budget. The Kasian database gathers all the door, hardware and electrical information into a single location, thus eliminating the onerous task of preparing and reviewing hardware shop drawings. The system also allows users instant access to complete information regarding the item–thereby reducing one of the many tortuous tasks to be found in an office undergoing complex projects of this nature.
This submission is a significant contribution to the process of developing effective technologies for “start-to-finish” integrated design for any construction project. With this innovation in the development of the preparation of hardware schedules, the designers of this technology have developed an efficient process to simplify a seemingly mundane but complex process with clear problem-solving tools in comparison to traditional methods. The jury noted that this was the only submission in this competition addressing processes in architecture, and indicates that there is a lot of potential for innovation in design, documentation and management endeavours. This process could have broader implications for a more focused and thorough ability to control change in the development of projects and is sensitive to the nature of the design and construction process. The software process could be integrated into a larger model: it has a lot of room for innovation, development and potential for marketable opportunities.