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Marco Beach Hotel
Feasibility reports for architects
Computer-aided space planning
W A A Flo
This- publication- is. copyrighted. by- the- Florida.
Association. of. the. American. Institute. of-
Architects- and- is- an- official- journal- of- the-
Limited permission to. digitize- and make this- electronic-
version available- has- been- granted- by the. Association-
to- the- University- of- Florida- on- behalf- of- the- State-
University- System* of F lorida.
Use- of- this- version- is- restricted- by. United- States-
Copyright- legislation- and- its- fair use- provisions.- Other-
uses- may- be- a vi olati on -of- copyri ght. protect ons.
Requests- for- permissions- should- be- directed to- the-
Florida- Association- of. the. American- Institute. of-
Architects.- Contact- information- is- available- at- the-
Association' sweb site.
Stucco may be habit
Just take a look around Vancouver or Winnipeg,
Canada ... or Minnesota ... California and
Florida. Wall-to-wall stucco. Because architects
and builders in these areas have discovered
two things: stucco is entirely suitable for a
severe winter climate like Canada, as well as a
moderate climate like Florida; once you try
stucco, you're hooked. And for good reason.
Modern portland cement stucco has a new
look. New mechanical methods of application,
new aggregates, new inert pigments that blend
perfectly with the environment, give beauty
and long life never before possible. Stucco
finishes don't have to be refinished every few
years, and, being a portland cement product
actually grow stronger with age.
What's more, stucco is unlimited in textures
and patterns ... finish it rough or smooth,
raked, grooved or dashed. Even make it look
like wood, brick or stone. And stucco is non-
combustible, termite proof, resistant to
rot and fungus.
So it's easy to see how stucco might become a
habit once you give it a try. But then, what's
wrong with a good habit for a change? For
further information, contact Stucco Marketing
Manager, General Portland Cement Company.
Florida & Signal Mountain Cements
General Portland, Inc.
THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION
OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE
FAAIA OFFICERS FOR 1972
Richard E. Pryor, AIA, President
1320 Coast Line Building
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Thomas H. Daniels, AIA, Vice President/
425 Oak Avenue
Panama City, Florida 32401
James E. Ferguson, Jr., AIA, Secretary
2901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Frank R. Mudano, AIA, Treasurer
1189 N.E. Cleveland Street
Clearwater, Florida 33515
1972 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ellis W. Bullock
Arnold F. Butt
John W. Dyal
John T. Dye
Rudolph J. Fletcher
Robert G. Graf
Robert B. Greenbaum
Donald R. Hampton
Oscar A. Handle
A. Reese Harvey
James B. Holliday
C Frasuer Knight
Robert H. Levison, FAIA
Howarth L. Lewis, Jr.
James D. McGinley, Jr.
Wiley M. Parker
Roy L. Ricks
Ted P. Pappas
Nils M. Schweizer, FAIA
Frank D. Shumer
Kenardon M. Spina
William R. Upthegrove
Francis R. Walton, FAIA
Robert L. Woodward
American Institute of Architects
Hilliard T. Smith, Jr., FAIA
1123 Crestwood Boulevard, Lake Worth
Florida Association of the
American Institute of Architects
Fotis N. Karousatos
7100 N. Kendall Drive
Smith, Moore & Huey
P.O. Box 1169
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
Ted P. Pappas
Charles E. Pattillo III
Richard J. Veenstra
THE FLORIDA ARCHITECT
Fotis N. Karousatos / Editor
John W. Totty / Assistant Editor
Kurt Waldmann / Photography
COVER: Marco Island Hotel, a project of the Deltona
Corporation designed by Vensel, Savage and Associates,
Architects. The hotel will be the site of the FAAIA
58th Annual Convention and Building Products Exhibit
on October 26-29, 1972
7 Marco Beach Hotel
VENSEL, SAVAGE & ASSOCIATES, ARCHITECTS
13 Feasibility Reports For Architects
H. SAMUEL KRUSE, FAIA
17 Computer Aided Space Planning
WILLIAM R. MILLER
23 Stanley Residence
WILLIAM MORGAN, AIA
THE FLORIDA ARCHITECT, Official Journal of the Florida Associa-
tion of the American Institute of Architects, Inc., Is owned and pub-
lished by the Association, a Florida Corporation not for profit. It is
published bi-monthly at the Executive Office of the Association, 7100
N. Kendall Drive, Miami, Florida 33156. Telephone: 661-8947
(area code 305). Opinions expressed by contributors are not neces-
sarily those of the Editor or the Florida Association of the AIA.
Editorial material may be reprinted provided full credit is given to the
author and to THE FLORIDA ARCHITECT and copy is sent to pub-
lisher's office. Controlled circulation postage paid at Miami, Florida.
Single Copies, 75 cents, subscription, $6.50 per year. 1971 Member
Roster available at $10.00 per copy. 1971 Directory of Architectural
Building Products & Services available at $1.50 per copy.
Yes, you've got problems with
governmental regulatory agen-
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problems with operation and mainte-
General Environmental Equipment
company is a solution company. We
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And we build them in all sizes and capacities,
from 2,500 to 1,000,000 gallons a day.
By the way, the effluents at the left came from
two sewage plants, one of which we didn't
build. They are located on the same site serving
the same sewage line. We built the plant
that produced the effluent at the top. Ours,
as you can plainly see, lets you read
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clear effluent The cloudy effluent?
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So if you want a clear picture
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(collect. of course) or write ...
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Telephone 1904) 737-2990
If your effluent
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.~L11E;-~~T"'p ~ V_
BAKER- KA RASTAN- HERITAGE
l KILLING( ROAD -STOW/ DAVIS
j RICHARD PLUMER
RESIDENTIAL BUSINESS YACHTS
155 N.E. 40TH ST. MIAMI MIAMI PHONE 751-9775 BROWARD PHONE 525-4531
MARCO BEACH HOTEL
OCTOBER 26-29, 1972
THE ARCHITECT IN THE
Max Urbann, FAIA
John Portman, FAIA
Charles Luckman, FAIA
THE NATIONAL GROWTH AND
LAND USE POLICY
Archibald Rogers, FAIA
Senator Robert Graham
Earl Starnes, AIA
620 NORTHEAST 40TH COURT
FORT LAUDERDALE. FLORIDA 33308
POST OFFICE BOX 24203
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA 33307
POST OFFICE BOX 727
NAPLES, FLORIDA 33940
POST OFFICE BOX 189
WINTER PARK. FLORIDA 32789
FAAIA Headquarters has moved
to new quarters in the Southeast
Bank of Dadeland Building, 7100
North Kendall Drive, Suite 203,
Miami, Florida 33156. Telephone
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Gulf coast resort by The Deltona Corporation sets new standards of luxury.
GULF OF MEXICO
MARCO BEACH HOTEL When planning for the Marco Beach Hotel, Vensel, Savage and
Associates couldn't escape the impression they were working
on the impossible dream with an $18 million budget.
The client was The Deltona Corporation, builders of the plan-
ned community of Marco Island. The new hotel would thus
need to accommodate a full range of guests from family vaca-
tioners to a hotel's life blood, conventions. It would at once
be a resort and a posh workshop. It was necessary to develop
a shelter concept that would enable fun seekers and dedicated
conventioneers to go their separate ways. Such features as
ground level access to pool and beach, while the lobby level
provides the most direct access to meeting rooms, help
achieve those objectives.
Ultimately, too, the Marco Beach Hotel had to be of highest
quality in keeping with the parent company's policies.
From a functional standpoint, personnel and supporting ser-
vices were to be kept to a minimum. Convention facilities
had to meet two requirements flexible space and superior
meeting rooms plus ultimate efficiency in serving meals
quickly and easily, to even the largest convention groups, all
with very little interference from service personnel.
'"' The design fulfills those requirements without any sacrifices.
R ...- Personnel functions have been kept out of sight while still
able to service all points of the sprawling hotel complex.
And there is minimal interference with guests.
From a typical guest's viewpoint, a designgoal of elegance
without garish display was first established in the main lob-
by where visitors are given the earliest possible view of
--. Marco Island's prize beach and gulf view.
A semi-circular driveway carries visitors fifteen feet above
BLVD Z G- ground level to a covered entranceway. Automatic sliding
_-_f_ 77 r -77 doors provide a quick transition to a room of great height
U lJ illiii i Iili IifIIi l- the cathedral roof peaks at 40 feet above the lobby floor.
But guests are almost magnetically drawn to the opposite
side of the lobby where a 54-foot high window, extending
from ground level to ceiling peak, reveals the huge hexagonal
N swimming pool, swaying palms, and, of course, the Gulf of
o 50 100 "We wanted the guests to know they had arrived in more
1 % ways than one," said Herbert R. Savage.
To make them feel even more welcome, the 317 tower rooms
have 6-foot balconies overlooking the gulf; there are also pri-
vate dressing areas, and the 15 by 28.5 feet overall dimensions
contribute to the feeling of luxury at the water's edge.
If hotel guests care to explore the environs, there is much to
see from an architectural or design standpoint.
Quinn's Bar (named after the famed Tahitian waterfront
pub) is located practically on the gulf beach and provides the
feeling of a Tahiti shore especially with the old captain's
lanterns, while the outrigger overhead contributes to the at-
mosphere of a freewheeling beachcomber. The casual but
authentic beachfront oasis places guests at particular vantage
points for Marco Island's famous multi-hued sunsets.
Evening walking to Quinn's from the hotel proper is enjoy-
Landscape architects have created a tropical garden effect by
encircling the pool with hundreds of jasmines, daylillies,
crown of thorn shrubs, oleanders, birds of paradise plants,
black olive trees, Hong Kong orchids, frangipani, bougain-
villea and hibiscus.
The garden setting can also be seen from the 30 lanai suites
- bedroom, living room and kitchen that stretch in two
levels along the convention wing of the hotel. There are also
22 seaview villas and 120 rooms in the Islander section just
north of the new hotel. This section was the original Marco
Beach Hotel. Altogether the complex has 532 rooms.
For the people obliged to attend meetings amid all the tropi-
cal splendor, a convention wing has been created with flexi-
For instance, the convention center's ballroom can accommo-
date a reception for up to 1,500 people and can quickly be
converted for 1,000 diners. Sliding walls permit three simul-
taneous meetings, each with individual projection booths.
The exhibition hall immediately below has space for 100 dis-
play booths and it can be converted into four large audio
visual meeting areas, each with its own rear-screen projection
booth. A central hall can seat 300. For smaller groups, 13
soundproof, modular meeting rooms can be provided.
The interiors in the convention center and elsewhere were
created by Henry End and Associates of Miami to compli-
ment the Polynesian-inspired concepts. The motifs contribute
to the relaxed atmosphere with contemporary yet Floridian
In essence, this resort complex is the composite of a conser-
vative yet functional approach to the theme of "island"
0 25' 50'
ROOM TOWER TYPICAL FLOOR PLAN
MARCO BEACH HOTEL
ARCHITECTS: Vensel, Savage & Associates
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: William Weaver
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Cook, Sloan & Lowe
LANDSCAPE DESIGNER: Bruce Howard
INTERIOR DESIGN: Henry End Associates
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Feasibility reports have such an influence in the creative
process for architecture that they can be classed with sche-
matic sketches as the geneses of architecture. In this sense,
architecture, or a significant ingredient of the practice of
architecture, includes feasibility reports whether prepared by
architects or not.
The recent spurt of interest in feasibility reports by small
office practitioners (SOP's) is not due to an awareness that
many of them have been exploited in the preparation of
feasibility reports by others (which benefited neither them-
selves nor their communities). In many communities the
architect is the only professional to whom the developers
can turn for the kinds of studies needed to determine the
feasibility of projects within constraints imposed by com-
munity concern for density, traffic, pollution, aesthetic and
other environmental impact considerations. In this light, the
feasibility report becomes the first step of the three steps in
project development decision, design and delivery. Since
such steps influence the outcome of architecture, every archi-
tect should become second to none as an expert in the prep-
aration of feasibility studies and reports.
Until recently, feasibility reports were preliminary decision-
making vehicles based on dollar-and-cents economics, and the
architect's role in their preparation was usually limited to
"Physical Concerns" (as building program and budget) and
sometimes site selection, nearly always controlled by the
economic feasibility prepared by others. Some architects be-
came skilled in a particular field and, as a result, were com-
missioned to prepare the complete study, economic feasibil-
ity, program and budget, and site selection.
In Florida there are many SOP's who have this expertise in
hotel developments and shopping centers. Of course,these
architects do not sit down at a typewriter and whip-out a
report over a weekend. They exploit carefully developed
and available resources and organize the opinions of a num-
ber of experts.
Recently the feasibility study has become much more than
a tool for economic decision. Added to the study are con-
siderations of social and environmental impact, which can
easily stop an economically feasible project if found socially
and environmentally unacceptable. Many developers are find-
ing these considerations overwhelming and seek the advice
and counsel of those whom they believe understand such
subjective indeterminates. More architects are being com-
missioned to do such work and SOP's are getting their share.
For this reason this paper is written to help the SOP prepare
a check list of criteria for outlining the scope of a feasibility
study and how to develop resources for the reliable informa-
tion needed for a new-age feasibility report.
Essentially, a feasibility report shows the developer what
can be built at what cost to earn a given income, or what
must be charged in sales, leases or rents, to cover projected
development costs. Both require a considerable amount of
crystal-ball gazing into the future. This puts a premium upon
reliability of information and the validity of opinion, if the
report is to be acceptable. In such a situation the architect's
opinions count for little and, as for a Doctoral dissertation,
authorities must be referenced and generally acceptable, but
especially to the client.
The SOP's first task is to learn where he can obtain reliable
information and to develop the source of data which are
considered valid, even when the data are only the consensus
of informed opinion on future trends. He must not believe
Feasibility Reports For
Architects H. SAMUEL KRUSE, FA
FOURTH IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES PREPARED BY
FAAIA PRACTICE AIDS COMMITTEE
that he can obtain all data free of charge; some he can get
for the asking (friends, colleagues and government agencies),
however, he must expect to pay for those documents pre-
pared by associations and private institutions for use by their
members and recognized consultants.
There are certain institutions which should be approached
first: Department of Housing and Urban Development and
Department of Health, Education and Welfare are prime
sources of information on requirements for U.S. Government
regulatory decisions and financial support for housing, health
facilities, educational facilities and the like. For the U. S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 20402, index
of printed material available and its cost, gives titles of a
tremendous amount of reports, directives, studies, regula-
tions and standards under a large variety of headings. From
this index select the titles that suggest the most likely to give
the help that is needed and order them. Even if these docu-
ments themselves give bibliographies, quote recognized
authorities and other information sources which can lead
to more pertinent sources.
The National Association of Real Estate Boards, 155 East
Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, has a bibliography
series which lists annually the publications related to real
estate problems under headings as "Apartment Buildings,"
"Commercial Property," "Industrial Property" and others.
The Association indicates the availability and prices of the
items listed through its Book Services Program.
Urban Land Institute, 1200 Eighteenth Street, N.W., Wash-
ington, D.C. 20006 is next to the U.S. Government as a
resource for information related directly to land develop-
ment (housing projects, planned communities, shopping
centers, etc.) prepared by recognized authorities. National
Association of Building Owners and Managers, 134 South
LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, is an authoritative
resource for management, maintenance and operations
costs and other data. F. W. Dodge Corporation, The Eng-
ineering News-Record are sources for construction costs
and trends, generally known and utilized by SOP's for a
variety of purposes.
Local resources must be developed as thoroughly as national
resources. Besides learning who of the local individuals and
institutions are the most knowledgeable and reliable in the
obvious fields of banking and real estate, it is necessary to
learn, first-hand, local conditions and trends. This need is
illustrated by an experience some years ago that an architect
member of the local Chamber of Commerce had. A large
aviation manufacturer was seeking a site in Florida and many
cities vied for the manufacturer's decision favoring their city.
Each Chamber of Commerce, did it's best to prepare broch-
ures which illustrated with facts, figures and pictures why
the available sites in it's city were the best. The architect-
member prepared the brochure for his local Chamber of Com-
merce and acted as chairman of the committee of business
citizens selected to interview the manufacturer on his visit
to the community. On the day of the interview the committee
met with the manufacturer and discovered, to the dismay of
the committee, that he was a team of twelve community re-
Will it be
Architect: William Cox, Charles Harrison Pawley, Coral Gables Contractor: M. R. Harrison Construction Corporation
Developer: Arvida Corporation, Miami Lumber supplied by: Causeway Lumber Company of Boca Raton. Inc.
The Arvida Corporation knows better than to
take chances. With all the wood in their new
Boca Raton West Country Club, it was obvious
to Arvida that fire-protected wood was needed.
And Non-Com fire-protected wood was the
Because Non-Com is no ordinary treated
wood. It's treated under tremendous pressure
for thorough penetration, then kiln dried for last-
So what you see isn't all you get.
In fact, even before construction was com-
pleted on the $600,000 clubhouse, Non-Com
LUMBER & EXPORT COMPANY
went to work. A fire broke out in the pro shop
and the Non-Com fire-protected wood con-
tained the fire, preventing complete destruction
of the furnishings and the entire building. Only
a few feet of charred wood had to be replaced,
and then only for appearance.
You'll find Non-Com easily available where and
when you want it, because Dantzler keeps
dealers fully stocked by producing and dis-
tributing Non-Com by the freight carloads. And
Dantzler keeps extensive stocks on hand in
weather-sheltered warehouses in both the
Jacksonville Headquarters and the Pompano
P. 0. Box 6340, Jacksonville, Florida 32205 Telephone: (904) 786-0424 or 781-1853 P. 0. Box 1419, Pompano Beach, Florida 33061
For more information about non-com Fire-Protected Wood, write Dantzler at Jacksonville, Headquarters
FEASIBILITY REPORTS, Continued
searchers who wanted to know, in great detail, how the public
school system operated, its millage and cost/effectiveness per
pupil; the public transportation system, costs, routes, efficacy
and future plans for expansion; real estate costs and trends,
not only for their own plant site, but for their employees;
the tax picture, not only for the plant and its operation, but
their employees and their civic services including schools,
police and fire protection, parks, water, sewers, libraries, etc.
The committee was unprepared for this barrage of inquiry,
had no idea where data could be gathered quickly for answer-
ing the questions and, needless to say, did not win the manu-
If the architect-member for the Chamber of Commerce had
first learned what the manufacturer wanted from a feasibility
study, in all probability a more detailed and useful presenta-
tion could have been made. The story illustrates the need to
know local resources so thoroughly that a sudden demand
for a detailed analysis will not panic the SOP to inaction and
missed opportunity; and it also illustrates the most salient
features of all feasibility studies: (1) how detailed must the
study be, (2) how much time may be spent on the study,
and (3) does the client for whom the study is being prepared
have experiences, precedents, biases or other constraints in-
fluencing the outcome of the study, and (4) is the client will-
ing to pay for the cost to match the desired report. A feasi-
bility report must be useful to the client in making an im-
portant decision; it must not be an academic exercise in im-
pressing a client on how much the researcher knows.
The Department of Transportation is quite clear in what it
wants in their "impact study" for highways, bridges and air-
fields. Hilton and Sheraton, two hotel chains, have similar
definitions for their feasibility reports for franchise opera-
tions as well as project development; however similar, there
are important differences in criteria for operations, occupancy
rates, depreciation, etc., and in format. It is important that
the client define in considerable detail what it wants from a
study, the criteria to be used or developed, and the format to
be used. Large chains (Howard Johnson, Sheraton, etc.) have
printed summary sheets so that the supporting data can take
many forms, but the summary of the results is presented the
way they want it.
"Scheme A Office Building" is a copy of a typical summary
sheet for a feasibility report for building for commercial and
office use and does not reflect in Estimated Project Cost the
public and private social costs, were this a project in an area
where the project would have significant environmental im-
pact. Note that the interest for a 20 year mortgage is cheap,
rents depressingly low, but occupancy extremely optimistic.
All of these conditions are given validity by supporting data
in the report, which lists or quotes the authority for the as-
sumptions and/or recommendations in the summary.
Notice that the possible return is factual and avoids saying
that the project is feasible or not. The report does not make
the decision; it assists the client in making a decision. In the
case of "Scheme A" the return looks disappointing. However,
"Scheme A" looks good to a wealthy man in his early sixties'
who does not want to make more money, but not lose any,
and to leave his grandchildren a good income earning prop-
erty. One must remember that there are many reasons why
people do things. Developing real estate is not exception.
Prepare a report as valid as one can within the time and re-
sources available, as honestly as you can, and the client will
be able to make a valued decision.
Some reports become very complex those involving en-
vironmental impact especially. These studies nearly always
require the services of governmental agencies, and personnel
and specialists usually found at Universities. These reports
have bulky supporting data and more items in the summary,
which includes not only statements as to economic return,
but also brief statements as to the institutional and environ-
mental impact the project generates.
Some architects charge from %% to 1/2% for a study of average
detail for a project like "Scheme A". Sometimes an architect
will credit half of the fee for the feasibility report to the fee for
the orthodox architectural service if he should be given the com-
mission. An architect must remember that in preparing reports
on which decision of serious implications is based, the architect,
as in orthodox practice, as an independent provider of profession
al services, is exposed to legal actions involving claims of damage
sustained by third parties arising out of the alleged negligence of
the architect. If he performs his studies seriously using reason-
able judgment as to the reliability of information and complete-
ness, his exposure need not give him sleepless nights. It is also
necessary to remember that the architect's compensation should
reflect this exposure and responsibility and the service value to
the client. *
SCHEME A OFFICE BUILDING
1. BUILDING AREAS
a. Gross inc. mechanical, service (sq. ft.) 105.000
b. Nat r.ntabl (sq. ft.)
Commercial first floor 6.000
Commercial b ment 3.000
Offices loft 22.000
Office suIt. 52.000
Total net rentable area (sq. ft.) 83.000
2. ESTIMATED PROJECT COST
Land S 150.000
Construction (105.000 sq.ft. 15.25) 1.600.000
Movable part. (ight floors 0 600 lin. ft.) 150.000
Architectural and engineering fees 110,000
Interest during construction 45.000
Taxe and insurance during construction 4,000
Miscllan.ous and contingencies 25,000
Total estimated project cost S2.085.000
3. POSSIBLE FINANCING
Project cost S2.085.000
Mortgaage at 60% 1.250,000
Equity required $835,000
Cash required $ 685.000
5%% 20 yr. mortgage of above amount assumed.
Annual amortlzatlon, Interest S 105,300
4. ESTIMATED ANNUAL GROSS INCOME
Commercial 6,000 sq.ft. $2.25 $ 13.,00
3,000 sq.ft. 0 $1.00 3.000
Loft Spae 22.000sq.ft.P $3.25 71,500
Suita 52.000 sq.ft. $3.75 195.000
Lus 5% vacancy 14.000
Estimated annual gross income $269,000
5. ESTIMATED ANNUAL OPERATING COST
Operating expenses (including all survic
$1.00 pr sq.t. rentable) $ 83.000
Property tax 21,500
Replacement reserve and mIscellaneous 6,000
Total annual operating cost $115,500
6. AMORTIZATION. DEPRECIATION. INCOME TAXES. PROFIT
Annual gross Income $269.000
LoT annual operating costs 115.500
Annual Nat Incomn $153,500
7. POSSIBLE RETURN
a. If mortgaged: Annual net Income $153,500
Annual amortization, Interest 105.300
For annual income taxn and return first 20 yrV $ 48,200.
After debt service, this amount equals 5.77% of equity of $835,000
during fint 20 yaar; $153,500 annual net Income equals 18.38% on
$835,000 equity aftr 20 year.
If owner financed, annual net Income of $153,500 equals 7.36%
return on $2,085,000 project cost or would amortlze coat with return
of 6% for 28 years 3 months.
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COMPUTER-AIDED SPACE PLANNING
William R. Miller
Principal and Co-Founder, Design Methods
Design Automation Workshop
San Francisco, California
1 SALES DIRECTOR
2 CONFERENCE ROOM
3 SALES SECRETARY
5 PROJECT SECRETARY
7 PROJECT DIRECTOR
This paper describes the application of MATRAN-III, a
computer program development by the author, to planning
the space for a branch bank in Southern California. MATRAN-
III is used to identify clusters of elements within a set of inter-
related elements. The program accepts any arbitrary listing of
the elements and their proximal relations and creates an ad-
jacency matrix. This matrix is block diagonalized yielding vis-
ually recognizable patterns which can be mapped into line-dot
diagrams. These diagrams can then be presented to a designer
providing him with a memory pattern from which we can begin
laying out the geometric configuration of the space.
Space planning is an architectural phrase used to describe
the process of locating the functional spaces within a building
facility. These spaces may be either rooms, as is the case with
laying out building floor plans, or work stations as in the
problem of office landscaping. In either case, the design pro-
cess is essentially the same.
The typical non-computerized approach to space planning
can be idealized as a three-fold process of information gather-
ing, trial and error design and solution presentation. In actual-
ity, many other things are included in the total design process,
such as the emotional feel of a building, the flow of space, the
transition between spaces, philosophical ideals, rhythm, pat-
tern, texture, etc.
The information gathering portion of the process is re-
ferred to as the "program development" phase. A "program"
is a written document (not to be confused with a computer
program) which defines the space planning problem. The con-
tents of this document are usually based on conversations
with the client, the results of questionnaire surveys and pro-
fessional knowledge. In essence, the program document states
the design requirements for the proposed facility.
After the program has been written, the project enters the
design phase. The designer studies the program until he feels
he has sufficient knowledge of the problem to begin laying
out a plan for the facility. The information most pertinent
to this process consists of a list of all the functional spaces
within the facility, the square footage requirements for each
of the spaces and a list of all the adjacency requirements be-
tween spaces. Figure-1 shows a sample set of this type of
The designer's early plans are generally in the form of
bubble diagrams. A bubble diagram, as shown in Figure-2,
displays each functional space as a free-hand oval (hence the
term "bubble") such that its area is directly proportional to
the amount of square footage required for that specific space.
Adjacency requirements are shown by drawing the ovals of
adjacent areas tangent to each other. The bubble diagram
used by the designer is an attempt to relate many things not
relative, yet this diagram helps organize the designer's thought
on many points simultaneously. Many bubble diagrams may
be drawn for each of the various parts of a given facility. This
process eventually leads to a final diagram incorporation of
all the functional spaces within the facility and as many of
the adjacency requirements as the designer was able to satisfy.
After an acceptable bubble diagram has been created, it is
translated into a rectilinear plan. Continued
FIGURE-1: ADJACENCY REQUIREMENTS
FIGURE-2: BUBBLE DIAGRAM
FIGURE-3: ADJACENCY MATRIX
FIGURE-4: RELATIONAL DIAGRAM
FIGURE-5: REVISED RELATIONAL DIAGRAM
FIGURE-6: REVISED ADJACENCY MATRIX
FIGURE-7: REVISED ADJACENCY MATRIX
COMPUTER-AIDED SPACE PLANNING, Continued
Presentation of the design solution to the client usually
emphasizes just that, the design solution. The design pro-
cess is typically not presented. The total process of devel-
oping a program, designing the facility and presenting the
solution is usually time consuming and costly. The solu-
tion is generally sub-optimum and open to much criticism.
The methodology described herein concerns that
portion of the space planning process involved with the
juxtaposition of the functional spaces within a proposed
facility given their desired adjacency requirements. The
method utilizes an adjacency matrix for defining the ele-
ments (functional spaces) and their proximal relationships.
A complete description of this methodology is published
elsewhere (Ref. 4). The following description has been
included for the sake of completeness.
The previous sample data is shown formated as an
adjacency matrix in Figure-3. The rows and columns of
the matrix are labeled with the element identification
numbers. Note that the numbering sequence must be the
same for both the rows and columns. The presence of a
one (1) in the interior of the matrix represents the exis-
tence of a relation between the addressing elements. If a
cell is blank, then no relation exists between the addressing
elements. For the sake of graphical clarity it is assumed that
all elements relate to themselves, thus there is a "base diag-
onal" of ones running from the upper left corner to the
lower right corner of the matrix. Since all relations are
assumed bi-directional (if A is next to B, then B must be
next to A) the matrix is symmetric about the base diagonal.
This same set of data can also be shown using a line-dot
diagram (relational diagram) as indicated in Figure-4. The
functional areas are represented by the nodes and the ad-
jacency requirements between functional areas are shown
as lines between nodes. This diagram is similar to the de-
signer's bubble diagram. In practice it has been found that
the line-dot diagram actually shows the relational structure
of a space planning problem more effectively than the de-
signer's traditional bubble diagram. The bubble diagram
tends to obscure the relational structure of the problem by
showing too much information, i.e., square footage and non-
required adjacency constraints. The line-dot diagram shows
only that information necessary to delineate the relational
structure of the problem.
Note the visual relationship between the adjacency matrix
of Figure-(3) and the diagram of Figure-(4). There are two
clusters, or groups, of elements in the diagram and there are
two clusters of one's in the matrix. For example, elements
1, 2, and 3 are clustered in the diagram with a corresponding
cluster of one's lying in the intersecting rows and columns
representing the same elements in the matrix.
Note, if we would have numbered the notes of our dia-
gram, say as in Figure-5, we would find that the correspond-
ing adjacency matrix as shown in Figure-6, would be non-
sensical. If however, we could diagonalize this matrix by
rearranging the corresponding rows and columns of the
matrix to that of Figure-7, we would once again identify
the visual relationship between the diagram and the matrix.
This visual relationship allows one to find the clusters for
any set of interrelated elements, assuming: Continued
. Aaolp",' z Aks"pq
COMPUTER-AIDED SPACE PLANNING, Continued
1. The only attribute assigned to an element or relation is
that of existence. (Intensity of a relation between elements
may be included.)
2. All relations are bi-directional.
3. All elements relate to themselves.
The methodology is summarized as follows:
1. List the elements in the problem set and their relation-
ships in terms of an adjacency matrix.
2. Block diagonalized the adjacency matrix.
3. Visually identify the clusters forming along the base
4. Map this information into a relational diagram.
As one might well guess, the critical step of this process in-
volves manipulating the rows and columns within the matrix
such that the unit values are forced to cluster along the base
diagonal. If one were to attempt this task manually, he would
be forever exchanging rows and columns. With the aid of a
computer, however, it is possible to write a program that will
perform this manipulation automatically. Such a program,
MATRAN-III, has been written. It is composed of the follow-
ing major segments: data input, data manipulation and data
Input data is comprised of three basic types: job title in-
formation, element base data and run status data. Job title
data allows the user to identify the project name, number and
descriptive comments. Element base data consists of the ele-
ment identification number, the element name, the element
area (sq. ft.), a list of the related elements and the degree im-
portance of each relationship (as defined on a scale of high,
medium or low). Run status data identifies whether or not
any set of relations within a given weighted range is to be
The program organizes this data into a format ready for
matrix manipulation by creating an adjacency matrix such
that the rows and columns are labeled with the element
identification numbers. The field of the matrix is loaded with
importance values associated with the relations between ele-
ments. The value for a non-relation equals zero (0), for a low
relation: one (1), for a medium relation: two (2), and for a
high relation: three (3). The main manipulation subroutine
then causes the computer to block diagonalize the matrix
by interchanging various rows and corresponding columns
such that relational values converge to the base diagonal. In
a weighted analysis the higher values converge to the diagonal
faster than the lower values.
The computer first identifies two rows (and correspond-
ing columns) for possible exchange. The value of the matrix
is then calculated. (The value of the matrix at any given
time is equal to the sum of the products of the relational
value within a cell, either 0, 1, 2, or 3, multiplied by its dis-
tance, number of cells from the base diagonal.) This calcu-
lated value is placed in temporary memory. The computer
then calculates the projected new value of the matrix assum-
ing that the rows and columns in question are exchanged.
This is done without actually making the exchange. If the
value of the matrix prior to the proposed exchange is greater
than the projected value then an improved condition has
been identified and the computer is allowed to make the
exchange. If the value of the matrix prior to the exchange
is less than or equal to the projected value then no improve-
ment is projected and the exchange does not take place.
The computer next identifies two more rows (and cor-
responding columns) for possible exchange. This process
continues until no further improvement can be made.
Once the computer has blocked diagonalized the data
matrix it is ready to output information. The output is
composed of a list of all the elements and their relations
(this is simply a reflection of the input data), a print out of
the data matrix (the imput data formated as an adjacency
matrix) and a print out of the solution matrix (diagon-
alized data matrix).
The solution matrix is then visually interpreted by man-
ually partitioning the matrix to identify clusters and other
recognizable patterns along the diagonal. The partitioned
matrix is then mapped into a relational diagram. This dia-
gram is presented to the designer to provide him with a
memory pattern from which he can begin laying out or
plan for the facility.
The following example describes the application of
MATRAN-III to planning the space for a Wells Fargo branch
bank in Pomona, California. The description concentrates on
the computerized space planning portion of the problem.
Brief comments are made regarding the program's interface
with the total design process.
The first step of the design process was to establish the
design requirements for the proposed branch bank. This
task was performed jointly by architectural designers and
banking operations experts. From the set of requirements
came a list of the functional areas and their corresponding
proximal relationships. The geometric constraints were neg-
lected at this point. The only attribute assigned to each func-
tional space was that of existence. The relations, however,
were said to exist with either a high, medium or low degree
of importance. Since relations between spaces were based on
geographical proximity all relations were assumed to be bi-
This information was then listed on standard coding forms.
Data cards were punched and submitted to a UNIVAC 1108
computer under the control of the MATRAN-III program.
The computer first created a symmetric adjacency matrix
(data matrix) and identified those areas that were totally
unrelated to the problem set. A revised adjacency matrix was
then generated eliminating the unrelated areas from the matrix.
A computer then block diagonalized the revised matrix. The
diagonalized matrix (solution matrix) was then printed utiliz-
ing various graphic embellishments.
The next step was to visually partition the solution matrix.
This partitioned matrix provided the basis for the relational
diagram shown in Figure-11. This relational diagram was
then presented to the designer.
The designer started laying out the geometric space by
first planting those elements of the relational diagram that
had definite geographical locations. These elements were:
9 Trash Pickup
15 Garey Avenue
ST 19 Walk Up Teller
26- 20 Drive Up Teller
4 21 Parking Lot
S Once the fixed elements were planted those adjacent to the
13 18 fixed elements were located. The process continued until
2t71 \ all of the elements were positioned within the geometric
2\ confines of the facility. Figure-12 shows the element nodes
planted on the site. Some of the elements were located on a
\ \ second level and thus are not shown in this figure. Also, ele-
Sment No. 23, the patio, was deleted.
191 Following this, the nodes were allowed to grow into
bubbles such that the size of each bubble was directly pro-
a2 a portional to the square footage requirement for the partic-
Sular functional space. Conflicts occurred, however, in that two
S ... or more elements, would often be competing for the same
area. Some of these conflicts were resolved by making design
compromises, others were resolved by simply relocating the
FIGURE-11: RELATIONAL DIAGRAM element. This process lead to the architectural bubble diagram
as shown in Figure-13. The balance of the design process fol-
lowed traditional methods.
J. MATRAN-III is a perfectly general program which can be
used to solve any relational problem which can be described
I as a non-directed graph and where the objective is to identify
v= sub-clusters of elements. The program allows the user to simply
L list the elements in a problem set and their inter-relations and
receive in return an optimum relational diagram.
GURE-12: GROUND FLOOR ELEMENT NODES PLANTED Concerning space planning the advantages of the computer-
ON THE SITE aided approach over the traditional intuitive methods are:
... a 1. The relational solution generated is optimum.
S21 2. The time frame required to generate the solution is reduced.
S....... .. 3. Total production costs are reduced.
U An additional advantage is that the explicit nature of the
methodology helps the designer isolate particular parts of
the total design process and to specialize his thoughts accord-
.... ingly. The designer will (should), however, always return to
the other processes necessary to design whatever they may beb
GURE-13: GROUND FLOOR PROJECT BUBBLE DIAGRAM
1. Ball, G. H., "A Comparison of Some Cluster Seeking Techniques",
Stanford Research Institute, November, 1966.
2. Ball, G. H. and Hall, D. J., "Background Information on Cluster-
ing Techniques", Stanford Research Institute, June 1969.
3. Busacker, R. G. and Saaty, T. L., Finite Graphs and Networks,
4. Miller, W. R., Khachooni, V. and Olsten, C. J., "Matrix Method
for Grouping an Interrelated Set of Elements", Proceedings: Envir-
onmental Design Research Association Conference, Chapel Hill,
N. C., June, 1969.
5. Propst, R., The Office: A facility based on change, The Business
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PPG: a Concern for the Future
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ARCHITECT: William Morgan, AIA
LOCATION: Central Florida
The site is 53 feet wide and heavily wooded, sloping down-
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truck bed bottoms, and resembles a bowling alley surface
when finished as exposed residential flooring. Exposed
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preservative. Interiors including cabinets and built-ins are ex-
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