Matrix assists in determining the demand for services and facilities. This market analysis can be extensive, involving statistical research, examination of existing programs, and resolution of fundamental policy issues. Other times, the need is clear and requires confirmation only. Needs assessment is generally the first step of a building project, but it can also be a stand-alone study.
The product of Stage 1, often called a Role Statement, specifies key aspects of the service delivery system being planned. The degree of detail and emphasis in these reports varies, depending on client requirements. It typically focuses on such issues as level of service, options for centralized or decentralized services, and alternative approaches to integrated or specialized facilities.
Building projects respond to many pressures:
- Existing buildings become overcrowded as organizations expand.
- Aging facilities are functionally obsolete and inefficient to operate.
- New facilities are required to serve a growing population, or extend services to particular geographic areas.
- Service levels are declining due to budget constraints or policy decisions, resulting in the need to limit and consolidate existing operations.
- Legislative or policy changes result in the need to restructure existing organizations, with associated changes in facilities requirements.
- Opportunities arise for joint developments with other organizations, or for the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.