Message - Re: I need help......

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Posted by  Michael Ellis on November 12, 2003 at 06:40:03:

In Reply to:  I need help...... posted by Rain on November 12, 2003 at 04:57:57:

First of you must approach the design as you will when you are a practicing architect. I am sure you have learned a bit about the phases to a design project and you should follow them, they are pretty universal. You need to first make an effort to understand the needs of your client. In your case I would set up an appointment with your local city transportation department (Have your instructor set up a class visit). Explain you are doing a project and ask if you can talk with the head of the director of the bus system, they should be willing to talk with you. What you are doing is an interview and site assessment. Talk with them about what makes their bus system and facilities work and what facility challenges they face. See if they can provide you with data on daily, weekly, monthly, and annual passenger counts for their terminals. Ask and measure their current fleet of buses and if they intend to go to a different type in the next 5-10 years. Measure their current terminal and site and ask if this is adequate for the current passenger activities. Count the number of bus parking slots and ask if this is adequate. If your project includes maintenance ask to talk with the head of maintenance to see what their needs are. Take plenty of notes and pictures for reference, you will find on real projects that your clients are out of town and you had better take great field notes. Find the US DOT web site and maybe even some bus manufacturerís web sites for information and even call to see if they have data you could use such as national, regional, and local passenger levels and bus sales projections. Once you have completed the interviews take your information back to your class and categorize and file it.

What you are doing is identifying existing conditions and establishing the data that will be used for design analysis, planning, and design. You should not simply go to an architectural standards book for typical bus size, pavement radii etc. and begin design. Each client will be unique.

You should ask your instructor how long this terminal will be used. If it is 10-15-20 years you need to take your bus counts and passenger numbers and project through the 10-15-20 year period to design a facility that can support the any passenger increases and projected bus types. If you find growth projections that stay flat now but begin to rise in the 15 year period then design your terminal for future expansion (Donít forget electrical, mechanical, future capacity).

There is a lot more to consider on a real project but I think it is enough for you to consider for a class project. My best recommendation when doing a class project is donít simply rely on class instruction and information, get out and investigate how the actual facilities function and talk with the people who manage the facilities. They should be receptive to your questions. Let us all know how your project works out and if you put your plans on the web let us know, we would love to view them.

Best Regards,
Michael Ellis

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