In large architecture firms, the Master Plan might be used for the purpose of developing a broad, long-range overview of, for example, a campus of buildings to be developed over a number of years. A client may have need or financing for only a portion of the project in the near term, but needs a broader scope, longer term project outline. For much larger projects, this is called urban planning. For our firm, which specializes in residential additions and remodeling projects, the principle is the same, but on a smaller scale.
If a prospective client comes to us with a number of planned household changes that they intend to phase over a number of years, we will often propose a Master Plan Study. The Master Plan helps the client visualize the finished product and it informs both us and the client regarding the phasing of the work. Also, looking at the whole ensures each component of the design functions with the others. It also minimizes the amount of earlier work that will need to be undone in later phases. Often, we’ll determine during the study that upgrades to the structure or mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems that will be necessary for a later phase of work make more sense to complete earlier in construction. These upgrades typically are structural and MEP’s. For example, think about what would be done differently if we had already planned your addition of a second and third level to that one story addition you’re having us add now. The Master Plan also helps us put a much tighter budget range on the project.