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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
The client team consists of three people. The first is the project manager, who derives authority from the head of facilities operations. In large organizations this person is often an architect or engineer. The second is the budget authority, a person who can authorize major changes in the budget. This person derives authority from the financial administrator of the institution. The third is the user representative, who derives authority from a senior administrator of the institution. Often this senior administrator is the person who has discretionary power to assign space in the facility, for example, a dean or department chair in a university or a director of research in industry. The members of the client team, who derive their authority from different administrative units, often have different and potentially conflicting interests that must be resolved for a project to proceed satisfactorily.
The user representative is the connection to the users, the people who will occupy the facility. The committee found that many of the most successful projects had as the user representative a scientist-administrator who was not going to benefit directly from the project, was knowledgeable, had good judgment, and had the confidence of all participants. For large projects the user representative is often freed from other duties for the duration of the project.
It is essential to have a project leader who has qualifications and experience commensurate with the type and scope of the project and has operational authority and responsibility for the project. Because several members of the client group can take on this role, the function does not appear in Table 1.1. For large projects, this person will generally be the client project manager; for smaller projects, especially in smaller institutions, this person is often the user representative or is designated by the administration or management. The project leader is the center of decisions and communications and for most of the project acts as the single point of contact for other groups. Therefore, this person should be familiar with the entire program, should have some budgetary authority, and, most significant, must remain with the project from beginning to end in order to provide continuity. If the designated project leader is inexperienced, it may be advisable to provide suitable training for this person.
Users are the people who will ultimately occupy the facility. The extent of users' input into a project is very institution-and phase-dependent. Users often lack experience in laboratory design and may not know what to request or how to evaluate options. Obtaining a successful facility depends greatly on input from informed users, so an instructional process should be implemented early in the project to achieve this goal. See the section titled "Sociology" in this chapter and the "Predesign Phase" section in Chapter 2.
Other members of the client group include the institution's architect and representatives from environmental health and safety (EH&S), facilities operations (including campus utilities), and external relations (including public relations, legal affairs, publicity, etc.). The client group may also include special consultants such as a construction manager, environmental site assessor, geo-