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The Madness Of Multidisciplinary Teams

At IDG, we’re proud to work on some of the largest and most exciting projects in the world so we would like to think we’ve found our way around a multi-consultant team by now. For these projects a large team of consultants is absolutely essential yet we see the same issues over and over again. The fundamental issue being one of communication and information flow. Invariably, some will be working from old drawings, some won’t have communicated their latest change to their aspect of the design and at the other end of the scale, too much information flow can just confuse a team to the point of madness. Consequently, this affects results, ideas and efficiency as well as leads to abortive work and programme slip. The more complicated job the more these effects escalate.

Every design process created by a group of people, even of the same background, meets problems connected to different tastes or visions. So how does the situation look when considering such complex design processes as landscape design, masterplanning, architecture or golf course design?

Let’s take masterplanning a golf resort as an example. So often, we’ve seen a golf resort masterplan with a golf course on one side and a stack of high density residential property on the other. Whilst some developers would be very keen on the density achieved by this approach, others would instinctively know the mistakes that had been made. When a developer is spending such a vast amount of money on a golf course, it MUST work for the developer in returning premium front line views. In most cases just having a golf course on site would add up to 10% to the value of a property with no golf views, but we have seen up to 150% premiums on some golf front property. So, in our experience, a little less density is far outweighed by the premium generated by a golf view. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that the earlier scenario most probably arose from a lack of communication between the masterplanners and the golf course architects on the basis that it would be easier to plan.

In a recent concept masterplan, we increased the Floor Space Index by 52% (from 0.79 to 1.2), we increased golf frontage by 72% (from 3200m to 5510m) and added a secondary high rise golf views of 2300m. The value generated by this ran into the tens of millions of dollars and we proved the concept in the space of two weeks.

For a golf and residential development, having golf designers, architects and masterplanners in the same room is unbelievably valuable. Why? Clear and effective communications within the same office space.

It’s that simple.