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Developing designer’s Competency matrix for enhancing the role of Architects, Interior Designers, and MEP designers in the Real Estate and Hospitality Industry

                                                                                                                                                  With ever-increasing expectations of the customers for excellence, growing competition, and severe pricing pressures, the demands on Building designers are significantly undergoing significant changes. From being perceived as merely technical persons, the owners and promoters of the real estate and hospitality industry expect designers to contribute significantly to help improve the profitability of the business during the design conceptualization and actual development process. This necessitated designers to develop certain skills /competencies that would enable them to deliver all-around excellence. A few important competencies that need to be acquired are compiled below for each package.1. Technical competencies (12 numbers)2. Commercial Competencies (5 numbers)3. IT/Software competencies (5 numbers)4.  Legal competencies (4 numbers)5. Leadership competencies (9 numbers)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Suggested competency matrix for building designers                                                                                                                                                  Architects Interior designers MEP designers Technical Competencies Technical Competencies Technical Competencies 1 Basic knowledge of features (such as Physical characteristics, functional and performance parameters) of different parts /components of types of architectural buildings to be designed such as Hotels, Restaurants, hospitals, educational, residential, commercial, SEZ units, factories, offices complex, etc. 2 Requisite knowledge of best design practices applicable to Architecture function 3 Core knowledge of types of Superstructures, Sub-structures, roofing, walls, floorings, and a variety of external development areas   1 Basic knowledge of features (such as Physical attributes, characteristics, functional and performance parameters) of different parts /components of types of building interiors for rooms, restaurants, halls, kitchens, dining areas, Gyms, utility buildings, and recreation rooms.   2 Working knowledge about types of furniture, fixture, and equipment required in various buildings/areas  3 Requisite knowledge of best design practices applicable to Interior design function 4 Core knowledge of the Interior designing styles like traditional, modern, and contemporary, the inspirational vision of different types of interior spaces in different areas.     1 Basic knowledge of features (such as Physical attributes, characteristics, functional and performance parameters) of different parts /components of types of buildings such as Hotels, Restaurants, hospitals, educational, residential, commercial, SEZ units, factories, offices complex, etc. 2 Requisite knowledge of best design practices applicable to MEP function 3 Core knowledge of types of MEP packages such as: ·       Designing Electrical — external and Internal works ·       Deigning of Airconditioning -Works ·       Designing of lighting works ·       Designing plumbing and water (hot and cold) supply  works ·       Energy management works for green building ·       Firefighting works ·       Designing of lifts/elevators works ·       Designing of STP (sewerage treatment plant) works ·       Waste management works ·       Designing fuel storage and supply works ·       Designing solar energy works ·       Designing wind engineering works ·       Designing audio-visual works ·       Heating works ·       Ventilation & exhaust works ·       Acoustics works ·       Facility management works ·       Hospitality works like kitchen and laundry ·       IT infrastructure ·       Building automation And so on     3 The design process for different types of buildings, designing techniques, methods, stages of design development, etc  4 Crucial knowledge of developing Coordinated architectural designs and drawings to make these 1st time right and without any conflicts with Interior design and MEP works, thus avoiding expensive reworks. 3 The design process for different types of buildings, designing techniques, methods, stages of design development, etc  4 Crucial knowledge of developing Coordinated architectural designs and drawings to make these 1st time right and without any conflicts with architectural and MEP works, thus avoiding expensive reworks. 3 The design process for different types of buildings, designing techniques, methods, stages of design development, etc  4 Crucial knowledge of developing Coordinated architectural designs and drawings to make these 1st time right and without any conflicts with architectural and Interior design works, thus avoiding expensive reworks 5 Working knowledge of construction methods e.g. ·       Super structure-scaffolding, shuttering, roofing, etc ·       External works-site preparation, roads, services ·       Façade fabrication with Aluminium, UPVC, and Glasswork ·       Hardscape-irrigation, drainage, Golf areas ·       Softscape-Guying &planting, plants for landscape ·       And so on for each package 5 Working knowledge of construction methods e.g. ·       Wall finishes. - plaster coating, painting ·       Floor finishing -stones, tiles, carpets ·       Ceiling finishing-plaster, paint, decorative ·       False ceiling framework ·       Suspended ceiling ·       furniture, fixtures, equipment ·       Artwork of different materials ·       And so on for each package 5 Working knowledge of construction methods, Installing, and commissioning e.g. ·       Electrical works- Vacuum circuit breakers, Air circuit breakers, Cables, Panels, transformers, etc. ·       Internal electrical-laying conduits, wires, lamps and fixtures, and fittings, CCTV ·       HVAC-Air-conditioning-VRV (Variable refrigerant volume), chillers, Outdoor/indoor units ·       Heat exchangers, fan coil systems, valves, pumps ·       Ventilation works-Centrifugal fans, Jet fans, Ducting, Control systems And so on for each package 6 In-depth technical knowledge of BOQ materials (such as TMT bars, Cement/RMC, Stones, Joinery materials, wood works, steel works, Glass works, Horticulture, etc) that are used in any package that forms part of a tender such as: ·       Superstructure ·       Architect ·       Façade ·       external development ·       hardscape including waterworks ·       softscape ·       and so on    6 In-depth technical knowledge of BOQ materials that are part of any package that forms part of a tender such as: ·       Finishing materials (such as marbles, tiles, wooden flooring, wallcoverings, paints, claddings, fabrics, and linens ·       Furniture, fixtures, and equipment, ·       Artwork, ·       Plants & shrubs for interiors ·       and so on      6 In-depth technical knowledge of BOQ materials that are part of any package & to be part of a tender such as Electrical, Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, acoustics, VAC, Plumbing, firefighting, lighting, energy management, lifts/elevators, Sewage treatment plants, fuel storage systems, solar energy works, wind engineering, audio visual, facility management, kitchen, laundry, IT infrastructure, building 7 Basic knowledge of modern designing methods techniques/software tools to enhance Architectural design efficiency   7 Basic knowledge of modern designing methods techniques/software tools to enhance interior design efficiency   7 Basic knowledge of modern designing methods techniques/software tools to enhance interior design efficiency   8 Vital knowledge of building design -quality in the design of Architecture works   9 Basic knowledge of Construction methods   10 Basic knowledge Inspection methods of each BOQ material & package/building as a whole   8 Vital knowledge of building design -quality in the Interior design works   9 Basic knowledge of construction methods   10 Basic knowledge Inspection methods of each BOQ material & package/building as a whole   8 Vital knowledge of building design -quality in the MEP works   9 Basic knowledge of installation, commissioning, and testing methods of MEP equipment 10 Basic knowledge Inspection methods of each BOQ material & package/building as a whole   11 Core Knowledge of Quality standards applicable to complete Architectural building and individual packages   11 Core Knowledge of Quality standards applicable to complete Interiors works and individual packages 11 Core Knowledge of Quality standards applicable to complete Integrated packages for building as a whole and individual packages 12 Necessary knowledge of Measuring Instruments used in/for: ·       Surveying -Theodolite, Universal machine, Total station Pipe & level locators, construction calculators ·       Laboratory—Glassware, pipettes, moisture meter, density meter, autoclave, mixer, ·       Metrology-height gauge precision levels, And so on 12 Necessary knowledge of Measuring Instruments used in/for: ·       Metrology- Callipers, micrometers ·       Level-Level gauges ·       Flow-flowmeter And so on 12 Necessary knowledge of Measuring Instruments used in/for: ·       Electrical -multimeter, voltmeter, energy meter ·       Sound- decibel meter, noise analyser ·       Speed-Tachometer ·       Temperature-Temperature sensors           Commercial Competencies                         Commercial Competencies                     Commercial Competencies 1 Rate and fee /commercial terms negotiation skills for procuring samples or consultancy works   2 Cost estimation skills vis a vis each package such as Structure, Architecture, Façade, Landscape, and so on   3 Developing Budget parameters   4 Ability to generate reports/MIS from software/ERP and analyze vis a vis Budget.   5 Evolving coding schemes for BOQ etc 1 Rate and fee /commercial terms negotiation skills for procuring samples or  consultancy works   2 Cost estimation skills vis a vis each package such as Finishing, FFE, Artwork , and so on  for each package   3 Developing Budget parameters   4 Ability to generate reports/MIS from software/ERP and analyze vis a vis Budget.   5 Evolving coding schemes for BOQ etc 1 Rate and fee /commercial terms negotiation skills for procuring samples or small consultancy works 2 Cost estimation skills vis a vis each package such as: ·       Electrical works ·       HVAC ·       Plumbing  And so on  3 Developing Budget parameters   4 Ability to generate reports/MIS from software/ERP and analyze vis a vis Budget. 5 Evolving coding schemes for BOQ etc                IT /software Competencies                                     IT /software Competencies                    IT /software Competencies 1 Working Knowledge of various Design software solutions for core designing of each type of package such as below: ·       STADD, ETAB, ·       AutoCAD, ·       Revit Architecture (BIM), ·       3D Studio Max, Photoshop, ·       Fenestra, Autodesk Revit, ·       Idea spectrum Realtime landscape pro, NCH software dream plan, smart draw, and so on 2 Basic Knowledge of MS office   3 Ability to conceptualize and develop structure & parameters for various master data tables like: i)Drawings specifications -Packages in Civil works,    ii)Scope of work master -Civil works packages       4 Ability to conceptualize templates and provide Architectural related meaningful inputs to IT/ERP/software teams for digitalization of the following: i)configuration & Master data tables ii) configuration tables iii)risk assessment templates iv) Segregation of duties and access rights templates v) coding schemes vi) user traceability reports vii) audit trail reports viii) Budgets ix)MIS/Dashboards x)SOP (Standard operating procedures) xi) Design & drawings document management xi) KPI (Key performance indicators)   5 Ability to generate important reports from databases /Dashboard related to Architecture function and analyze these for enhancing productivity and reduce cycle time for design & development 1 Working Knowledge of various Design software solutions for core designing of each type of package such as below: ·       Pro’s modeling suite Max, ·       AutoCAD, ·       Autodesk Revit, Autodesk 3d’s, ·       SketchUp Photoshop, and so on.       2 Basic Knowledge of MS office   3 Ability to conceptualize and develop structure & parameters for various master data tables like: Ability to configure various masters’ data tables like i)Drawings specifications -Packages in Interior design  works,    ii)Scope of work master -Packages in Interior design works  4 Ability to conceptualize templates and provide Architectural related meaningful inputs to T/ERP/software teams for digitalization of the following: i)configuration & Master data tables ii) configuration tables iii)risk assessment templates iv) Segregation of duties and access rights templates v) coding schemes vi) user traceability reports vii) audit trail reports viii) Budgets ix)MIS/Dashboards x)SOP (Standard operating procedures) xi) Design & drawings document management xi) KPI (Key performance indicators) 5 Ability to generate important reports from databases /Dashboard related to Interior design function and analyze these for enhancing productivity and reduce cycle time for design & development       1 Working Knowledge of various Design software solutions for core designing of each type of package such as below: ·       AutoCAD Electrical, ·       Smart Draw ·       Autodesk ·       Ansys ·       Quick Allot, ·        Revit MEP ·       AutoCAD HVAC  and so on ·       Knowledge of MS office   3 Ability to conceptualize and develop structure & parameters for various master data tables like: i)Drawings specifications -Packages in MEP   works,    ii)Scope of work master -Packages in MEP packages   4 Ability to conceptualize templates and provide Architectural related meaningful inputs to T/ERP/software teams for digitalization of the following: i)configuration & Master data tables ii) configuration tables iii)risk assessment templates iv) Segregation of duties and access rights templates v) coding schemes vi) user traceability reports vii) audit trail reports viii) Budgets ix)MIS/Dashboards x)SOP (Standard operating procedures) xi) Design & drawings document management xi) KPI (Key performance indicators 5 Ability to generate important reports from databases /Dashboard related to MEP design function and analyze these for enhancing productivity and reduce cycle time for design & development                               Legal  Competencies                               Legal Competencies                        Legal Competencies 1 Deep knowledge of technical aspects vis a vis relevant laws applicable to Architecture function such as below but not limited to: ·       The RERA-real estate regulation & development act 2017 ·       The national building Codes,2016 ·       The Forest Conservation Act,1980 ·       The Patent act 1970 ·       The National Green Tribunal Act 2010 ·       The Central Goods and services tax Act 2017 And so on .         2 Deep knowledge of local regulations related to Architecture function such as below but not limited to:   ·       Urban planning& development ·       Town & country planning laws ·       Applicable standards of GBC-Green building council ·        Applicable standards of LEED (leadership in energy & environment) 3 Familiarity with relevant IS & International standards   4 Essential knowledge of Standards related to Health & Safety, vis a vis Architecture packages   1 Deep knowledge of technical aspects vis a vis relevant laws applicable to Interior design function such as below but not limited to:   ·       The national building Codes,2016 ·       The Central Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 And so on                   2 Deep knowledge of local regulations related to Interior design functions such as below but not limited to:   ·       National Building code,2016-sections Relevant Aspects related to Fire & safety, Building materials, etc.     3 Familiarity with relevant IS & International standards   4 Essential knowledge of Standards related to Health & Safety, vis a vis Interior design packages   1 Deep knowledge of technical aspects vis a vis relevant laws applicable to IMEP design   function such as below but not limited to:   ·       The electricity act 2003 ·       The Air (prevention &control of pollution) act,1987 ·       The Water (prevention &control of pollution) act,1987 ·       The environment (protection)act 1986 ·       The petroleum act 1934 ·       The RERA-real estate regulation & development act 2017 ·       The National Green Tribunal Act 2010 ·       The Central Goods and Services Tax Act 2017   2 Deep knowledge of local regulations related to MEP design function such as below but not limited to:   ·       National Building code,2016-sections related to building services like lighting, electrical, air conditioning, acoustics, sound insulation, noise control, lifts, escalators, travellators, plumbing (water supply, drainage & sanitation, solid waste management, gas supply), landscape, signages, etc. ·       Applicable standards of GBC-Green building council ·        Applicable standards of LEED (leadership in energy & environment) 3 Familiarity with relevant IS & International standards   4 Essential knowledge of Standards related to Health & Safety, vis a vis MEP design packages                                        Leadership  Competencies                                   Leadership  Competencies                       Leadership  Competencies 1 Ethical frame of mind  2 Team management 3 Team development and training 4 Empowerments  5 Alignment with organization objectives 6 Quality of work 7 Efficiency and Effectiveness 8 Analytical 9 Change management 10 Benchmarking of competitor’s design features in various packages     1 Ethical frame of mind  2 Team management 3 Team development and training 4 Empowerments  5 Alignment with organization objectives 6 Quality of work 7 Efficiency and Effectiveness 8 Analytical 9 Change management 10 Benchmarking of competitor’s design features in various packages     1 Ethical frame of mind  2 Team management 3 Team development and training 4 Empowerments  5 Alignment with organization objectives 6 Quality of work 7 Efficiency and Effectiveness 8 Analytical 9 Change management 10 Benchmarking of competitor’s design features in various packages         WAY FORWARDThe acquisition of 36 competencies listed above in each design function can enable designers to play a larger for aligning with the organization’s objectives and thus play an important role in improving the performance of the organization and enhancing profitability. Architects, Interior Designers, and MEP designers, therefore, need to do following in their respective areas of responsibilities 1.       Continuous enhancement of the skills mentioned above in the competencies mentioned above 2.      Identifying and engaging high-quality, professionally qualified, and competent designers/consultants where in-house skills are not yet available or resources are not adequate. 3.      Finding and implementing best design practices thus bringing excellence in their respective design processes and accomplishing the following:·       Enhancing quality of designs·       Supporting improved quality of construction·       Reducing Project costs·       Increasing sales revenue·       Improving end-customer satisfaction index·       Complying with statutory conformances ·       Accelerating design efficiency and design effectiveness 4.      Developing and implementing performance management systems (for designers) based on documented KPI-key performance indicators    Handbook of the author  In June 2022, the author launched a handbook titled “ETHICS in the real estate and hospitality industry, Volume 1- Architectural, Interior design, and MEP services “. Readers will find a comprehensive reflection of the above competencies in the contents of Chapters 1,2,3.