Perhaps your design firm of choice will provide you with a split-contract agreement separating the creative-conceptual Predesign scope of work from the Production scope of work. Traditionally, this isn't an option. Design firms want the whole humble pie, not a slice. Traditionally to the X factor. Gym design firms don't even produce Predesign or Branding services, they're interior design service factories.
Predesign, is an uber smart augmented strategy that provides developers advance knowledge of aesthetic sensibilities, marketing possibilities and financial probabilities.It's concept-branding-budget-centric information regardless of location, size and physical properties of a space. (Best practice hint, consider Predesign prior to securing a lease). Production however is the "grind". The detail oriented architectural production work encompassing drawings, specifications, permits and construction of a specific space.
Design firms like to close on contracts incorporating both the Predesign and Production phases in their agreements, bigger pie, more revenue. In contrast, a contractual agreement detaching creative work from the production work provides the developer with unique leverage. It amplifies the design firm's creative skill set, positively or negatively, enabling the developer early on to judge the design firm's competence and understanding of the owner's vision. More importantly, it requires a design firm to submit budgetary pricing on design features under review in this early scope of work. Finally, whether one cares to agree or not, client designer chemistry rapidly becomes apparent foretelling a possibly mutually rewarding project, or a project steeped in frustration, obstacles and poor communication, and in turn, potential cost overruns.
A Predesign agreement enables a gym developer to "terminate" a contract with their design firm prior to entering a second, more costly agreement, for production of a gym design that doesn't meet the creative pedigree of the owner's vision or the budgetary requirements.Remember, the Predesign agreement is a branding-budgeting exercise unrelated and independent of any specific space. You're not tied to the terms and obligations and work required to develop a full gym design. It provides you with a "peace of mind" cushion as you're not tied to a more complex and expensive contract.
Another benefit of terminating an agreement of this nature is that there is no leased property, no pending schedules, banking, legal or other, that must be met. It gives the owner time to further develop their branding platform.
Benefits of the Predesign effort include.
- A pre-approved brand identity that can be plugged into any space the developer secures for their facility
- Budgets and prices for design features can be itemized and evaluated for consideration before final design
- Materials, finishes, concepts, colors and the entire branding aesthetic can be tweaked, revised, rejected or accepted prior to securing a lease saving valuable time.
- Renderings, inspiration boards and marketing campaigns can unite offering the owner opportunity to sell to the target demographic prior to opening.
Traditionally, a landlord will provided a developer with terms offering some free rent, enabling the developer to design and build their space prior to incurring rent charges. Conventionally, designers are retained only after a developer secures their lease. This precipitates a time pressured environment requiring the designer to deliver and produce a brand, an interior design, contract documents and coordination prior to any construction.
The Predesign agreement however fast tracks the design process potentially saving the developer a substantial amount of time on their free rent. Simply, the design aesthetic, features and elements that are created in Predesign, are plugged into the final leased space. If all stars align, the developer can potentially open for business prior to incurring any rent charges.
And by the way, this process works.