This course examines the real estate development process, from the first design idea and original conceptual sketch to the creation of building and infrastructure assets. During this complex but fascinating process, the designer is placed within a system of other agencies, each one having specific roles, expertise and capabilities but sometimes different incentives and goals. The course provides students with a thorough understanding of the role of each entity (architect, engineer, consultants, contractor, owner, regulators) and describes how risks and rewards are created and distributed amongst people and organizations in the project value chain.
Centering on the needs of the developer-owner, this year’s topics include:
- Strategies for successful design implementation, including cases with high-end design;
- Selection of the architect, consultants and contractors for various project and owner needs;
- Overview and selection of the appropriate project delivery method;
- Project scheduling, budgeting, life-cycle costing, basic financial return calculations and basic capital asset financing for real estate;
- Working in mega-projects spanning multiple countries;
- Understanding project risks and handling uncertainty;
- Assessing and implementing sustainable solutions and technological innovations.
The course is primarily case-study based, although there will be a few lectures introducing fundamental concepts and techniques. Case studies provide the framework for the course and constitute the basis for class discussions. Students are expected to prepare the assigned case study and associated readings before each session and argue effectively about their analysis in class. For some cases the actual project participants will attend
the session. Students will build specific skills on the topics covered through short assignments and in-class simulations. There will be two written assignments throughout the course, and a final paper will bring together all topics presented throughout the semester. There are no prerequisites and
the course welcomes students with non-design backgrounds and expertise.