Whether you're planning a minor renovation or launching a large-scale building project, you're likely to find intensive design workshops, known as charrettes, useful for generating ideas and enhancing collaboration in advance of the formal design process. (The term "charrette" is derived from the French word for the cart or wagon used to collect students' drawings at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the 19th century.)
Participants can include representatives of the building owner, members of the design and building teams, community members and local building officials.
Though many types of developers make use of charrettes, these workshops are particularly helpful in green building projects, where a well-integrated design is vital to meeting the goals of the project and keeping costs down.
Charrettes typically last from two to four days and provide a creative, highly focused atmosphere where your project team can discuss environmental goals, including LEED certification, and come up with an overall green building strategy. Large-scale workshops can also be opened to the public, allowing you to discuss your project with community members and building officials, address any concerns that might delay your project, and generate good will and advance buzz about your green building.