Episode #: 96
Show: National 9
Airdates: July - Jan '01 (see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)

Architectural Space Programming


  • Want to know the right size, see the necessary rooms and find the construction costs of a surgical room in a 354-bed hospital? Or know what is a Perinatal LDR? Architronix Software demonstrates how their amazing software program dramatically decreases the architectural space programming phase and overall project costs. 
Broadcast Excerpts

News Desk

In sharp contrast to centuries gone by, today most of human activities take place within buildings. But great architectural designs don't just happen. They are planned to look good and perform well. So how does it all happen? The experts say programming the requirements of a proposed building is the architect's first task, and certainly one of the most important tasks, simply because no one can or should build anything, without programming the area and construction cost of a structure before initiating its design. Have you ever thought of what really makes a reality the very building you're in right now or what it takes to get it come to life? 

The building and construction market is one of the most profitable arenas throughout the world. Buildings are not only used as shelter, to perform complex functions or become a source of leisure but also the idea of them as "real estate" makes them a prime target for investment all over the world. Although construction techniques and design methods have become sophisticated, determining what needs to be built remains generally a somewhat imprecise exercise unless proper architectural space programming is done. In this special edition of Business World News, we are highlighting a programming and planning firm that has been using for the past 6 years a unique software program that calculates a Hospital's internal areas and construction cost based on its internal functions, the demand of its services, how many people use the space in their building and how they use it. 

MEDICAL ARCHITECTURE, a Los Angeles firm, believes that a successfully built infrastructure depends directly on the initial programming phase preceding its design. The firm recognizes that the space programming process requires an expeditious, versatile, fail-safe tool, so they developed arcSP, a software program, designed to assist users in their effort to determine the most appropriate building size and cost for their projects. 

Medical Architecture was formed as a consulting firm providing architectural space planning and programming for clients building new hospitals and redesigning old ones. The company then formed a marketing company called Architronix Software to market arcSP, a software program that dramatically decreases the architectural space programming phase and consequently the overall project process.

Q.1 Who actually benefits from using your software, Hector?
Just about everybody who has participation on the decision making process of any project. Candidates that come to mind are certainly architects and architectural students, civil engineers, and planning specialists. Individual Clients or institutions that use the programming consulting services benefit the most. Now with arcSP, all those wishing to become more knowledgeable may empower themselves not only to acquire valuable information but to make vital decisions for their project. Other users, just to mention a few in the health care industry, may be health facility administrators, doctors, public health officials, etc.

Q.2 And is your software only for use by the medical field?
ArcSP has the ambitious goal to start developing additional building types for all types of construction infrastructure worldwide. Then, the client base for our services will expand exponentially providing a much-needed service to an enormous global audience. We trust that our services will add a unique web-based tool, readily accessible anywhere, anytime and at an affordable price.

The traditional methods used to determine the quantity of rooms and their area range from a simple wish list to a detailed space program. Architronix Software says that with their software, there are no hidden costs in factoring operations. Both the client and architect using their software will experience accuracy, speed and a boost in profitability. 

Q.3 What exactly is Space Programming?

Until now, space planning and programming was implemented without taking the full advantage of computer interactivity. But Architronix Software says arcSP's tools facilitate a degree of versatility and precision never seen before in building space programming. 
Architectural space programming takes activities, equipment and occupancy into consideration. More importantly, the knowledge of the spaces' workload is a major driver to determine how many rooms will be required. Workload consists on utilization factors such as the time that takes to perform a major surgical procedure, the hours and days of operation of the surgical department and certainly the volume of the surgical interventions to be performed.

Q.4 Your industry is certainly very competitive, what do you think are your company's major strengths?

Hector: The major strength is the arcSP architectural space program simply because, to the best of our knowledge, our software has no other parallel competition. Even more important: arcSP will be available on the Internet. Anybody, anywhere in the world will be able to get a subscription and benefit from repeated access not only to accurately calculate their project, have total accountability on the decision making process, and also will be able to save the results in their computer. Then, the data could be manipulated in any way to suit specific preferences. In addition, since the project will be saved permanently in our server, repeated access from anywhere is guaranteed to make further corrections, discuss options with peers or Clients, create additional schemes, or study alternate scenarios.


These discussions can be made without the trouble of carrying reports, disks, files, etc, because the project is secured information and available through the Internet, enabling full access anywhere in the world using a computer with a Web Browser.
Another of our services is a web portal that will provide a source of information for all to have. In our experience, dictating planning seminars and making presentations, we invariably hear the question: Where can I find data on ? The site will become a dynamic, ever-growing bank and repository of background material, idea/exchange forum, and a source of industry-related links. Eventually it will assemble a global assortment of building codes, planning, programming and design norms, building techniques, materials and equipment, etc. together with the registration of firms and individuals willing to promote their presence. ( for our users to know is that hundreds of buildings worldwide have benefited from its use so we know that we have a highly sought after tool.)

Q.5 And your competitors?
Hector: We do not have competitors. Our aim is to provide end users with a tool that they can use for themselves and their Clients' advantage. The overall building process will benefit, time schedules will be slashed, and consequently costs will be reduced.

Colleagues, rather than competitors are mainly space programming consultants that perform this task without the dynamic tool we're offering. But it shall be clear that these consultants will benefit using our tool, which they can drastically reduce their labor, cost and time.

The process of contemporary construction is evolving from the traditional design of edifices to a more complex set of disciplines involving management, building improvement, and modification of infrastructure throughout its life cycle. 

Consequently, the future of building design is much more focused on functionality not just aesthetics. Architecture consists of identifying problems and solving them creatively. The arcSP system readily identifies quantitative evaluations of a building's space needs that anticipate operating costs, sets measures for both operational and facility performance, and remains dynamic and receptive to innovation during the whole process.

On Camera: 
Only recently, architects have become finders of sites suitable for development, development consultants, construction managers and even software creators. Some, in their pursuit of becoming more useful to owners and contractors, have evolved into experts in strategic planning, real estate development, and property management. 
Architects are aware of the importance that planning and design play in the vital success of institutions and the effective performance of their staff and equipment. Facility programming now means quantifying quality, prioritizing competing capital needs, and measuring facility function and efficiency. 
Our investigative team uncovered that this software allows maximizing the use of existing physical plants and reducing ongoing operational costs over the entire facility life cycle. It also determines the reuse and retrofit of existing facilities and facility conversions. Over 300 facilities, in various countries, have benefited from Mr. Patrucco's architectural space programming knowledge. The program offers preparation of long-range facility reconfiguration strategies and implementation plans that address immediate, short-term and long-term needs. And the determination of facility needs determine mergers, affiliations, acquisitions, and other collaborative planning initiatives.

Q.6 How do you plan to commercialize your software, Mario P.?

"with an interactive web-based program, that meets industry standards, but that is very flexible for the end-user to manipulate, depending on location and currency. We will be offering a very affordable architectural space program online for different building types, starting with health care facilities, in which the average end-user will subscribe to on a monthly basis. As Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft predicts, software will be treated as a service and companies will charge users an upfront monthly fee. Our product, arcSP, will offer any builder, architect, and entrepreneur an opportunity to do the space programming process inexpensively and quickly while at the same time achieving accuracy and high value."

Q.7 And your revenue streams?

"The building, design, and construction industries worldwide are over $3 Trillion dollars in size. Since every type of structure, before it's built, must go through the architectural space programming task, we feel that our program will have many users wishing to reduce considerably the amount of time and money they have to spend on traditional methods."

arcSP not only determines the size of a new project but also assists organizations in identifying programs and services that need immediate renovation and replacement, or that may require assistance in implementation of immediate phases of a long-range facility development strategy, prior to architectural design.

On Camera: Close

In the very same way the 45-minute film development and one-hour reading glasses have revolutionized their respective markets, Architronix Software believes that arcSP is poised to allow their users to calculate, in minutes, basic requirements without the need for costly intermediaries. The company says they strongly challenge "business as usual" assumptions, and encourage "outside the box" thinking in considering new ways to determine a building's area and construction cost. From Woodland Hills, California, I'm Mario Machado, for Business World News.




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