One of the most powerful lessons I have ever learned from a mentor in the architectural industry was to enter every situation with an attitude of ‘I can.’ Not until every avenue and opportunity has been exhausted would I consider uttering the words, ‘not possible.’
There will be instances where you will hit road bumps due to software incapability and limitations from code enforcement. Certain agencies set forth Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Zero Net Energy (ZNE), and Cal Green Building Code to ensure we are maintaining best practices when it comes to our communities’ health while saving energy and cost through a more sustainable facility; others, are in place to focus on fire life safety and accessibility through the State Fire Marshal, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) and Division of the State Architect (DSA).
Documentation such as criteria documents and bridging documents are developed to make certain we are meeting the client’s goals in regards to functionality and aesthetics. As project budgets continue to get tighter with minimal room for flexibility, the challenge of budget and value engineering are becoming more frequent. Codes, requirements, software and cost impacts has created limitation for designers.
So, how does a ‘I Can’ attitude can impact you?
- It brings positivity to your client, design team, and contracting partners. This ensures they are heard and their opinions are valued. You are developing a sense of trust and are communicating that their interests are your main priority.
- It motivates you to fight harder for the outcome you want.
- Doubts no longer limit your judgement. When you believe you can, you will reach a higher success rate and secure more future projects and returning clients.
- It encourages others around you in the industry to get excited and challenge themselves to achieve greater things.
- All in all, it keeps thing fun.
By continuing to maintain a positive attitude while working on the DMV Delano project, it has led me to becoming on track to meet Zero Net Energy (ZNE). For the project, one of the many strategic concepts to reduce energy use was through the natural movement of air to heat and cool the building. It was very important for the air flow in the building to supply cold air from vents at the ground level and have returning air in the ceiling, but all the air flow needed to circulate from a unit on the roof. An idea of mine was to place vents discretely at ground level in difficult to access areas of the main public space. This was met with skepticism. I heard “probably not” and “I’m not sure this will work.” However, with great enthusiasm, I was able to get everyone on board to the idea. Thus, lead to a positive outcome. It worked!
Next time you find yourself wanting to say the words “I’m not sure,” or “probably not,” try taking a more positive approach such as “I am sure there is a way we could get that to work.”