Writing your project strategy

A good project strategy is key to a winning design award entry. The judges must understand what the design was trying to accomplish in order to determine whether or not it was successful.

General category strategies must be less than 200 words long and should include the following components:

  1. The nature of the client’s business and their goals for the project
  2. The goals of the design itself and how the choice of flooring fulfilled those goals
  3. And special design challenges, requirements or constraints that made the project unique

The 2012 Grand Prize winner had a particularly well-written strategy. Note how it addressed the unique challenges of the space and how the design met them.

“The goals for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital new addition were threefold: Improve their existing hospital design, create a new campus image that was bold and unique, and improve the current wayfinding. Members of the design team at HKS Inc., Dallas, Texas, considered wayfinding their most difficult challenge because they wanted to create something that was childlike but not childish. It had to be as comfortable and fun for a 3 year old girl to navigate as it was for a 19 year old boy. They solved the problem by giving each floor its own identity and personality. Armstrong Marmorette linoleum, Medintech homogeneous sheet and Migrations BioBased Tile floors helped designers accomplish their objective for creating wayfinding suitable for children of all ages. Each floor and clinic has its own distinctive color palette, landmark desert animal and desert botanical, in addition to floor level numbers and views to the outside. “

The specialty categories have some additional strategy requirements. Unique Installation Challenge requires that you address the installation itself and point out the challenges and how they were overcome. These descriptions may be in addition to the general category strategy.

The 2012 winner conveyed the complexity of their project with real elegance in just 81 words.

“THE CHALLENGE: 126,000 square feet of sheet vinyl and linoleum; 124,000 square feet of VCT; 30,000 lineal feet of inlaid water-jet-cut arches and rivulets; 52,000 lineal feet of heat-welded seams; 109,000 square feet of concrete moisture remediation; 20,000 lineal feet of self-coved base; five coordinated crews working 7 days a week – all according to a strict fast-track construction schedule.

THE RESULT: a stunning flooring system with inlaid arches and rivulets running throughout Eastern Idaho’s new state-of-the-art regional medical center. “

The Environmental Achievement category requires that the strategy address the recycled content of products, sustainability practices, and LEED points,

This excerpt from the 2012 winner highlights all the environmental attributes of the selected products and makes a solid case for their project.

“A primary goal was to maximize the use of sustainable building methods and techniques. Building design was, governed by a strict guiding principal: any “green” technology or materials used, that exceeded the norm, were required to have an estimated return on investment of less than 10 years. Now the project is tracking LEED Gold with the help of several flooring products chosen. Lees Supernatural has 40% preconsumer recycled content, contains a self lock adhesive, Antron fiber for longevity and Dura color for permanent stain resistance. The Armstrong Marmorette chosen contains 10-20% recycled content and is considered to be a rapidly renewable resource. Roppe base contributes because it is a rapidly renewable resource, pre-finished, uses low emitting adhesives and is recyclable. DalTile Modern Dimensions contain both pre and post consumer recycled content. The EPA of the building is at 54% and is a great example for the City to live by. “