HLM Architects Thoughtful Design Toolkit

A suite of three digital tools, the Thoughtful Design Toolkit helps clients and designers to define, develop and assess their building projects in an evidence-based way.

We’re pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Thoughtful Design Toolkit’, an innovative suite of tools that uses technology and data to help designers work with more confidence that their proposals will deliver the needs of building users, improving the outcomes for clients and the people that use the places and spaces they create.

The Thoughtful Design Toolkit addresses universal challenges that clients and designers face in the creation of the built environment. It improves stakeholder engagement, making it more democratic and objective than traditional consultation methods. It helps define a brief that can be expressed in an objective output specification, underpinned with emotional intelligence. It tracks these criteria and ambitions across emerging design solutions, acting as ‘guide rails’ for designers and then assess whether the finished building delivers the ambitions of the project – particularly around the health and wellbeing of the people who use the spaces.

A suite of three digital tools, the Thoughtful Design Toolkit helps clients and designers to define, develop and assess their building projects in an evidence-based way.

The tools:

  1. HLM_Insight: A digital stakeholder engagement tool that identifies people’s preferences for the qualities of the built environment and converts these into a brief with specification targets.
  2. HLM_Healthcheck: A web-based design tool that assesses how well concept designs perform against the brief and best practice environmental standards.
  3. HLM_Impact: A post-occupancy evaluation survey tool that assesses how buildings perform in operation and against the brief.

HLM_Insight also enables a Social Return On Investment (SROI) calculation to be undertaken based on the data outputs. It estimates the social value generated by the investment in a monetarized way. This aspect is an innovation in an area where design is largely overlooked when assessing the social impact of a project.

Philip Watson, Director, and Head of Design said, “One of the key challenges facing designers and clients today is how to ensure the vision and ambition of a project is maintained in the process of its realisation. Too many building projects fail to satisfy the needs of building users in terms of their activities or the qualities of the environment that improve their wellbeing.“

“As a practice we focus our design effort on aspects that impact on the health and wellbeing of people, recognising the importance of the economic, environmental, and social value of design. The Thoughtful Design Toolkit helps address the challenges that all designers and clients face. It takes a great step forward in ensuring that the vision and ambition of a project is met by using data-enabled processes throughout the life of the project.”