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What Are the Benefits of Bottom-Up Construction?


Undertaking a large construction project is always a daunting task; from job walks – to bids – to finding a consulting engineer, there are numerous objectives which need to be completed before construction can begin. Before production can even become a thought, however, a design must be brought to the table. With so many different possibilities for completion, what is the best method of choice?

Top Down vs. Bottom Up

Traditionally, building and architectural design all start with a plan, which has historically been called a parti, and is often a basic drawing or blueprint which gives the idea shape. This process is often referred to as a top-down approach to architecture. To see the end result and systematically break down the individual components of creation can be beneficial to certain types of construction and is the preferred method for architects with a specific style of design. Top-down architecture has an aesthetic drive to its application, an inherent personality that allows clients to know up front what they’re getting and how it’s going to function. This approach is best for structured control over a project.

The bottom-up approach, on the other hand, has a more case-by-case application to its design, focusing more on the desired functionality of the project. Typically architects that engage in bottom up design are remembered for the end-result of their projects rather than the particular style of design associated with them. The focus is to take small-scale organizations and turn them into large-scale interpretations, piecing together individual elements in order to create something greater and more complex. It is not the creation of an idea so much as it aims to take the desired goals for the overall project into consideration. This determines the scope and shape of the final result. Bottom-up architecture is ideal for a more experimental approach to creating, as there is more opportunity to restructure based on unforeseen impacts on the design.

Putting To Bed Victorian Tradition

While top-down construction does not always refer to an archaic method of production, it is synonymous with the Victorian tradition of creating a big picture and rigidly sticking to that finalized idea. In this sense, bottom-up methods of architecture are more beneficial to constructing a flowing design that allows for last minute changes and improvements that would otherwise be cast aside in a more concrete approach.

While preference of the client and the style of the architect are the main factors that determine which method is best for a particular project, it is essential to keep in mind the functionality and intended use of the building when establishing a particular method of production. Bottom-up approaches typically take into account the sustainability of a building, the environmental footprint left behind, and are generally focused a little firmer on the connection of the natural world to the constructed elements. Neither method is necessarily better, but the focus of each tends to vary based on the individual needs of the client and the personal style of the designer. For more information concerning what might be the right move for your next project, schedule a free consultation with a skilled engineering consultant; give us a call today at (702) 362-9600.