Educational Specifications, AKA "Ed Specs" or "project brief", refers to the structured documentation of an in-depth process of determining the physical needs for a school or group of schools. A written narrative is accompanied by spreadsheets and diagrams defining the physical environment desired to support the vision for teaching and learning in your school community.
In addition to documenting the process, participants, and principles that will guide the design of the school, physical environments are typically defined in multiple ways:
- spreadsheets defining space types, quantities and sizes,
- graphic diagrams illustrating preferred and/or optimal adjacencies,
- narratives describing functional needs, details, and specific spatial attributes,
- visual examples of similar spaces.
By illustrating space needs in multiple ways, we promote accurate interpretations of user needs by the architectural team once the design process begins.
A Unique Approach
At BrainSpaces, we tailor each ed spec document to reflect the aspirations for the project while also recognizing the many ways that physical environments impact brain development, teaching and learning. We recommend strategies for facilities themselves to stimulate development, inspire learning, and offer opportunities for exploration. We call these BrainSpaces!
Example of a recent Ed Spec Document:
While each unique project requires much tailoring, a fundamental structure for Ed Specs typically includes the following components as shown in this example:
- Executive Summary
- Process Overview
- Document Navigation
- Your Educational Vision
- Current Context
- Current Space Utilization
- Facility Planning Goals
- Program of Space Needs
- Teaching Stations
- Spatial Attributes & Details
- Notes and Insights Gathered
- Glossary of Terminology
- Additional Resources & References