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  • Acts of Creation: Balancing Total Cost of Ownership with Joy

Acts of Creation: Balancing Total Cost of Ownership with Joy

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What happens in planning and design impacts what happens in the facility life cycle and vice versa. Unfortunately, project life cycle factors are overlooked when the project team has a myopic attitude to capital planning only putting first cost front and center.  Brushing TCO aside during planning and design leads to costly waste and unintended consequences.  Responsible Owners envisage the long-term impact of ROI on their bottom line and strive to minimize TCO within their business model. Accountable Architects strive to meet the Owner’s project requirements by providing solutions with considerations to "cradle to grave” and TCO assessments. The TCO is a crucial factor in calculating the ROI, for efficiency and for value creation.  A TCO strategy is an approach to delivering a sustainable project.

Course expires 01/17/2026

Learning Objectives


Determine the confidence in architectural planning and design relative to the Owner's ROI projections for capital improvement projects as it serves the Owner's occupants comfort ensuring their health, safety, and welfare.


Leverage a comprehensive delivery strategy that elevates the human experience through the power of collaboration from project inception to completion involving manufacturing, assembly, and construction, achieving joy in practicing architecture.


Test the total cost of ownership (TCO) equation and the interrelationship of value-for-money (VfM) and life cycle analysis (LCA) for your practice to understand how an integrated delivery approach can solve for joy. 


Demonstrate how to integrate major factors of the healthcare facility life cycle such as workforce’s well-being, building’s energy efficiency, other clinical and operational compliance and issues.

This session was recorded live on March 8, 2023.

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Zigmund (Zig) Rubel, FAIA, is the Co-founder and CEO of Forsight Digital, a PropTech company specializing in data-driven processes to plan complex buildings.  Their software, FastPlan, is a SaaS-based offering for healthcare planners to determine requirements for their projects.  Zig is a recovering healthcare architect, with over 30 years of experience, having worked on over 20 million SF of healthcare facilities throughout the world.  He holds five US patents for building products and software.  Zig is a founding Board Member and Treasurer for the Center of Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry.

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Grace, former chair of AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community, is an Owner’s advisor. As a senior project manager at CBRE, she sets out procurement strategies, project delivery blueprints, supports clients’ businesses and operational requirements. She provides customized services from project inception to completion that minimize risks optimizing project outcomes. She is responsible for timely reporting ensuring client goals are achieved. She orchestrates the integration of project delivery systems, multifaceted business functions, and directs project implementation. Her multi-market experiences foster innovation and drive efficiency. Her experience is complemented by a B.S. degree in Architecture, two M.S. degrees – in Construction Administration and in Sustainability Management – both from Columbia University. After working for global architectural firms, she transitioned into the Owner’s side. Her previous roles from “both sides of the fence”, being an Owner and a consultant, cultivated her talents at big picture ideas, executing details, and qualified her the perspectives to purvey strategic master planning. Her broad-based knowledge benefits real estate development, design, construction, capital facility programs, and sustainability management. Grace serves on the PDKC, Urban Land Institute, Association of Medical Facilities Professionals steering committees. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies, teaching graduate-level students.

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Will Lichtig is Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff for The Boldt Company with more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry. He has been instrumental in instituting innovative project delivery solutions, including Integrated Lean Project Delivery®, and developing supporting commercial documents, including the Integrated Form of Agreement, incentive fee plans, and risk pool plans. His innovations and contributions to the industry were acknowledged by Engineering News-Record magazine when he was named an "ENR Top 25 Newsmaker" for 2007.

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Following engineering school, Mark served in a variety of roles from project engineer to vice president with multi-regional building companies. Mark managed commercial, institutional, and industrial projects across twenty-five states. From 2000 to 2009 Mark helped develop an industrialized-construction concept with Steelcase, the world’s largest manufacturer of interior office systems. This experience inspired the development of the Building Catalyst – SaaS (Software as a Service) platform to help construction move from its siloed and fragmented state to one that is more integrated and automated. Education: BS in Civil Engineering, Master’s in Business Administration, Licensing: Registered Professional Engineer, Michigan Experience: 27 years in general contracting and construction management, 19 years in data research, process, and software development including development of Building Catalyst.