Charrette Support                                

Rubicon Planning, LLC provides support to design charrettes, planning charrettes, DD Form 1391 development, requirements analyses, and other aspects of Army facilities programming.  Rubicon’s principals have completed the National Charrette Institute’s Certified Charrette Planner training and Complete Charrette Management Certification training, and have extensive experience in supporting the charrette process throughout the Army.

Rubicon also offers
Master Planning Services, Facility Planning Services, Requirements Analysis, and can provide specialized, customer-specific support to meet specific master planning needs.  Contact Rubicon to discuss your installation’s needs and how we can help.

Charrette Purpose:  Planning Charrettes are conducted in the formulative stage (Guidance Year-1) for projects identified in the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP). The purpose is to identify and resolve issues of standardization, functionality, location, scope, and cost which might otherwise affect execution of the project. The objective deliverable of the Planning Charrette is the Department of Defense (DD) Form 1391 signed by the Installation / Garrison Commander, and the Planning Charrette Validation Form (see Appendix D), signed by project users and relevant installation staff. The Validation Form constitutes agreement and should facilitate the design process. Identification of issues, which cannot be resolved in the Planning Charrette process, can, and should, slow project execution until these issues are resolved. Planning Charrettes do not eliminate a need for the much more detailed Design Charrette conducted with Planning and Design (P&D) funding later in the project.

1391 Planning Charrettes
  • Goal – Provide a complete and accurate DD Form 1391 for a functional project with the least impact to the environment and the greatest benefit for the users.
  • Intense on - site workshop.
  • Engages Installation, Corps of Engineers, IMCOM, or AFMAJCOMs.
  • Led by a Facilitator and multidisciplinary team of Architects, Engineers, Cost Engineer, Environmentalist.

The Charrette Process

  • Defines the objective of the facility and determines the impact if the project is not supported.
  • Answers Why, Who, What, When and Where?
  • Includes Pre-workshop research, In-Briefs, Interviews and Out-briefs.
  • 1-5 Day workshop effort to develop project requirements.
  • Employs latest electronic tools where feasable.

Benefits of the Charrette

  • Early communication among all involved proponents.
  • Experienced designers involved with planners at early planning stage.
  • Products provided in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Projects funded and at the appropriate Programmed Amount.

Charrette Terms:

1391 Preparation Planning Charrette (also known as Programming Charrette)
During this workshop, the draft DD Form 1391 is developed.  This includes the complete definition of a project scope and analyzing the mission requirements and customer preferences, while balancing these against Allowance and Programming Criteria.  The charrette captures information to complete the front page, Tabs A through J (except Tab B), and facility requirements sketches for the DD Form 1391.
3086 Charrette
During this workshop, the customer’s functional requirements are defined and the scope, cost and schedule are validated.  Prior to the charrette, the team prepares a preliminary design and cost estimate for use during the charrette.  The charrette process is based on the information phase, the first step of the Value Engineering Methodology, and typically includes an outbrief on the final day.
The outcomes of this workshop are used to validate or update the DD Form 1391 and prepare the ENG Form 3086 submission.  This is used to satisfy the Code 3 design directive.  The 3086 Charrette does not meet the requirement for a Value Engineering Study.
Baseline Design and Cost Estimate
A design and cost estimate is prepared prior to the value based design charrette.  It is approximately at the 15% stage for Design-Bid-Build or includes preliminary technical requirements for Design-Build.  It also includes enough detail to easily and quickly adjust during the first two days of the charrette.  It reflects all the requirements in the DD Form 1391 and information gathered from the subject matter experts prior to the charrette.  The designers present the baseline design during the 1st day of the Charrette and Subject Matter Experts confirm whether or not their needs were captured.  The design and cost estimate is adjusted based on this input and the functional requirements of the customer.  The Baseline is finalized and agreed upon by the team early on the 2nd Day of the Charrette prior to brainstorming creative ideas.
Charrettes are intensive on-site work sessions typically facilitated by a Value Specialist using one or more of the Value Engineering Methodologies.  The work sessions include maximum customer interaction and provide instant feedback.  They are used to identify requirements, solve problems and promote team building and partnership.  These work sessions are typically used to validate costs, perform value-engineering studies and develop master planning, programming documents, concept designs and cost estimates.  Charrettes have a typical duration of 3 - 5 days.
The term charrette comes from the French word for a small-wheeled cart. The usage comes from the days of the Beaux Arts, a Parisian architectural school. When the students’ work was due, a cart came through the students’ communities to collect the drawings and take them back to school to be judged.  Students then, were often unfinished. So they got on the cart to finish their designs. They were “on charrette”. To this day, architects working long hours say they are “on charrette” (from USAF Project Management Manual, 1994).
Design Directives
Design directives authorize various stages of project design, indicate project scope and cost, and provide special instructions for the design of the project.  The design execution process is managed, in part, by using design codes.  Since design funds are centrally managed, only HQUSACE (CEMP-M) has the authority to issue a design code to the appropriate USACE MSC or district.
Master Planning Charrette
During this workshop, a list of projects is developed with complete definition of project scope, analyzing the customer’s mission requirements and customer preferences, while balancing these against Army Allowance and Programming Criteria.  The workshop captures the associated costs and requirement dates for each of the projects.  The list of projects is also prioritized during the charrette.
Pre-Charrette Meeting
This meeting is used to prepare the team for the charrette.   The meeting can include reviewing programming documents, a site visit, gathering information from the subject matter experts, reviewing lessons learned, reviewing schedule, and even presenting conceptual designs for input.  Typically, pre-charrette meetings are performed for Value Based Design Charrettes.

Programming Charrette (PC)
During this workshop, the project scope is defined and the mission requirements and customer preferences are analyzed, while balancing these against Allowance and Programming Criteria.  This typically produces the information used in the DD Form 1391.
Value Based Design Charrettes (VBDC)
During this workshop, an optimized design is developed meeting the customer’s functional requirements while meeting the scope, cost and schedule limitations.  The five basic Value Engineering Methodology steps are used to obtain this optimized design.  In preparation for the charrette, the team prepares a baseline design and cost estimate.
This charrette is also used to validate or update the DD Form 1391 and prepare the ENG Form 3086 submission.

For more information, please send an e-mail to, or call us at 540-344-7140.