Facilities Planning and Design

Zehra Waheed (School of the Built Environment, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 4 July 2008



Waheed, Z. (2008), "Facilities Planning and Design", Facilities, Vol. 26 No. 9/10, pp. 426-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/f.2008.26.9_10.426.1



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The book by Alberto Garcia‐Diaz and J. MacGregor Smith describes itself as “an established title widely used by universities and colleges throughout the world”. Intended as a primary text for undergraduate courses in facilities planning and design and materials handling: sadly, for those students studying for a higher degree, they may fail to see the “bigger picture” of the design process in relation to the overall design, briefing and construction process, while practitioners will find it too elementary for any practical use.

The book's focus is Industrial Facilities Design only‐ something that should have been clarified in the book's title. However, targeted at this small market, what the book claims to deliver, the book does deliver a thorough and rigorous explanation of the factory design process from the product analysis layout planning, the development of Materials Handling Systems to the final synthesis of the individual elements into the final organisation. Using the hypothetical case of a “factory project”, the books builds up the knowledge and understanding of the students by slowly introducing relevant concepts. These then are incorporated into the “factory project”, allowing the students to fill in details (and hence learning) of the projects with appropriate use of tools, through the given exercises. Complete, detailed referencing (to academic works) definitely makes it a more academic and student‐focused rather than a practitioner‐focused text.

Further examples of how particular techniques have been used in real‐life projects; references to real case studies at appropriate places within the text; and reference to the applicable regulatory structures may have enhanced the use‐ability of the book as a text for perhaps a wider audience. However, if you are interested in a comprehensive book in Industrial Facilities Design, and are not too ambitious about what it can deliver in terms of practical examples or a wider picture of the discipline, this is definitely the one for you.

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