Monthly Archives: April 2009

Construction Tolerance

Where codes or regulations establish minimum or maximum values and allow no tolerance outside the limit, industry standard construction tolerance should be incorporated into the design. For example, concrete ramps that must comply with “zero tolerance” maximum slope requirements for

Posted in Codes, Concrete, Construction Documents, Design

Masonry Design: Separate hung masonry from foundation-supported masonry

When drawing up elevations for masonry walls, in addition to locating control joints (arguably “expansion joints”) to accommodate expansion and contraction related to temperature and moisture, it is important to consider how masonry supported on lintels hung directly from deflecting

Posted in Design, Masonry

Purposeful chaos (the 2-minute design offense)

While throwing staff at a project at the last minute is likely to be counterproductive (see Staffing a design project), an imminent project deadline can ignite productive and purposeful chaos that is otherwise hard to generate. Consider the possible accomplishments

Posted in Project Management

Masonry Construction: A hodgepodge of reinforcing

A recent obituary (darn those things!) reminded me of an event years ago during the construction of additions to a local school. As the architect’s project manager, I attended weekly meetings at the construction site. During the meetings we talked

Posted in Construction Administration, Masonry

Masonry Design: A subtle difference in brick sizes

It may come as no surprise that bricks are available in different shapes and sizes. But, in at least one situation, the difference in size may be too subtle to notice until you see an area of infill that does

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Masonry

Proactive coordination meetings on the go

When an architect assembles a conference room full of consultants for a coordination meeting, power and status can sometimes interfere with productive coordination. Some of the consultants may have traveled for hours, may feel uncomfortable or out of their element,

Posted in Project Management

Building Thermal Movement: Everything in a building moves

We tend to think of buildings as static creations. Sure, doors and windows may move, elevators and escalators go up and down, water runs through pipes, air through ducts, and fans turn on and off. But we tend to think

Posted in Construction Documents, Design

Value Engineering can add value

Architects and engineers may be used to thinking of Value Engineering as a form of design torture, where value is stripped out of a project design in order to save money. But Value Engineering can also provide an opportunity to

Posted in Project Administration, Project Management

It takes timely money to make a project go

A project owner was feeling frustrated that the contractor, who was doing work of good quality, was not going fast enough. Considering the contractor’s monthly application for payment, the owner decided to not pay the contractor for the previous month’s

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Administration, Project Management

The Schedule of Values deserves close attention

On public building construction projects (and, possibly, on most private building projects) the contractor develops a Schedule of Values that forms the basis for monthly applications for payment (also known as “requisitions”) that will be submitted as construction proceeds. The

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Administration, Project Management


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