Monthly Archives: April 2009

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

So, you want to count trucks?

It seems there is always a lively discussion about how to quantify additional earthwork on a project. While established standards may stipulate that payment will be based on compacted, ‘in place’ volume determined by survey, someone always wants to use

Posted in Construction Administration, Site Work

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

Form suddenly meets function

One Monday morning many years ago, the boss came into the office and announced that we were going to enter a design competition for the West Hollywood Civic Center, which would be located on a block across the street from

Posted in Design, Oops, Project Management

Pragmatism trumps engineering

An industrial client company’s in-house engineers had spent weeks studying the expected loads and determining the structural design criteria for the new industrial building’s floor, a concrete slab on grade. They anticipated stacks of steel plate, and the resulting loads

Posted in Design, Project Management

Ask the right person or get the wrong answer

We were working on a fast-track office building project. The project duration was 6 months and 4 days from the start of design to owner occupancy. It was a 4-story, 125,000 sq. ft. office building to be built on deep

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Administration, Project Management

Monitoring construction progress

One effective way to monitor progress on a construction project is to consider cumulative payments to the contractor or claimed percent complete against an estimated payment schedule that should be established at the start of the project. In most cases

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Administration, Project Management

Staffing a design project

I remember (about 30 years ago) being enlisted to help finish construction documents for a hospital addition and renovation project. The project out-to-bid date was fast approaching, and many of the drawings had not yet been started. I was assigned

Posted in Project Management

Zero Slump Concrete

After a few of us had taken the architect license exam, we were talking about the questions. One of the multiple choice questions asked how long to wait before removing the cone during a concrete slump test. My colleague had

Posted in Concrete, Construction Administration, Oops

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