Monthly Archives: June 2013

Who Should Answer This Question?

Architects are faced with questions all the time. Clients ask questions. Consultants ask questions. Contractors and subcontractors ask questions. The list goes on. Architects generally want to be helpful, they like to be asked questions, and they want to have

Posted in Construction Administration, Design, Project Management

Steep Roof Design Basics for Snow Country

Leaks from ponds created by ice dams can frequently be traced to roof design. Roof designs that funnel snow to narrow spaces and narrow eaves are likely to promote the development of ice dams and resulting roof leaks. Roof designs

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Roofing

A Catch 22 Product Specification

Specifications occasionally include unintended contradictions, and in some instances they are related to schedule. Not long ago, I reviewed a specification for roofing that included a requirement for a particular “ice and water shield” product and allowed no substitutions. The

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Management, Roofing, Specifications

Interdisciplinary Coordination of Construction Documents

Gaps between design disciplines are a common cause of construction change orders. In some cases, the consulting disciplines’ standard practices may generate a gap. For example, the electrical engineer may establish an electrical scope of work that “stops” 10 feet

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Project Management, Site Work, Specifications

Bidders Trust Bid Documents for Take-off

Estimating quantities from a set of plans prepared by another architect reminds me that bidders are likely to rely on the accuracy of the drawings when preparing a take-off for a bid. If the drawings are inconsistent or include discrepancies,

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Project Management

Noisy Lessons (Part 1)

Reading an article on acoustics in the July 2012 issue of The Construction Specifier reminded me of a number of useful lessons learned in the process of designing and administering public school construction projects. Here is one: Basic Acoustical Treatment

Posted in Construction Administration, Design, Project Management

Breaking Ground with New Consultants

It can take a few projects to work out the communication kinks with a team of consultants. Consultants who have worked together and with the same team are likely to develop a good understanding of what to expect from other

Posted in Practice Management, Project Management

Rethinking the Cost of Time

Building design and construction have been governed in modern history by our perception of time as a cost-based commodity. Both design and construction are assumed to have greater competitive value if production time is minimized. The first cost is generally

Posted in Design, Practice Management, Project Administration, Project Management

Getting up to speed with Air Sealing Details

Article 103 of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires that construction documents include air sealing details. Detailing the building envelope air barrier is a relatively recent challenge for architects, but it is a necessary task for communicating these

Posted in Codes, Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management

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