Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Great Rush to Build

When starting a project, everyone is in a great rush to build.  “Why does it take so long to plan?” they ask.  “We already know what we want.  We don’t need to spend any more time planning.  Let’s get started

Posted in Design, Gosh Darnit, Oops, Project Administration

In-House Design Project Management and Communication

Many years ago I was part of the 11th hour construction documents staff that was added to a hospital renovation design team to meet an out-to-bid deadline. The project, then internally behind schedule, had not been well organized or adequately

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

Constructability Reviews: From The Ground Up

The Whole Building Design Guide (a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences) has published an informative guide to constructability reviews: Performing Efficient and Effective Constructability Reviews by Jason G. Smith. Smith’s Top Five Rules for constructability reviews include

Posted in Construction Documents, Project Administration, Project Management, Site Work, Specifications

Anticipate Requirements That Can Expand Project Scope

It can be difficult to limit the scope of a renovation project. Unexpected conditions and requirements can add to project scope. I recall an example of this related to a small residential renovation. A neighbor was converting the attic of

Posted in Codes, Project Administration, Project Management

Door Swing Design Really Does Matter

This closet plan with an in-swinging door was an unfortunate part of a real project design. The door was installed as shown, which probably proves that someone can actually get into and out of the closet with the in-swinging door,

Posted in Design

Design-Build Risks for Architects

When an architect is a sub to a contractor leading a Design-Build team, the architect’s primary allegiance is typically to the contractor and not to the owner. The Design-Build contractor is likely to control the architect’s scope of services and

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

Small House Transformation

The little house in the photo above was a humble but cozy, family hand-me-down for one person. More space was needed for a couple with frequent guests. The couple wanted to keep the old house and expand in a way

Posted in Design

“Hide in View”? Yes, please!

“Hide in View” is one of the most important commands available to Revit users. Without it, every view at every scale gets everything that is linked to it in the model. Without selectively hiding information from a view, the picture

Posted in Construction Documents

SIP Building Performance Depends on Effective Moisture Management

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) have enjoyed growing popularity as interest in building energy conservation has increased. With its large, prefabricated, factory insulated panels, SIP construction offers nearly continuous insulation, fewer joints than conventional frame construction with stud-cavity insulation, and possibly

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

Pricing Documents and the Professional Standard of Care

The architect for this project was hired by the developer to produce “pricing documents” only. The developer would trust the builders to figure out what to do – fill in the blanks – for conditions not detailed on the architect’s

Posted in Construction Documents, Practice Management, Project Administration

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