Blog Archives

Bulk Water Management with a Low Slope Roof

Low slope roofs or “flat” roofs, as they are sometimes called, typically have single-ply membrane or multi-layer “built-up” roof systems. Although one or more manufacturers offer warrantees for membranes installed with no slope, the 2015 IBC (International Building Code) requires

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Roofing

10 Features of Good Construction Documents for Massachusetts Filed Sub-Bids

Scope clarity is the highest priority when it comes to developing documents for Filed Sub-Bids. Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L. c.149) establishes requirements for Filed Sub-Bids on public building projects. Separate Filed Sub-Bids are mandated for certain trade-specific classes of work

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

5 Attributes of Good Construction Documents

Here are just a few key attributes of good construction documents for buildings: Drawings and specifications use the same terminology. A good example of this attribute would be consistent naming of soil types in earthwork specifications and structural drawings, and

Posted in Construction Documents

Last Minute Fix for a Technical Ground Grid

Our fast-track, high-tech building project was nearly complete. The tenant’s incredibly expensive computer equipment was rolling in, and the sophisticated equipment power system was being tested. Then the electrical contractor reported a problem. The technical ground grid did not test

Posted in Construction Administration, Construction Documents

The Challenges of In-House QC Review of Construction Documents

According to a recent insurance publication, approximately half of the claims brought against architects are triggered by design errors and are related to a lack of procedures to identify conflicts, errors, and omissions in design documents. In other words, QC

Posted in Construction Documents, Practice Management, Project Management

The Purpose of Construction Documents

It may seem silly to suggest there could be any doubt about the purpose of construction documents, for surely they are supposed to document what is to be constructed. However, the underlying purpose is to document and convey design intent

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

The Rise of Manufactured Systems in Architectural Design

One of the many things that have changed in the practice of architecture during the last 50 years is our dependence on manufactured building systems. Architectural education and training 50 years ago included the detailed design of components like windows,

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Specifications

The Role of the Spec Writer

Reading recent grumblings by specifications (spec) consultants, I started thinking back over the roles of the spec writers at firms where I have worked since I began my architectural career in the 1960s. Spec writing and related technologies have changed

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

Cathedral Ceiling Woes

Insulating a cathedral ceiling with fiberglass batts and ventilating the same framing spaces does not work very well where framing spaces are interrupted by framing offsets, skylights, chimneys, or other penetrations, or where the roof framing changes direction or is

Posted in Construction Documents, Design

Learning from Building Envelope Failures

Recently, I had the pleasure and honor of delivering a 1-hour HSW continuing education presentation on “Learning from Building Envelope Failures” to the Vermont 2014 ACX, a collaborative event organized by Vermont Chapter CSI and AIA Vermont. The presentation included

Posted in Building Repair, Construction Administration, Construction Documents, Design, Project Administration, Project Management

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