Blog Archives

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

“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

Designing a Low-Slope Roof to Drain

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 (dead level), the 2009 IBC (International Building

Posted in Construction Documents

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

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

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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