Blog Archives

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 Importance of Coordination in Architecture and Engineering Work

Professional liability insurance companies repeatedly report that coordination issues are a major cause of legal claims against design professionals. A Merriam-Webster definition of coordination includes the following: 1) the process of organizing people or groups so that they work together

Posted in Practice Management, Project Administration, Project Management

The Best Mediation Turns the Page

Several years ago I participated in a mediation related to a commercial building which had been plagued by persistent roof leaks over a period of more than 5 years since its construction. The owner had grown exasperated by having to

Posted in Building Repair, Project Administration, Project Management

Planning Construction Site Visits

Construction activities and materials change with stages of construction, so it is useful to consider the activities and products you should expect to see on a given site visit before you go. If, like most construction administrators, your job is

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

Planning a School Renovation Project

Renovations projects may look easy if the folks who normally use the building are gone. School renovation projects are usually not that way. More often, design and construction have to account for ongoing occupancy and school operations during the course

Posted in Design, Project Administration, Project Management

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

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

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

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

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