I recently had an interesting experience with just this type of "by-pass." It involves a church project, and all of us who have worked on such debacles, know that in church projects there are as many clients as there are members of the church!
The Father didn't like a stair location in a new narthex I was putting in one of my projects, even though it literally was the only place stairs could go without destroying all other space in the new structure! As fortune would have it, a member of the parish and her husband had just finished building their new home, using plans she prepared with software she purchased, I believe, at the local pharmacy! She admitted that three contractors would not talk to her about her plans, and the fourth contractor revised them significantly into a constructable edifice. She didn't like his construction work, which didn't surprise me, because he was not busy enough to leave her plans alone!
Not having learned anything from the residential experience, she told the Father she would design the stair location for the new narthex, and I told the Father to let her have a shot at it. The Father wold rather listen to his parish members than an architect. (The client education on this project has so far been inordinately extensive!)
The Father called me when she had given him her design, and told me he wanted her stairs built. He sent me a scan of her plans. I couldn't wait to get to the selected contractor with the plans, and interior perspectives she had prepared. Together, we went immediately to the Father, who always tried listening to his members to override my and the contractors information to the contrary previously on other issues.
We sat down and took out her plans and perspectives. We pointed out that the location of the stairs was dead center of the small narthex and loft above, which of course is also the route of egress. we then pointed out that one of the double doors from the sanctuary into narthex the couldn't open in the direction of egress without hitting the underside of the stairs. Also, the stairs went up and terminated in mid-air. That was because the floor to floor height in the narthex to the loft was 12' - not 9' as is the usual residential floor to floor! Her stairs wouldn't go any further or higher. And you might guess from the door issue that going any higher and further as stairs do, she would have penetrated the narthex wall with the stairs which would have ended up hanging out in the sanctuary - again in mid-air! We also mentioned that her riser/tread dimensions were unacceptable in an assembly occupancy.
I told the Father that any such interruptions to HIS desired schedule in the future would mean a change order to my contract, and he was getting one for the time wasted on stairs.
Maybe this is how I am buying my ticket to heaven!
George Jennings AIA
G Booker 3
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