Small Project Practitioners

Small Project Practitioners sorted by thread
 
  Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 05, 2013 7:49 PMLinda Reeder, AIA, LEED AP
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 07, 2013 9:40 AMDarrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 10, 2013 5:42 PMRobin Miller, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 11, 2013 5:30 PMDarrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 11, 2013 5:53 PMMr. John Mastin, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 11, 2013 9:12 PMAdam Trott, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 17, 2013 10:19 AMDavid DeFilippo, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 18, 2013 5:44 PMDarrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 18, 2013 6:49 PMRobert Larsen, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 11, 2013 6:23 PMPhilip Kabza, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 24, 2013 4:00 PMArthur Rogers, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 25, 2013 5:49 PMRoy Cotterill, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJun 27, 2013 9:38 AMRobert Smith, AIA
  RE:Reducing Architect-Builder ConflictsJul 01, 2013 8:55 AMRobin Miller, AIA
 

1.
Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Linda Reeder, AIA, LEED AP
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 05, 2013 7:49 PM
Subject: Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
This message has been cross posted to the following Discussion Forums: Small Firm Round Table and Small Project Practitioners .
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Owing to different incentives, priorities, and other issues, architects and constructors working on the same project can find themselves in conflict. What conflicts have you had, and how have you learned to mitigate them in future projects? How have they affected your projects? If you haven't had any conflicts, what's your secret? I am collecting strategies and lessons learned for future publication and/or an AIA Convention program. If you are willing to share your experiences, please contact me at lindaATlindareederarchDOTcom or 203-789-8377.


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Linda Reeder AIA, LEED AP
Principal
Linda Reeder Architecture, LLC
New Haven CT
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2.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Darrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 07, 2013 9:40 AM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
If you are looking out for your client, you will have numerous conflicts with contractors.  If you don't care about your client and are happy to let your fee rise as the cost of construction rises, then you and the contractor will be bosom buddies with very few conflicts.  One of the greatest benefits for an owner is that an architect can arrange things where there is real competition at almost every level of the pricing process and (during construction) he can help assure that the owner does not get less than he has contracted for.  In order to do that, you will be fighting against the contractor, his subs, and all of their suppliers trying their best to maximize their profits.  That generates conflicts between the architect's role and the construction team.  That is a good thing.  

Unfortunately, that baby is being thrown out with the bath water as the Integrated Design Process grows in popularity.  

Very few projects need to give up competitive pricing to allow the constructors to come on board well before the final pricing is determined.  That makes life easier for the architect, more expensive than necessary for the owner, and the constructing team loves it.  It is called "a license to steal" in the contractor world. The fewer conflicts they have with Architects the more money they make.

JMVHO

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Darrel Odom AIA, LEED AP
President
Odom Peckham Architecture, Inc.
Little Rock AR
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3.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Robin Miller, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 10, 2013 5:42 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
Darrel,

WELL SAID.
Sorry to say, but many of our peers have already quaffed the Kool Aid.

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Robin Miller AIA
MSH Architects
Sioux Falls SD
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4.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Darrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 5:30 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
Thank you.  I also should have said "Integrated Project Delivery" (since that is the more common name for it) instead of "Integrated Design Process".  I hope that doesn't confuse anyone.

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Darrel Odom AIA, LEED AP
President
Odom Peckham Architecture, Inc.
Little Rock AR
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5.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Mr. John Mastin, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 5:53 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:

If you are looking to find out why lawsuits against architects have been on the rise for years, and why our profession is losing respect, all you have to do is read the post below.  While competition is clearly an important component of arriving at the appropriate cost for any project, more important is cooperation among the various parties involved.  If the architect enters into a project with the expectation, or worse the goal, of creating conflict with the contractor, the biggest loser in the process will be the architect's client.

I have practiced my profession for 40 years, and the least successful projects I have been involved with are the ones which were bid after completion of 100% documents.   The bidding process generates and supports the "license to steal" on the part of the contractor.  Contractors who participate in these competitive processes are forced into finding how to beat the system by low-balling their pricing in the hopes of making it up later in change orders.  In every case the bidders will find opportunities to create change orders during the construction phase, and the ultimate result will be increased cost to the client.  Unless the architect is Superman, capable of producing the perfect set of documents on every project, he is not capable of addressing every contingency in his drawings and specifications.  For the rest of us mere humans, the input of the contractor (also a human) is welcomed.   Only if we are willing to work in concert with our associates in the construction industry will we be able to produce projects for our clients that are within their budgets.

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John Mastin
Crestview FL
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6.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Adam Trott, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 9:12 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
CONTRACTOR CONFLICTS
I find that most of the conflicts come from the situation where the Owner has changed something about the design after the agreement with the Contractor has been signed and we're in the field building, thus generating the "change order" arena without a competitive pricing environment.  The prices sometime seem a little high, but I have diminished leverage left in defending the Owner's financial interests, and the clock is my enemy.

COLLABORATION
I find the Contractor to be a good ally when his role on the team is a cost plus construction manager type.  In this role, he can aggressively bid the various items of sub-contractor work, and all the numbers are transparent.  He can use his clout with the subs to get a competitive price/sharper pencil.  This doesn't always happen this way, but it does happen often when the Contractor has a good ethical base.


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Adam Trott AIA
Adam J. Trott Architect
Erie PA
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7.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: David DeFilippo, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 17, 2013 10:19 AM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:

The only way to reduce conflicts is to be proactive and to solve them as a team. 

Individuals working towards self interest are at war.  there can be lots of dead bodies on a construction site.

DRD


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David DeFilippo AIA
Tsoi/Kobus Associates; Cambridge, MA
Milton MA
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8.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Darrel Odom, AIA, LEED AP
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 18, 2013 5:44 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
Have you ever seen one of those low-budget western movies where two guys in a wild west saloon tie their left forearms together and then each get handed a knife so they can have a knife fight?  One of them may win the fight but he will be cut up really bad doing it.  That is how a construction process can get if there are out of control conflicts.  

My previous suggestion is that there is something in between that and the contractors being free to max out their profits to their heart's content.  The architect can manage and participate in producing good construction documents, getting competitive bids for the owner, and then seeing, as much as possible, that the owner receives a building that is in compliance with those documents.  The conflicts that I envision are thorough checking of submittals, turning down "not equal" items, requiring work to be re-done when it falls below the contract or industry standards, etc.  Not armageddon; just architects doing good work.  Working hard for the owner rather than working to make projects easier for the architect, more profitable for the contractor, and far less profitable for the owner.  I can imagine very few Integrated Delivery Process projects that can justify the owner paying for the inevitable price gouging that can and will result when competition is discarded from the process.

JMVHO

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Darrel Odom AIA, LEED AP
President
Odom Peckham Architecture, Inc.
Little Rock AR
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9.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Robert Larsen, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:49 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
I agree with the previous author who suggests working as a team. I also think it's always best to treat every person we encounter in our practice with respect and honor.  It's a mistake to take a "know-it-all" superior attitude as I fear many architects do. This only causes resentment.  Many times when a problem comes up during construction on one of my projects, I will ask the contractor for his suggestion of how to resolve it.  This not only gives him or her a feeling of being respected, but also gives me time to think.  Often-times the contractor's ideas are very helpful. Finally, I also recommend The Dale Carnegie Course for learning improved "people skills" which generally are not addressed in the typical architectural college curriculum. 
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Robert Larsen AIA
Principal
Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A.
Denver CO
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10.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Philip Kabza, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 6:23 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:


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Philip Kabza AIA
Partner and Dir Technical Services
SpecGuy
Charlotte NC
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Amen, Mr. Odom. If IPD and BIM contractual agreements mean that owners will no longer benefit from the architect's efforts to provide competitive pricing, or that owners will receive the quality of construction the constructors are willing to deliver rather than that level of quality that, in the architect's professional judgment, is appropriate, then we have left our clients behind in our desperate attempts to remain temporarily employed.

I learn of more and more projects being issued without written specifications that stipulate product and installation quality. Apparently the architects have no fee for specification preparation, or do not know how to prepare them, and instead leave it to the industry to deliver whatever level of quality those contractors and suppliers involved are willing to deliver.

The chickens will come home to roost when an unhappy owner being sued for a building user personal injury discovers that state statutes still assumed that architects exerted control over key elements of design and construction, even when they had turned them over to the constructors that claimed they knew better. Then they discover that their liability insurance carrier thought so as well.

The best contractors welcome solid quality requirements and enforcement, as they resolve many of their subcontract disputes. Those contractors that treat full professional architectural services as a source of conflict rather than value need instead to negotiate work with one of the other types of architects - those that do half of their job for half the fee and all the liability.





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11.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Arthur Rogers, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 24, 2013 4:00 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:

                The Architect and the Contractor are not on the same team. They are in the same game, however, and the rules of the game are called the Contract Documents. The Architect made them in accord with the Owner's desires and budget and the Contractor signed a legal document agreeing to follow the Documents. The Architect (and/or Construction Manager) are there to see to it that the drawings are carried out. He (she) should have the technical expertise  and the financial control to assure that this is done. If the Owner doesn't want to pay for or give this power to the Architect, then the Architect can't be held responsible for what is built. It is up to the Architect to decide what kind of a deal he is getting into to start with. No one is forced to do architecture. Architecture is not for woosies.

                The resolution of the  conflicts that arise depend on (a) the facts of what the Documents say should be there and (b) the facts and ramifications of any desired variations of the Documents.  How it gets built is the Contractor's domain.

                It is not easy and takes experience, as any manager in any project will tell you. Experience has taught me several homespun rules. (1) Don't argue with a contractor when on a roof or more than three feet above grade.  (2) Always wear a hard hat, even in the job shack. 


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Arthur Rogers AIA
The Architects Studio - AJR
Dallas TX
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12.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Roy Cotterill, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 25, 2013 5:49 PM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
Know your client; avoid bid jobs.  Let you client know there is no such thing as a perfect set of plans by the Architect, and for the contractor a there is not perfect interpretation.  Set up contingencies in the budget for both design and construction.  Set up a system to share unused contingency money to create incentives.  Do this and conflicts go down the drain. 

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Roy Cotterill AIA
Perkins Williams & Cotterill Architects
Rancho Cordova CA
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13.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Robert Smith, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jun 27, 2013 9:38 AM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
We enjoy the traditional design-bid-build project delivery.  Unless it is public work, we pre-qualify contractors and have an invited bid list.  If a contractor is on the bid list, then we have made the decision in advance that this is a contractor that will do a good job.  This process requires educating the client.  All clients have heard the horror stories and are usually open to the process we recommend. 

Because our projects are mostly bid projects, we put a lot of emphasis on preparing thorough construction drawings and specifications.  We also perform thorough and attentive construction administration services.  Yes, we lose out on jobs where the owner wants the cheapest architect, but when you think about it those are probably not the clients we wanted to work for anyway.

Once a contractor is hired, we foster a team approach between the client, contractor and our firm.  Problems will occur.  Focus on solutions and be proactive whenever possible. 

As for Design/Build.  Our experience has been that if you allow your firm to work for the contractor.  Inevitably, the contractor will wield that power over you and treat you like a ditch digger (no offense intended to ditch diggers).

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Robert Smith AIA
Architect, AIA, LEED AP
Talley & Smith Architecture, Inc.
Shelby NC
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14.
RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
From: Robin Miller, AIA
To: Small Project Practitioners
Posted: Jul 01, 2013 8:55 AM
Subject: RE:Reducing Architect-Builder Conflicts
Message:
Right on Robert; with one additional comment that I trust you would approve:  When the Contractor wields the power, the cost to the owner will be up by 15% to 25%.  (Not bad if you don't care about the Owner's costs and are a percent of the cost of construction.)
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Robin Miller AIA
MSH Architects
Sioux Falls SD
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