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The Construction Contract Administration Knowledge Community (CCA) has been established to help our members better understand the issues, actions and resultant impact of the decisions required in this often neglected part of Project Delivery. It is our goal to provide clear answers to issues of concern to the Institute’s membership and share case studies and best practices. We further hope to provide guidance and direction in developing guidelines for new and evolving approaches to Project Delivery as well as guidance in the continuing education of our emerging young professionals.

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RE; How do we get started off right?

  • 1.  RE; How do we get started off right?

    Posted 10-27-2012 00:58
    From my perspective, acting as the Owner's project manager, the fundamental element to good working relations and pursuit of common goals is a mutual respect for each other's profession and professional capabilities.  We strive to assist the Owner in selecting the best construction partner for their project. All parties enter this relationship with the intention of achieving similar goals - a quality design and well executed building for the owner and fair commercial outcomes for the design team members and the constructor.  The sentiments expressed in Mr. Soellner's opening remarks serve everyone's interests and create the right framework for a succesful collaboration.

    It is also my perspective that the chances of a great project being realized hinge significantly upon the quality of the construction documents.  Unfortunately, such necessary quality is not produced with regularity.  Vague specifications and incomplete and poorly coordinated drawings result in numerous RFIs and change orders due to conflicts arising out of the documents.  These are costly to the contractor -   added overhead necessary to process them and disruption to scheduled work flows while issues are resolved.  It is also costly for the design team members who must respond.  When these types of issues strain the design team's ability to provide timely responses, create late and incomplete reviews of submittasl and shop drawings, and endless mock-ups and samples, contractors have good reason to view the design team as less than an equally productive partner in the enterprise.  We have all seen relationships sour on this count.  

    There is no reason to avoid the topic of time needed to produce a quality set of documents when discussing levels of effort and fees with clients.   Whatever additional fees can be assigned to ensure a quality set of construction documents is in the Owner's best interest.  Quality documents mitigate financial risks and represent a modest investment in creating a strong team unified around the client's goals.
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    Peter van Dyk AIA
    The RISE Group
    Chicago IL
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  • 2.  RE:RE; How do we get started off right?

    Posted 10-29-2012 09:41
    Hello Peter, I agree.  We as architects have a responsibility to produce quality documents.  It is important that clients understand that is takes a fee commensurate with the amount of time and effort required on the part of the architectural and engineering firms to produce excellent documents. And that seasoned experts are creating those documents.  It is interesting that some of us might be criticized (often by contractors, particularly in custom residential architecture) for trying to detail and specify many things in projects to keep their firm and others out of the sorts of problems that you mention, to insure smooth construction and try to insure that no one becomes so frustrated with incomplete documents that they resort to legal means to resolve their concerns. 

    I agree with you that it is incumbent on A/Es (Architects and Engineers) to do as thorough a job as possible to avoid construction RFIs and Change Orders (which, as we know, clients hate) due to in accurate or incomplete documents.  The objective, when preparing Construction Documents (CDs) should be; zero litigation, along with simply trying to keep the faith of our respective professions' obligations and dare I say it: enjoyment of doing a good job.  Satisfaction that we have done everything we possibly could have done to result in a problem-free build.  That our work will withstand the intense scrutiny of our peers should we ever have our work examined by a Board of Architecture.  That anyone, anywhere, reviewing our documents will say: "Yes, this work meets or exceeds the Standard of Care required by this State."

    The first issue is: conveying to a new client how important their investment in a quality set of documents is and that they need to pay the A/E for that.

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    Rand Soellner AIA
    Architect/Owner/Principal
    Home Architects
    Cashiers NC
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