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What do you wish CMs, GCs, and subcontractors knew about architects, the design process, and the practice of architecture? I have the opportunity to propose a new elective graduate course for the Construction Management program at Central Connecticut State University. Please send me your thoughts.
I don't think they should really learn anything in architectural school other than the need for and the importance of Construction Administration, Construction Management, and the role that Contractors, Subcontractors, Specifications , Building Sciences &Technology, other Design Professionals (interior designers, all professional engineers, and construction specialists) and Management play in designing and building a building. I'd frankly like to see more students required to work construction to really know how buildings are put together and have a real feel for building materials, the sequence of construction and how things really go together first than to try to tackle any of these highly skilled construction management practices.
Architecture is not lines or paper or images on a computer screen. All of that is nothing but graphic design. It is a needed and good first step in one's architectural education. However, for any building to become Architecture, it must first be built and meet the needs of the client and the community. Buildings that are merely drawn and win PA design awards are not, nor will they ever be, architecture. They will are simply graphic or computer designs; cartoons; animation. Buildings that may be built and may also win all sorts of design, energy or sustainability awards, but are not occupied are also not architecture either. Many buildings have gone off the rails along with their architects and clients, and they are only sculpture, they are not architecture.
For a building to become architecture it must be built, occupied and the used as intended whether it be a simple warehouse or a trophy museum, corporate office headquarters building or a grand performing arts center. If the structure is built, occupied and used as intended, only then is it architecture.
Students cannot not learn or even appreciate any of the aspects of constructability, budgets, schedules, building codes, Federally mandated building legislation, zoning, planning, leasing, construction law, just-in-time material and building systems delivery, labor law and labor contracts, contact law, etc. in school. This kind of learning can only come from being outside of school and working in the real world on real projects.
Yes, I would like all architectural students to know about these things and to know what real architecture entails. Once out of school for several years, and having gotten some particle experience, then would be the time for students to go back to school and learn more about contracts, scheduling, building management, and so on. Historically, the only MBA schools that take students just out of college are those who teach students to become teachers or professors or possibly to run the family business. Most MBA schools want people who have been out in the real world and have been involved with real business issues. Courses that architectural students should take are economics, macro and micro, basic management courses, and some basic business courses on running a business and understanding profit and losses. Architecture is a business and one better learn how to manage their own business before they attempt to manage that of others.
David N. Hauseman, AIA
The Hauseman Group, Inc.
3354 E. Wood Valley Road, NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
Though it is of personal interest, and something Architects often try to avoid, I would like to see more Architects, CMs, GCs, and PEs that understood the liability they carry concerning hazardous materials.
The prevailing belief that as long as they do not address hazardous materials in construction (asbestos, lead, mold, PCBs, silica, mercury, etc.) they are not responsible for them is a fallacy.
The inaccurate belief that their insurance is affected by addressing hazardous materials is a fallacy as well. Insurance won't cover you if you address hazardous materials, but if you don't address hazardous materials and something goes wrong with those haz-mats, your insurance still won't cover you.
I have attached a white paper I wrote for AIA California Council – though you would have to look in their Archive section to find it now.
Hey, you asked!
Michael C. Sharp
Director of Training - Asbestos and Lead Courses – UC Berkeley COEH
Director of Training / CEO - Hazard Management Services, Inc.
ANCEC – Executive Board Member / LEHA - Board Member
(209) 551-2000 Office