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I Wish My Design Team Would _________.

By |March 3rd, 2014|

We recently had a team meeting to discuss many topics, from writing better RFP’s to project frustrations. The design team that joined us ended the meeting by asking each of our team members to fill in the blank “I wish my design team (architect and engineers) would ______.”  Below were some of the responses from our diverse team of professionals.

Be more up front
As Owners Representatives we are put in the position of gathering information and providing updates to the stakeholders.  It’s not unheard of for us to propose a schedule to the team, discuss it and agree to it only to find out later that the design team (architect or engineer) didn’t have the horsepower to meet the schedule. We feel betrayed as we made the effort to work together to define the goal and it look as if we are not effectively working together. Things happen and schedules can be modified, but it’s best to notify the team weeks before.

 

Do what you say you are going to do
This may seem like an unusual item but all too often teams agree upon, and even document, “next steps” that are not followed through on. Deadlines are missed, phone calls are not made and promises are not kept. Nothing erodes trust faster than not being true to your word.

 

Don’t be so emotionally attached to your design
We hear comments from the design team dismissing other team member’s ideas, including the owner’s or contractor’s team. Admittedly, we don’t believe in design by committee, but if a member of the team has an idea that makes sense, it should be pursued. If the owner doesn’t like your design, try again. Changes happen, projects are over budget [...]

ConsensusDOCS vs. AIA Construction Forms

By |September 29th, 2011|

It has long been a contention in the construction industry that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Construction forms have been biased towards design professionals and they place too heavy a burden of liability on the shoulders of contractors and owners. To that end, in 2007, a new set of construction and design forms were developed called ConsensusDOCS. While AIA Construction Forms and ConsensusDOCS share many more similarities than differences, there are some key differentiating factors that your firm should be aware of before you choose one over the other.

It’s a common perception in the engineering, design and construction realms that AIA Construction forms favor architects, and to some degree, this is true. It lacks a specific definition of the relationship between the design professional and the owner and it places less responsibility on the architect/engineer with regards to the interpretation of the architectural plans during construction. In other words, a design professional can claim they are not liable for design flaws in the actual construction because their design “inferred” a certain construction element be used when it clearly wasn’t during the time the building was under construction.

Because of the perceived favoritism of AIA Construction forms and the more neutral (both parties share responsibility for design implementation) ConsensusDOCS cover contractors better, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has decided to back ConsensusDOCS and it has not officially endorsed AIA Construction forms since 2007.

In fact, ConsensusDOCS were developed by a group of contractors, subcontractors, owners and estimators, so one could argue that the new set of documents favors the interests of these parties over that of architects and other design professionals. This is seen in the clear requirement of the subject of insurance coverage [...]