Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Part Three – Professional Experience to Date

My experiences address all aspects of architectural endeavor. I will be adding to this section as time allows.

“Architecture as fine art”
(delivered on time and on budget)

I enjoyed the privilege of working on an important project recently that involved the design work of some of the current leading architects and designers in the world. I speculate that this project, when completed, will be viewed as “fine Art” in the manor of the Sidney Opera House in Sidney Australia - a cultural icon that commands many who visit Sidney to see the Opera House for the purpose of experiencing the architecture, without necessarily going to the opera.

My assignment was to evaluate the status of various design document submittals to determine their status and report on same to the owner. The owner used this process to evaluate design progress and to communicate concerns, if any, to the design team. I was asked to propose my own communications document for this purpose and to use their standard excel itemization form. I have attached specimen copies of these documents for the reader’s consideration.

In the course of this design document review process, we factored in the construction status of the design-build project at the time of the review and any interface issues that were observed. I discovered some interesting issues which were reported and addressed to the benefit of the project and it’s schedule. Examples included: clearance obstructions at service ramps to accommodate the clearance needed for semi-sized vans at slope transitions– sloping walls that intruded into public circulation areas- inadequate storage/service provisions for intended uses -a whole host of mis-coordinated utility lines and inadequate interstitial space to house the utilities, and so on.

The itemized concerns did not reflect negatively on the design teams but rather on the critical nature of the time frames available to produce the construction documents and the need for team work to keep the project on track and quality documents to permit and build by.

Report of June XX, XXXX

On: XHR – GMP - CD submittal review documents dated June XX, XXXX
Documents received: June XX, XXXX
A status report to date: XX-XX-XX
Reviewer: Clifford Gross

Overview of documents:

The drawing documents are estimated to be 85 to 90% complete. The contents were found to be as identified in the tables of content except for the following: Volume X 1801.02 General notes is missing, Volume X 1A00.03-2 Drawing Index is missing, Volume X various sheets and groups of sheets are out of order compared to the index and some sheets have minor differences in their labeling. The completeness of the documents exceeds the indexed sheets that are noted as not included in the set.

The design team has submitted a Supplemental Narrative dated June XX, XXXX which delineates the design team’s take on document completeness and defines scope not shown which is to be “considered” in the GMP pricing.

As noted in the narratives, the upper floor plans are incomplete and subject to redesign. We observe that the common areas are also incomplete and that includes the roof top penthouses for mechanical and other service components as well as lightning/aircraft/window washing equipment on the rooftop proper. The design is incomplete with regard to references to common (vol. X) and other details/data contained in the discipline sets.

If the plan variations shown in the architectural are complete then about 15% of the architectural variations are not specifically addressed in the other disciplines. This is in addition to the upper floor units that are in redesign. Coordination and detailing is lacking in the accessing requirements for mechanical and electrical devices in the Int. Design drawings.

The drawing set relies heavily on generic detailing to explain the design. Many of these details are not identified in a manner to use for keying in their usage. Additionally items like recirculation water heaters and pumps are required in the overall HW/CW circulation diagrams but could not be found in the set except for a generic detail defining an unspecified electric water heater and 24” x 24” ceiling access hatch to service and replace the unit; although, electrical service requirements for the heater and pumps was noted on the drawings.

The mechanical design discontinues the use of a 72” x 18” duct at the 32nd floor but the design has not captured this area above the 31st floor for use in the salable area of the design. Door scheduling information for interior design could not be found and the door information in the Block X Common, Volume X is incomplete.

Selected additional issues noted:


1. Code analysis missing
2. Delete references to remodel/modernization work unless they apply to this portion of the work
3. Detail to close interior wall to exterior skin where there is no exterior mullion to close to not designed yet.
4. Coordination lacking in back of house areas for door openings.
5. Coordination of roof plan needed regarding roof hatches and window washing gear.
6. Coordination lacking between disciplines in the treatment of the portals in wood casing materials on ID drawings.
7. Most access panels are not yet located on the ID interior drawings.
8. Many units not completed including BVIII and BIX
9. Significant conflicts need coordination on Floor 66 regarding layout.

Interior Design:

1. Many detail callouts missing and miss-used
2. Many furniture and finish call-outs missing
3. Coordination of portal design missing for most units and not shown for others.
4. FA – SD and sprinkler head notations missing from many elevations.
5. ID door schedule not found and/or not complete.
6. Access panel locations for FD and plumbing not found.
7. Coordinate callout of details to show backing and wall attachment for interior details


1. General notes sheet two of two is missing.


1. Listed sheet number 1A.03-0 is missing from the set per the index.
2. Provide missing Fire Damper details,
3. Various units have conflicts with FCO and water supply piping to same.
4. Coordinate various ceiling grilles/ducts with ceiling heights
5. W/D units are missing from set and or not coordinated.
6. Some duct work needs additional furring space.
7. Many upper floor units not complete.
8. FD accesses where duct access will not work needs detailing.


1. Listed sheet number 1A.03-0 is missing from the set per the index.
2. Coordinate piping in over-all plans with layout.
3. Provide detail references for roof drains and overflows.


1. Various sheets listed in index missing from set.


1. See itemized lists by discipline and sheet numbers to locate all noted concerns.
2. A comprehensive review of XHR Structural, Mechanical/Plumbing, Electrical/Telecom, in addition to any missing disciplines like civil has not been completed at this time. Volume X XMR not reviewed.

A listing of coordination issues by sheet reference would be attached at the end of the report.
A copy can be sent if requested. The document would not upload to this blog site.

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