Project Could be a Dream — Sh Boom

Remember a time when music, people and life was light-hearted and pleasant. Ah, Life Could be a Dream, Sweetheart, but how about architectural projects? The dream project is the project that compensates the provider, in my case the architect, after design and construction completion and continues to pay dividends. Why would you need a project that pays and continues to pay? Because, architecture is a labor-task profession. A design firm exerts an amount of time/labor to finish tasks and receives compensation for design or consulting task completion. It’s a laborious trade similar to other Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) trades. Effort exerted = money received, but what if the initial architectural effort paid in perpetuity? read more →

Construction Biz 101 – Billing Unmasked

The design is complete and it’s time to solicit bids. The client receives a bid summary that lists major line items and sums to a total amount. A second bid similarly lists major line items but not necessarily the same items or total. It’s the same project but the competing bid numbers are different. What the …?! Are there hidden project costs the Owner pays? The short answer is “No, there are no hidden costs, but a bid calculation combines several tangible costs with different labels such as Hard Cost, Overhead Cost and Profit. read more →

11 Oct 2018
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That’s Experience — A Wise Investment

I bet I can guess what you did this weekend. My guess is you did something that millions of citizens worldwide also did this weekend. You purchased a product. People the world-over purchase products every day for a particular reason and a respective value. Maybe you purchased dinner and received a hearty meal. Maybe you.. read more →

WWIT — Convenience Kills!

I didn’t need a crystal ball to see the end of the architecture profession. Technology and outsourcing routinely undermine “old” professions while sustaining others. What was I thinking (WWIT) when email communications killed the fax machine? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll gladly use email.” What was I thinking when website sales threatened traditional retail outlets? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll shop online.” What was I thinking when streaming technology obliterated video rental? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll stream media.” None of those transformations occurred suddenly. A consumer’s desire to control — On Demand as the industry calls it — slowly transplanted the antiquated technology. Likewise the consumer’s desire for convenience telegraphed the end of the architecture profession. What was I thinking as I watched architecture die? read more →

Choices — It’s Everything!

You have to love a buffet. A full buffet offers countless options. You don’t have to know exactly what you want, but you have so many options you can try everything. What a joy to have so many choices. You have to hate a buffet. A full buffet contains so many options it provides no discretion so you overeat attempting to try everything. What a mess to have too many choices. Maybe the best choice is a well-developed menu with the right blend of food and quantity, like the detailed design phase in an architecture project where it’s not too much, but just right. read more →

Change — The Document Evolution

Allow me to take you on a journey. Sit back, feet on the floor, back pressed into the lumbar support on your chair, breathe deeply, close your eyes…wait, don’t close your eyes or you can’t read the rest of this article. Do everything up to the close your eyes part. Now that you’re comfortable, think back to elementary school science class. Maybe you had a teacher, like Ms. Kersey, who always kept a small fish tank, with a mossy rock, pond water and a few tadpoles she rescued from a pond, mud puddle or tire rut. Do you remember rushing into class every day to check the tank for the next stage in the metamorphosis? It starts as an egg, hatches into a head with a tail, develops legs, the tail shrinks, the mouth widens, the eyes bulge and the tadpole becomes a froglet that eventually grows lungs and transforms into a frog. The mature frog needed every stage from the initial birth through the transformation to become a viable frog. Construction documents experience a similar evolution. Documents begin as broadly-defined planning or scope documents, from which an architect creates detailed design documents and ultimately transforms them into construction documents. read more →

New Year — New Underwear

underwear. This year i bought new underwear. I know what you’re thinking “too much information” and “why do we care that an architect bought new underwear?”. A select few of you may even wonder what kind of underwear but this isn’t that kind of blog. read more →

How Much Do You Charge per SF? — Loaded Question?

What’s wrong with architects? They always answer questions with questions especially the most important question “how much do you charge?” Has this ever happened to you? Your architect interview is plodding along nicely. You ask questions about his work, and he asks a few questions about your family and project. About the time you learn a little about each other and develop some comfort you spring an innocuous question “How much do you charge?” and your architect partially side-steps your direct question and asks a series of probing questions. read more →

19 Apr 2011
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