Inconsistency between architect and drawings from other trades is a common problem in the construction industry. Not only is it costly for the project at hand, it can impact a builder’s reputation (and compromise future work).
While there’s a clear distinction between the respective industries, the roles of engineers, trades and architects are, in fact, quite similar.
Working together, from the beginning
As most architects would suggest, all aspects of the contextual conditions should be reflected first, in the design and drawings. Yet, for engineers, we understand that these are often simply a framework. It can be a challenge to translate ideas on paper to a real-world setting.
The key is to ensure that at the drawing phase, both engineers, trades and the architects are on the same page. Working in collaboration from the beginning of the project will reduce mistakes at the construction stage.
Miscommunications in drawings can be avoided with clear communication between stakeholders. As you know, building plans are part of a project’s legal documentation and are integral for more than just a building perspective.
The next time a set of drawings comes across your desk and you’re concerned by certain aspects, answer the following questions:
• What is the goal?
• Why is it not clear?
• How can I rectify this?
It’s really this simple – just ask. It’s better to spend time clarifying with the designer or client immediately, rather than wasting money with guesswork. Mistakes happen, but not those that can be avoided with a few questions.
Set aside your ego
Many problems can be avoided by leaving your ego at the door and remembering the client is the focus. It’s better to keep them happy, than to be ‘right.’ Admittedly, some clients are less agreeable than others, but when your reputation is on the line, it won’t pay to be pedantic.
Tips to ensure project consistency
Like we always say, do it right the first time. If this means investing extra time in the preliminary stages, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time.
Keep in mind the following pointers to help you facilitate successful projects.
• Clearly show relevant details and labels
• Add reference points to the drawing for comparison, such as finish ground level
• Include total length and height of object in every detail drawing
• Carefully check the subcontractor drawing vs. the architect’s version, communicating any areas of difference between the two
• If in doubt about an issue, call an expert.
For more information about making construction project work in accordance with architect’s drawings, talk to our team of project managers