Monday, March 12, 2007

CPR for my PR

With everyone and their mom in Taterville this week, I had the actual "luxury" today of working on my PR for Wheatlands. Before I begin, now is as good a time as any to review a bit of architectural lingo and explain how we do projects.

The architect draws a set of drawings that show the contractor what to make and for the most part how to make it: what size, what materials, so on. All the engineers throw their drawings in this stack too: structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical, as well as (depending on the project) the medical equipment consultant's stuff, the food service stuff, the laundry stuff, and the low voltage/technology stuff. This set that's originally given to the contractor is call the construction documents, or CDs. Sometimes, the design team can't get everything in the CDs before they go out, or they suddenly realize there are things that need clarification, so before the bidding is complete (if you have construction companies bidding on the CDs), the design team will put out an additional set of drawings called the addendum. After construction starts, there are names for the changes made. First and foremost, the contractor sends a request for information, or an RFI, to the architect (or other member of design team) when something isn't clear, or if the documents conflict with themselves or with the existing conditions if you're remodeling. Sometimes, when I realize I forgot something or need to change something, I ask the contractor to send me an RFI and what to say in it--this makes them look smart and allows me to mostly painlessly fix my error. When the owner asks that something major be changed, deleted, or added, or if the design team discovers that they need to change the documents in a major way because they forgot something or messed something up, the architect issues a proposal request, or a PR, that includes drawings and/or documents that tell the contractor how to make the change, addition, or deletion. Now, just because the architect issues a PR doesn't mean it's gonna get built. The contractor gets a price for the PR, then issues a change order, or CO, to the owner, and the owner can decide if they wanna go through with it (if it's something that's a want, not a need).

Okay, so back to the title of today's post. For the past three weeks, I've been working on a PR for an ambulance enclosure and canopy for Wheatlands. It was in the original CDs, but we called it an alternate at the time in case they had the cash to build it later. Well, they still don't have the cash to build it with only 90 days left before they open for business, but the hospital has asked the design team to make the drawings for it so that when they do have the money, they can just git 'er done, as it were. My mechanical and electrical engineers have been toiling away on this thing for a couple of weeks, but I haven't been able to do jack squat on it because I've been all over Pomme de Terre like a handsy prom date last week. Finally, I had a chance to work on it again today, only to nearly pour a little Bailey's in my coffee. I looked at my drawings and called my structural engineer, Danny.

"Danny Minero," he said into his phone.
"Danny, our ambulance barn is gonna be taller than the goddamn building," I sighed.
"Oh, punkin, what seems to be the problem?" he cooed.
Danny and I have worked together on every job but one that I've worked on in the past 6.5 years at DA. He's gone from being a lowly engineer to part owner of his company, Minero Gibb Associates. And he likes to dance. We get along famously. Moreover, he's about Guy's age and they also get along quite well.
I then had to explain to Danny that the ambulance doors have to be twelve feet high, and if the doors coil above the doorway instead of running along tracks above the ambulance parallel to the ground, that's another 1.5 feet, which makes us 13'-6" above the ground, and then he has a beam running across the barn over the door for lateral load-
"--which would have been a W12 beam, but if I've got to attach the weight of a 12-foot by 12-foot garage door to it, then I've gotta make it a W14--" he says.
"--which is another 14 inches on top of my 13'-6" high door, which is now 14'-8"--" I interrupted.
"--and if we're gonna use a minimum slope of 2:12 on this roof--"
"--that puts the top of my roof on this wide-ass ambulance garage--"
"--that no one can afford--"
"--yes, that no one can afford, at 18'-2". And the top of the wall on this side of the building is 18'-0"."

Silence.

"Pixie, our ambulance barn is gonna be taller than our goddamn building."
I sighed again. "Thanks, Perry Mason."
So Danny has to go back and see if we can fit the beam in the wall or fit the door in the wall or something, but I don't know what. I'll just call him again tomorrow morning and hope for the best. This PR is due on Friday.

Well, at least mechanical and electrical are doing well. Someone has to.

1 comment:

Sarge said...

Why not just use a side-coiling door, instead of an overhead-coiling door? Just a thought.