Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Guy wrapped up a major deadline last week as well, which was DD drawings for a classroom and research facility for a college campus with the starchitects at Scooby-Doo & Associates. A few weeks ago, Guy wrote them an email saying that they really needed to get their detailing together because the Revit model (the drawings, as it were) that they kept sending him wasn't up to date or useful to him. For the love of Renzo, the windows they were showing in the plan didn't even course with the bricks (i.e., have a width that is evenly divisible by 4" or 8" and a height that is evenly divisible by 8"). So, Guy sent out this polite-but-firm coming-to-Jesus email, and nothing happened. A few days later, he was booked on a plane to New York to spend three days helping SD&A work out their detailing. Well, isn't that nice?

So Guy flies out there on a Saturday and spends 13 hours on Sunday, 15 hours on Monday, and 6 hours on Tuesday before getting on a plane and flying back to Denver, helping these people find their asses with both hands and a flashlight. (I think Guy held the flashlight for part of that process.) On his last day there, Guy found out that his email had indeed put the fear of Richard Meier into these people. SD&A's design team truly had no idea that the project and the model was in that bad of shape. Turns out they were designing their exterior elevations in AutoCAD but not transferring those changes and ideas to the exterior (core & shell) model, which was being done in Revit. Matter of fact, there was only one guy maintaining and updating this huge-ass Revit model, and several designers fiddling and fuddling over sketch paper and the CAD elevations.

Now, the design and construction people reading this are clutching their chests and trying not to faint, but I know the rest of you may be doing the "Baroo?" look. Allow me to explain. Let's say you have a master calendar on your wall that shows all the comings and goings of the people in your family. This master calendar is for a whole year, and it shows the vacation days and birthdays and anniversaries and days that people are traveling for work or having their wisdom teeth removed and so on for the entire next twelve months. You need this master calendar to stay updated so that you can use it to figure out when to plan a party or to know when you need to go stay with Martha, because her wisdom teeth are coming out on the 17th, and she'll need help for a couple of days, but you'll have to take a break in the afternoon to get James from the airport on the 19th because he's flying back in from Bangladesh.... Now, let's imagine that your loved ones are writing down important days in their Day Timers or appointment books or even on little pink Post-It notes, but they're not conveying these dates and appointments and whatnot onto the master calendar. Suddenly, Evan is calling you wondering why you didn't come to his one-man show, and you notice that it wasn't on the master calendar and he's all "but it was in my BlackBerry!" Now, imagine that each of these unmarked appointments costs several thousand dollars each to remedy and throws off everything else in the calendar when they get forgotten or missed or not coordinated--that's what working in CAD and not transferring the design decisions into Revit does to a project.

I don't know how much more Guy has to work with Shaggy and Scrappy up there, but I'm sure the end will come not a moment too soon.


ms. kitty said...

Boy, you are good at explaining the incomprehensible! I know more about the ins and outs of architecture than I ever dreamed, just reading you, Pixie.

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Wilderness Gina said...

It's not a dire situation until Guy has to also bring a sheet rock square to assist the "finding" procedure. It is occasionally necessary you know. Good luck with that.