Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The deadline: close, but no cigar.

(A quote on a whiteboard in the Canyon Visitor Center at Yellowstone National Park. I'll wait while the grammar/spelling sticklers among us finish twitching.)

We wrapped up our 100% construction documents (CD) deadline for the Gestalt Uber MOB on Monday. I took today off to get a delayed break from the weekend I worked through, and many of my colleagues on the project did the same today and/or yesterday. But we're not done.

Generally, the architect has to produce an addendum (and sometimes multiple addenda) a few weeks after the CDs go out as a response to questions coming in from bidders on the project. However, the addendum/addenda are sometimes used to capture additional items that need to be coordinated but that couldn't be coordinated before the deadline. Also, the addendum can be used to revise the drawings to include last-minute owner-driven changes, of which there will be many in the Uber MOB.

The question we get sometimes, even from engineers and up-and-coming architects, is this: if we're gonna do an addendum anyway and it's a given, why don't we just move the CD deadline to when the addendum would be due? There are two reasons, one practical and one philosophical. The practical reason involves permitting: the CDs are complete enough to take to the city and/or county and start the process of getting a building permit. Since a building permit can take a fair amount of time (generally about a month for most large municipalities), the contractor wants to get that process moving with the CDs while the architect uses a little extra time to work out details or tweak scope in the drawings. The only reason to delay the CDs to match up with the addendum would be if the addendum would include info or drastic changes that could potentially affect the permitting process. The other (philosophical) reason for not moving the CD deadline to the addendum deadline is that this sort of delaying process could go on indefinitely. CDs are never really done--every architect can look at a set of CDs he or she has worked on and see four or five things they wanted to detail/fix/tweak/do better/differently. If we moved every CD deadline to match the addendum, it would get easy to delay it for just a few days or week more, then a few more, then the owner woud hear that we have extra time and say hey if we have some time, let's redesign the so-and-so to look like this and then we'd be forever tweaking the drawings.

So, I have an addendum due in about three weeks. But first, I need a manicure and a nap.


mizscarlett said...

I'd say:

"Because grasshopper, this is not a linear process, it is a circular path, that requires significant amounts of revolutions before true enlightenment can occur."

Many people, engineers especially, want a linear process - black / white and check boxes.

sigh. How very dull.

Miss Kitty said...