Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Construction Administration - What's this about anyway?
The term "Construction Administration" typically references what an Architect does during the time the General Contractor is building a project. In a Commercial Project, this phase is rather mundane doing activities such as shop drawings reviews, site inspections, and draw requests. However, if the project is Custom Residential, construction administration becomes an entirely different task. Since design is a never ending process, it certainly does not stop when you start building.
Clients often have a hard time visualizing things until they start to come up out of the ground. On many occasions, I have worked to tweak specific design solutions during the process to make them better. Whether it's aligning panels on the cabinetry, finalizing the design of a fireplace surround, assisting with railing selections, or even figuring out a way to hide a TV behind a motorized panel - there is plenty of design to be done once the house is under construction.
I have heard that some builders say that there is no need for an Architect to be involved during construction. Those builders obviously don't understand design and continuity of a home. Yes, without an architect's involvement, you will end up with a roof over your head. But will the hinges on the exterior doors match the hinges on the interiors doors? Probably not.
If I had my way, I would change the name "Construction Administration" to "Design Enhancement".