PROTOCOLS FOR QUALITY DELIVERY
To this architect, it is essential to build the same relationships with the contractor team in the field during construction. Of course, contractor fidelity to the construction documents govern this phase of the work - but, in their interpretation, the contractor naturally seeks to leverage document to gain clarity, construction efficiency, and economy; and the sensitive architect naturally seeks to resolve these uncertainties with both these goals in mind as well as the project values. A joint understanding of these parallel intentions from the beginning of construction goes a long way to insuring project quality and controlling change orders in the field.
The cycle of quality in the preparation and entitlement of construction documents is best assured with a sequence that includes:
- A seasoned team collaborating in shaping an integrated design, documenting their part of their work, and then proactively cross-checking and coordinating each other.
- A pre-scheduled protocol of frequent hard copy printing, with mark-up and review of identified issues.
- Follow-up team coordination of issues that need to be corrected, or jointly resolved through refinement and problem solving.
- A further retrospective review and follow-up hard-copy review at each milestone to verify progress and identify successively more detailed issues in the project's refinement.
Though my role at Gonzalez Goodale Architects was design partner, integral to that role was a concern that concepts and envisioned detail profiles would be delivered in the built work. To this end, I developed an extensive checklist, for each phase of the project, to insure comprehensive actions required for the phase. This checklist will continue to be a foundation in Goodale Architecture Planning.
With a history in projects at the crosshairs of DSA (Department of the State Architect), Los Angeles City and County, Pasadena, and other Southern California cities, this practice will bring a keen awareness of entitlement issues from Zoning Codes and Design Review to ADA, structural, and fire|life safety codes.
For players on both sides of the entitlement table, this process, at its best, is interpretive, creative - not a science - and is best approached collaboratively, with the architect genuinely committed to public well-being, and the entitlement entities made aware of the social, economic, and aesthetic intent of the project. In essence, the big entitlement questions are invariably: How can we achieve the public safety essential to the intent of the codes without ruining the architectural order of the project?
It is the rare architect who can succinctly lay out the argument for this comprehensive intent without preciousness, and leverage good relationships with entitlement staff and management to mutually satisfactory outcomes.