More than 150 years ago, the first blueprint was drawn on special photosensitive paper that gave the documents their blue appearance (and their name). Even though they aren’t blue anymore, architectural and engineering drawings are vital to successful construction projects. Every mark, dimension and symbol on a construction set of drawings has a direct meaning and impact on the overall outcome of the project or product. All construction drawings are two dimensional as they are typically drawn on sheets of paper and at a reduced scale. The drawings are created for the architect to convey to numerous contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers his or her design intent in hopes of delivering the final product.
Today, technology allows architects to produce sophisticated 3D models, but the cost factor and desire for a prompt completion time does not warrant making models for all projects. Veteran construction managers develop a sense of “vision” and be able to see the finished product before it is constructed. This vision allows for accurate estimating, realistic schedules and delivery of the intended product to pacify the architect and owner alike. This vision can only come from experience and years of constructing; which help guide construction managers as they interpret design documents to bring buildings to life. For those who are repeat builders of prototypes or same-industry buildings will benefit even more since they have deeper experience.
There are three aspects of construction that need to be considered when building: price (low price is desired), quality (high quality is desired), and schedule (fast schedule is desired). All three aspects are important and the design/construction team focuses and ranks them in the order for the betterment of the owner and project. Experienced construction pros can create mental pictures of the finished product allowing them to determine the best economical and fastest methods of construction. Quality is not compromised either as the experienced manager can deliver the finished product to acceptable or exceptional details/standards. Each project is different and requires the entire team to understand the owner’s/architect’s design intent and overall vision prior to start of the project. Each project has a cost threshold. There is an absolute minimum to which each and every building costs to build before contractors start losing money. All projects have a bare minimum of material and labor required to construct. It is unrealistic and bad business to think otherwise. Experienced personnel can help find that threshold to make more competitive and realistic cost estimates, resulting in successful projects.
The construction management team at K4 has years of experience bringing architect’s visions to life. Have a project you need help with or questions about the process? Contact us!