Week 4

This week was another busy week at HPA.  I continued to jump around on a few projects, and worked with two Project Managers on various projects: Ryan and Tom.  The projects this week consisted of finishing some graphic work for Martha in Marketing, as the big Historical Renovation Conference was this week in Denver.  Several of our employees and Dennis, one of the principals, attended and spoke at this conference.  And it was fun to observe our 3d Makerbot print out a lot of small HPA dice to give out to people at the conference.  I also worked on redlining for Marion Apartments, Aria Townhomes, 38th and Kalamath retail stores phase 2, building in Revit and producing drawings for a redesign of our own studio, producing a few furniture layout options for an addition to a library in Littleton, and starting on another feasibility study for a library in Big Piney, Wyoming.

One piece of this week that was fascinating was the all Staff meeting on Monday.  One of the Associate Principals spoke for quite a while on QA, QC (Quality Assurance, Quality Control).  This basically consisted of a discussion on office standards.  Aaron the AP spoke of things like redlining drawings earlier in SD phase and having all the redlines be in a red pen, and everyone highlighting in only yellow highlighters the redlines as we pick them up throughout the process.  That way everyone is on the same page and less mistakes are made or corrections are dropped.  They also spoke of leaving paper trails of red lines and how long the physical and virtual copies should be kept.  The verdict was that they shouldn’t be kept for very long, so that if items have been dropped and not corrected by the architect along the way, this cannot be proven in a court of law that the architect is at fault. I am still not sure if this is an incredibly smart thing to do to protect the firm, or technically lying and omitting information.  Dennis also brought up a court case that he has been involved in recently in the importance of keeping all communication between contractors and consultants entirely professional, and deleting in-office emails when projects go to build.  Hundreds of emails between the firm and the owner and contractors were produced in this hearing, and Dennis commented on how embarrassing it is to have emails saying that they were certain nothing would be a problem read in front of an entire court.  This entire conversation showed me the importance of accuracy, communication, and professionalism within the office.

In regards to the work I did this week, Marion Apartments and Aria Apartments had a few more red lines to work towards getting a permit to build for Marion and appeasing the owner before they build on Aria Phase II.  On 38th and Kalamath, the owner has been having money issues and wants HPA to simplify the exterior cladding to bring down the costs, so I worked with Joe, one of the principals, and Tom, my PM to simplify the exterior and make all of the changes in Revit.

The other projects consisted of Revit work and diagrams of the existing building in Big Piney.

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5 thoughts on “Week 4

  1. I want to analyze this MakerBot! It sounds really neat. Is it more like a 3D printer or more like a robot that has been set up with the supplies it will need to construct a segment of a building with complete precision?

    I am glad that you were told about professionalism at your work, as I feel it is a key component to keeping a professional name and title to the business. I suppose that is why we take “professional practice” our fourth or fifth year.

    When your team was presented with a budget issue, were you tasked with finding a product that they could use that would bring down the cost but still achieve a great exterior aesthetic?

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    1. Yes, professionalism is a very important part of keeping a good name for a firm and producing quality work.
      The Makerbot is simply a 3d printer with a deceptive name.
      In regards to the budget cuts, we already had a palate of materials for cladding from the first phase of the project, so we simplified the proposed design with the already existing palate.

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  2. You were exposed to even MORE useful aspects of the industry this week that are not replicated in school. Professionalism is a very big part of our interactions with our coworkers, clients, and contractors. And the construction documents, email communications, etc. associated with any project become part of the legal contracts of that project! There is certainly a sense of liability within the profession that many of us are not exposed to. I am glad the office is taking the time to get everyone on the same page with office procedures. And I know what you mean, it can be a little unsettling to understand how carefully things are considered in order to not be held liable. For certain projects, attorneys are brought in to scrutinize every word of a contract! If you ask me, I am more than happy keeping my head down and just designing!

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    1. Same here! I am questioning more and more if I ever want to be a Principal of a firm. There is so much logistics to take care of and watch out for. I would much rather just design as well and have someone else take the brunt of issues from mistakes!

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      1. I agree with you in the fact that many people seek the position of designing, however, I think it is important to firms for their employees to desire promotion and new challenging roles as leaders within the company.

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