Basic Architectural Practice
Course Notes for Session 4
The architects sketch is usually the high water mark of a design. It is, too often, all down hill from there.
In this traditional Design/Build process, at least 50% of the cost of building and well over half the time is total non-value-added waste. This is accomplished by an ad-hoc supply chain that is a nightmare of organization, made of people who do not understand or trust one another using methods that are ambiguous and inefficient.
An example of poor methodology is contract documents. The traditional approach is full of flaws. Three of them are found in working drawings themselves.
Of course there is much more to it than this. Codes, contractual rules and so on. The point is that this is but one isolated example of a myriad number all equally interlocked and damaging.
The Design/Build/Use process was never designed. It is a pot pori of left over 19th Century practices augmented by CadCam and contracts which, themselves, are the product of an infinite number of litigations.
In my mind, if you tried to design a more broken process it would be difficult to do so.
The design should materially improve during the development, building and using process. The 4 Step Recreation Model is how this can be accomplished. This process, however, requires a whole new approach to contract documents and the administration of the manufacturing and building process.
I started my Design/Build practice in New York City after several frustrating years working in traditional drafting rooms. I had accomplished a level of field experience prior to then when designing the American Pool building and the Cooper house. Building in New York, however, gave me the opportunity to see and influence the build practice on a significant scale. Following that experience, I worked for several years with developers and with the swimming pool industry with allowed me to demonstrate that a closer integration of Design/Build can lead to significant cost, time and quality improvements.
What I am addressing here was demonstrated by me more than 30 years ago in the real world of building.
In the swimming pool industry, over a 6 year period, we reduced the average time to build a pool in season from two months to 10, reduced the cost about 20%, improving quality immeasurably (product reliability, visual accuracy, mistake reduction), and, had workers making as much as $30,000 a year.
This Course will cover both the THEORY and PRACTICE of what I learned then and since then.
Four Step Recreation Process.
ValueWebs and Communities of Practice are the solution to existing blocks to the creation process.
posted January 28, 2000
revised January 28, 2000
(note: this document is about 1% finished)
update to Matts Notebook