Published: Jan 2003
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The façade of any structure represents collaborative efforts by architect, owner and contractor. However, these efforts sometimes result in a less than successful project. A lack of understanding around process, individual roles and project expectations appears to be the culprit. The real question, how to change the outcome for greater success. I believe that one critically important ingredient is open and honest communication between owners, architects and contractors pertaining to project expectations, scope and final results. The architect is a pivotal partner, a first stringer with understanding of design, construction methods and processes. The architect is critical to the success of the overall project. How responsive should architects be to the owner? As a partner they should educate the owner as to best methods of project delivery, construction methods and contractors suitable to deliver a mutually satisfactory project. What role does the owner expect of the architect? Is it strictly design, project management, consulting, partnership, stakeholder, educator, employee or some combination? The owner's expectations of the architect vary by project, relationship and owners real understanding of the project. The owner and architect both require clear communications in expressing the needs and true expectations of the project. Once the owner and architect understand one another, they create a process incorporating project definition, scope, project specification and selection process toward soliciting a contractor to round out and expand the owner architect partnership. This newly formed relationship of owner, architect and contractor moves forward in a collaborative manner in which each individual contribution and success complements the overall project success. Let's examine the relationship between owner, architect and contractor relative to Exterior Building Walls in obtaining maximum efficiencies, durability and longevity by improving communications from beginning to end of the project.
Owner, architect, contractor, communications
Certified Plant Engineer, Director, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI