ARC 441/541 Contract Documents
The translation from drawing to building; an investigation of fiscal and representational contexts influencing the act of construction. Emphasis will be placed on establishing an analogue between construction methodology and the development of precise communicative methodologies in the resolution of architectural form and space. Case studies, analytical exercises and representational investigation will establish an understanding of concepts engaged in the translation from drawing to building.
Statistically, sixty-five to eighty percent of time invested in critical architectural practice is devoted to construction documentation. It is ironic that most architects consider production of analytical/descriptive drawings as a mundane and arduous task. The translation from drawing to building is inherently poetic. Construction documents are the means by which the analogue between drawing and building is established. True expression of conceptual clarity in built form demands active engagement of the construction document as an analytical tool. It is the instrument through which construction methodology is tested and linked in resolution of spatial and formal construct. Paralleling the aspirations of critical practice, the production of construction documentation will be pursued as an intentional methodological endeavor informed by concept, context, and syntax; ensuring the vitality of analysis, and denying the pitfall of mere technical re-representation. Analyses will require/engender:
Communicative (Representational) Ability:
Ability to make technically precise descriptions and documentation of a proposed design for the purposes of variable review and construction. Accepted Construction Document terminology and symbology will be engaged, understood, and utilized. Consistent Specification terminology will be engaged, understood, and utilized. Clear, succinct communication/representation of intention will be demonstrated with proficiency. Exact/Minimal (not minimum) sensibilities will inform all communication/representation.
Understanding of both construction methodology and documentation methodology. Process is fundamental to the act of translating/communicating thought in a clear manner. Sympathetically, process is fundamental in the translation from drawing to building. Emphasis will be placed on developing a methodological rigor in representation/communication appropriate to specific technological, contractual, and fiscal contexts.
Understanding of the codes, regulations, and standards applicable to a given site and building design: occupancy classifications, allowable building heights and areas, allowable construction types, separation requirements, occupancy requirements, means of egress, and fire protection. Understanding of that which is perceived as a difficulty/inhibitor will be embraced as opportunity for invention.
Comprehensive Fiscal Understanding:
Understanding of building economics and cost control strategies. Emphasis will be placed on the architect's responsibilities for estimating and meeting construction costs as required by variable professional service contracts and project delivery methods. The relationship between budget evaluation, project scope, construction quality, and schedule will be investigated and understood through applied analysis. Strategies for maintaining fiscal constancy in volatile/non-absolute constructive climates will be fundamental in analysis and understanding.
Course Structure & Topics
Term Project: Constructive Transformation/Modification: The primary method for engaging the course objectives will be the production of a full set of construction documents. Teams composed of five members will document a case study site and constructive fabric utilizing tolerance sympathetic measurement systems. The documentation/analysis will demonstrate expressed understanding of the site and constructive fabric in entirety. Utilizing USHABS Documentation/Notation systems, teams will document and represent context, solar orientation, existing aperture placement/adjacencies, thresholds, material implementation, tectonics, human scalar relationships, and occupiable space. The documentation will also demonstrate understanding of associative tactile, visceral, and experiential conditions, forming a foundation for intelligent transformation of the site. A constructive scenario and program for site modification will be introduced. Each team will propose transformations for the case study site and constructive fabric. A full set of construction documents will be produced based on the analysis and transformation proposals. The documents will be produced utilizing a uniform CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) based notation system. Organizational relationship of drawings to one another and to specifications will be investigated. The process will stress the interface of CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drawing), (optional) BIM (Building Information Modeling) as a means to enhance production efficiency and allow heightened conceptual development/clarity in design. Emphasis will be placed on engagement of the computer as an analytical tool aiding in empirical investigation.
Drawings will be reviewed publicly at regular intervals and relevant discourse initiated. AIA documents, 2006 International Building Code, UL (Underwriters Laboratory) Manuals and CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) specifications will be engaged and discussed as pertinent issues arise in the production of the documents. The implications of material transformations to document production and code criteria will be analyzed in establishing comprehensive understanding of the displaced relationship between communication and construction.
Unit Value Assessment/Unit Construction Cost Management: Utilizing the Constructive Transformation as a foundation for work, Individuals will investigate building economics and cost control strategies through Unit Value Assessment and Unit Construction Cost Management. Each Individual will create and maintain a Unit Value Utilization Ratio Chart. The chart will document utilization of time engaged resolving the transformation program against the productivity of those efforts in the context of hypothetical DSE (Direct Service/Salary Expense), ISE (Indirect Service/Salary Expense), Net Multiplier, and Net Revenue components. Each individual will also develop a Unit Construction Cost Multiplier for the proposed transformation coinciding with the thirty-five percent Construction Document submission. The multiplier will be derived form a cost estimate structured utilizing the CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) Trade/Material Divisions. RS Means Cost Data will be utilized as the foundation for all unit quantities and valuations. The relationship between fiscal/economic parameters and conceptual intention will be analyzed in establishing comprehensive understanding of building economics and cost control strategies.
Assignments/Exercises: A series of cumulative in class exercises will be utilized to reinforce concepts introduced in lecture. Exercises will stress critical thinking in the communication of idea / translation of thought. Investigations will be independent of the Case Study Transformation/Modification, but coincide with process and development.
Fieldtrips: Fieldtrips will be scheduled to visit construction sites to observe the relationship between documentation, shop drawing production, fabrication, and construction. Due to the rapid pace of the course schedule, fieldtrips will be scheduled outside of regular class times. The instructor will determine if specific fieldtrips are deemed optional or required as an integral part of the class (subject to attendance policies). Visiting Lecturers will address or amplify concepts, methods and systems relevant the phases of the document production.
Attendance: Exercises and projects are cumulative, later work is built upon the previous work/discussion. It is important to engage each other and treat this as a laboratory. Attendance is essential and mandatory. Other course deadlines are not recognized as excuse for absence. Students are expected to be responsible for all information presented in the course regardless of either an excused or unexcused absence. Each unexcused absence will result in the reduction of the semester course grade by one full letter grade. Three or more unexcused absences will result in failure of the course at the discretion of the instructor.
Performance Review: All work will be graded on a 100-point system weighted according to the following percentages. Participation is a major component of this course and will be evaluated comprehensively and as component grades. At completion of each Construction Document benchmark a signed Unit Value Assessment will be completed and submitted for evaluation of Individual performance at each phase.
Unit Value Assessment/Unit Construction Cost Management 10%
Site Verification/Measured Drawings 10%
Construction Documents: 10% submission (50% individual, 50% group) 10%
Construction Documents: 35% submission (50% individual, 50% group) 10%
Construction Documents: 60% submission (50% individual, 50% group) 15%
Construction Documents: Final submission (50% individual, 50% group) 20%
Participation Evaluation: 10%
Evaluation will be based on the following:
A: 90-100, B: 80-89, C: 70-79, D: 60-69, E: 59 or below
Promotion: A cumulative grade average of 60 or higher is required to pass the course.
Late Work: Projects and Exercises are to be turned in by 5:00pm on their due date. Late work will not be accepted without prior consent by the instructor. With Instructor consent, late work will be penalized by a reduction in the effective score 20% per day late. Failure to meet any deadline will result in failure of the course at the discretion of the instructor.
Incomplete Work: Incomplete work will not be accepted without instructor's prior approval and written agreement as to revised due dates, penalties and grading policy.