At week 6 of ACE, after a nice potato bar dinner at HDR’s brand new office, we reviewed construction contracts – we covered the traditional process, design-bid-build which is the most common contract, the design build where everything is done in-house, and the collaborative approach of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and how the process of construction changes depending on the relationships agreed. We discovered that the more documents are solidified, the more difficult or more expensive it is to change things, particularly down the road in construction.
With an IPD contract, key players who usually arrive later in the process (such as the General Contractor and the subcontractors who begin building after drawings are complete), come in earlier in the process and are able to give a better perspective and clarify constructability of ideas to the owner and design team. It is a time-saver as design architect and engineer, owner, and general contractor work together from the start and build a much more informed design and approach, resulting in less problems throughout the project, saved time, and saved money.
Today’s activity is based on the construction process and its ever-changing issues and challenges. The mission involved building a small model, where the owner expects the model to span a certain length (6” between 2 books), can hold an imaginary 4”x4”x4” solid cube within, emphasize light, have a solid roof without structural members obstructing open space, while having a bearing load of about 350 grams. Students were given a certain budget to work with and a list of materials and prices to build the building per the requirements.
As they progressed, they faced certain real-world challenges such as being placed under a noise ordinance and having to progress with their work while being challenged to only whisper to communicate. On a real project, the noise ordinance could impede not only communication, but also progress and efficiency of work as well because tools that are loud
but effective, or necessary, cannot be active during that time period. This can put a lot of pressure on the construction team to progress on their work while avoiding getting fined.
Next week, we will test the structures and see which team was most savvy in building their structure!