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The KISS rule

Joe McNally | Posted in Project Management on

This is really more of a rant than a question. Sorry. And this is not for homes only, but for commercial building, primarliy, which is what I work on as an architect.

IMHO, the first thing green buildings need to do is simplify. Extra corners, curves, plan irregularities…all create inefficient use of materials…and inefficiency is anti-green. Yeah, I know that no one wants a plain box. But it seems to this architect that owners want it all. The building has to have all these bumps and hiccups, they tell me. I see way too many plans where the architect threw together the spaces and drew a line around it and, viola, there is your building. I see this even on a current project that wants platinum and net-zero! Green takes time. Our world is way the hell too impatient. Green takes a real feedback loop between all systems. My principal in charge tells me the plan is set in stone and the MEPs only just started today!

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  1. Mark Costa | | #1

    Clients don't always think systemically nor do all of our colleagues. I totally agree with your points and understand any frustrations you may experience. As a remodel contractor I'm often faced with those who feel their prime directive is to get the recycled content tile while I desperately encourage approaches that don't include my having to park a 40 yard dumpster in their driveways. Your approach does result in a better final product and less stress during the process.

  2. Joe McNally | | #2

    It seems that time is our enemy. If you tell my boss to take his time with the plans, he just waits till 1 or 2 weeks (or sometimes just days) before the deadline and then blasts out the plans. I encourage all owners to fight the rush to build. Contractors usually want to go fast to improve their cash flow. Owners have deadlines with leases and property deals and bank loans. IMHO, for a set of plans to be good requires them to be worked and reworked and reworked. A very smart old engineer once told me that an owner has a choice between 3 things...
    - fast construction
    - cheap construction
    - high quality construction

    Pick two of the 3. Whichever 2 you select automatically excludes the third. You want fast and good? Then it cannot be cheap. You want fast and cheap? Then quality will suffer. You want cheap and quality? Then it will take a LOT longer...longer for the contractors, engineeers and architects to find the plan and systems to achieve fast and cheap.

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