After a long-term hiatus, due to a burnt out motherboard, I have returned with a brand new re-built computer set-up which inevitably took longer than I anticipated. I feel this is an appropriate opportunity to discuss a topic that is constantly on my mind, Construction scheduling.
Many of my friends and clients are always concerned about how long the process will take and when they can open-up. I rarely have trouble projecting the general schedule and helping to organize projects that are 500,000 SF (square feet) or less, but how does one manage a project as large as the World Trade Center Towers; over budget and way over it's due date.
When I was in school I interviewed with the architecture firm working on the building, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, and was impressed with the level of technology they had at their disposal to help realize the project. However, years later it seems that no amount of programming or technology can help pull this project out of the pits.
Project/Construction scheduling takes a certain type of person/group who can not only understand the needs of the client, but also maintain and organize the approach to which the Contractor will inevitably execute. Organization is a constant battle for me, because as a "professional" the Contractor is responsible for how he will schedule the project. However, the way architects/engineers present the information will inevitably dictate how a contractor will interpret and develop his/her own schedule.
So, I want all prospective home-owners/builders to understand the value an architect should bring to the table in "advising" you onto the appropriate course of action in realizing the dream you have for whatever the scope project it is you have in mind. If you feel you are not being approached with solid feedback then you have a "lemon" for an architect, and need to pursue other sources to help you push your way to a successful project. When you hire an architect you are hiring a resource whom has had "experience" in developing a project similar to yours. They should be enthusiastic and proactive in their conversations with you. As of late, I feel that this has not been the case and for that I must humbly apologize to those out there that don't trust to understand what this profession has to offer.
If we cannot get right the small scale projects then how can the design profession hope to appropriately realize the large scale projects to meet the needs of its clients.