Contributed by Cherise Lakeside
I have one goal with this blog. One crazy idea that if I can get some people to read this, they will change the way they work.
That goal? READ the DIVISION 01 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS in the specifications of your project.
I know what some of my friendly compatriots are going to say when they see that sentence. They are going to say “Cherise, that’s a no brainer!” I mean, really, am I writing a blog about something so simple? Damned right I am.
A few years ago, I wrapped up almost six years of working for an MEP engineering firm. This was a very unique opportunity to work on yet another side of the fence in AEC: to see how the other half lives. It was an opportunity to see why some of the breakdowns I saw were happening between the Architect and the Consultants.
It was both an eye opening experience and a wake-up call. Many of the things that I had complained about during my previous 23 years at an architectural firm, when it came to communicating and coordinating with consultants, were actually my fault. I got to look in the mirror and admit that I had been wrong. It was my job to coordinate the appropriate information with consultants, but because I didn’t understand how they worked and what knowledge they had, I did not do that coordination thoroughly or effectively.
Once I realized that there was a much more limited exposure to the entirety of the documents for consultants, no education in contract documents and almost no appropriate sharing of knowledge from the Architect to the consultants, I knew I had to change something.
That was when I created my first “Specs 101” class. The very first one was geared toward consultants and engineers. A 50,000 foot view to understanding all the pieces and parts of the Specifications that were not being shared with them, the common places that need coordination and just general education on where the information belongs and who is responsible for that information. It also covered how that information will sometimes clash. Can you say, “Access Panels”?!?!
The class was very well received and I took it even further in developing an Architect/Consultant Coordination checklist for the most common things that created conflict, missing information or repeated information.
Contributed by Jake Ortego
Construction projects can be highly complex and unique endeavors. A successful project relies on each person/company performing their function as required. However, in many cases the exact roles and responsibilities of each entity is not mutually agreed upon, nor understood. Consider the following contrasts in expected functions.
Chances are that you have an opinion for each one of these examples. These examples focus on the architect, owner, and constructor. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more parties involved in the construction process and each major group can be made up of multiple professions with a wide range of functions, as well as approaches, to accomplish their scope. This includes estimators, schedulers, specifiers, owner’s reps, material reps, accountants, and legal counsel to name a few.
As you read this, you are probably thinking that you already know who does what for the entire construction process. And it’s possible that your views are shared by people within your company or some of your local professional groups. But the standards can vary between industries, geography, project complexity, corporations, and even between two people sitting next to each other. To be clear, the primary definitions of many project roles can be agreed upon. Estimators estimate, schedulers schedule, engineers engineer, and so forth. But gray areas of responsibilities do exist, and it is these areas that may be the root of disagreements that can derail a project.
So, what is the solution? A universal standard may seem to be the easiest answer. But imagine the complexities of having one standard that covers every possible industry, culture, and available resources for each project. Ideal…but probably not achievable.
Contributed by Cherise Lakeside and Eric D. Lussier
LetsFixConstruction.com was born on a whim a little over a year ago. A glimmer of an idea based in a passion to help our industry improve. A thought that we could bring all members of our industry, from all disciplines, to the table to collaborate and share knowledge rather than to continue to complain or point fingers.
We launched this effort with no real solid plan for what it would look like or how we wanted to make it happen. We just knew that we wanted a place where we could all come together with positive, forward thinking solutions and a place to share knowledge for better understanding, resulting in an improved project delivery process and built environment. We’re presently calling it ‘visionary logic’ but we are still looking for a better phrase than ‘thinking outside the box’.
With a ‘Go Big or Go Home’ attitude, we decided to just run with it and see where it would go. We can honestly say that neither of us were quite prepared for the response. It was clear to us, from very early on, that people needed this place. People in our industry were hungry for a place to stop complaining and get better.
We started with blogs. We wrote some of them and invited friends, peers and guest bloggers to write others with a simple premise: Pose a problem you face and your perspective on how to make it better. Share your knowledge. It’s that simple. A little over a year in, our stable of guest bloggers is over 24 knowledgeable industry professionals and growing.
Somewhere midway through our first year, after seeing such an overwhelmingly positive response to the blogs, we brainstormed ways to take it even further. With two brains that are constantly in high gear and a passion to go bigger, we thought ‘What if we could take these problems that people face and get them talking about them? Face to face, at the same table.’ In the blink of an eye, our Let’s Fix Construction Workshop was born. A problem solving, interactive and dynamic event geared at getting people to openly discuss issues in our industry with people they often don’t appropriately communicate with.
We now have eight workshops under our belt with a ninth and tenth in Atlanta on November 13th. In addition, we have at least eight workshops tentatively planned for 2018 and have added a slate of other programs to our growing list outside of our namesake session. Again, the response was overwhelming. Again, we found that our industry NEEDS this environment of sharing in a positive manner, more now than ever. We hope to do these workshops and presentations all over the country. Maybe even the world!
So why did it feel like something was still missing?
Contributed by Eric D. Lussier
(Editor's Note: Before you start Part 2, please be sure you've read Part 1 here.
CUSHIONED SHEET VINYL
Vinyl, namely cushioned sheet vinyl or PVC, is one of today’s most popular synthetic surfaces for sports. Coming from a wide range of manufacturers in a variety of thicknesses, widths, colors and designs, the most common of these floors mimics the appearance of a traditional wood gym floor.
Premade in factories the world over, the vinyl is rolled up, packaged and shipped from the factory to a distribution house, the warehouse or a jobsite directly. The playing surface itself is typically pure vinyl and prefinished at the factory. Urethane prefinishes prevent the need to reapply annual finishes and help aid in cleanliness and maintenance of the floor. Any lines, lettering or logos are painted onto the surface of the rolled vinyl in the field.
Vinyl surfaces are very popular in elementary and middle schools, but also see installations in high schools, colleges, churches, YMCAs, daycare facilities and more. Built for sport usage of all types, cushioned sheet vinyl systems are heavily used for multipurpose areas. As water and liquids do not harm or, typically, stain the floor, it is common to see cafeteria and gymnasium hybrids — cafetoriums — receiving these types of floors.
Once prevalent, full-depth urethane surfaces have been mostly phased out and are now pad-and-pour or sandwich systems. Incorporating a recycled rubber pad that is adhered directly to the substrate or a slipsheet, the rubber has its pores sealed and is then coated with a 2 mm or 3 mm urethane lift. The lift is then coated with a color layer, offering one of the most popular synthetic surfaces on the market, which is also completely seamless.
Ideal for multipurpose usage, the overall resiliency of the rubber pad is more suited for heavy loads over the closed-cell foam of a cushioned sheet vinyl. While 4 mm, 7 mm and 9 mm are the most prevalent rubber pad thicknesses on the market, almost any thickness is available.
With all components manufactured in the factory, the pore sealer, urethane lift and painted wear layer are shipped to the job in pails in two- or three-part kits. Dozens of pails are mixed onsite, making conditions such as heat and relative humidity in the climate-controlled space to be of the utmost importance. Products are hand troweled or hand rolled upon the surface, and the final painted wear layer can be as thin as a piece of paper.
This painted wear layer can wear through in high-traffic areas, and it is typical for the floor to receive a new applied surface periodically, perhaps anywhere from five to 15 years depending on usage.
Contributed by Eric D. Lussier
The space is enclosed, the HVAC is running and the basketball backboards are in place. The final touch to your athletic facility is the only item outstanding: the sports floor. You have made your selection and the contractor is scheduled. All you need to worry about is the completed installation, right? Well, have you put thought into periodic maintenance? You always want your facility to look clean and new, but some floors take more work than others. The following provides insights into the various finish options and upkeep factors that must be considered when it comes to choosing from among the many athletic surface options.
It seems ridiculous to start the overview with what could seem like no flooring at all, but due to its lifespan and durability, concrete remains a choice in the athletic flooring market. If you are building a new facility, chances are concrete serves as your base substrate regardless of what floor surface is specified. And, whether it is intended for team or individual sports, or for multipurpose use, chances are those activities can occur on a concrete surface.
The downside of a concrete surface, however, is the safety factor. While a player may not think twice about shooting hoops on an outdoor concrete basketball court, that same person would likely be apprehensive about lacing up their high tops on an indoor concrete court. Why? Because concrete doesn’t offer any sporting characteristics, such as force reduction, also known as shock absorption. ASTM F2569, Standard Test Method for Evaluating the Force Reduction Properties of Surfaces for Athletic Usability, defines force reduction as the “ability of a surface to reduce impact forces as compared to a rigid surface using a specified impact.” Concrete on its own offers no force reduction.
ASTM F2569 was repackaged in the official sports flooring standard: ASTM F2772, Standard Specification for Athletic Performance Properties of Indoor Sports Floor Systems. In 2009, additional criteria were added for surface finish effect, which is the slip and grip of a floor, known as coefficient of friction.
Nevertheless, if team or court games will be played on a concrete surface, one important finish application is game lines. Pay attention to the coating used to mark lines on any athletic flooring, as heavy foot traffic and cleaning equipment can take a toll on the paint used. Typically, a polyurethane-based coating with a hardening catalyst is specified for longevity reasons.
The concrete surface may also receive a stain or a polish before usage. With these kinds of finishes, high-traffic areas will require upkeep much sooner than low-traffic areas, but one can expect to refinish the surface anywhere from five to 20 years, depending on usage.
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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