"Symbiosis: The Importance of Collaboration between the Owner, Architect, & Contractor"
Contributed by Marvin Kemp
We all have ideas, beliefs and issues that we bring to the collective construction table for each project. Those individual ideas, beliefs and issues come together to form the culture of the project team. Part of the benefit I receive from CSI is better understanding of each team member’s ideas, beliefs and issues which helps me serve my clients better. It also helps me shape the culture of the project team in positive ways, which also helps the projects be better. Construction professionals should always be analyzing what is said and written on a project to better understand the motivations behind what is said and ultimately what is done. We should work collectively, collaboratively on behalf of our projects, our companies and our clients.
In construction, we have relationships of mutual benefit or dependence, too. Owners select architects and contractors, through some method of procurement. Architects and contractors then rely on each other for information and assistance to finish the built product. If we owe the ability to perform our work to our clients and we have to rely on others to get the work completed, why can construction be so adversarial? It doesn’t have to be.
This presentation at CONSTRUCT will compare and contrast two construction projects with varying levels of trust and interdependence. These two projects are similar only in that they are both health education facilities built at public universities in the eastern United States. They are in different states and at institutions with different missions. One is a very small, two story school of nursing. The other is a very large, 10 story school of dentistry. One had a passive owner while the other had an owner team with many different architects, engineers and construction professionals all voicing their opinions. One utilized traditional design-bid-build delivery while the other utilized the CM at Risk delivery method. Both had “red flags” that if noticed and acted upon could have allowed the project to move more smoothly and to a more fulfilling resolution for the ownership team, design team and construction team.
Using these two projects as real world examples, this presentation will point to specific “red flags” that project participants should have seen in these projects that pointed to potential problems coming to the project team. Attendees will be given specific strategies that if acted upon, will help the projects they are involved in to run much more smoothly and to a better conclusion.
As active and caring project team participants, we can all influence what happens during construction. If we exhibit the proper attitudes and act in proper ways, the project culture will be enhanced and we will all be more fulfilled with the end result.
This discussion is part of the CONSTRUCT H03 session "Symbiosis: The Importance of Collaboration between the Owner, Architect & Contractor", starting at 7:45 AM on Thursday, September 14th.
H03 is presented by Marvin Kemp, AIA, CSI, CDT who is a Principal with Design Collective, Inc. of Baltimore, MD and is a member of the firm’s Education Committee. A 1994 graduate of Mississippi State University, he has been practicing architecture for over 23 years, specializing in higher education design and construction and holds licenses to practice architecture in Maryland and Mississippi. Marvin has been a mentor in the Design Collective Mentor Program for nine years and the program’s moderator for seven years. He has been a member of the Baltimore Chapter of CSI for 16 years, is a past president of the Chapter and is currently Institute Director from the Middle Atlantic Region. An avid blogger and Tweeter, Marvin has also presented in the Baltimore Chapter’s CDT prep courses for over ten years and has presented at several Middle Atlantic Region chapters, at the MAR Leadership Orientation Seminars and twice at CONSTRUCT. Marvin has also presented to the Region One Forum of NAWIC and in Design Collective’s lunch time seminars known as DCU. He lives in Towson, MD with his wife and three children.
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