The Last Leg in the Relay Race
Very much like a relay race, the sequence of stages in a design project culminates with the passing of the baton to the last runner, who must carry it through the finish line to complete the race successfully.
I find the Construction Phase to be the most exciting part of the race when all things are put in motion and months or years of thoughtful work come to life! Time is of the essence to make effective use of our skills and talents, to think creatively, solve problems and ensure our client’s vision and goals are fulfilled at the end of the project.
The construction phase of the project is also the time that clients will remember the most. Once the walls start going up, it suddenly becomes very real to them, they can now start to touch and experience what their space may look like. More than likely, new questions, new wants, and new needs will arise. Change is inevitable, no matter how much you planned the perfect combination of elements and materials, something is bound to require replacing, removing, or redesigning. A seemingly small change can cause many others. If the project is a remodel, you can certainly plan on changes due to newly uncovered existing conditions. Our responsibility is to guide our client through this daunting phase and ensure the integrity of the original design intent is kept, to observe conformance with codes for the health, safety and welfare of the end users. We help resolve any conflicts to stay on track with budget and schedule.
There are also special connections made during this phase with our client, our own team, and the contractor teams. After all, we spend months or years attending weekly OAC meetings and site walks, troubleshooting as we share a joke or a personal story over coffee. Though not an easy feat, Contract Administration (CA) is an enjoyable journey of face-to-face interactions.
So how do we continue to conduct CA services during a world-wide pandemic? 2020 forced us to leverage technology to the max – we shifted to virtual meetings and virtual site walks. In many ways, collaboration increased as we strived to maintain the level of involvement needed to successfully move through the process with a common goal. Along the way we also got to know the team on an even more personal level as we shared our homes, families, and pets through our computer screens. Sure, we all miss the in-person interactions, but we pivoted and continued to enjoy the journey.
At PDR, we take the responsibility to guide our clients through the final leg in the relay race very seriously. We know we carry the baton containing the essential awareness of the “why” of every important design decision made in previous phases and holding it tight, we maintain the vision to the very end as we cross the finish line together.
As Project Architect and Project Manager with sixteen years in the field of architecture, Gina has led many projects delivering beautiful workplaces for clients in the energy, financial and tech industries. By applying her talent for design and knowledge of construction documentation and observation, she develops unique and functional design solutions. Coordinating the team and guiding her clients through the entire process to fulfill their goals and bring their vision to life, is key in ensuring a successful project outcome.