- Omission of one dimension on the drawings.
- Engineering consultant locating equipment poorly based on relationships with other equipment.
- Contractor “assuming” he knew where equipment was to be located and not RFI or asking at an OAC meeting.
- Owner trying to “save a little money” and limit architect’s time on site for observation (when little burrs caught before they wedge themselves under the saddle) and not noticing a potential problem.
So what would you do? I took ownership of coming up with a workable solution:
- I reviewed with my engineer consultant (tired to limit GC bashing) to come up with a way to not do something stupid like that again and come up with a few alternate configurations that would meet the design intent.
- I asked GC how much cost and time to relocate the piece of equipment he put in the “wrong” location (it’s not clearly only his fault, that would be much easier).
- I called the owner and apologized (yes, I said, “I’m so sorry we all missed this. Here’s what happened and here’s how we’d like to help fix it.”). During that discussion, the owner also said, “Yeah, if we hadn’t limited your time on site, I’m sure you would have seen it before the concrete was in place.”
- During my discussion with the owner, I proposed that we split the remediation cost 3 ways: owner, architect, and contractor. The owner said that was fair and they “would remember” my willingness to make it right.
- During my follow-up conversation with the GC, they weren’t as amenable and wanted it to come out of contingency (a reasonable point but for this owner with a long institutional memory, a bad business decision). The GC called the owner directly (I think) and said they would do the work but it would be coming out of contingency (I’m pretty sure this was a mistake).
- So I deducted my one-third of the remediation cost from my invoice (did ask my engineering consultant for some consideration as well) and I went on down the road.
—Lisa Stacholy, AIA, NCARB