Boush Street Offices

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Expedited Review and Murphy's Law!

Some of you in the bigger cities may be familiar with this process.  This week was my first experience and it took place in Raleigh North Carolina. This process is where you get with the city and select a date that you and all your engineers along with every city staff member can get in a single room all at one time. Once you are there with a pile of the drawings, you give a brief overview of the project and it's scope and then ..... away it goes.  Every member of the city staff grabs their copy of the drawings and begins diving into the details that pertain to them.

I point of this process is to hopefully by the end of the day/afternoon, you will walk away with an approved set of construction documents and a construction permit. The key to this is making sure you are pretty good at having a set of documents that do not have a glitch anywhere in them.  A few minor items are not too bad. The city officials ask questions in regards to their portion of the review and if a few notes need to be added, that architect or engineer makes the corrections/notations in red on the documents (ALL the documents) and the city official stamps them approved.

Every member of the design staff and stamps the drawings has to be present in the room at the beginning or else the process will not proceed. Unfortunately we did not have our mechanical and plumbing engineer at the onset of the meeting. Fortunately, they did not notice. He was an hour and a half late......but we snuck through saying he was on his way.  I got a little bit of grace since I was from out of town.....and everyone of the engineers were as well.

We had performed our standard code compliance review for the project which was incorporated in the documents...unfortunately that isn't what they wanted.  They had a 16 page review sheet that had to be filled out. We had it filled out and right there....just not ON the drawings sheets.  A show stopper! So, we took the sixteen 8.5x11 sheets and one of the our 24x36 code compliance sheets and ran down stairs to a print shop next door. We explained that we needed the sheets reduced and placed on one our large sheet. The print shop said he would have to scan them in and then paste them digitally into the large sheet.....but he didn't do that...his boss did.....and he wasn't in the office yet...AHHHHH! Ok...let's think old school. Ok, make a full size copy of my large sheet..DONE. Ok, make copies of these sixteen sheets reduced by...let's guess 75%...DONE. Ok....give me a GLUE STICK.....what? Yes...A glue in kindergarten! I took them and stuck them onto the large sheet and then had the guy run the copies I needed.......DONE! That is what I can OLD SCHOOL!

Other than that little drama we were good and received our approvals. The engineer finally got there, signed his work and we were successful. Such a relief!

I really want to thank the staff at the city of Raleigh for working with us and allowing us a little bit of grace for us "newbies".....Thank you so much.

Oh, I could also share with you that the day before the print shop down in Raleigh had received all of our files and was supposed to print them for us and deliver them to the civil engineers office. That didn't happen...well sort of. They printed maybe half of architectural! What! delivered at 5:20 PM. Too late to we ran around to find a FEDEX/KINKO's to have them printed before they closed at 9PM. Called one shop, tried to have our office email the files......Murphy's law struck....our internet was done....NO! Finally up, we drove to the FEDEX and it was the wrong worries this one was open until 11PM. They received the files and began printing 330 copies. read right. They were not used to this kind of quantity of large format printing. They finished up at 11:10, we took the drawings back to the hotel and spread them across the lobby area sorting all the sheets and sets and getting them ready for the next morning. We finished at 1 AM in the morning...but we were ready.

I share all of these things so that you know Murphy's Law is alive and well. And as frustration and worries set, one could cancel, postpone, delay....give up.....that wasn't at option of us. No matter how many of the struggles (several others not shared) we sought out a solution.  A solution to the problems...each problem...that arose.  That's what we do at IONIC.  We are problem solvers. From the beginning of a project to the end...let us find a solution to your architecture puzzle.

That's my crazy story for this week my friends....enjoy yours! NOW LET'S BUILD A BUILDING!

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