Value of an Architect On-Site
I'm a huge believer in learning by doing, so while I am very much looking forward to having a new home to live in and call my own next month, the process of seeing how what I draw as an Architect actually gets built in the field (which is often a little different than what I expect, and sometimes for good reason) has been the most interesting part of the process for me. Being on site everyday has given me the ability to ask questions about why things are built the way they are, develop timely solutions to unforeseen problems, and make design changes in the field to improve the overall quality and cost effectiveness of the project, all of which have been huge contributors to the success of the Starter Home 2.0 job to date. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Architect designed projects, the Architect is rarely contracted to be on site more than once or twice a week and oftentimes never visits a project he or she designs while it is being built.
Yesterday was another great example of why Construction Administration is a critical component of good architecture. While stopping by the house after work I observed some differences between the drawings and front porch roof framing, I called and met the builder on site, asked some questions about why things were different between the two, and developed a solution (after a quick discussion and sketch) that is aesthetically pleasing and more cost effective to build than what was originally drawn in the first place. Below are a couple of sketches from that conversation that I drew up on my tablet to better communicate to the builder how we agreed to proceed.