Now we wait…

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Anyone who has done a construction project will be familiar with this phase – the waiting. Sometimes it is a phase that reappears several times during a project. Getting started, moving on to the next phase, fixing the deficiencies, getting approvals – there are so many possible snags as a project moves from paper to painting the trim that it would be impossible (and discouraging!) to list them all here.
Unfortunately, we architects play the role of waiting interpreter, somewhere between the helpful relative in the waiting room and the receptionist behind the desk. We question, pressure, call, sometimes threaten, explain, and re-plan based on the new information. But we rarely get to decide when things will happen – not really. In our role as contract administrators, we can raise red flags and ask the right questions at the right times in hopes of sparking action. We can also translate the technical issues and timing conflicts that sometimes arise on site and cause delays. We can explain the impact of changes on the construction schedule, based on delivery times and coordination…

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But in the end, we end up waiting too, along with everyone else. For a final decision on the windows, for an order to be placed, for the construction team to arrive, for the delivery to make it through the traffic, for the consultant’s report – oh, the waiting!

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Fortunately, waiting by the seaside in the summer is better than some other kinds of waiting. The distractions are more pleasant. The fishing is better. Next week the containers will arrive, there will be welding, and a crane, and generators. So for now we may as well enjoy the wait.

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