Simplifying Specifications

Specifiers often struggle to come up with ways to make specifying simpler, to eliminate unwanted language, and to make specifications more correct.  At this year's CONSTRUCT AEC Education and Expo, Beth Stroshane posited that the way we write..

Magical Thinking in Specifications - Part 2

In my recent post, When Specifiers Engage in Magical Thinking, I described what happens when aspecifier believes that putting more instructions into a specification willmake for a better outcome.  Never mindwhether or not those instructions were..

When a Specifier Engages in Magical Thinking

One of the hallmarks of magical thinking is the notion that if you think a thing, you can make it happen, simply by thinking it.  This is often reinforced by our tendency to see connections between events and our propensity to interpret those..

Interpreting "Health, Safety, and Welfare"

The primary requirement written into architectural practice acts for most U.S. states is that architects are licensed only for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and welfare (HSW).  In Illinois where I am a licensed architect, these..

Fiduciary Duty for Design Professionals - an Introduction

In his blog post last week, David Stutzman presented several examples illustrating ways in which architects fail in their fiduciary duty to owners, typically through covert advocacy and through not obtaining the owner's informed consent for material..

Eliminate Asymmetric Project Information

Successful construction projects rely on complete, accurate, timely, and understandable communication; maximizing all of these reduces the likelihood for disputes to arise.  Unfortunately, many project teams fall short of proper communication, and that's..

Better Specifications Language

Specifications must be written following the "Four C's" of effective communication: Clear, Concise, Correct and Complete.  Getting each "C" done right presents its own challenges.  To be correct, a spec must avoid errors and properly describe the scope..

Writing a Spec Section From Scratch

Almost every specification section most specifiers will ever need is available in one or more commercial master guides, and for those that aren't, there are other options.  Many manufacturers provide guide specs for their products.  Most offices have a..

Better Ethics for Architects

Architecture is not an easy profession to enter.  To become an architect, candidates must obtain specialized advanced education, work their way through an extended mandatory internship process and sit for lengthy state licensing examinations that all..

How is A/E/C Like the World Cup?

As we enter the final week of this year's thoroughly enjoyable World Cup soccer tournament, with the countries of France, Belgium, Croatia, and England still vying for the trophy, I thought I'd explore some metaphorical similarities between the worlds of..

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