Issue 1 - Introduction and Classified Excavation
It is no secret that when alliances form, it sets up multiple organizations for success. When a single group works to move the industry in a positive direction, small steps move them forward. When multiple groups work together for a similar purpose, leaps of improvement happen. Main AEC players in the St. Louis region discovered a way to
provide valuable education about the life cycle of construction to the primary risk holder, the construction owner, by creating the Construction Alliance. This provides a platform not just for collaboration and communication among all sides of the industry, but it acts as a continuous improvement tool for the entire St. Louis construction community.
What is the Construction Alliance and how can they help educate Owner's about the Life Cycle of Construction?
During the 1950's and 1960's, the AIA - St. Louis and the AGC of St. Louis joined together to develop the first ARCON (short for Architect and Contractor) Bulletins. The bulletins were intended to educate those unfamiliar with the design and construction of buildings. Around the same time, the Consulting Engineers Council (CEC) and AGC of St. Louis began the CEC-AGC Joint Committee which developed recommendations, called the CEC-AGC Recommendations, similar to ARCON. Both groups were heading down a similar path to educate building construction consumers - Owners.
With 2 different sets of "Bulletins" or "Recommendations", many similarities were discovered. A decision was made to combine the two groups and bring the documents into alignment into a comprehensive single resource. At this time, an Owners group was added to give their input as well. This is the basis for what is now called the "Construction Guidelines" which were the combination of both and issued in the 1970's. The resulting working group was called the "Construction Alliance", which is composed of six different associations:
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri (ACEC-MO)
- American Institute of Architects, St. Louis Chapter (AIA-St. Louis)
- Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO)
- Construction Specifications Institute, Greater St. Louis Chapter (CSI-STL)
- Louis Chapter of International Facilities Management Association (IFMA-St. Louis)
- Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC)
How does the Alliance work?
- Each organization selects members to represent their respective group.
- There is a bi-monthly meeting where all get together to discuss the Construction Guidelines.
- Each guideline is reviewed on a rotating basis and where needed, modified for relevance and accuracy, using industry standards and norms. Occasionally an entirely new guideline will be developed as the industry evolves. For example, BIM was recently added.
It is important to note that the Construction Guidelines are NOT standards of care, but a synopsis of many industry standards that are "recommended industry procedures".
Where can you review the Construction Guidelines?
In 1999, the Construction Guidelines began publication on line. They are free to access, simply go to www.agcmo.org and look under the Member Resources tab for "Construction Guidelines". There is no registration and anyone can view them.
The Construction Guidelines are divided into four components of the construction process:
- Selection of Design Professionals and Contractors (9 guidelines)
- Planning & Design (28 guidelines)
- Bidding (9 guidelines)
- Contract Administration (20 guidelines)
Following a schedule set by AGCMO, a guideline is released each month for consideration. The intent is to spread the word that these documents exist for those working with Owner's that are not involved in the construction industry on a regular basis. The Alliance's hope is to provide an overview for the Owner that will hopefully answer their questions and provide them with references to review if they would like more information.
Since this post is jumping into an ongoing process, I am starting in the Construction Administration component and will follow the releases as they occur each month.
July's Guideline of the month is "Classified Excavation" and falls under the Contract Administration, and can be found here.
Next month I'll begin a breakdown of the Guideline of the month and provide more detailed analysis of each.
Till next month…