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..

Want to Improve Project Delivery? Communicate!

Recently, Conspectus participated in two conferences: Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) and Lean Construction Institute's Lean in Design Forum. Both groups are searching for a means to improve construction project delivery with some..

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..

Complications of Sustainability Requirements

What could possibly go wrong?

Protecting the Public via Fiduciary Duty

Architects are obligated to protect the public as a primary duty, but not the only duty. We wrote about architects having a fiduciary duty to the owner and the owners' right to have trust and confidence in their specifiers. All these duties exist..

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..

Can owners have trust and confidence in specifiers?

First, owners must know who the specifiers are before this question can be answered. Trust and confidence is an underlying core principle of the fiduciary duty licensed learned professionals (architects and engineers) owe to owners. As a licensed..

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..

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