In my continuing goal of improving our teaming process I always look for opportunities to speak with students pursuing Architecture or Engineering degrees to emphasize the importance of communication in that chosen field. So when Patrick Sotto of the CSUN ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) branch reached out to me to speak with the group, I readily accepted.
When providing architectural services our Clients, Contractors, and Design Teams always ask the same question “Do you have a great Civil engineer?”The Civil engineer can have a great impact on the site layout of the building and other developments. The sustainability of the drainage, sun angles, views, water retention, and other issues are in the purview of the Civil engineer. Getting correct and timely responses on issues pertaining to grading, retaining walls, drainage, utility lines, and other site issues from a Civil engineer always seem to take the most time.
The first thing I asked the students was “Who checked out my company’s website?” “Did you know I was coming to speak with you today?” “Did you do any research on me or my company?” I knew they were not going to do the homework on their own. Only one out of a group of sixty people had checked out who I was and what my company stands for. I knew this was a sign of what I needed to cover during my presentation.
I started and finished on the subject of communication. The communication between the Architect and Civil engineer is crucial to the success of the project. I say that because what if the datum elevations set by the engineers for a building are incorrect? That could mean hours of work for the Architect or General Contractor to correct. This could lead to more wasted time in the plan check process and or in the field. We do not want that kind of Change order in the field. These types of issues are what Architects and Civil engineers need to discuss.
All of this means they have to be proactive, responsive, and know the codes in which they are working. This level of communication has not been easy to get in my 40 year history in this profession. The entire team needs the consistency of the Civil engineers support. The schedule is the schedule.
I hope this will have an impact on the young Civil engineers as they advance through their career. I know we all need their assistance and guidance and I look forward to speaking again with them in the future, as they have invited me back.
I’d like to thank CSUN ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) group for the opportunity to inform them of the realities of their future profession.