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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 580
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 01:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How can I keep the Owner from changing the design during construction?
Jim Brittell
Senior Member
Username: jwbrittell

Post Number: 6
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 01:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think the key is to educate the Owner regarding the consequences of the change: cost (including design fees), scheduling, quality and aesthetic issues.

If the Owner understands the issues and is willing to accept the consequences, that's a value decision the Owner is entitled to make.
Randall L. Cox
Senior Member
Username: randy_cox

Post Number: 21
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 04:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with the importance of raising the issues of cost and schedule, but Ive found myself stressing the likely loss of quality. Both as reduced design coordination and a drop in construction quality. And after spending three years working on the construction side of the fence, I'm no longer shy about my need for additional fees.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 50
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 05:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"How can I keep the Owner from changing the design during construction?"

Simple mantra to repeat in each client meeting:
"More costs more"

Another good way to explain it to a client is to explain the double jeopardy of changes to the completion of the work.

I'm going to assume that you are still completing portions of the construction documents while construction begins. In that scenario, delivery dates for drawings are fairly rigid, regardless of the extent of the design revision.

If I have 40-50 hours scheduled to complete a task on my CD's, but I spend 20 of those hours working on a change, now my initial task is only half done. Typically, deadlines don't change significantly when requests for designs changes occur, so the end result is set whose completeness and accuracy is continuously reduced with each and every change. This correlates directly to increased construction costs with incomplete or inaccurate bids, extensive CA efforts, increased field coordination of unforeseen problems, etc...
Vivian Volz, RA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 53
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There was a nice graphic in a 2005 CSI convention presentation about cost and benefit of change, graphed over time. I believe the session was called something like the Pitfalls of Value Engineering, but it doesn't appear to be in my proceedings CD. I've wanted this graphic for my own designers, and for them to use on the clients, so if anyone can point us to it, please help.
Julie Root
Senior Member
Username: julie_root

Post Number: 32
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Please let me know if you receive it. I would also like a copy.
Vivian Volz, RA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 58
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 07:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

No dice, obviously. I think I found the company that created the graphic, but they're very interested in selling you their educational materials, not sharing them for free. So they'll remain anonymous for the moment.

So I'll describe it, and you can build your own. It was essentially an X, where the downward curve is "magnitute of change" and the upward curve is "cost of change." The vertical dimension is just value, and the horizontal is time, or phase of the project if you want to get fancy. It's not scientific, just a way of thinking about change. The further along in the project, the less you can practically change and the more it's going to cost to make the change.

Once you have your little chart to point at, you can give an example, probably the change your client wants to make... you can change the direction the building faces, in schematic design, for essentially no cost, but after construction even a sunshade is probably going to cost more than it should. You know this, obviously, but your client may never have thought about it.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 66
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 02:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have a few graphics (PowerPoint slides) that are in this realm - illustrate increasing cost of changes over time in graph form - purpose of slide more toward QA/QC procedures during design/documentation process than on construction stage, but do include construction.
Would be happy to share with anyone who emails me at rwj@jandjconsultants.com

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