Letting the Architects Design

Architects aren’t builders. They are visionaries, dreamers, and thinkers. And that’s exactly what we want them to be. Experts in their craft that help clients uncover possibilities by using their insights to craft a vision. They put countless hours into designing buildings that perfectly fit the owners’ needs—and just as much time should go into guaranteeing it gets build according to those specifications. However, many firms place the burden of construction management back on the architect. Causing several concerns:

  • Not all architects are construction management experts

  • The more time they are managing projects, the less time they have to focus on design

  • Adding to their responsibilities reduces a firm’s ability to design and manage more projects

Employing a Construction Administration Team

Ruhnau Clarke Architects takes a different approach to construction.

We employ an entire team of construction professionals that manage projects once they leave the design phase. They help augment the construction process by working alongside owners and contractors and serving as firm liaisons. They look at projects from a contractors point-of-view and an architect’s perspective—and expertly bridge the gap between the design studio and the construction site. Thus, relieving the architects of day-to-day construction management responsibilities and giving them time to focus on perfecting concepts and renderings. This allows us to provide clients with clear communication, quick responses, and expedited follow-up from beginning to end. 

Preserving the Client’s Vision

The construction administration (CA) team is involved from the beginning and closely communicates with designers to understand the vision of each unique project.

Architects spend a great deal of time helping owners put their vision for a project on paper. They spend even more time helping owners discover a project’s scope when it’s not as evident. Given the time invested, it’s pivotal these efforts stay intact as a project moves through construction. It’s the CA team’s job to ensure the original design intent gets translated to contractors as they navigate any necessary changes in the field.

To accomplish this, they visit construction sites on a weekly basis where they meet with the contractor and owner to discuss each project’s status. Afterward, they walk the site together to spot potential problems and resolve them early on. By encouraging this open communication, our construction managers are able to preserve the client’s vision and deliver their project on time and on budget. 

Reviewing Construction Documents

After construction documents have been reviewed by project managers, they go through a final review with the CA managers.

The construction managers look at the drawings from a contractor’s perspective and identify what could potentially be misinterpreted in the field. They use their experience to provide recommendations to designers on where drawings could be clearer. By doing this, they prevent misunderstandings before they happen in the field. If they happen to come across mistakes on site, they quickly fix the error, and communicate with the designers on how to prevent future occurrences. That way, they give the contractors the clearest instructions and save each contributor time and money.

Spirit of Cooperation

The construction administration team brings a spirit of cooperation to the construction phase by building relationships with owners and contractors. 

In order to ensure a successful project, all parties must strive to understand each other’s unique perspective and cultivate relationships based on respect and communication. The construction managers are able to unite teams and motivate them based on their shared goals of completing a project on time and on budget. They do this by:

  • Communicating fluidly with designers and architects

  • Translating this information to grow relationships with owners and contractors

  • Approaching each project with a spirit of cooperation on the job site

With each project the team grows to understand the owner’s and contractor’s preferences, goals, and motivations on a deeper level—allowing them to easily uncover their vision and design projects accordingly. They harness these s­kills to build relationships with new clients—showcasing their level of dedication at the design phase and maintaining it throughout construction.