A challenging facility to test the waters, by Florencia Romanutti, Project Architect
Drew (MCTIGUE) Pedrick can be a quiet guy. And yet, when he talks about his approach to architecture, he can’t avoid opening his eyes and sharpening his sight: “a conscious approach to making place for people and planet is what MCTIGUE is all about”. Many things matter to him in addition to quality and cost-competitiveness. And this is a story about finding that balance to build a successful alliance.
When we approached our strategic collaboration, his main concern was to be able to focus on his craft and clients whilst counting on a solid technical team that can pick up his thoughts and turn them into a reliable BIM model and consistent working drawing to hit the job site with confidence.
How did we set up the pillars?
Based on a shared Responsibility Matrix (see below), we established the main framework to split the work and understand the level of resources needed to perform to the expected level.
The second pillar was to agree on a communication program that works for each client. There are a lot of tools at disposal, but this case was somehow different.
First project: How did it start?
To test the waters, we started with one particular job. An industrial complex with 5 buildings: 3 existing structures and 2 new (based on the permit and phasing diagrams provided by MCTIGUE -see below), to be developed in separate packages for each building.
“The Technical challenge here was to combine the remodeling and improving of existing buildings with the new infrastructure needed for a large, multi-functional grow facility, that requires intense mechanical, irrigation and HVAC systems”.
By preparing a fee proposal with a clear and detailed scope, fee and schedule, we had a serious framework to provide peace of mind to both parties. We like this approach as it is a safe way to test the waters by having ‘skin in the game’.
What was key in making this work?
Communication is king. Yes, assembling the best team to do the job is paramount. But the real deal is to find the best communication scheme.
In a world with “one too many options”, we agreed that emails were the best way to keep track of all comments. MCTIGUE Architects’ preference was to stay nimble and agile and provide quick feedback in simpler ways -including a picture of a red mark sent via email.
Drew championed an alliance that had to be open, engaged, and responsive: including our team in clients’ and consultant’s meetings, looping us in all project communications, and sharing project vision and goals to make us aware of all matters at all times, brought the highest level of engagement in all team members.
Last but not least, the fine challenge was to balance the pursuit of pending definitions with the cadence of the project, to make sure we always had enough time for a thorough review before milestones.
In our Client’s words
“Working with the Corbis team has been very productive and efficient. Work gets done to a very fine degree. MCTIGUE shares lean direction and instruction and, in return, gets a highly integrated, proactive approach to making sure all bases are covered.”, said Drew when I asked him about his experience working with us.
We at Corbis like to say “we love to do business with people we would have a glass of wine with”. I constantly strive to provide him with a flexible response, and always focused on “we’ve got your back” so he could focus on the client, the programmatic compliance, and coordinating all stakeholders.
We haven’t been able to share the glass of wine yet, but I look forward to that day -the sooner, the merrier!
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