WS Welcomes Art Hanson Project Design Technician

Wheaton Sprague's Stow, OH office announces the hiring of Arthur Hanson as Project Design Technician in the Drafting, Design, and Modeling Department. Art is a highly motivated and results driven mechanical drafter with more than 30 years' experience. Art is adept at identifying and resolving inefficient procedures and processes, and completing demanding projects with critical timelines. He is detailed and process-oriented, and has the ability to analyze things quickly. We welcome Art to WS and look forward to his vast experience implementing innovative solutions for our clients.

Art comes to WS with past industry experience at MK Architectural Metals and United Architectural Metals, as well as additional experience in mechanical design for companies in the fabrication, welding and installation industries. When he's not at work, Art's life revolves around his friends, his four children, seven grandchildren and his church. He's as comfortable in nature as he is behind a computer, and has been seen jumping out of airplanes or parachuting. When it comes to food, Art loves a good steak. He believes biscuits and gravy are good for the soul, but has a strong distaste for tomatoes.

Art enjoys welding and masonry and has done some rather extensive remodeling. Home repairs may seem like work, but music and dogs are his relaxing passion. As for music, Art plays guitar. He's had the same Yamaha acoustic for 36 years, and his electric is a Les Paul, certain to annoy the neighbors when he cranks his amp. He's partial to southern rock and Texas blues, but anything from George Strait or Alabama will get him to pick up his axe. The dogs in his life are two beautiful red and white Huskies - Miranda and her son Milo. Art became fond of Huskies as a child, taken with their intelligence and personality. While raising a family, he found them protective of his children and loyal to their owners. Now that all the kids have left home, he is continually reminded just how loyal they can be. Miranda and Milo are joined by a rescue puggle (pug / beagle), named Elvis! When the grand kids aren't around, Art and the dogs can be found in the garage while he tinkers with his '64 Chevy Impala SS.

Since Art has been with Wheaton Sprague, he says he's observed a dedication on a level that is rarely seen in the building envelope industry. His personal motto of always being willing to lend a helping hand will have him fitting right into the company culture of Wheaton Sprague.

According to Mike Kohler, Stow Branch Leader, “Art’s previous experience in the niche market of custom curtain wall detailing and fabrication drawing expertise reinforces Wheaton Sprague’s commitment to our customers of providing the highest quality and timely turnaround of design, drafting, and engineering services to the industry. Art is a welcome addition to our current team of well-regarded professionals.”


John Wheaton on Delegated Design and Engineering

Here we go with Topic #1; Delegated Design

Delegated design is the process where the design professional of record, the architect or engineer (AOR or EOR), defers detailed design and engineering responsibilities for certain building elements or systems, usually to a constructor or subcontractor, and their “delegated design” professional, typically a professional engineer. It includes for example, things like pre-fabricated stairs, steel connections, tilt-up precast panels, railings, and our favorite in the context of this blog, the Curtain wall and Exterior Cladding systems. Building permitting is provided by the authority having jurisdiction, contingent upon the delegated entities providing PE sealed documents, shop drawings, calculation reports, etc., prior to occupancy and completion of construction. These are usually called “deferred submittals.”  Let’s confine this discussion to curtain wall systems as a category.

 Custom and monumental curtainwall systems are getting increasingly complex. Simultaneously, standard curtain wall systems are getting increasingly well defined, or at least accessible. There’s a bit of a dichotomy in this. On the one hand, the presence of online resources provides access to standard system typologies in increasing clarity, even though the applications to the particular building are still very specific. At the same time, available technologies, computer and modeling tools, the increase in performance requirements, owner demand, and more, are making custom systems increasingly complex. Remember too, that compliance needs rarely decrease with code cycles and as building science evolves, so the scope of documentation and the components being documented continue to get more rigorous.

 There’s a slight problem though; a trend that continues to reveal itself. It has been happening for quite some time. While delegated design requirements and responsibilities are increasing, in general, the quality of documentation in contract documents (architectural drawings and specifications) is decreasing. This is not to say all projects are in this category, but it’s generally what we see more often than not. More work is being required to be done by the delegated design professional and their team to get dimensions, details, missing information, secure answers to RFI’s, coordinate around conflicts, and to drive the curtain wall design and engineering to conclusion. Submittal reviews also tend to take more time than in the past, and often lack clarity in the response and commentary. The conclusion of this process is expressed in a set or sets of shop drawings and engineering calculations, with other support documents, from which the system can be fabricated and installed.

If technologies and tools defined the quality of work products, then we would be seeing increasing clarity as a trend. While specific projects and AOR teams do achieve a high level of clarity, this is generally not the case as a whole. More often than not, there’s a lack of information and over-reliance on technologies, as if a building model or image will overcome a lack of clarity in thought and application.

 In the meantime we work to develop means, methods, tools, deliverables, RFI logs, formats, contexts, and pricing strategies to accomplish the work. We propose approaches to projects using pre-construction design-assist collaboration, frequent team huddles, clarity in the scope of deliverables, and better front-end scrubbing or analysis of the contract documents. Collaboration is a key, as well as overall project communication. (Communication problems are the largest single factor in risk claims in the AEC industry by the way.)

 When architects, subcontractors, delegated design professionals, and other stakeholders work together, this process can be quite fruitful and productive. When they do not, it’s a challenging process. We need to do a better job, together, of defining the project plan, what each entity is accountable for, and to stick to it. The work always seems to get done, but sometimes there’s too much collateral damage left behind. I believe the industry, those of us working together, are mature enough to lead in this regard and to drive to improved results. Who’s with me?



How to Improve Project Efficiencies with BIM

How to Improve Project Efficiencies with BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a buzz word in the industry for the past decade. In 2011, 13 percent of people in the building industry were aware of and using BIM. That rose to 62 percent in 2017, according to the National BIM Report 2017 published by NBS. The number of industry professionals who were neither aware of nor using BIM decreased from 43 percent in 2011 to only 3 percent in 2017.

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