While design professionals develop detailed plans and specifications for a project, they also play a vital role in fabrication. Their work is foundational and requires precision, creativity, innovation, and professionalism. Contractors, in turn, must use the blueprints provided by design professionals to execute the actual task at hand. It is no surprise then that effective coordination between design professionals and contractors can often determine the success or failure of any major infrastructure endeavor. To help ensure the successful execution of projects under their tenure, here are five pieces of advice to keep in mind when completing design work:

1. Effective planning

Thorough planning is something that should not be put on the side burner. This is because it has always been apparent that multidisciplinary projects are susceptible to delays that may be caused by clashing services. Design professionals need to ensure that they thoroughly assess the locations where the projects are to take place before any on-site activity begins.

By physically visiting the site, rather than analyzing the project location from Google Maps, you can better determine where the proposed services will be located. Design professionals will be able to create effective sustainable, economical, safe, and practical solutions when they visit project locations to conduct audits of existing services rather than relying solely on as-built drawings. Having some conversations with the locals to understand how they have been affected by the problems will also help.

Professionals who have experience designing successful projects can use their experience to create a detailed plan of action and contingency options for any anticipated delays. Keeping track of past experiences is crucial to predicting future delays and resolving them quickly and effectively. Creating a library throughout the years by saving information used in the design processes, notes on how fabrication procedures are executed in problem solving to challenges experienced on site and documenting team input from the initial stages to fabrication, will help design professionals to work optimally and improve their designs with time.

2. Be mindful of accuracy

Quality assurance measures should be employed throughout the entire process from initial design through to completion. As a means of ensuring quality assurance, design professionals must make checking drawings, rechecking drawings, and even re-re-checking drawings a habit. It is imperative to double-check and even triple-check all measurements against defined standards and previous amendments so that unexpected problems during fabrication can be avoided and financial losses can be minimized.

Even if something seems as minor as making sure door hinges are properly aligned, by extending the extra mile and paying extra attention to checking minor details will help you save time in the long run and prevent delays in the completion of your project. This level of care earlier in the design process prevents headaches later. Also, before anything else, make sure all drawings, schematics, and specifications that document the project requirements are accurate. Not providing precise details may result in significant delays down the line. This may be due to material specification ordering or other issues related to tolerances being out of range from what has been planned.

Sometimes it is also worthwhile to conduct a physical topographical survey instead of relying on information from Google Maps for coordinates. This will assist in ensuring that physical services can be located exactly where they are and thus help save time and related confusion.

3. Think holistically

Because our profession is intertwined so much with other professions, you need to consider how your design will fit with other components already specified by different specialized designers working on the same project. Otherwise, you may overlook significant details like electrical conduit spacing or airflow gateways. Ensure that before finalizing complex designs that may result in costly conflicts among components once they reach a real-world environment that all changes have been communicated clearly and precisely through every communication channel established for the project.

In an effort to inspire and motivate innovation in the built environment industry, practicality should always be a key aspect of your scope. Any design element that resists verbose approaches which can lead to cost overruns should be avoided and the focus should shift toward economical and streamlined solutions. Using this manner of approach will leave more flexibility in the budget for any future redesigns that might be required under special circumstances. This will enable us to avoid any added worries about fixes needed that result in projects falling behind scheduled datelines or being out of budget.

4. Communicate early & often

The importance of clear communication in a project cannot be overstated. It is vital from the very start of the project to establish key contact points for information exchange between all parties. As a result, information will flow regularly to each key point, timely to facilitate their input and to anticipate any bottlenecks that may arise in the future. The smallest piece of information can prove to be one of the most crucial and sensitive to a project. Progress is not achieved by simply doing, but by achieving milestones toward completing set tasks to the tittle. As professionals in our industry, it is critical to provide accurate updates about key milestones. This will keep everyone informed throughout each phase – allowing feedback from multiple sources which often proves invaluable information.

Effective communication will help reduce misunderstandings during both complex design stages as well as critical fabrication phases and other tasks during later stages of the project’s life cycle. Overall, effective communication allows every component of a large, conceptual task to be seen holistically. In this way, the project achieves its goals within limited resources while paying heedful attention to the details at every step.

It pays to know some key insights if you’re part of a design professional team for planning, architecture, engineering, interior design, and other specialists and consultants responsible for successful execution of projects. Making use of the advice given above will make project execution a pleasant instead of a dreadful experience. This is because your relationship with key stakeholders becomes reputable in lieu of getting tarnished. To create a valuable working relationship, it will be helpful to meet with more contractors to understand their challenges and avoid them in advance.

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