How to Choose a Consultant

Trouble Choosing the Right Consultant? Take a Look at their Desk…

Forrest Gump’s’ mama always said you could tell a lot about a person by their shoes; where they have gone, where they are going. In the consulting world, you can tell a lot about a consultant and how to choose a consultant by looking at their desk; what they have done and who they are.

For all of us desk-jockeys, our desk becomes an expression of ourselves and the company we work for. We personalize it, we organize it, we wash it (or don’t wash it), and we decorate it.  But very few people have stopped to think about what it says about them and how this information could be a valuable tool for choosing the right consultant or business partner on a project. (more…)

How Do You Win More Building Projects?

How Do You Win More Building Projects?

60%.  That’s how much of a building’s cost typically falls under Structural and MEP systems.

If you want to win more building projects, consider how effective your design team is at delivering in these two areas.  When more than half of the building costs are going to depend on getting these two things right, having consultants who can deliver a high quality, well integrated design in each area is critical.


Operable Partitions and Structural Support Deflection Issues

Deflection Issues for Operable Partitions

Operable partitions provide versatility to room layouts. They provide sound separation and aesthetic value. But to a structural engineer, the devil is in the details. These systems must be able to function properly in order to maintain operability and sound retention.

The support of these systems must not only carry the partition weight but also limit the deflection for proper operation. The simplest approach is to place a floor supported system on a slab-on-grade.  But this type of system is rarely specified.

All structures deflect. It is an indication of the elastic properties of the affected member or members. Although easier to accommodate in new structures, adding these systems to existing buildings can be problematic.

Different panel systems possess different deflection requirements. The most common system is the folding partition. Their construction depends on the STC rating (sound transmission class) which affects the deflection limitations. Other systems include accordion doors, movable glass panels, self-supporting panels and portable panels. For this article, we will address the needs of the folding panel partitions.

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Building a Stronger Design Team Means Winning More Sports Projects

Building a stronger design team is the key to winning more sports and athletic facility projects.  As an architect, how you build your design team often means having to choose a consultant based on either locality or experience.   Going with a local consultant does offer the advantage of having someone knowledgeable of the project and its managers.

However, when upwards of 60% of a facility’s cost falls under structural and MEP systems, choosing a consultant for these disciplines based only on geography is not the most strategic choice for building a better design team.


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