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I’m happy to see most people made it back to the office for the meeting on the 29th!  I went ahead and made the assumption that there were a few people still out due to the mass amount of turkey consumed this past week.  My cat Little Tom, went a tad crazy over Thanksgiving.  He’s super spoiled so we gave him a ton of turkey (or most of the turkey, don’t judge me) but he still managed to break into other various and sundry locations in our kitchen and pillage our stock.

He's so cute, but he'll bite the crap out of you too.

Cats and food aside, this week’s meeting focused on the Construction aspect of the building industry.  The biggest chunk of time was spent working on a mini-project which gave light to how those in construction management must juggle time, cost, material, and the client’s happiness.  It’s clear from the projects that there are many different solutions to fulfill a client’s wishes and needs: and this is the construction managers job, to produce quality construction in the most economical and timely means possible.

All of the groups made “buildings/structures/things” that fulfilled all the requirements established on the task outline (except for Group 1, which ran into an unfortunate encounter with a hot glue gun company that was going bankrupt and denied previously purchased material, and a banking shortchange that erupted into a lawsuit and furthermore propelled the onset of Occupy ACE, they also had one fewer person than the other teams).  Despite the teams’ final product itself, some finished with excess time, excess material, or a sweet profit margin dependent on their project management.  Most teams didn’t struggle with the change order given halfway through the activity due to pre-existing design choices, but what if the change order specified that you had to support two cans of soda?  Or you had to support the soda in the middle of the floor over the span instead of on the roof?  This might have brought up some complete design overhauls.  Now I doubt that in real life there are dire structural situations concerning the support of soda, BUT, things like this do come up, and the construction manager has to alter their schedule to reallocate these new design developments.

Thanks Netter for the picsssssss.

Despite each team’s success or hardship throughout the construction process on Tuesday, the point of the project was to show how difficult it is and how organized you must be to manage a project successfully and end up with a couple extra dollars at the end.  As an architect, I can’t give you much detail into the insight of construction management, but if anyone in that field wants to add anything to this blog post, that would be awesome 🙂

Next meeting:

Goettsch Partners office @ 224 South Michigan Ave, Floor 17

4:30 – 6:30 on 6 December

Yay, for December!  This meeting will cover the last profession encompassed by ACE: Engineering.  We’ll have another super-fun activity, and educate you guys a little as to how the practice of engineering fits into the scheme of the building industry.  For example, even though I work in architecture now, my first internship was at an engineering firm.  Granted, I made a lot of copies, entered numbers in fax machines for days at a time, made blueprints (smelled like ammonia), and punched holes in about a trillion documents, but I also learned a lot about the communication needed between architects and engineers in coordinating building.  (I heard a lot of bad words towards architects in that firm).  Seven years later I am still using tips and tricks that I learned in that engineering firm, in my job as an architect today.  I’m also really good at fixing broken copiers.  Hope to see you all next week!

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