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November 2, 2023
Divine Details

As architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details”—his variation of the older adage, “the Devil’s in the details.” So, whether benevolent or diabolical, we can conclude that details must be important—especially for exterior restoration.

Why? Drawings that embrace the five Cs (those that are clear, correct, concise, complete, and consistent) are indications that all aspects of the project have been considered. The very process of drawing forces us to think through all the implications of a repair detail.

Our approach is different than that taken by many of our colleagues, whose CDs rely on rudimentary drawings and copious verbiage. They lean on the contractor for solutions, feeling that the consultant’s role is to document the job (field reports, change orders, etc.) however it unfolds. We know this because we’ve reviewed projects where the consultants have followed this approach. In some cases, costs doubled relative to the initial budget, and the schedule expanded by months.

When the contractor has free reign, it can be like the fox guarding the henhouse (some contractors even have boats named “The Change Order”). Conversely, tight drawings minimize change orders. They represent solutions formulated by prudent investigation and analysis, and familiarity with the most effective restoration products and techniques.

In any case, we don’t think contractors need big boats.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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