by John Jurewicz
If you have experienced delays in detailing and procuring steel, it may be because the design documents were difficult for the fabrication detailer to interpret. Or multiple changes issued after the detailing process began may have made it difficult for the draftsperson to keep up. Or the specified steel sections were unavailable from warehouse suppliers and too unusual for the mill to fabricate quickly.
It is difficult for architects to appreciate the burden on the fabrication detailer when something as simple as a column is relocated. What's the big deal? Maybe not much from the architect's perspective: the column simply had to move because it conflicted with circulation or equipment placement. On architectural drawings, the relocation can be done without much fuss.
But to the fabricator who has just completed checking the dimensions of the multitude of steel shapes and members about to be fabricated, this simple request can be a nightmare.
At the design/build firm McClier, we are experimenting with integrating the architect's model with those of the engineer and the fabricator to make everything flow more smoothly. This is enabling us to improve the efficiency of designing, detailing, and expediting the procurement of the steel frame.
Better Efficiencies through Software
Technology is now available to make change requests much more streamlined and without the fuss of conventional drafting and checking. But you have to make sure the fabricator not only has the technology, but is skilled at using it.