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Help with how engineers, architects and contractors interact

  1. Apr 6, 2006 #1
    I am writing a paper on this topic and just need some help getting it started. I need to discuss the interactions between contractors, engineers, and architects. (1) What are their areas of responsibilities? (2) How do they interact on a daily basis? (3) Do they interact on a daily basis, or is it only at certain stages of the project?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2006 #2
    Partly it depends on the size of the job, but here is a common senario:

    Say an Architect hears about an upcoming project. He or she will then contact several engineers or just one that they can work with, that they think will help them get the job (experience in the field similar to the upcoming job, government contacts, etc.).

    They will meet and discuss their proposal to try and get the contract to design the project.

    They meet together with the owner and make a presentation. (Lets say the project is to build a new school and they get the project.)

    The architect meets with the engineer and the engineer tells him how much room he needs for mechanical space, electrical space, above ceiling space, attic and basement space, etc.

    The architect cuts all those values in half and...:devil: oops. :blushing: The architect incorporates all of the engineer's suggestions as best he can and draws preliminary plans. After these are approved by the owner, he gives them to the engineer for calculating. At this point the architect and engineer should discuss fine points of energy saving methods (the architect may need to provide better insulation in walls or windows and doors to meet energy saving requirements set by codes) , budget constraints, structural responsibilities, who handles rainwater (scuppers and downspouts are usually architectural, rainwater conductors and roof drains are plumbing engineer).

    The engineer will discuss at some point with the owner the type of mechanical system the owner wants in their building. After this is determined (possibly even before the presentation) and after the calculations are completed and equipment is selected, the engineer can coordinate with the architect openings in walls, actual size and layout of mechanical rooms, structural loading on roofs, space required on the grounds for grade mounted equipment, etc.

    After the engineer has had to make up room numbers for his calculation sheets, the architect will finally give the rooms his own numbers and in effect mess up the engineer's calculation sheets...:devil: oops. :blushing: did it again, didn't I? (Actually this is a place where a little more coordination early on wouldn't hurt.)

    After the engineers and the architects complete their respective disciplines, they send each other drawings of their work and look it over for conflicts. Finding conflicts, they might meet to resolve them. Finding no conflicts, they submit the drawings to the owner for review. The owner gives their comments, any changes required are made by the architects and engineers, then the plans go out to bid.

    The owner, architect, engineers, and any contractors wishing to bid on the project come to a prebid meeting where details of the project are discussed.

    The contractors put in thier bids, the owner, architect and engineers review the bids and award the contract to the contractor of their choice (usually the low bidder).

    After the contract is awarded, the contractors, owner, architect and engineers will meet periodically at the site to go over any problems encountered. This is usually on a weekly or every other weekly basis, but can be whatever is needed. This will happen untill the project is completed and closed out.
  4. Apr 7, 2006 #3
    Good info thanks!
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