Re: Re: design team
From: katie-henry (
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 13:43:07 -0800 (PST)
> I should have said "engineers and librarians" because all the 
> info has to be saved and recorded in a format that everyone 
> can access.

Sharon and I tend to speak with one voice on this topic since we're both living 
in large, complicated multi-family buildings and dealing with issues you don't 
find in single-family-home communities.

The most important thing you can do in this respect is get Operations & 
Maintenance manuals and as-built drawings from the construction company once 
construction is complete, and then verify everything to make sure it's correct 
while the info is fresh in your mind. Our contractor needed some encouragement 
-- in fact, a year after move-in and we're still waiting on drawings for our 
site drainage system and a few other things -- but for the most part they did a 
fantastic job. We have four fat indexed binders full of manuals or data sheets 
for every single product used in the building -- everything from elevators to 
windows to plumbing fixtures to paints and adhesives.

Once you have the O&M manuals, you have to go through them and identify 
everything that needs regular maintenance or servicing and come up with a plan 
for doing this work (or outsourcing it). But that's another story.

Back to the as-built plans. This is a set of the original plans with notations 
about changes made during construction. It's a good idea to verify them. There 
were issues with our electrical subcontractor, so I've been spot-checking our 
circuit breaker labels and as-built drawings and finding a bunch of 
inconsistencies. In the meantime we had another electrician working on the 
building, so now we are now embroiled in complicated negotiations over what, if 
anything, is the original electrician's responsibility and whether or not it's 
warranty work. But at least we're getting it resolved now for free instead of 
in five years when we'd have to pay an electrician a small fortune to trace the 
circuits. This is an unusual situation, but it illustrates the importance of 
getting technical people involved in the design team.

Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, MD 

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