Category Archives: knowledge

Retirement reflections

I have been learning about this business for 29 years now.  As I transition to retirement I get both reflective and annoyed. Annoyed because certain things do not get better, they may be getting worse, and of course I am … Continue reading

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Lessons from small failures – Part II: Designing for durability

If you get to design and build generation after generation of essentially the same structure and you get to study the old problems, then you end up with a mature well-designed product. Over the decades automobiles have clearly become both … Continue reading

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Lessons from small failures – Part I: Searching for truth

The “failure” here is simply a piece of architectural precast concrete that cracked open much earlier in its life than expected. The piece is part of a system of curbs and railings on a bridge.  Photos were sent to me … Continue reading

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Benches, Sidewalks, and Construction Tolerances

I have a project in which one of the elements we are furnishing and installing is a bunch of large precast concrete benches. They appear on a landscape sheet that also calls for aligning bench ends with sidewalk scores.  Simple … Continue reading

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A devilish grin amongst the details?

Some of the facts of life on this planet (commercial construction in the USA) : • You are governed by lots of documents (contracts, plan, specs, ASI’s …) • Plans often have conflicts, improbabilities, or impossibilities within them. • Specs are almost … Continue reading

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Minor mentoring is a pleasure

Commercial construction is full of hidden complexities; you often step in dog poo.  With  experience in your specialty you learn the difference between poo, a pile of leaves, and a  pile of leaves that is covering dog poo.   Over … Continue reading

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Technological exuberance, or is it optimism or just sales talk?

I should be working on a bid, but because I was still reverberating from yesterday’s post I let myself be distracted by a link someone sent me to this article: ‘ BIM’s future up in the cloud The AEC industry is on … Continue reading

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