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Missing Links?

It’s almost like putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle only to find that several pieces are missing. It’s frustrating and disappointing in the end. But when you receive architectural drawings with several missing pieces, what do you do? How do you even begin to submit a bid when 30%—or up to 75%—of the drawings are incomplete? If you get the job after incorrect guesses have been made in your bid or with labor and equipment, it could lead to mistakes in construction, and it could also land you in court.


So what is a contractor to do, especially when RFIs go unanswered? The answers varied when we asked our AWCI member contractors about this. Some have sympathy and understanding for the architects, others blame the owners for making last-minute changes, but most are exasperated that the situation has not improved much at all over the past several years. All, however, have some sort of plan to fill in the blanks. Turn to page 26 to learn the many ways contractors still finish the puzzle without all the pieces.


New technology can help before construction starts and while it’s in progress. You will have a better understanding after you read the article that starts on page 36. Whether you are reluctant to spend the money, or if you simply think everything is fine just the way it is, you should look to the future and know that the benefits of adopting tech like BIM, prefab, drones and robots may soon become standard operating procedure for everyone, and you don’t want your company to be left behind.


At Build23: AWCI’s Convention + Expo, I saw at least three exhibitors showing what their robots can do; marking layouts on the floor and finishing drywall are just some examples. It may seem intimidating to some, but the company reps demonstrated just how easy it is to operate these machines. The robots may do the work, but someone has to tell the robots what to do. It seems to me that this may be one of the many attractions for younger folks to consider a career in construction. So get on the bandwagon to efficiency and potential new employees!


Our third feature article shines the AWCI member spotlight on Clark Contracting Services, a young company out of Michigan. Flip to page 40 to read about this company’s work with specialty ceiling systems. No cookie-cutter ceilings for CCS; some of their ceiling work can be so distinct that another one like it will probably never be built. Whether it’s ceiling heights, custom finishes or precise layouts that pose challenges, CCS gets the job done.



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