Serving as the construction administration manager for a large 850-bed urban residence hall at The George Washington University, working with engineers and the contractor to coordinate mechanical, plumbing and structural systems within the building has become my life.
Learning to mitigate issues and finding solutions that continue to incorporate good design has given me a unique perspective on how all components of a building are connected and how imperative a thoughtful coordination process is to the early design phases.
Given the complexity of this project – odd conditions arise. For example, existing structural beams from the three historic buildings become a roadblock for the new mechanical and plumbing systems. On a smaller scale, accounting for the space and clearance needed for various pipes and mechanical systems require careful consideration beyond typical nominal conditions.
Learning in the field has helped me to develop a better understanding of the components of a building and how they all must interact with each other to create a successful architectural environment for the end user(s). While I am in the process of taking my architectural licensing exams, this experience has proved to be invaluable in preparation for the Building Systems Architectural Registration Exam.