What is it about construction administration that seems so daunting or uninteresting to some architects? Is it the amount of “paperwork”? Is it the fear of confrontation? Is it the intensity that everything is a priority and you essentially have daily deadlines?
I often chuckle when I wonder why I chose CA as the primary thing that I do. I hate confrontation (but who does?) and I am no saint when it comes to communication. I can get riled up, defensive and have an attitude, which is why I constantly work at not doing these things. Thankfully, more often than not, everyone is professional, focusing on the stuff that matters and getting the job done. CA doesn’t have to be confrontational when you are able to have open communication and good, working relationships with people.
Relationships and communication play a significant role in CA. Along the course of construction, I enjoy getting to know the owner, consultants and contractors, and learning people’s backgrounds and hobbies. It makes it more than just about construction. When you have projects that last multiple years and you start to see some of the same people on multiple projects, it is important to foster good relationships.
Our chapter is fortunate to have a strong Allied Members group of engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and industry partners who are committed to AIA and supporting the profession and industry. Meeting them through our committees and programs is another way to build good relationships. A fitting opportunity to do that was at the recent Celebrity Chef Night organized by the Allied Members Committee and our awesome chapter staff. The event was a success and raised over $7,000 for scholarships! The Allied Members committee continuously works to find ways to engage with AIABaltimore’s members and many committees. The Chef Night event is just one example of those efforts.
As I mentioned in my first letter of the year, teamwork and communication are key components in architecture and CA. Building relationships can go a long way in supporting successful teamwork and communication. So, reach out to an Allied Member and get that good relationship going.
Sharon Day, AIA