Tips From an Expert: 3 Strategies to Simplify Your Next Construction Project

Con­struc­tion projects are not intrin­si­cal­ly com­plex, but archi­tects will often encounter chal­lenges once the project is actu­al­ly launched. From project scope changes to poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion, there are a lot of dif­fer­ent ways for a build to become com­pli­cat­ed.

To help pre­vent adding con­fu­sion to projects and to ensure that they’re deliv­ered on time, LEED-cer­ti­fied archi­tect Chris­t­ian Nielsen-Pala­cios offers a few tips for archi­tects look­ing to sim­pli­fy their next con­struc­tion project.

1. Simplify Your Materials

A great place for archi­tects to start sim­pli­fy­ing is with the mate­ri­als they choose in the project.

If you can reduce the num­ber and types of prod­ucts and spec­i­fy ones that can do more than one thing, your work and that of the con­trac­tors will be eas­i­er, quick­er and more prof­itable,” says archi­tect Chris­t­ian Nielsen-Pala­cios.

He goes on to explain the ben­e­fit of using a prod­uct like Bau­tex on a project, where the wall sys­tem acts as a sin­gle unit and can be installed by just one trade.

Bautex Wall Construction Project

The Bau­tex Block that com­pris­es the wall sys­tem pro­vides a build­ing with the struc­ture, enclo­sure, con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, and air and mois­ture pro­tec­tion it needs. With this sys­tem, archi­tects are able to spec­i­fy a sin­gle inte­grat­ed solu­tion that can be installed by one con­trac­tor, sav­ing every­one in the process time, mon­ey, as well as reduc­ing the amount of risk involved in the build.

Such prod­ucts are becom­ing more and more com­mon,” he explains, and they save the con­trac­tors labor and make the con­struc­tion man­age­ment phase eas­i­er for the archi­tects.”

2. Know Your Tools and When to Use Them

The tools and pro­grams we use can go a long way to improv­ing and sim­pli­fy­ing projects.

Project man­age­ment tools like Pro­core and Genie Belt are specif­i­cal­ly designed to help man­age the dif­fer­ent phas­es of a con­struc­tion project. These plat­forms allow you to keep every­thing in one place: dis­cus­sions, cal­en­dars and even invoic­es. The key, though, is find­ing a pro­gram you’ll use con­sis­tent­ly.

Architect working on blueprints

The tools we use not only keep us more orga­nized, but they can sim­pli­fy our lives a bit, too:

  • Use orga­ni­za­tion­al tools or apps like Ever­note, Trel­lo or Google Docs to help man­age your notes and doc­u­ments in one place.
  • Find a cal­en­dar app that can sync with all of your devices and keep team mem­bers up-to-date on your avail­abil­i­ty.
  • Stream­line your process­es wher­ev­er nec­es­sary, and doc­u­ment those steps for any­one who you might del­e­gate rou­tine tasks to.
  • Do you have reg­u­lar tasks that occur on an hourly, dai­ly, or week­ly basis? Find a way to auto­mate them to save time. If you send out a week­ly email to your team or clients, for instance, build a tem­plate and sched­ule the email to go out at the same time each week. Tools like MailChimp and Hub­Spot offer a vari­ety of ser­vices to help with email automa­tion.

3. Delegate Tasks Whenever Possible

Often a project lead will hire as few con­sul­tants as pos­si­ble, hop­ing to cut down on costs or sim­pli­fy the process. But Nielsen-Pala­cios reminds pro­fes­sion­als how impor­tant it is to del­e­gate tasks when appro­pri­ate, instead of han­dling it all on our own.

Just because it’s a sim­ple site plan, should we attempt to do it our­selves rather than hire a land­scape archi­tect? Just because it’s a res­i­den­tial project, should we for­go the exper­tise of MEP engi­neers?”

Workers collaborating on a project

When we get the exper­tise that’s need­ed on a project, we can ensure high­er qual­i­ty for the client.

By get­ting the help we need from the best peo­ple to give it, our projects will have few­er com­pli­ca­tions. And we will be able to spend our own time on the things we real­ly enjoy and are good at,” states Nielsen-Pala­cios.

Deliver Better Projects Faster

Now more than ever, the con­struc­tion indus­try needs ways to keep projects run­ning smooth­ly. This is espe­cial­ly true when there’s a focus on more sus­tain­able build­ing prac­tices in the indus­try. By sim­pli­fy­ing the meth­ods we use to run projects and by build­ing with smarter sys­tems, we can deliv­er bet­ter projects to our clients, and we can deliv­er them faster.

Want even more ways to sim­pli­fy your projects? Check out these 88 tips for archi­tects to stay orga­nized and on top of their game.