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.