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Continuing Education Event | The Contractor/Architect Relationship: Best Practices for Successful Projects

  • Thursday, April 26, 2018
  • 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Connor O'Neill's, 318 South Main Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104


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"The Contractor/Architect Relationship:  Best Practices for Successful Projects"

AIA /WCA Joint Continuing Education Event

Join us for an afternoon event and with *3.25continuing education credits, co-hosted by AIA Huron Valley Chapter and the Washtenaw Contractors Association.

Three sessions will include "Best Practices", "Case Studies of Four Recent Projects", and "The Lego Game" 

Program will include appetizers, two drink tickets, and a networking session with WCA members, who will also be in attendance.

3.25 HSW

Registration is due by Tuesday April 24th. Register today to save your seat!

(1) Best Practices for a Positive Working Relationship between Architect and Contractor, 1 HR HSW AIAHVCE102

 Verne Morland of ROI Learning Services will explain how establishing a strong basis of partnership among all project stakeholders can enhance the project team's effectiveness.  He will provide examples of partnering successes and pitfalls in major projects, including several in the Detroit area.  He will also describe techniques for monitoring the health of a project partnership and taking remedial actions before minor problems lead to serious breakdowns.  

Learning Objectives:

1.       The principles of partnering are easy: work openly, honestly, and professionally with all stakeholders in a project. The implementation of partnering is hard: how to keep a positive attitude and work as a team to resolve problems.

2.       Focus on two things to create and maintain an effective partnership: 1) build an effective partnership at the beginning of the project and 2) take simple, practical steps to monitor the partnership and to take remedial action to boost the partnership, as needed.

3.       Tips to partnering to develop a cooperative management team drawing on the strengths of each team member in an effort to achieve a quality project within budget and on schedule.

4.       Tips to develop and embrace a partnering strategy. 

(2)  The Contractor/Architect Relationship:  Case Studies of Successes and Challenges, 1.25 HR HSW AIAHVCE0103

Description:  Four teams of architects/general contractors will introduce their projects as "lessons learned" in case studies in successful team work.  Projects include:  The State Theater with Quinn Evans Architects and O'Neal Construction, The Racquet Club of Ann Arbor with Mitchell and Mouat Architects and Phoenix Construction, U of M Athletics and South Campus Competition & Performance Project with TMP Architecture and Granger Construction Company, and Ford Field Premium Suites Renovation with Rossetti Architects and Turner Construction Company.  Moderator:  Kimberly Montague of AIA Detroit and Verne Morland of ROI Learning Services. 

Case studies to include a brief description of:  Type of working relationship or contractual relationship.  Who led the project?  Did the leadership dynamic change throughout the design/construction process?  Design Decisions – the process for making design decisions.  Scheduling.  Budget – when established, by who, reviewed how often

Learning Objectives:

1.       How to assemble a team that is best for the project

2.       How to clearly identify the project objectives and leadership roles of the architect and contractor and developer/owner

3.       How to schedule the design, development, and construction process

4.       How to keep on track with budgets

5.       How to communicate well throughout the project – best practices.

a.       How to start hard conversations for optimal outcomes

b.       How to maintain a good respectful working relationship

c.        How to balance and evaluate different opinions

d.       Tips for best record keeping of decisions

(3)  Lego Game – Activity to explore the communication process in a team setting involving roles of architect, general contractor, subcontractor, and observer   Hosted by Gretchen Waters of WCA and Kirk Green, 1 HR LU AIAHVCE0104

This activity involves the team replication of a Lego structure that is seen by the architect and described to the contractor, who in turn directs the subcontractor to replicate the Lego, sight unseen.  This activity demonstrates the complexity of message clarity, time pressure, assumptions, emotional involvement, and organizational structure.  A discussion follows the activity where the observer will comment on the challenges and successes they experienced. 


1:00 Registration

1:15 - 2:15 First Presentation - Best Practices for a Positive Working Relationship between Architect and Contractor 1 HR CE

2:15 - 2:30 Break

2:30- 3:45 Second Presentation - The Contractor/Architect Relationship:  Case Studies of Successes and Challenges  1.25 HR CE

3:45-4:00 Break

4:00 - 5:00 The Lego Game - Activity to explore the communication process in at team setting involving roles of architect, general contractor, subcontractor, and observer, 1 HR CE

5:00 - 6:00 Networking - free appetizers and two drink tickets

Cost: $40 for members and $100 for non-members. The registration fees will include appetizers and two drink tickets per person.

(WCA Members should sign up through WCA in order to get their member rate)

Location: Conor O'Neill's  318 South Main Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104

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