The big moment has arrived.  This is it!  All the meetings, all the hours, all that red ink has finally, finally brought us to this one action.  That’s right, our project’s construction document set is complete and we get to hit “Print.”  So we’re done . . . Right?  Well, not so much.

Ahh, the drawings are complete. Print? Photo by self.

So much has gone on up to this point—schematic design, engineering consultation, picking finishes, final design review—but after this one momentous occasion, a whole new life begins for a project.  Three copies travel through the official review process.  These land in the hands of building code reviewers, site reviewers, and fire marshals who all spend time checking for compliance with the various codes that have shaped the design.

(Left and Center) It seems to take great coordination just to print the drawings, but the rolls of finished drawings are immensely satisfying. (Right) The books that hold all the answers you never knew you never wanted. Photos by self.

Meanwhile, the project set is typically sent out to general contractors for bidding.  This is when the project is dissected, the pieces are handed out to subcontractors, and the pieces are returned with costs for materials and labor attached to each piece.  Usually t,here are a myriad of questions that come in from the trades that need to be answered before the end of the bidding process, which can be a tedious task requiring multiple drawing revisions.

(Left) Coordination mini-meeting within a construction meeting. (Center) Official groundbreaking! Unfortunately, it was raining that day, so they brought some “ground” inside. (Right) The submittal log is very long. Photos by self.

Now that we have permits in hand and a contractor selected, it’s time to build!  During this time, questions continue to come in from the contractor, drawings are revised, meetings are held on-site, each and every product in the project is reviewed by the design team and the owner to make sure it follows the construction documents and the design intent of the project, problems crop-up and are resolved with further revisions.  This process takes the whole team working together to keep the building moving forward.

(From left to right, top to bottom) Construction just seems to fly by when you look at it in eight photos or less! Photos by self.

But at last, construction is complete.  The project has completed the final few hurdles of building inspections, punch lists, and final owner walk through.  A quick ribbon cut later, and the project is up and running.  So we’re done . . . Right?

(Far Left) Official ribbon cutting ceremony, those are some serious scissors! (Center Left and Right) The Lobby and Family Store pull you through the space with lofty ceilings and warm wood. (Far Right) The front entry canopy sports the Seton Center logo. Photos by self and Scott Bowen.