16 Oct Q+A with Paul Ziukelis
Scarchi & Boston talk to leading architect Paul Ziukelis about the importance of Early Contractor Involvement and how it helps to shape better project outcomes.
Has the need for collaboration with field specialists evolved throughout your career?
Yes, many fields on consultancy are now branching off into specialised fields. For example, the separation of project manager and estimator from the roles of the architect. This has extended to acoustic, environmental, energy assessment and so on. Once the domain of one or a few specialists, the separation of these enables a greater focus on the task, and therefore greater quality outcome.
Do you see ECI + collaboration amongst various industry specialists as a necessity in contemporary architecture and design?
Yes. Primarily with expediting of projects. During the design process the client needs reassurance that their project is staying to budget and on schedule. ECI allows the budget to be expressed up front, maintain a program for delivery, and should result in no unexpected surprises at the end. Tendering can be a drawn-out process with no real guarantee of a result that will match the budget expectation.
What is the biggest advantage to interdisciplinary collaboration on architectural projects?
Speed of delivery. It is essentially in everybody’s interest to ensure the project runs smoothly and quickly.
How does ECI + collaboration help you to maximise project outcomes?
To an extent it takes the pressure off us as architects, so that we can focus on our discipline, while others are contributing at an early stage. Quite often expert consultancy is brought in at a later stage (for example D & C), and the design needs to be adjusted to suit the outcomes of those investigations. Early involvement allows those ideas and findings to be absorbed into the documentation process upfront.
How have project outcomes differed from times where you’ve collaborated compared with times where the project hasn’t allowed for it?
As architects, we see projects evolve over short, or long periods of time. Often there are outside factors unrelated to the program or coordination of the design, however there are definitely projects that suffer timeline blow-outs due to a failure to manage the progress of the design team.
How does collaborative technology allow for better project outcomes?
Collaborative technology such as share programs ensure everyone on the team is being communicated to and listened to as a team. It also enables the quick transfer of data and enables that data to be available without delay.
What impact does ECI have on your projects and the ability to effectively collaborate and achieve successful outcomes?
It makes the process quick and reliable. Having a team that is engaged and can be relied upon for quick advice is crucial if timelines are tight.
Do you see ECI + collaboration as a risk mitigation tool?
Yes, as the advice is available early. This enables a longer review period and opportunity for peer driven critique, and that can only result in a better-quality outcome.
With BIM modelling become more relevant in the construction Industry, do you believe this benefits design as well as buildability?
Yes. We use BIM software (Revit). This enables real-time assessment of quantities in the long-run, but also an early understanding of spatial allowances in a 3D environment which, if planned in 2D, can often lead to failures in spatial allowances for services paths, clearances and volumes.
What do you think has been the biggest hinderance towards collaboration in the past?
Probably just a tendency to do what has always been done and follow a traditional tender process.