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5 Ways to Promote a Positive Architect-Contractor Relationship

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

An effective architect-contractor collaboration is all in the details. Here are five key practices that can contribute to a healthy alliance between these central players and improve quality and save costs on a commercial build:

1. If a contractor can offer input during preconstruction, listen attentively. It'll probably improve the design or build. No one working on a construction project has all the answers, but the contractor's hands-on experience can inform the planning process and improve a constructability (or buildability) plan, to achieve the best results.

2. Every projects comes with constraints. It's helpful for all involved to know what limitations (space, time line, budget supplies) may impact a project.

3. A system should be set up to allow ever key player immediate access to changes in blueprints, schedules and deadlines. A building's construction phases can change for many reasons. Even seemingly benign influences like weather may set back the construction time line.

4. Embrace the positive. Construction professionals on the job were hired for a reason. Presumably they can do their jobs skillfully. Therefore, appreciate someone else's strengths no matter their education or background.

5. As a developer, architect or contractor, encourage previous team collaborations. Your contractor, for example, may suggest working with a structural engineer whom they've worked with before. An individual who is a trusted associate is probably someone who will add value to your project.

Without question, a positive architect-contractor relationship can improve the quality of a commercial build and lead to a successful outcome. But this works most effectively when the contractor's input is shared during the preconstruction phase.

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