Archinect
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blowing off steam

Ms Beary

you'd think of all people, an architect would understand that a buildings details are all interconnected and when you change one aspect, you change a few more by the nature of design, detailing and drawing. You also have to update that aspect throughout the set.
I find myself amist a shitload of silly redlines that don't make sense. (there's purposeful, decent, good ones too) but also a bunch of petty changes that make impacts throughout a huge construction document set.
I'm pissed now. Pissed that I have to argue this stuff back to the way I had it in the first place and show that it does make sense and that what the arch. proposes is actually ill-informed and poorly conceived. I will be the first to admit I don't know everything, but I wasn't born yesterday either and I have done several sets of CDs (in this office, at that). It's a waste of my time. I have to make sure that the redlines he's giving other people make sense too, and a 1/4 of the time they don't. So then I have to fix those too. Example: because the architect thinks the soffit should get a little smaller, the entire ceiling grid is thrown off and to keep even light distribution, there are now there are several 2 inch pieces of goddamn ceiling tile - one of my personal favorite details indeed. Very well thought out there. What am I going to do? Draw it up like he wants it and give it back to him and say "Is this what you wanted, sir?" and then he'll tell me to change it back?
I hate the redline process, where some lowlife (me) in the office designs the building, then the day before it goes out some super star architect comes in off the golf course long enough to change everything and rearrange all the drawings, make all the annotation redundant cause they don't know how to read drawings or look for information within them. Then suddenly, we need a bunch of details that we previously decided we didn't need. Each takes like 5 minutes though, right? And thanks for changing the dimensions of the wood trim, punk. Redlines have thier purpose and they are a good thing, but when you insist that the soil in the paving details is drawn exactly 8" thick you've got problems. It's ok cause the intern will work 7 to midnight if we throw a few bucks at her?
After everything is dimensioned, annotated, everything, why do we have to mess around perfectly acceptable ways of doing things like abbreviations and write the shit all out now? So contradictory to hear "Instead of striving for the perfect set, put the information in a single most logical place, only to have the arch. redline a million cross references. We NEVER say "See specifications for more information." yet it is all over these redlines to add that very sentence! One page it is a general note not pointing to anything, just to go see the specs! Why don't we say see specifiactions for more information after every sentence? Why? Cause it's ridiculous. Sometimes I think this is all a test, do we need to note that south is opposite of north, remember to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom and remember contractors that 1/8" = 1'-0" means... I'm exaggerating but you see where I'm going with this?
What if I did "greenlines" - writing "no" in green next to half of these redlines and give it back? If someone wants to know why, they can set up an appointment to talk to me about it. Most likely they wouldn't do a thing.
I have too much passion, I try too hard to have a good set on my own, and I guess I find it insulting. Time to get over it, huh? I've started, I feel better now.

 
May 18, 05 6:47 pm
Luis Fraguada

Hope you feel better. I have a friend who does the same thing, the story is almost identical. Same redline goodness, just to bring it back to the way things were in the first place.

May 18, 05 6:51 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

I only get the priveledge of picking up redlines about twice a year, thank goodness, and I guess this is it,
I was this close (holds fingers 15/32" apart) to throwing some stuff around here in the cube, I'm talking breaking some stuff.

May 18, 05 6:56 pm  · 
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Luis Fraguada

My friend called me at a similar moment. He is usually a mild mannered guy, pretty relaxed. But these things make him feel the same way. Also, he seems to always have issues with ArchDesktop right when they need to finish up something important. Sometimes he will loose a bunch of linked data. That also gets him pretty pissed off.

May 18, 05 7:10 pm  · 
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strlt_typ

strawbeary that was hot...

May 18, 05 7:33 pm  · 
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FRO

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel a LOT better, 'cause I thought it was just MY job that was like that.

May 18, 05 7:42 pm  · 
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Well, now *I* need to let off some steam....

Don't put in the redundant notes!!!!!!!! Your contractor will hate you forever! I've been working in a contractor's office for a year now, going through all these drawings which are a product of this shitty redline process, and this is exactly the shit I hate! Undoubtably, no matter how good you are, once people start making you be redundant with notes, you're going to miss some of them. Then one sheet is going to say one thing, and another sheet is going to say another thing, and then I (or my equivilant at whatever contractor you're using) am going to have to call you up saying, "so which way is it?" every thirty minutes because the drawings now read like shit because people can't understand that it's just freaking better to ONLY SAY IT ONCE, so that when something changes, you know you've changed it everywhere that it talks about it, BECAUSE YOU ONLY SAID IT ONCE! It's just BETTER that way!

sorry, end of rant. I spent the last year cooped up in a cube with piles of drawings up to the top of it getting bugged by these things, and I can't stand to let some pro golfer/ occasional architect f up a perfectly fine set of drawings.

May 18, 05 8:41 pm  · 
 · 
eeayeeayo

Strawbeary: you post one horror story after another. Many of your frustrations are those shared by interns in lots of firms. But you seem to encounter far more than your share. This indicates that your current firm is either not a great firm or just not a great fit with you - and you have already said as much - lots of times!
I was happy to read a few weeks back that you had some sort of plan to extricate yourself from this dreadful job. Is the plan still in motion? If so then do not sweat the small stuff - just stick out your time and leave gracefully, knowing you've done all you can toward good work and progress. If the plan has for some reason become shelved or stalled: put your energy into getting that back on track. Don't waste it on this redline issue or on any other office annoyances.

One last thing: even light distribution is always possible without leaving 2" slivers of ceiling tile. It doesn't matter what size tile you use, or what lighting you use - it is always possible (in fact there is an entire vignette on the ARE Building Planning exam that tests specifically your ability to evenly light rooms without leaving slivers of ceiling tiles. Really.)

May 18, 05 9:25 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

at this point I don't want to redesign the lighting layout though, I'd rather just keep the soffit they way I had it. And I had it that way to maximize the light fixture layout.

I do bitch a lot. Sorry. I never bitch to coworkers though, just here and to my family. I have just been here too long, not a lot of options where I'm at. I do have plans to get out this summer. The firm may not be all that bad, but it is a horrible fit for me and snice I do massive amounts of research I know there is good stuff out there to be had, partly thanks to you guys. I got stuck here during the post 9-11 no-job-to-be-seen era, when the recession waves hadn't quite hit the midwest and we were still OK. that is far behind us now and I do have lots of great experience.

It sucks though cause this was my project and now I am doing redlines on it.

May 18, 05 9:35 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

...and I am a little sarcastic in nature....
for instance:
i have a great idea. let's add so many ridiculous notes to a sheet that they don't fit and the whole sheet has to be reorganized. i AM a spatial master aren't I? and since they are computer drawings it only takes like 5 minutes, right?

May 18, 05 9:38 pm  · 
 · 
Suture

Peaches: Fuck the Pain Away

May 18, 05 11:08 pm  · 
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larslarson

i agree that at times the redline process is frustrating and
quite often it seems as though managers use red ink to
justify their existance...

however on the 'see specs for more info note'...i don't
necessarily see that as a problem..although i'd add it
as a general note as opposed to within each note. for
pricing purposes it's nice to have the ability to cover
yourself with a thorough spec.

i also agree on having one noted drawing per page with a
general note to refer to it...and then add notes that are
specific to each drawing...i try hard not to be redundant
and not overly specific with my notes (ie. us the name
of the manufacturer or proprietary product name)

just think eventually you'll be doing the redlines...and people
will be ranting on archinect about you :)

May 19, 05 11:35 am  · 
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Colm

The redline doesn't bother me so much as the engineering. The @#$% VALUE Engineering. Maybe it's the time mentally/emotionally invested in the project, but I see it as 'My' building. It's painful to watch your building start out with brick veneer cladding and go down to vinyl cladding due to cost savings.

All clients and project names have been withheld to protect the innocent: me.

May 19, 05 1:15 pm  · 
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jones

Been there Straw! I did redlines for this architect once who actually took the time to draw a duplex outlet differently than Graphics Standards. He wanted me to change it to his graphic representation....that is a little less frustrating than your situation since it is certainly laughable!
I used to get so wound up when I would get a less than thoughtful set of redlines---now I imagine my version of swinging dicks (actual penises on a swingset smiling, their nutsacks hanging off the swing seat) and laugh it away. As lars mentions, you will be on the other side someday, and thank goodness---sounds like you will be a thoughtful architect!

May 19, 05 1:22 pm  · 
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Jefferson

welcome to architecture!!!

May 19, 05 2:33 pm  · 
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Jefferson

ps. have a smoke!

May 19, 05 4:58 pm  · 
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Manteno_Montenegro

It's always good to have a baseball bat handy and a bunch of old ceramic sculptures in your trunk. When you feel like letting go, just set some up on a curb near your office and smash them to bits.

Extra points for buying stuff from estate sales that you know meant the world to someone. The happiness you get from destroying that stuff in a swoop of frustrational rage will far outweigh the amount of joy someone else will get from buying it to stare at.

Face it, after the original owner is long gone, this ceramic head is not going to make anyone happy.


But you, on the other hand, just imagine the endorphins that will pulse through your body after a few swings with bat reduce it to millions of broken bits. Now sure, Grandma's grandson did a fine job building this and she kept it on the mantle for years for all the relatives and bridge players to see. "Job well done my handsome boy!" she probably said to it's creator.

Ah, but whatever. Get ahold of some junk like that and redlines and greenlines and details will become an enjoyable path to hellbent destruction. Remember: YOU matter most.

May 20, 05 3:27 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

Thanks guys. I made it through it.

Manteno_ I did break some glassware today, kinda by accident, but really not.

May 20, 05 8:39 pm  · 
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vado retro

i heard that some school districts have stopped using red ink to correct papers and exams.it seems the red causes too much stress! they have switched to lavender.

May 20, 05 10:19 pm  · 
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The grad

I know thus is an old post, but this post gave me some sense of credibility again. I just got a mark up full of red pen on it and I felt like they were excessively annotated. I mean, why do I need to repeat the exact same point in 3 different drawings when it's expressed on the floor plan and section. I don't feel need to add "columns need to be removed" on the roof plan too. I think there needs to be a conversation between the builder and architect. The fear we have in wanting to write so many notes to a drawings is in case the builder doesn't find it in the other set of drawings, but I think what really happens is the drawings itself becomes over populated with information that it become too much infomation and gives the builder an reason to not look at other drawings within the set. 

Apr 9, 20 1:14 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

exactly

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tintt

I know the OP. She left that firm a few months after this and is doing fabulous now. 

Apr 9, 20 10:19 am  · 
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midlander

the best offices i've worked at don't do redlines at all. it's kind of a passive aggressive way of micromanaging work post-factum. it's only truly necessary if your staff isn't up to the task of documenting the design as assigned, which is a bad sign either for the firm's staffing or their lead designers.


the better way is to have drawings done by people who know what they're doing and take responsibility for the content. reviews are done holistically and in person, discussing specific content that needs to be in the drawings and how to organize it. it can be up to the 'owner' of the drawings to figure out the best way to convey that information.

Apr 9, 20 11:02 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

This is gold. Ownership of, and taking pride in your own work, is hard to come by. We tend not to do too much red-lining here and expect folks to review their own shit. Problem is that we have a serious shortage of people who know how to assemble drawings for the purpose of conveying construction information... why the fuck did you dimension that wall c/l from the edge of millwork? Oh, because your snaps allowed you to. I see. Oh, and don't worry about the level datum, the contractor will figure out top of deck themselves from your top of parapet cap flashing dims.

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atelier nobody

I beg to differ. Redlines are a pedagogical tool - every one of us started out not knowing how to do a set of CDs, and the way I and most people I know learned was by first having it spoon-fed to us, in the form of very detailed redlines, then over time being able to do more with less guidance, until now we're the ones with the red felt tips, mentoring the next generation.

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Chad Miller

I've been in firms on both ends of the red line spectrum. One firms' stance was if they need to red line your work then you're an idiot. The other firm (where I work currently) view red lines as means to collaborate and QC drawings.

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midlander

drawings need to be reviewed of course, i'm not saying leave everyone to their own to figure things out. but instead of handing a pile of detailed markups to someone after they've done a drawing full of mistakes, sit down beforehand and discuss the work to be done. for less experienced staff give them some examples of well-documented projects with similar conditions. and then once they've finished, have a meeting to review the drawings and discuss in-person (or now, on video) what issues or mistakes still remain. it's a more efficient process with less re-doing work and gives employees more stake in doing good work the first time.

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The grad

Wow! Thabks for all these reponses. I agree with these process of QC and redlining is part of the process of learning and becoming good at construction drawings. Except with the current Corona virus and everybody working from home this particular redline mark was completed away from home and then emailed over. Which I thought a phone call from the person wouldn't have been hard to offer as a heads up and sent at an appropriate working hour. I like to note the example you gave of giving example construction drawings to offer guidance of organisation and type of notes written. I wasn't given an example drawing for this particular project but I did go through a series of previously built projects and they were in no way annotated as crazy as how I got my redline drawings back. To add some further context, there has been a few construction issues happening wuth contractors in the workplace with RFIs and things built incorrectly. Weather that blame can be put on us or the contractor is another issue. However, I think the real solution is for the contractor to feel like they're able to call the designer directly for clarification, but instead the process is to go through the project delivery officer with an RFI and then that person will come to us with the question and then we're wondering exactly what that person is talking about.

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Almosthip

I suddenly feel the need to excessively red line someones drawings.  


*thinks of all the red pen tips that she has sacrificed over the years by pressing too hard as I blast all the young techs.  muwhahahah 

Apr 9, 20 11:57 am  · 
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atelier nobody

Recently, one of our offices that is all Civil engineers and drafters got in a bunch of reroofing projects (all utility structures) - I about went bug-eyed redlining their sad attempts at enclosure detailing...

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tduds

I red line my own drawings. I was indoctrinated early and now it's the only way I can compose edits.

Plus there's something satisfying about accumulating a big ol mess of markup on a PDF over the course of a few weeks and then locking myself to the desk with some bad EDM and blowing through it in an afternoon.

Apr 9, 20 12:00 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

terrible choice. Red-line grunt work requires Alice In Chains.

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tduds

To each their own.

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Chad Miller

Speed metal or GTFO bro.

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archi_dude

Old post but yeah. Every firm I worked in operated this way, now on the build side I laugh at intricately redrafted RFI's that capture the simplistic sketches we included on the original submission. I can just imagine some old ornery architect getting mad at some intern for their line weights on a RFI simple RFI that just needed a soffits dimension confirmed. Theres a reason the CA budget runs over in those scenarios. 

Apr 9, 20 12:11 pm  · 
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tduds

Unless it's a major change I draft RFI responses in Bluebeam.

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tintt

yeah and then they blame the interns (who sometimes worked unpaid overtime to satisfy all the needs) when the project isn't profitable

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The grad

I definitely agree with this point. I miss the days I could just meet up with the builder and we would scribble ideas on a piece of offcut timber. Probably not very formal, but gets the job done.

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Chad Miller

Works great for small projects. Try doing that with a 100,000 sf steel framed school or medical building.

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Chad Miller

I actually had a partner that would do what the OP described.  I found giving back 'blue lines' helped a lot.  I would explain the who, what, and why of red lines that either didn't work or would change a bunch of things.


Guess what, the partner actually listened to the 'blue lines' and now it's part of our process. 

Apr 9, 20 3:55 pm  · 
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chigurh

important factor:  how stoned is your boss?

Apr 10, 20 9:37 am  · 
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