We are in charge of thoroughly inspecting each unit in the building to make sure it has been properly constructed and assembled for senior residents to live in. Because this is an assisted living project, we have learned a lot about how the American’s with Disabilities Act informs assisted living designs in real life. ADA features can often be overlooked in commercial buildings if you are not using them, but given the typology of this project, these features are at the forefront of the design and we can see them integrated in every room and unit.
We have a new, bittersweet relationship with blue tape; one that works as our “call-for-action” and in some cases has marked up an entire unit from top to bottom. We are using Procore, a cloud-based construction management application, and it’s many helpful tools, such as the “punch list” and “drawings” tools, to document major items that need to be worked on before being checked off the punch list. This system allows us to easily communicate what items need to be fixed with Construction Project Managers on the job.
Seeing things come together on site helps us better understand how to compose designs electronically and even diagrammatically. Being able to fit the real life use of a space into the four corners of a computer screen, given the many restrictions of Computer Aided Design, is fascinating. It has added a layer of appreciation for designers in the Architecture field.
Working on an assisted living project makes us cognizant of the different amenities that really make a building livable and workable for all people. This is a refreshing endeavor, compared to the tasks Architectural interns are typically given. We are fortunate to see so many sides of a project and understand the different lucrative steps taken to develop Architectural concepts.
The punch walks have been a good learning experience all around. I have really learned a lot about construction. I have never really been involved with the construction administration side of architectural design, so this is definitely a new experience for me. The assisted living typology is not one that I was initially familiar with. However, after going through and checking for things like grab bars in the bathroom, wheelchair accessibility, and other related amenities, I feel like I have a much better understanding of it.
Architectural Intern, Michael Njo
I have seen some of the concepts for this project in Sketchup, and seeing how some issues were solved on the computer made more sense once I was in the room, examining the readiness of the space for our soon-to-be residents. I am proud to represent Soto on a real construction site and witness the building come to life in front of me. I see a multitude of ongoing construction projects in the city, but having my own personal protective equipment and being assigned tasks for a project designed by Soto makes me feel like I am part of the bigger picture.
Architectural Intern, Thalia Nichole Jimenez