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Ron Geren
Scottsdale, Arizona
Architect, construction specifier, and code consultant
Recent Activity
Construction documents, as defined by CSI, are "the written and graphic documents prepared for communicating the project design for construction and administering the construction contract." They consist of the drawings, specifications, contracting requirements, procurement requirements, modifications and addenda, and resource drawings. Some of these documents are used for procurement of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2013 at Keynotes
The TRW plant located in Mesa, Arizona, has experienced a number of problems: explosions, fires, and medical emergencies. Hundreds of them in a time span of less than ten years. An explosion in 1995 cost the life of one worker. The situation became such a concern that the Mesa Fire... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at The Code Corner
Some projects are of such a small size that for a separate project manual containing the project specifications is considered unnecessary. However, relying solely on the graphical and notational information on drawings is not sufficient to ensure a quality project—there is still a need to provide some qualitative requirements within... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2013 at Keynotes
Late morning on a winter day, a contracting crew was up on the roof of a building performing welding and cutting on a steel fabrication that was to become a catwalk for a window washing system. The hot work, unfortunately, ignited adjacent polyurethane-coated foam plastic trim and the fire spread... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2013 at The Code Corner
In a previous Keynotes article1, general notes were briefly discussed including the observation that general notes frequently include content that is more appropriately, and probably is, indicated elsewhere. However, design professionals seem to embrace the mantra that mentioning it once is good, but mentioning it twice (or more) is even... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2013 at Keynotes
Tall structures have been in existence for centuries. The Great Pyramid of Giza, built in the 26th Century BC, was as high as 480 feet high. The Towers of Bologna, constructed in the 12th Century AD, topped out at about 320 feet for the tallest tower. Although these were tall... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at The Code Corner
Many articles have been written about the design-build delivery method and the ways in which design requirements are conveyed from the owner to the design-build entity (DBE). Typically, the contract documents for design-build projects include a project description in the form of performance-based requirements. Performance requirements describe the results desired... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2012 at Keynotes
Gypsum board has been an important part of the construction industry for more than 100 years. Its humble beginnings started in the late 1800s as “Sackett Board,” named for Augustine Sackett, one of the inventors of the early gypsum product. Sackett Board consisted of Plaster of Paris between two layers... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at The Code Corner
As design professionals, we should all understand the importance of drawings and specifications in a set of construction documents—the differences between them, as well as their complementary nature. We know that drawings show the size and location of building elements, and usually the quantity. We also know that specifications establish... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2012 at Keynotes
The topic of construction documents was addressed in a previous article of The Code Corner1. However, the message of that article was the broad subject of construction documents by building code definition and did not broach methods of how to actually communicate code-related information in the documents. This article and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2012 at The Code Corner
You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The project is nearing completion and you are looking forward to moving on to the next big project or taking a long, well-deserved vacation. However, do not start packing your suitcase just yet—there is much to be accomplished between... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2012 at Keynotes
According to the Glass Manual, published by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), glass has been around for more than 4,000 years. Glass allows daylight in and allows building occupants to view the outside world while still maintaining an envelope to separate inside from outside. However, the use of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2012 at The Code Corner
I just completed my umpteenth-hundredth carpet specification section and I’ve had it—especially when it comes to specifying for public projects. As many of you may know, public projects typically require open competition for projects, including the selection of products that are specified. So, as a response, specifiers are typically tasked... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2012 at specsandcodes
Everything we do throughout the day could not be accomplished without some form of communication, whether it is one way (e.g. radio and television) or two-way (e.g. email and conversations). Communication is a key element of daily living, and the construction process is no exception. Basic Construction Communication George Bernard... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2012 at Keynotes
One hundred and sixty years ago, Elisha Otis invented the first braking mechanism for the elevator, which made vertical travel within a building feasible and safe. A little over forty years later, the gearless traction elevator was developed, which allowed movement in buildings of significant height. Thus, along with the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at The Code Corner
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) back in 2008, the architecture profession was one of the hardest hit professions when it came to layoffs. However, a year later in 2009, the BLS stated that between then and 2018, the architecture profession will grow “faster than the average”... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2012 at specsandcodes
Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing or together as if one could not occur without the other (QA/QC). The fact is that these two terms represent separate processes that may or may not coincide. Either way, they both have a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2011 at Keynotes
Passive fre protection has been a significant component of building codes since the publication of the first Building Code recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU) in 1905—even Nero established some form of passive fire protection in Rome after it burned in 64 A.D. Passive fire protection is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2011 at The Code Corner
Trick or treat! Well, there’s no trick and you will get a great treat from CSI. CSI is offering a discount on a Professional Membership until midnight on Monday, October 31st. You pay only $192 for national dues – a 20% savings. How do you get the discount? Easy: 1.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2011 at specsandcodes
Just recently, I was doing some research on the change in the architectural profession from the time of ancient Egypt to today’s practice in the United States for an upcoming practice management course I teach at Taliesin West. Even without this research, it is obvious to me (and probably others... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at specsandcodes
All manufacturers wish that their product or products are used on construction projects; otherwise, they would not be in the business. But, on the design side, not every product is suitable for a given project, nor is there sufficient fee to research every product that could potentially be used on... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2011 at Keynotes
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet suggests that Romeo change his name so that he no longer belongs to the House of Montague—the sworn enemy of Juliet’s family, the House of Capulet. Juliet calls out: What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2011 at specsandcodes
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” John Ruskin, author and critic of art and architecture Nobody likes to redo work that he or she has already completed. However, time and again, some design professionals seem satisfied to let the building department review their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2011 at The Code Corner
My initial motivation to become an architect is really a mystery, even unto myself. The only things I can recall that could have led to this momentous decision are that I liked to observe buildings under construction and that I liked drafting (back when it was on a drafting board).... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2011 at specsandcodes
As a faculty member of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architect, I’ve been given the opportunity to expand my course offerings at the Taliesin West site to include a course on “Practice Management.” I remember my own practice management course (called “Ethics and Practice” at the time) while attending... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2011 at specsandcodes