I suspect the design-bid-build nature of our "traditional" buildings industry has an impact on *progress.* Albeit what we call traditional is actually recent to the past ~100 years compared to the design-build process of history. This paper explains that the Empire State Building’s speed of construction was attributed to design-build, among other factors (e.g. ESB's design decisions were driven by schedule, not the other way around)

Pointer from: Rabbit hole learning about the project delivery process that produced the Empire State Building
Place digested: Late night hodge podge
Time digested: Oct 7, 2018





The main difference between LPDS and traditional project delivery lies in the way projects are viewed. By traditional delivery method the authors are referring to design-bid-build approach. In the design-bid-build approach, design and construction are viewed as two independent non-overlapping processes. The designers and contractors rarely consider how to manage the entire production system.

In contrast, LPDS adopts a production management approach and manages the entire construction project as a system

The key organizations in the design and construction of the Empire State Building project were Empire State, Inc., the owners, Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the architects, and Starrett Bros. and Eken, the contractors. These organizations were comprised of many individuals. There were, however, key individuals within each organization that committed their companies to the team approach that was so influential to the success of the project. Their background influenced the management of the project that was close to lean principles, even before lean construction was formalized

Both Shreve and Lamb were college educated, with Shreve having graduated from Cornell’s College of Architecture in 1902. Lamb graduated from Williams College and then attended Columbia’s School of Architecture before graduating from Paris’ Beaux Arts in 1911. Both joined the architecture firm of Carrere & Hastings and eventually formed their own firm of Shreve and Lamb. Harmon joined the firm in 1929 and it became Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

Paul Starrett had been employed in the architectural firm of Burnham and Root in Chicago. It was here that he discovered his passion for building while working as a construction superintendent for the firm. Later, working for other general contractor and the War Industries Board he earned his reputation as an efficient builder. Continuous lookout for efficiency perhaps encouraged Starrett Brothers to adopt management techniques that bore resemblance with the lean concepts. In 1922, Paul and William joined forces with Andrew Eken, to form Starrett Bros. & Eken. The key players’ careers and management philosophies were developed during a time of rapid change in America - continued industrialization, World War I and the roaring twenties had a great influence on American industry at that time

Translating needs into design criteria:

Unlike the traditional approach, estimations of costing and project duration were integrated with the production of the project definition of the Empire State Building. The design of the project was driven by its schedule. All the design decisions were made based on the owners’ requirement that the building be completed by May 1, 1931. This was influenced by the real estate practices of that time when the lease agreements used to be of annual terms commencing on May 1st (Willis, 1998). Thus, if the building was not leasable by that date, the owners would have lost one year’s revenue from rent. In addition, a longer schedule would add to the running costs of interest and taxes, which were estimated to be $10,000 per day (Willis, 1998). The tight schedule for the Empire State Building was influenced by these various financial factors, which in turn interacted and produced a complex equation that influenced the building’s final form.