Mackenzie Abernethy: 3/25/19 – 3/28/19 + Weekly Blog

Monday: 3.25.19

Today,  I began the drawings for the West Ashley Head-Start restroom renovation.  We had a set of existing plans, but they were not to scale and contained many incorrect measurements.  Also, the architect for the project who had made notes on the plans was out of the office.  Therefore, Jamie and I spent the morning trying to “de-code” his notes and get in contact with him.  Communication skills were important today!

AXP Hours: PDD: 4 Hrs

Tuesday: 3.16.19

Today I continued working in Model Space to fix the existing plans and make them correct.  I essentially had to redraw them.  Then, for an hour I went with Jamie to North Charleston High School to answer some questions that the paint contractors had.  We had to explain some directions that were written in the sheets, and we had to suggest some changes as the paint did not dry to the color we had expected.  The paint guys were really nice and we worked together to come up with some good solutions.

AXP Hours: PDD: 3 Hrs, PM: 1 Hr

Wednesday: 3.13.19

Today I continued to work on the drawings for the restroom renovations at West Ashley Head-Start.  I finished up the existing drawing and then I had to create plans for adding an ADA stall into the boys and girls restrooms.  I had to read a lot of the I.C.C. book (IDD A117. 1-2017) to make sure my measurements were correct.  New grab-bars, toilet paper dispensers, new toilet, partitions, etc.  Very tedious day but productive!

AXP Hours:  PDD: 4 Hrs

Thursday: 3.14.19

Today, I established the sheet set and made finalized sheets to be corrected by Jamie and Mike Nixon (project architect).  After I wrapped up, they made notes for me to adjust and then I got to finish this project.  Also, for an hour a group of sales reps came to give a presentation about Kim Lighting fixtures.  The architects said that someone was out of the office and let me sit in on the presentation.  It was very interesting to see that architects even need to have an understanding about lighting fixtures in parking lots.  It never seems to end on the extent of knowledge an architect needs to know.

AXP Hours:  3 Hrs


West Ashley Head-Start
1401 Ashley River Rd. Charleston, SC, 29407
Project Scope: One of our project architects is working on renovating the bathrooms in a day-care.  Currently, there are no adult toilets in these restrooms and none of the stalls are ADA.  The faculty have one staff restroom but they are growing and in need of some more adult restrooms.
Project Manager: Mike Nixon
Role of Student: Drawing plans in AutoCAD, creating demolition and new work plans, and establishing sheet sets to be used by the architects and contractors.
What I have learned: 

‘This week I seemed to work only on the computer.  I got out of the office a bit, but I needed to focus on finishing these sheet sets so I didn’t seem to move from my desk.  I realized that the BEST thing you can do when you’re having difficulty with a project is to go out there and see it in person.  When I went with Jamie to North Charleston High School, it was only for a few minutes (even the architect said that we could just email the contractors with our changes).  But Jamie knew that making the trip out there to answer their questions directly and work together as a team would be much more effective, and it was.

Then, while I was working on the W.A. Head-Start program this week, I ran into many problems with the existing drawings.  We were struggling to figure out which doors really existed, the dimensions of certain walls, and the layouts of the bathrooms.  All of these details are extremely important to perfect because these drawings will be used not only by us, but by the contractors, engineers, etc.  I did not have the chance to go out the W.A.H.S., but I wish I did.  I also wish that the architect or Jamie could have gone out there to take pictures, measurements, or anything that could clear this up.  We emailed people attempting to solve our problems but it never seemed to answer our question, but only raised more.

I know it seems inconvenient at some times to go back and forth from the office to a job site, but it can be so helpful.  And I believe that the inconvenience is actually when you can’t draw anything correctly or have to fix it over and over again.  This also made me think about the ease of working on a project that is within driving distance.  I know there are many architecture firms that are creating projects in other cities, states, or countries.  To me, that seems extremely difficult and I’m sure that communication skills need to be used to create a cohesive building team.  I hope to work in a  large firm one day where I can experience their strategies on how to handle that situation.

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