Project Drawings are still on track. At first, I expect to publish a set of project drawings every other week, then taper off to every third week, and finally settle into once a month. This is tentative, but should be achievable. The only hitch so far has been converting DWG files into PDFs. The conversion is easy, but I'm not happy with the quality of the black and white PDFs. The line density is too light. I've tried 3 of 6 ideas so far without any improvement. This could hold up things a little until I get it debugged.
[OBSOLETE] Those who are hyper-observant will have noticed that the name of the DOWNLOADS page has changed. Now the name is STORE. I decided that it was stupid to password protect the page, which was the plan. Didn't think that idea through to its conclusion. The plan now is that anyone can visit our growing stock of Project Drawings (and other things are in the works, too.) To show appreciation for our followers, now I will offer discount codes to use in lieu of money to buy these 'premium' items that I feel I need to charge for to make up for the time it takes to produce them. Which brings me to the latest change. I am ready to start collecting email addresses so I can offer the discount codes.
[Revised] Architekwiki is inching closer to fully integrating a new Sign Up page into the website. By signing up you receive access to PDFs an Native File Format files for free.
Click this link to learn more about the sign up process and to Sign Up.
Just a couple of days ago I wrote about My Methods for publishing a blog. The new endeavor of publishing whole sets of project drawings has created a new process. I like to track my progress as I work on a task like this that has so many steps. I considered duplicating this form by printing it out each time to mark up with pen, or storing it in Evernote and opening it in Skitch to record progress, or taking a screenshot of it that can be imported into Penultimate or Inkflow.
The screenshot imported to Inkflow worked the best by far due to the ease of zooming in so that handwritten text can be fit into the form. However, what works even better is to use the screenshot as the stationery of the Inkflow book of 'Project Drawing Post Checklists'. (Fig. 2)
Here is what the process looks like.
PROJECT DRAWINGS PUBLICATION CHECKLIST
Select Project. _____________________________________________
Education, Corporate, Commercial, Industrial, Community, Recreation, Green, Govmnt, Misc
Name Post. _____________________________________________
Set up Dropbox folder __________________________________________ (Fig. 1)
Copy dwg files to new folder / rename files __________________________________________
Clean off telltale text / Crop/delete title block data / Delete authorship info
Create Zip file of DWGs / Name file
Create PDFs (if needed)
Copy PDFs To Drive/Ready Folder
Open PDFs in Preview and Obscure Telltale Text / Crop Ea Drawing / Duplicate / Save / Rename
Create Zip file of PDFs / Name file
Edit Icon Master _____________________________________________ (Fig. 3)
Start new post / insert text-image widget / insert 2-col / insert image widget for each sheet (Fig. 4)
Insert icon / text master / images
Edit all images for light box / alt text / captions
Calc SF__________________ / UseGroup _________________/ConstrType _______________
Edit Text / add links to 'Sign-Up' and 'Download' pages
Proof / Publish
Update 'Download' page:
Insert text-image widget / insert image / copy-paste description
Add button or e-junkie widget(s)
Maybe you have a blog or want to start one. Maybe your firm wants to start a blog or get more consistent with the one they have. Maybe you aren't interested in what goes on behind the scenes. Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.
The basic process is straightforward:
Plan For Publishing Project Drawings
As I have searched our project archives for details to share, it has dawned on me that sharing the entire set of architectural project drawings may be just as useful to you, Dear Reader. In fact, I am thinking that I will publish all the project drawings that we have digital files for. Perhaps we will look into scanning the older project drawings that only exist on paper, too.
To my knowledge no one has ever done this before - publish a firm’s entire archive of project drawings. Maybe this will be a ’thing’. But if Architekwiki is a Resource and a Reference for architects, this seems like a good way of pursuing that mission.
There is a fair amount of work involved to do this. I may have to charge a modest price for future sets of project drawings, but for now, as I experiment and try to gauge the level of enthusiasm for this concept, the PDFs of the project drawings will be free in exchange for your email address.
In order to set expectations, I need to mention a couple of things. First these drawings will be stripped of any indication of authorship, location, owner, project name or any uniquely recognizable feature. The owners of these projects would rightfully object to having their facility’s project drawings on display on the Internet. Second, I don't own the structural and mechanical/electrical drawings, so I can't include those. Third, these projects are not suitable for copying for several reasons: 1) you would have to be an idiot and a charlatan to copy someone else’s work and represent it as your own, 2) all of these projects were designed for unique needs and contexts and won't be suitable for other needs and contexts, 3) codes are different now and different where you are, and 4) see reason #1.
Having said why you shouldn’t copy these project drawings, there is nevertheless something to be learned from seeing how someone else solved a design problem, a construction detail, or how a complete set of architectural project drawings is put together, what it includes, and what it looks like. So the point is to make examples available for you to learn from, not to do your work for you.
There are dozens of details and templates and examples on Architekwiki now. This might be a good time to assemble all of them in one place where they can be found and downloaded. Well, that should keep me busy until Thanksgiving.
Look for the first project in the next couple of weeks.
I should preface this piece by saying sustainability is a good thing, and I believe it is a good thing. Nevertheless, “Sustainability” (initial cap) may be winding down in favor of garden variety “sustainability” (lower case). I doubt that any one will notice.
PROs for Sustainability
Economics - ignoring sustainability will lead to remediation costs that would not otherwise need to be incurred. Many sustainability ideas are more economical, even if their promoters can't do the math to show that they are.
Feel Good Factor - Sustainability feels good, feels right. Being sustainable makes you a better person, more in synch with the universe. Don't ask me to prove it. It's a right brain thing.
CONs for Sustainability
Complexity - Complexity is Exhibit #1. What are we talking about? energy consumption, oil consumption, greenhouse gases, waste reduction and disposal (landfills), recycling and recyclability, embodied energy, pollution, preserving nature (both plant and animal species). There is no agreement about what we mean when we say ’sustainable’. Some might say “all of the above”, which proves the point. The usual definition, “providing for your needs in a way that will allow future generations to provide for their needs”, is no help. All of this is worthwhile, but promoting sustainability is a wasted effort because no one knows what you want them TO DO.
Politics - being the darling of one party means you aren't the darling of all parties. Your future will blow hot and cold. The general inaction by the government in setting policy (at least in the USA) isn't helping the cause of Sustainability.
Trustworthiness - the lying for and against sustainability dilutes the seriousness given to the issue.
Moral Mandate - convincing everyone that they should be sustainable because it is the moral thing to do hasn’t worked for abortion, which is more immediate, and won't work with Sustainability.
Proof - There is no ironclad proof that if we do ’X’, then ’Y’ will happen. Every proof brought out so far depends on interpretation, or it gets too complicated for anyone to follow. That undermines the case for sustainability and deflates the ’Call To Action’.
Conclusion - Enough has already changed to say that we have improved our sustainability. Products and innovations will continue to reap the inherent economics of sustainability. But ’Sustainability’ as a concept will succumb to its inherent inscrutability for the masses, who will move on to the next Kardashian-like drama.
I'm just saying ...