Monday, March 20, 2006

Kill a tree, make an architect full of glee

Part of my job involves being a LEED Accredited Professional. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and is a program initiated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in order to promote design and building practices that are better for our environment. It incorporates building design principles using things like energy efficient building systems, building materials made from recycled materials and manufactured locally, etc. I really got into the whole LEED thing on my last project and made it my personal goal to get my LEED accreditation as soon as I could. If nothing else once the project I needed it for was over, if I got canned at least it would look good on my resume, right?

One of my projects now is a LEED project. We have had no fewer than three architects on this project – all with the same firm, just each person has gradually fallen by the wayside. Apparently this newest architect is a little bit more demanding than the last one we had…let’s just say that the last guy made Grateful Dead fans look high-strung.

One of the nice things about the guy was that if we had to turn in any paperwork to meet the LEED requirements for the project and the size of the submittal was rather large, he would waive the typical project requirements to send in six copies. Last week, I sent in the painting submittal which was about an inch thick and as I was accustomed to doing in the past I sent in two copies – both for approval, one for them to keep and the other one to return to us to include in the final documentation for submission to the USGBC. It had totally slipped my mind that the guy had left the project three weeks ago and I never dreamed that it would be an issue.

Lo and behold, on Friday the project manager D. receives an e-mail from the new architect basically stating that they received the two copies that I sent, but that we must send four more copies IMMEDIATELY and if we fail to provide the required amount of copies from this point forward, we will be drawn and quartered. Well, they didn’t exactly say that but it was implied. Architects love to get all medieval on your ass.

The following e-mail exchange ensued between the project manager D. and me:

PM: Please forward the number of copies requested to XYZ Architects. Thanks.

Me: I got the message from XYZ Architects and will overnight them 4 more copies. The things are huge and I was hoping to save a tree or two. I am almost dying from the irony here.

PM: They’re missing the forest for the trees.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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