Project update – meeting the architect and virtual handshakes + one for those who moan about London Underground

At the beginning of the week, the architects for the project that I am working on flew into town for an intensive week of meetings. Most of yesterday was spent shuttling back and forth between our offices and La Défense for meetings about the building’s structure. For me it was a great chance to get to know the project team before the video conferencing kicks off in ernest (despite Margaret Atwood’s invention that allows her to do book signings wherever she wants in the world from the comfort of her own home, it is still not possible to shake hands over the internet). For the moment there are still a number of questions to answer about the building’s facade but once those are answered there will be a rush to design the floor which, for the moment, is where my project is going to be focused. I therefore have the sense that we are in the calm before the storm.

During a coffee break, I tried to strike up a non-engineering/architecture conversation with the architects. Struggling fora topic, I suddenly remembered that my favourite US online radio station, KCRW, is broadcast from the same town as their headquarters. They listen to my favourite show in their office on the otherside of the world, every morning. Doesn’t the internet make the world small?

In other news, old calculations that I had made on the cost of another tower have come back to haunt me. It is not that they were wrong, it is just that I was suddenly required to present my results without any notice. I was therefore glad that I had left a decent paper trail so that I could quickly see how I came to the result two weeks ago. This is basically thanks to my new strategy: to date absolutely everything, to put the date in the name and print it in the header and to include a table of modifications for each time I use a calculation sheet. This may all seem obvious now but it wasn’t when I started off. I have since been asked to carry out a cost calculation on the tower that is the focus of my project. Since cost will be an important part of the choice of floor design, I will be able to tie the overall cost calculation into my project. And now that I have the method sorted, it hopefully shouldn’t take too long to calculate. The only trouble is… none of the floors are identical…

+ one for those who moan about London Underground – spare a thought for those who ride the L in Chicago – from a new blog find: Anonymous 1%