Closing the Gap: Project Vision vs. Reality

Molly Dee
Senior Project Engineer (Commissioning)
Jaros, Baum & Bolles, New York City

In a world that is rapidly urbanizing, construction at both the individual building and community levels is increasing in complexity. New ideas on what it means to live in a city are developing and new technologies are allowing architects, designers and engineers to envision a completely revolutionized approach to the urban habitat. In this exciting time, these cutting-edge visions of polycentric, multi-nodal cities are so inspiring that it can be easy to get swept up in the vision and consequentially delay discussing the multifaceted challenges that may keep that vision from becoming reality.

As we take on large-scale development projects we need to think proactively about the challenges that are bound to arise as designs become physical structures in the fabric of larger communities. The conversation needs to be started about potential pitfalls and solutions early so that at the end of the project, we can confidently say the project delivery is in accordance with the original project vision. Sometimes these discussions are uncomfortable, and with so many powerful stakeholders representing various disciplines, simply getting the right people together at the right time to have these conversations can be challenging.

This presentation identifies some of the more significant areas of concern when new projects exit planning and design and enter construction. Various case studies from one of the most urban polycentric cities in the world, New York, are discussed through the unique perspective of a commissioning professional who works at the interface between design and construction. At the conclusion of the presentation, those in attendance will leave with insight into how to close the gap between project vision and reality.