American Society of Civil Engineers

Cladding Systems: Technological Change and Design Arrangements

by Roberto Pietroforte, A.M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Worcester Polytechnic Inst., Worcester, MA 01609-2280)

Journal of Architectural Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 3, September 1995, pp. 100-107, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The growing use of technologically complex building components is changing the traditional pattern of design roles, activities, and responsibilities. By describing the characteristics of thin stone veneered cladding systems, the paper discusses the delivery challenges of this technology. Its design and engineering process, as it was observed in practice, consists of three main tasks: design definition, design finalization, and design realization, each characterized by its own intents and leadership. The observed process is a continuum that spreads these tasks throughout the construction activities of a project. It is implemented with multiple contributions of specialty subcontractors and manufacturers that need to be coordinated. Current American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard agreements assume that the design process is concluded ahead of construction and individually developed. These agreements do not properly address the coordination of the shop drawings submitted by subcontractors. New contractural agreements and the management of building projects should recognize the changing intents of the tasks comprising the design process and the role of subcontractors and manufacturers, define the nature of their design work, and assign related responsibilities for performance and authority for design coordination.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
Contract management