. . . and Counting

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[Originally published 1st quarter 2006 in arcCA 06.1, “Imbedded Knowledge”]


Number of construction drawing sheets for Mies’s Crown Hall at IIT: 11

Number of drawing sheets in the bid set for a California K-6 elementary school:
In 1985… 20 to 25.
In 2005… 75 to 80
(Stafford King Wiese Architects)

Average calendar days for state plan review and back check (without overtime charges): 151
(California Division of the State Architect)

Materials used in the façade of the new deYoung Museum:
950,000 lbs. of copper
300,000 lbs. of glass
7,200 unique panels with 1,500,000 embossings
(Fong & Chan Architects)

Construction documents for the new deYoung Museum:
860 construction document sheets
1,837 submittals
100 bulletins
(Fong & Chan Architects)

San Francisco’s largest AIA firm by number of employees: Gensler / 1,700 (AIASF)
Los Angeles’ largest AIA firm by number of employees: DMJM / 5,400 (AIALA)
San Diego’s largest AIA firm by number of employees: NTD Stichler / 120 (AIASD)
Sacramento’s largest AIA firm by number of employees: Lionakis Beaumont / 170 (AIACC)

Number of architecture firms/paid employees in California: 3,265 / 27,546
State with second most: New York with 1860 / 16,929
(Greenway Almanac of Architecture & Design)

Number of new California architectural licenses issued in 1989: 1,339
Number of new California architectural licenses issued in 2003: 389
(California Architects Board)

Current California construction project posted at Dodge’s online service with:

Largest number of sheets: Tom Bradley Int’l/LAX In-line Baggage Screening Facility: 2,627 plan sheets / 2,951 spec pages.
Fewest number of sheets: East 17th Street Rehabilitation Facility in Oakland:0 plan sheets / 12 spec pages
(McGraw-Hill Construction)

Number of consultants on MRY’s recently completed US Courthouse in Fresno: 20:
civil engineering / structural engineering / mechanical & plumbing / precast concrete / electrical / geotechnical / vertical transportation / landscape architecture / exterior wall / lighting design / security / graphic design / life safety & code compliance / public art / acoustical / audio-visual / blast / cost estimation / specifications / green specifications.

Three professional organizations that didn’t exist in 1980:
Design-Build Institute of America, www.dbia.org
US Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org
The One Percent Solution, www.theonepercent.org

Most exotic drawing tools in a ‘70s office: beam compass, transfer lettering, & electric eraser
Most common tools in same office: Maylines, triangles, lead pointers, & drafting tape
Constant tool in offices between then and now: tracing paper

Number of years that slide rules were used by everyone from schoolchildren to scientists: 350
Years that the scientific calculator has been used: 34
(architect/historian Victor Carrasco)

“A bid is an educated guess carried to two decimal places” – Anonymous



David Meckel, FAIA

David Meckel, FAIA, is Director of Research & Planning for the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco.

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