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Best Practices

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Project File Organization

Contributed by Tara L. Nelson, Renaissance 3 Architects PC

November 2003

The AIA collects and disseminates Best Practices as a service to AIA members without endorsement or recommendation. Appropriate use of the information provided is the responsibility of the reader.

SUMMARY Renaissance 3 Architects organizes its files using the following classification system. Other firms can follow this structure or create a similar taxonomy to manage project files. A SAMPLE TAXONOMY Organizing project files, whether paper or electronic, can be a formidable challenge for any firm. Renaissance 3 Architects, a firm of 15 to 20 employees, has developed the following taxonomy for its project files. Project architects use this checklist at the beginning of every new project, selecting the file folders that are likely to be needed. Administrative and IT staff can then set up the necessary file folders. 3.0 Project Management 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Project Directory Drawing List Project Checklist Project Fee Analysis Project Cost Analysis and Estimates Project Schedules and Phasing Building Areas/Statistics Quality Assurance Reviews Constructability Reviews Project Contract Documents Electronic Drawing Media Release Drawing/Electronic Media Request Form Project Archiving System Project File Organization

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

State Dept. of Labor Approvals Township/City Approvals BOCA/Code Research Miscellaneous Approvals

5.0

Correspondence

All correspondence arranged in reverse chronological order. All transmittals, unless there are no accompanying pages, are to be stapled to the back of the letter or correspondence with which they are transmitted. 5.1 General Correspondence

Used only for smaller projects, where this is the only correspondence file 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 Architect Correspondence Owner Correspondence Construction Manager / Contractors Correspondence Subcontractors Correspondence Miscellaneous Correspondence Geotechnical/Surveyor Correspondence Civil Engineer Correspondence Landscape Architect Correspondence Structural Engineer Correspondence Mechanical Engineer Correspondence Electrical Engineer Correspondence Food Service Consultant Correspondence Audio-Visual Consultant Correspondence Technology Consultant Correspondence Tenant Correspondence

4.0

Code/Approvals

5.16

Chronological files containing code research, submittals, approvals, and all related correspondence, and transmittals

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Knowledge gained from experience immediately applicable to a task at hand.

BP 10.01.03

Best Practices

6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Meeting Reports/Memos/Notes Meeting Reports O-A-C Meeting Minutes (Owner-Architect-Contractor) Miscellaneous Meeting Notes Telephone Conversation Memos 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4

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Drawings and Supplemental Drawings Drawing Logs Working Drawings (.dwg) X-ref Drawings (.dwg) Consultant Drawings (.dwg)

11.4.01 Site and Landscape 11.4.02 Structural

7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11

Project Information Owner-Provided Information Existing Drawings/Photographic Information Architectural Information Site/Civil Information Structural Information HVAC Information Plumbing/Fire Protection Information Electrical Information Product/Equipment Information Building Environmental Information Green Building/LEED Information

11.4.03 Mechanical 11.4.04 Electrical 11.4.05 Telecommunications 11.4.06 Food Service 11.4.07 Other Consultants 11.4.08 Owner's Consultants 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.10 Plots (pdf) Current Set (.pdf) Transfer and Zip Files Manufacturer Downloads Images Miscellaneous Drawings

11.10.01 Design Sketches 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Site Site Information / Site Evaluation Geotechnical Engineering Site Survey Site Environmental Assessment 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Predesign Existing Conditions Information Building and Site Evaluation Feasibility Analysis ADA Analysis 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 Specification Data Specification Outline and Miscellaneous Data Division 1 ­ General Division 2 ­ Site Division 3 ­ Concrete Division 4 ­ Masonry Division 5 ­ Metals Division 6 ­ Wood and Plastic Division 7 ­ Thermal and Moisture Protection Division 8 ­ Doors and Windows Division 9 ­ Finishes Division 10 ­ Specialties Division 11 ­ Equipment Division 12 ­ Furnishings 11.10.02 Presentation Sketches

10.0 10.1 10.2

Programming Programming Surveys Program Information

© The AIA

Knowledge gained from experience immediately applicable to a task at hand.

BP 10.01.03

Best Practices

12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 Division 13 ­ Special Construction Division 14 ­ Conveying Systems Division 15 ­ HVAC, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Division 16 ­ Electrical 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9 16.10 16.11 16.12 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Bidding / Construction Procurement Bidders Lists Bid Tabulation/Bids Subcontractor Scope Letters/Invitation to Bid Contractor Selection/Qualifications Miscellaneous Correspondence 16.17 16.18 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 Construction Administration Requests for Information Addenda Modifications/Supplemental Instruct./Construction Change Directives Change Orders Supplemental Drawings Applications for Payment Certificate of Substantial and Final Completion Project Record Documents RESOURCES More Best Practices 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Punchlists Punchlists, Sitework Punchlists, Architectural Punchlists, MEPS Punchlists, Food Service Punchlists, Other 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16

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Submittals ­ Division 2 ­ Site Construction Submittals ­ Division 3 ­ Concrete Submittals ­ Division 4 ­ Masonry Submittals ­ Division 5 ­ Metals Submittals ­ Division 6 ­ Wood and Plastics Submittals ­ Division 7 ­ Thermal and Moisture Protection Submittals ­ Division 8 ­ Doors and Windows Submittals ­ Division 9 ­ Finishes Submittals ­ Division 10 ­ Specialties Submittals ­ Division 11 ­ Equipment Submittals ­ Division 12 ­ Furnishings Submittals ­ Division 13 ­ Special Construction Submittals ­ Division 14 ­ Conveying Systems Submittals ­ Division 15 ­ Mechanical Submittals ­ Division 16 ­ Electrical

13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3

Specifications Outline Specification Full Form Specification Small Project Form Specifications

The following AIA Best Practices provide additional information related to this topic: 10.02.02 10.02.05 10.02.06 The Paperless Office Document Disposal: When and How to Throw It Out Fundamentals of Record Retention

15.8.01 Record Specifications 15.8.02 Record Drawing Set 15.9 Construction Progress Documentation

16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3

Submittals Submittal Logs Test Reports Submittals ­ Division 1 ­ General

© The AIA

Knowledge gained from experience immediately applicable to a task at hand.

BP 10.01.03

Best Practices

For More Information on This Topic See also "Information Management" by Elena Marcheso Moreno, The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 13th edition, Chapter 13, page 380. See also the 14th edition of the Handbook, which can be ordered from the AIA Bookstore by calling 800-242-3837 (option 4) or by email at [email protected]

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Feedback The AIA welcomes member feedback on Best Practice articles. To provide feedback on this article, please contact [email protected] Key Terms · · · · Practice Information management Firm management automation Computerized information management

Society of Design Administration

8 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60603 800-711-8199 [email protected] This Best Practice is a contribution of the Society of Design Administration.

© The AIA

Knowledge gained from experience immediately applicable to a task at hand.

BP 10.01.03

Information

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