From The Roof Up

I recently caught up with my mate John, an incredibly skilled and well-respected civil/structural engineer. Now in his sixties, John has worked all over the world building big factories for big clients.

John is old school. I say this because he’s not over-reliant on technology when it comes to creating and analysing structures. Don’t be worried by this…before I bought my current home, John spotted a defect on my conservatory that no other surveyor did. He saved me a few quid in the process.

John has just returned from a two-year gig in India. Now, when most of your friends come back from a lengthy outing abroad, you expect lots of media and tales. John is no exception, but when he came round, opened his laptop and launched PowerPoint, I knew this was going to be front row with popcorn. What John presented was a wonderful and illustrative narrative that was as absorbing as the biscuits we were dunking in our teas. John speaks with great technicality, and even though I can’t keep up with him, I love it.

Passion. Pride.

Anyway, slide 263 showed the early stages of one of his building creations, a roof at ground level against a backdrop of steel columns. “Trusstastic!” you scream. However, what is interesting is that his team are also chucking in the pipework, ducts, cabling etc at ground level before lifting onto the steel supports.

Roof. Done.

What this now does is provide protection, a shelter that allows you to repeat the process with subsequent floors. Each floor then becomes a shelter in itself allowing work to continue below, but it also serves as a support in allowing work to continue above.
There’s something Kanban about this approach. I don’t know what makes me say that, but it’s just…different.

Funny that we talk about agility, collaboration, bottom up, top down, scaffolding (yep you saw that coming), but are we still operating within old and tired techniques in LnD? A roof is there to protect, to frame and support.  It has as much importance, if not more, as your foundations. You can still function with a shelter over your head.

Is it time for you to build again, from the roof up?


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