An architect tips his hat to the magazine's value-added articles.

A goal of zero

Ms. Mazure,

Thank you for these two "value added" articles this month (October 2001, "Higher Value" and "Zero Tolerance for Claims"). As a technical architect who is continuously interested in the trades, I find these articles to be invaluable. A product like Sureboard is long overdue and appears to be cost effective for buildings not subject to tenant improvement work every five years. I certainly could have used it on a building I am just completing.

As the author of an article on partnering in Walls & Ceilings, it pleases me to read Pete Battisti's proactive article on zero tolerance for claims. The industry has been remiss for too long in allowing contractors to push schedules in difference to subs concerns. Pre-construction and weekly meetings with sub foremen are specifically required to be held on larger projects for this very reason. (Hopefully, smaller-project subs will support zero tolerance, as well.)

I have seen too many projects in which contractor superintendents are too busy generating paperwork to adequately inspect subs' work. Many subs themselves are also guilty of this. It comes down to this: You take your chances and pay a little more up front for adequate supervision or a lot more after the fact to tear off, inspect and repair latent defects. It is to Mr. Battisti's credit that he learned well from his mentor, as reflected in his article.

The new millenium should be known as the "ZT" millenium. Let this be a challenge we all embrace. Yes, the "suits" may be impacted, but as I stated in my article, if they were proactive (partnering) and not reactive oriented, ZT would have been achieved years ago.

Thank you for a great publication.


James V. Vitale, AIA

Altadena, Calif.

Via e-mail