The Bridge

Last month, we took an in-depth look at the creation and usefulness of a schematic height diagram. We saw how a properly prepared height diagram is essential in defining the parameters by which a comprehensive quantity survey/cost estimate can be produced. Accessory to the schematic height diagram are the commonly referred-to schedule schematics—the topic for our discussion this month.

Schedule schematics can take many forms. They can be very simple or very complex. In all cases, they in effect gather together disparate information into an easy-to-access and -understand written format. In our previous discussion of reference color coding, I mentioned that I color coded the door/hardware “tag” on the floor plan(s) based on the type of door such as hollow metal or wood, etc. To do this successfully, I first made a simple schedule schematic to define for me what the door tag code for each door meant. For our discussion, let’s look at a similar type of simple, yet effective, example concerning ceiling types and finishes.

Distinguishing the differences

It is common for reflected ceiling plans to define the various ceiling types by a graphic symbol such as a grid, hatched lines or, as is common for gypsum board, spackling. Sometimes, this graphic code is not included on a reflected ceiling plan or, as in most cases, is combined with an alpha-numeric code that is defined by the finish schedule. I have seen many projects where there are no RCPs at all—only floor plans whereby the ceiling type or finish is defined solely by code usually included with the individual room number/name legend. This may also include the ceiling height. In any case, it is important to condense that coded information into an easily referred to schedule schematic.

For our example, the finish schedule defines the ceiling types with a letter prefix “C” for ceiling, and then a consecutively sequenced number defining the specific ceiling type/finish. Thus, our simple schedule schematic would look like the table on the next page.

My scope of work included only the gypsum board fascia, soffit and ceilings—none of the other types—but it was important for me to be aware of all of them for two reasons: conflicts and clarity. It turned out, as is common on most jobs, that the finish schedule and the RCPs were often in disagreement. In this case, particularly between C1 and C2, there were other cases where the conflict was with other ceiling types. In some cases, there was no information given at all for a particular room, graphic or coded. How to deal with conflicts and omissions is a subject for another day.

What is important is the fact that my schedule schematic played an important part in making me aware of these conflicts and/or omissions, as well as informing me of the accurate information on the finish schedule and RCP.

A rose by any other name

In this example, the finish schedule alone defined the ceiling type or finish and the ceiling height room-by-room, floor-by-floor. The RCPs included a graphic symbol only for ceiling types C3 through C6, not for C1 and C2. For this reason, I was very dependent on the finish schedule and its alpha-numeric code. The finish schedule was part of the specification book so I separated it, made a copy of it and proceeded to highlight in yellow all rooms coded “C2” following the floor-by-floor, room-by-room matrix of the finish schedule. I then coordinated and transposed this onto the RCPs by floor and room for all rooms and areas where the finish schedule called for ceiling type C2. Because there were many conflicts between C1 and C2, I also denoted all type C1 ceiling types for clarity and assistance in resolving the FS/RCP conflicts between these two types of ceilings.

Since the ceiling height was given solely by the finish schedule, it was necessary to transpose these heights from the FS onto the RCPs for all of the rooms whereby fascias, soffits, lite coves, headers, etc., occurred. My previously prepared schematic height diagram told me how high the deck was but I also needed to know the ceiling heights in areas other than where type C2 ceilings occurred.

As you can now see, my schedule schematic established the criteria by which I was later able to color code the RCPs accurately. As it turned out, there were two other types of ceiling conditions on this job. One was a glass panel ceiling in the dining room and was coded “GL” on the finish schedule legend—not with a “C” prefix, as was the case for the other, more common ceilings. The other condition was the lack of a ceiling or exposed structure condition.

Normally, this would be coded “EXP” on the finish schedule legend but in this case the finish schedule had either a simple line through the box for the ceiling type or finish, the finish schedule code “CONC” (for concrete) or was left blank. In all three cases, it meant the same thing: exposed structure without a ceiling finish. Another variation that occurred many times was the inclusion of C2 with another ceiling type such as C2/C4 or C2/C3. In these cases, the C2 (gypsum board) typically was the border for a field of ceiling type C3 or C4.

Next month, we will continue our discussion of schematics with a look at a more complex example of a schedule schematic—that of a wall-type schematic schedule.