By Bill Fairbanks, CSI, CDT
Robot for CSI
Last week I learned that we now use robots to layout partition lines on the concrete slabs. The robot can mark floors with drywall layouts faster than expert installers can with tape measures and chalk lines. Of course, using the robot is reducing the number of workers in the layout crew.
Consider this. A chalk line is a work product based on graphic information. It communicates specific data for a builder’s use in producing the work. Back in the day, a person decided what the builder needed to know, referred to the drawings, determined which controls were applicable and used standardized tools to produce these guide lines. Layout work is like writing specifications! Sort of. The process seems similar. At least the methods are similar but the goals are different.
The chalk line is about where. Specifications are about what. The goal of most construction specifiers is to determine which groups of competing products match the designer’s vision with the best value for the Owner and then communicate that information in a practical way. Selecting the various products and the correct features requires a high level of decision making. Technology helps us to sort through the data but computers may never be able to decide what to specify.