Slide Sample

Is Perfection Possible? Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction

Results of a study performed by AIA's Large Firm Roundtable and industry partners, on identifying and managing uncertainty in building projects.


All participants of a building project can agree the process of getting things designed and built is not perfect.  Yet at the end of a project, the high expectations by the building parties are met with bickering and accusations of the results not meeting the idea of how the project was supposed to turn out. Much has been written about the theory of managing uncertainty in building projects but actual hard data and research into “real world” situations has not been conducted and aggregated until recently.

The AIA Large Firm Roundtable in conjunction with partners in the building industry and with the involvement of clients from a variety of industries published study results entitled Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction. In this course, the speakers illuminate the big ideas from this study and connect how managing the top factors contributing to uncertainty can lead to better project collaboration and mutual understanding of what degree of uncertainty is reasonable for a building project no matter what size or number of building parties involved.

The course will discuss the essential principals of the architect’s standard of care, detail the statistics and metrics of the study, and conclude with the speakers in a panel discussion including the participation of Thompson E. Penney, FAIA LEED AP, the President/CEO of LS3P Associates Ltd. and a former president of the AIA.

Learning objectives

  • Understand baseline expectations for things to “go wrong” across a number of project types, team structures, and delivery methods.
  • Develop capability to assess how good a “good project” really is against an objective baseline.
  • Identify tools and processes that can mitigate problems and improve project team performance.
  • Understand how to help clients plan, budget, and manage projects for expected level of uncertainty.
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Average: 4.5 (55 votes)
 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.25 LUs
  • RIBA


  • Clark Davis, FAIA

    Clark S. Davis


    Principal Consultant | Cameron MacAllister Group

    Clark has led the “Managing Uncertainty” research project for the AIA Large Firm Roundtable and...
  • Stephen A. Jones

    Stephen A. Jones

    Senior Director, Industry Insights Research | Dodge Data & Analytics

    Steve is a globally recognized expert in how emerging economic, practice and technology trends are...
  • R. Craig Williams

    R. Craig Williams

    AIA, Esq.

    Chief Legal Officer and Principal | HKS Architects, Inc.