of mockup shop drawings, construction,
and reviews that may precede the main
sequence by 12 months or more. Defining
mockup scope via dedicated design documents, including both drawings and specifications, is an effective way to communicate expectations to all parties. Without
dedicated drawings and specs for the
mockup, there can be significant confusion
about the requirements of the mockup.
Acknowledging the mockup in the budget,
schedule, and documents vastly improves
the chance of success during the construction phase.
The design documents will define the
overall scope of the mockup. Scope includes
size, shape, amount of features, and level
of finish. For example, will the mockup be
only laboratory casework? Or will flooring,
ceilings, lighting, or mechanical equipment
be included? Will the mockup include final
finishes (painting, trim, sealants), or just
be a rough approximation of the overall
appearance? Also, equal to the scope, are the
logistics of the sequencing and location of
the mockup. Will the mockup be in-place?
Or stand alone? Will it be built ahead
of time (perhaps even during the design
phase)? Or will it be in-place just ahead of
final installation? These decisions will dra-
matically affect the cost, logistics, and the
potential impact of the mockup on the final
construction. In general, early mockups cost
more, but have more potential to improve
the final product. In-place mockups gener-
ally have minimal costs, but offer compara-
tively less opportunity to tweak the final lab
In the construction phase, it is important to get ahead of mockup construction as
early as possible. The first step is to execute
mock-up shop drawings very early, sometimes even in advance of structural steel
shops. This will allow the time necessary
for a quality review of product data, typical details, and the specific conditions of
the mockup prior to mockup installation.
Next, building the mock-up and conducting reviews in a timely manner is critical.
Documenting questions, comments, and
changes quickly will allow the team to
learn from the mockup and resolve issues
in a timely manner. This will allow the
architect and contractors to incorporate
revisions into the “final” shop drawings
and affect the final construction with a
minimum of schedule and cost impacts.
The final step is to use the revised shop
drawings to build the lab.
BUDGET- LAB CASEWORK VS MOCKUPS
Relative to the total cost of construction,
mockups are generally very inexpensive.
We believe they provide great value. A
range of mockup options are available,
with varying price points appropriate for
different levels of complexity and/or budget constraints. Even the most expensive of
mockups generally cost only a few percent
of the total cost of laboratory casework.
And these “expensive” mockups usually
contain components from other systems,
providing a “bonus” opportunity to test
out other project elements (lighting, door
hardware, ceiling systems / access, etc).
This gives the owner a dramatically more
useful way to “kick the tires” before the
project is completely built.
So what kinds of issues do we catch in
Many assume the architect views the
mockup process as an opportunity to
tweak finishes and continue designing
within the construction phase. This is
Mockup review for the UMass Amherst Physical Sciences Building.