The last month has been an extremely busy one – hence my lack of writing and of doing pretty much anything else as well! At work I have been preparing a full set of working drawings for some flats with an external insulation and render system, the first time I have had to specify one.

The thing about doing such an exercise is that I find I not only build the structure on the page but I need to create a virtual building in my imagination. Every component, every intersection, every material needs to be considered and in order to do so I find I create an idea of the building. If asked I can describe any part of it that I have drawn and how that relates to the others.

These drawn areas are, if you like, the areas on the map that are well travelled and described. The terra incognita in between is much less defined and the trick is to make sure that nothing of interest or of unique character is left unvisited.

Now I am busy creating the written specification. This is where the building is described down to the very screws, nuts and bolts. Strangely this is much vaguer than the drawings, much less unique, as many clauses could be used to describe many other buildings whereas the drawings will be mainly specific to this project.

By the end of such a process my mind is full of the building, I have built it in my head and there is not much space left over. Then I pass the drawings and information on and the idea of it fades as the real building grows.