Shakilah gets her groove back while working on the exciting Sports Hub project, in spite of her initial set back of a disheartening clientele rejection.
“The detailing part was quite tough initially… until I started to take notice of shelters, walkways… wherever I walked.”
The Sports Hub is the next big development happening in Singapore. Even in its construction phase,
the complex breathes inspiration even as its skeletal dome-shaped architecture comes to life. By April 2014, the unique fully retractable dome-roof will be yet another worldwide iconic building for Singapore.
AcePLP CAD Engineer Nur Shakilah Bte Mohd Zahren, plays an integral role in assisting our client YJ International with this exciting project. She works closely with a small team of six (comprising 2 Project Manager/ Engineer, 2 Designers, 2 CAD personnel) to create comfortable walkways around the complex, ensuring that visitors are coolly sheltered from the sweltering heat or falling rain typical of Singapore’s weather.
Reporting directly to the designers, she has been charged with drafting the architectural and structural details for the canopy link ways, 48 in total. On a daily basis, she re-draws and inserts details into existing canopy drawings.
“I cannot wait to see the project build up!” She says, bubbling with enthusiasm.
What aspects of the canopy link ways do you currently handle ?
Initially, I was tasked to do structural amendments, but after some time, I was given the opportunity to take on structural and architectural detailing work too. Specifically, I assist the detailing designer to work out interfacing details for the joining of separate canopies, and produce the section drawings by incorporating architectural details. I also create shelter’s roofing detail layouts for fabrication purposes.
I am in charge of drawing the structural framing of the canopy, according to the structural designer’s framing plan and load bearing calculations. I would follow the structural designer’s calculations tabulated, then come up with the framing drawing to indicate where each structural member (such as a beam or column) is in order to produce the sections drawings. In addition, I also liaise with the structural designer to check that the details for each individual canopy comply with its load bearing.
Why was it challenging at the beginning and how did you overcome the problems ?
When I first started my assignment at YJ International, I had no specialized knowledge in Architectural and Structural drafting so it was tough when I asked to assist in interfacing designs of the canopies. I was quite lucky though, because I was assigned there before the drawings were finalized, so I had lead time to study the drawings and understand them. I also tried my best to learn as much as possible from the designers as the project progressed.
The detailing part was quite tough initially because I had never seen canopy drawings before. I found it difficult to comprehend and visualize how the actual canopies look like….until I started to take notice of shelters, walkways and other similar structures’ details wherever I walked. For example, on my way home, I started to look for and observe shelters that are quite similar to the drawings I am working on. It helps me to understand better
Sounds like you have gotten a hang of it already. Does that mean it’s all smooth sailing now?
Not yet…I still face problems especially since there are so many drawings to work on. When the drawings are submitted, comments would keep rolling in and it always seems that all drawings are urgent. But I do not know for sure which are the ones to focus on. So I learned to always check with the client on for the most urgent drawings before proceeding. It is important to clarify with your client on the level of urgency so as to prioritize correctly. pan>
Is your ultimate goal to become a designer?
At present I am not too sure. My clients at YJ have been asking me to consider this route, but I have not considered that far yet. Based on what I have seen, a good Designer needs to come up with every detail in the overall design and has a very sure design intent, so that a drafter can input and execute clearly according to the designer’s plan. I do not know whether I can achieve this yet though, but it is a possible option to explore at a later date. Right now I am just focusing on learning as much as possible in my current role.
“This assignment has given me back my confidence because the team I work with trust me”
Which part of the in-house training is helping you the most onsite?
The shortcuts our inhouse trainers, Dave and Jack, taught us, are really useful. They help me do my work quickly and accurately. I was even able to pick up a lot more shortcuts in the course of my work, such as an amazing Align Command, to align drawing angle, which is faster that rotating it. It was a Eureka! moment when I learned it from one of the Designers.
Despite facing initial client rejection of your work, are you proud of what you have accomplished on this project so far ?
Yes! I am quite amazed at the amount of drafting and detailing work I have done, but I know that I still have so much to learn.
When I was rejected from my first assignment after just 8 days , I felt very upset and demoralized, but I realized that my rejection was because I had not really grasped the shortcuts in AutoCAD sufficiently. As a result, the client found me slow and inefficient in my work.
However, this assignment has given me back my confidence because the team I work with trust me to complete my work on time and I also have a better grasp of my AutoCAD skills. Now I know that I am capable of learning continuously and translating what I have learnt into my work.
You go girl! We can already see you taking long strolls under the canopy walkway next year, beaming with pride at your completed masterpiece.