Friday, January 30, 2009

Integrated Design Question

From "LEED Accredited Professional" group on LinkedIn:

Wondering how to conduct an integrated design for a public project that must be bid out? How does one get contractors involved in the process? Anyone with experience on this? - Heather McGuire

This issue comes up in any traditional design-bid-build job (public or private). How do you have an "integrated" design when one of the key parties is not at the table? Similar issue if you're trying for integrated design in a speculative building when you don't have an operator or a tennant identified. I don't think there is an easy / one-size-fits-all answer, but you need to find a proxy for the missing party. If you don't have a GC on board, you can hire a Construction Manager as advisor during the design process and he or she can represent the contractor. Even if you can't go with a CM, lots of public bid jobs let you hire a Cost Estimator who could serve the purpose (a good Estimator can also talk about constructability). If no CM or Estimator is on board, the Project Manager could wear this hat. As a last resort, the Architect and Engineers can get preliminary costs for the various design options by calling vendors and sub-contractors. You might also invite a number of GC's to the design charettes with no promise of future work, but a definite advantage when it comes time to bid.

On a somewhat related note, it might be helpful to follow a formal Integrated Design process (something like ANSI WSIP - include as a contract requirement of all consultants) and use Life Cycle Costing to evaluate your different design options. For LCC, it is easier if you look at your costs using UniFormat (arranged by system) instead of MasterFormat (arranged by material) to really identify the trade-offs. You might also want to bring in your Commissioning Authority early (conceptual or schematic design) and have him/her participate in the charette process. This way the CxA can help pull together the Owner's Project Requirements early in design so the design team can refer to them in each of their design submittals. - Nathan

No comments:

Post a Comment