DID YOU KNOW?
“Detail matters in constructability.” Here’s a phrase that speaks volumes in the AEC industry. It is a phrase that is becoming more and more understood, by some. One might assume that it is being mostly spoken in the Architectural/Engineering world when, based on our communications, it’s most often being touted amongst construction trades. Why?
You could probably list several contributing factors: economic and liability factors in design; imposed schedules on design; insufficient knowledge of construction and operation; and perhaps even some element of apathy. Whatever other factors may also exist, the combined result is that we are told that it is hard to find an MEP firm that possess the traits to consistently offer the specifics that contractors need for a successful build. Among the many traits that Tom Green & Company Engineers, Inc. (TGCE) strives to continually offer is design thoroughness to address constructability. Also, we are told that by the construction community we are successful at it. How are we able to succeed in this offering? We think it is a combination of many things, most notably the experience we have gained, and continue to gain, through the range of services we provide.
In the past couple of years, our strong reputation in providing thorough and coordinated designs has led to our firm being asked to take a more active construction support role. Our colleagues in the construction industry have recognized our strengths in 3D design, coordination, and constructability, and have begun to use TGCE for shop drawing production, clash detection/resolution, and other BIM related services. Through these services, we have even better learned how things are actually getting built these days…and how they will actually be maintained. We logically apply this insight to our designs.
Our industry is also trending towards the “more for less” mentality. In construction, it goes kind of like this. More: spend a little more time and money early to better get things done right the first time (e.g., 3D modeling and coordination). Less: when you provide More, you will spend Less in labor, waste materials, change orders, RFIs, etc. As a living testament, some of our teams/clients have indicated up to 10-15% overall labor savings when this approach was used. (Tune into our next newsletter for observations about this More for Less trend in the design industry.)
We have consolidated and dubbed construction related services as our Construction Support Services (TGCE CSS). These services include, but are not limited to: project management (as an Owner’s representative); BIM integration (navisworks coordination); enhanced construction administration; commissioning (Cx); shop drawings preparation and their conflicts resolution; systems troubleshooting; and aiding in preparing/reviewing contractor qualification packages.
From concept to completion, whether our design or not, our firm merges experienced judgment, current and emerging technologies, and old fashioned hard work to create a path for success. What separates us from the others? Industry colleagues have told us we just seem to “care more”. So perhaps what is routine for us is viewed as going the extra mile in an effort to provide an innovative yet functional result, in both design and construction.
~ Greg Maxwell, LEED AP – Designer/Technologist