The design and construction process in America has greatly evolved over the past 30 years. Competition and the demand for building construction have forced the need for smarter and faster methods and managers. The process, until about 1970, required architects and the general contractors, to provide lump sum bids based on the plans and specifications.
That process became mired in conflicts with building code changes, cost over-runs, and late starts due to the very nature of the process. Plans needed to be completed long before the owner would have a firm price. More often than not, it meant "back to the drawing table" to scale back the plans and scope of work. Something needed to be done to bring the builder into the process sooner.
The budget needed to evolve with the design process. With the advent of new materials and systems, and the design of more complicated buildings, there was an increased demand for input regarding current costs, methods, and scheduling of the construction.
A NEW APPROACH KNOWN AS DESIGN+BUILD,has since evolved as a new and improved process. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized and supported Design+Build as a way of bringing a higher standard to the construction industry. Currently there are several AIA contracts that are designed for the owner, architect and contruction team. Northpoint Construction Services, Inc. recommends the DESIGN+BUILD approach and the use of AIA documents for all projects, large and small.
HOW THE DESIGN+BUILD APPROACH WORKS FOR YOU - This method of construction delivery allows the selection of all the sub-contractors under the supervision and coordination of our team in direct relationship and control with the owner. We provide total management and clear information to the owner, making the most cost-efficient decisions as a team with the owner. In addition, Issues such as insurance and operations are reviewed very early on with the client.
The selection and pre-qualifying of subcontractors to bid the work is the next step. The sub contractor company will be selected for its ability to perform the best job, and/or by being the lowest bidder.
THE PRE-CONSTRUCTION PHASE - The Pre-Construction Phase is as important to a successful project as a strong footing is to a tall building. As your construction manager, Northpoint provides many important services to you and your architect that will improve the quality, value and schedule of the project before the work begins. We use a fast track schedule to facilitate a faster start even before the design is completed. Many activities need to be performed concurrently such as value engineering, permitting and final design. We will develop and maintain a comprehensive CPM schedule that will maximize all resources. We will develop and continually monitor the construction cost budget during the procurement process. Northpoint is a customed to the LEEDS rating system and documentation.
We have the "Know How" that comes from many years of field experience to apply input early on in your project - when it means the most. We think about and don't lose track of the little details that insure a cost effective and smooth project completion for the buyer, suppliers, sub contractors and the builder.
As your construction company, we automatically focus on three things:
- How we are going to build it
- How long will it take
- How much will it cost
PRE CONSTRUCTION PLANNING AND VALUE ENGINEERING SAVES TIME AND MONEY - It is important to consider the enormous costs involved when you find out a month after the plans are complete that you are way over budget and the plans will need to be changed - or completely redrawn. Architectural fees will increase, and the time lost can be staggering. We do the value engineering as the plans are being developed. If the design is getting too pricey, we are there to help identify those issues while the plans are still in progress with you and the architect.
THE PRELIMINARY BUDGET AND THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS - Continual re-evaluation goes on during both phases until all contracts are written and executed. It begins when the owners accept the preliminary plans and is completed after all contract documents are written and drawn and contractors have had time to provide final prices. In the first stage of procurement pre-qualified contractors are asked to provide rough estimates based on the preliminary plans. We then combine these estimates with other resources to develop a preliminary budget. This lets the owner know if the preliminary design is pushing the budget too high, or if there is room to expand their ideas further. This is one of the distinct advantages of the DESIGN+BUILD approach.
BENEFITS TO YOU: We save time by working with you through the Design and Permitting phases. We will fast track your project from start to finish. We will review, with you, all the bids and comparison pricing to insure the "best value for dollars spent". We can work together to keep costs down.
THE CONTRACT FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES - The AIA contract form (AIA 131CM/c) goes into great detail about all of the responsibilities of the Architect, the owner and the Construction Manager. The Sub Contractors will be held to the terms that apply to them in this agreement and in the AIA Document A201, which is made part and parcel to all subcontract agreements.
CONSTRUCTION PHASE OF YOUR PROJECT - The Construction Management and General Contractor work the same way during construction. We send the final plans out for final bids, write the contracts with the Subs, prepare the schedule, etc. There are a couple of very distinct differences, though. The main one is the owners involvement in the process. With Construction Management, the Owner has final say in who is hired to perform each and every trade. Like most General Contractors, your Construction Manager has no "in-house" trades.