Project Development Changes

​Procedural Changes in the Project Planning, Design and Construction Process 

marsh fork es.jpgFor some time the School Building Authority has experienced problems with the project development, planning, design and construction process. Project scope creep and budget deficits are not being addressed in the pre-submission and planning phase of the projects where the staff of the SBA has not been engaged in these early phases over the past few years. Too often these problems have led to costly resolutions later in the design or construction phases. 
The introduction of our Construction Analysis has been very beneficial during the design phase and together, working with the staff of the SBA, we have been able to address problems with excessive square footage and costly design details. This partnership has saved over $8,000,000 in construction costs and avoided several million dollars in construction change orders. However, neither the SBA nor the Construction Analyst is a party to the Construction Contracts and our comments are not always incorporated into the bidding documents by the design firms. 
Revised project development and project delivery strategies are needed to allow the staff of the SBA more involvement and control of the projects. The creation of new policy will provide greater SBA control over future projects from the Development Phase through the Construction Phases. Below is a summary of several procedural changes that will be required to effectuate these changes. 

Project Development

1. Create requirements that engage the SBA Staff in the project selection process at the local level, and involved in the development of the project scope, budget and schedule.
2. Establish most advantageous project delivery method (design/bid/build, design/build, single-prime, multiple-prime) as the project is developed.
3. Provide advice and consent on the site selection process and the site development cost. Establish minimum site study requirements (geo-technical, architectural and environmental studies) and building siting to minimum site preparation cost. Also, establish a fair maximum budget amount that the SBA will pay for site development.
4. Create requirements for establishing reliable budgets.

Educational Planning

1. Create an Educational Planning process within the SBA Office. The staff will directly assist the county with creating the Educational Plan and develop the program of spaces to be needed for building design.
2. Control the scope creep of the project during the Educational Planning stage to prevent budget shortfalls during the Design phase that cause delays and costly redesign.

Project Design / Phase Involvement

1. Create minimal building energy design standards.
2. Consider adoption of owner-friendly contract documents.
3. Coordinate SBA/CA/CM design document review comments and require design firms to incorporate these comments into the bidding documents.
4. Require architects to consider alternative design models and construction materials and methods.
5. Create Statewide and Project specific requirements for the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and require Architects/Engineers, Construction Managers, and Contractors to use for project design and construction coordination.

Project Management Control

1. Create policy and procedures that intervene in the architect/contractor relationship.
2. Create Grant Contract and design/construction contract language that establishes a relationship with the SBA, County Board of Education, and Construction Analyst, Construction Managers or Clerk of the Works.
3. Establish SBA contractual agreement with construction management firms that will be assigned to projects by the SBA based on project scope and complexity.
Image above: Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County, courtesy of Williamson Shriver Architects