Case Study 1
$125,000 NEW RIGHT TURN LANE REQUIRMENT
SOLUTION: Capital AEC Turned this into a cost of $0 and a project savings of $125,000.
The City was requiring the project owner to install a new right turn lane on the street in front of the project. In order to grant the project approvals, the City was requiring this new right turn lane at the sole expense of the project owner. The scope of work included: new curb and gutter; new sidewalk; relocation of a fire hydrant; relocation of the street light; and a few related items. The cost of this was estimated to be $125,000.
This particular City was requiring other (but not all) developments to install a right turn lane as part of the approval process.
The CEO of Capital AEC set up a meeting with the City Manager (the most senior staff member in the City). Discussions were brought up that, while a new right turn lane at the project owner’s expense had been required in some of the new developments in that city, it was not required in many developments under the same circumstances. Due to this fact and the fact that the project owner did not have the financial means to fulfill this requirement, the project owner was unable and unwilling to complete this item. After several meetings, the right turn lane requirement was completely waived.
Most design professionals follow the strict instructions of the City without too much question. However, since Capital AEC is a “Project Developer,” we are the advocate of the owner and it is our role to think like the owner. Our development team has the experience to work through numerous issues such as this and to obtain a successful outcome.
CASE STUDY 2:
At the Final Construction Inspection, the inspector is requiring over $50,000 worth of handicap concrete ramps at all 7 exits
Capital AEC turned this into a Cost of $3,000 and a Project Savings of $47,000.
The project had successfully obtained planning approv- als, architecture and engineering approvals, obtained construction permits, and completed all the construction per the approved plans. The construction team was requesting final sign off of all field work, and all work on the plans was signed off. The inspector would not sign off the project until the project owner built new ramps at all 7 exits and also created an ADA walkway from the curb to the front door. Capital AEC received a phone call from one of the Contractors requesting that the Architect immediately begin the design of the newly required ramps.
The American Disability Act is a Federal Act that sets guidelines on handicap access and other items. The Cities are required to follow this Act.
Capital AEC went down to the City and requested a meeting with the head building official to discuss the issue at hand. Capital AEC was told that the head building official was unavailable. The representative from Capital AEC politely stated that he would wait here until he was available due to the importance of the issue. Less then 5 minutes later, the Head Building Official came out to the lobby and a time was set to meet at the site. The meeting at the site began with the Capital AEC representative stating that the project desired to comply with all requirements but it was also pointed out that this issue was brought up for the first time on the final day of inspection. Capital AEC worked in a collaborative manner to comply with the ADA federal requirements which included some minor work at the front / main entrance and also some relocating of the handicap parking stalls. This issue which began as an additional project requirement, which would have cost over $50,000, ended up being completed for less then $3,000.
Both the Contractor and the Architect were eager to move forward on the field inspector’s requests which would have cost the project a minimum of $50,000 in additional costs. But Capital AEC worked as the project’s advocate, and with persistence, professionalism and experience, was able to save the project $47,000 in the final days of the project.
CASE STUDY 3:
Doorway costing $40,000
Capital AEC turned this into a Cost of $0 and a Project Savings of $40,000.
Capital AEC was in the middle of completing the Engineering drawings. As standard practice for Capital AEC, we were examining various construc- tion processes to narrow down the project’s final costs in the specific areas. The Structural Engineer was requiring one of the existing main walls to be sheered. The process consists of applying plywood along the entire wall, from the concrete floor to the roof framing. This is always a difficult and expensive process and sometimes it cannot be avoided. Capital AEC requested a specific explanation as to why the Structural Engineer was requiring this existing wall to be sheered. No conclusive answers were given. Therefore Capital AEC made several information requests regarding the same question to both the Structural Engineer and the Architect. Finally, it was stated that a new proposed small doorway along this wall was the cause for this sheer wall requirement.
Even when remodeling an existing building, new codes take effect over the remodeled area. This means that new earthquake codes can require the project owner to make structural improvements to comply with the latest codes.
The small proposed new doorway would have cost less than $2,000 without the sheer wall requirement. However because of the sheer wall requirement, this proposed new doorway would cost $40,000. After understanding the issues, the project decided not to install the new doorway and the project costs were reduced by $40,000.
The Architect and the Structural Engineer did not have the courtesy to simply notify the project that the new proposed doorway was the reason for the costly sheering. Instead they simply took the time to design the sheer wall and put it on the plans. This issue was only flushed out due to the persistence of Capital AEC. If the project did not have Capital AEC as their independent project advocate / developer / project manager, they would have paid $40,000 for a doorway that was not necessary.