Credit: Original article published here.
Howdy partner, this is Cowboy Kev from the Wild Wells West where the girls carry six-shooters and the sheep run scared. I’m here to let you know that one of the most powerful things to do within the construction industry is to figure out how to “Partner” and who to “Partner” with. Now we aren’t talking about a square dance partner, or a partner for life (even though some of the same concepts apply) we are talking about a project partner.
In this new age of specialization, the concept of a project partner is someone who can bring knowledge, expertise and – above all – trust to the project. The intent of partnering is to bring your partners on early to assist in design and pricing in order to get to a concept budget and to see if a project is financially viable. These partners are usually your major subcontractor trades – civil, structure, MEP, and glazing, to name a few. From there, the partners assist in the early project development to control costs and develop the project schedule.
Now you may be asking, “Why?”
Or, potentially, “Why is a precaster blogging about this?”
First thing’s first, the why is because of the cost factors. Trusted partners will lead you down a road with accurate pricing, and the knowledge of how to maintain that pricing through the challenges that every project has. There is no hidden agenda or change orders later to help cover a short bid. These partners can then work together to get a viable solutions early in a project to keep project costs in line.
Now, why is a precaster blogging about this? Well, precast in the Wild Wells West has been a building system that has been developed specifically on this concept, and is always built on relationships to both assist and provide the economy that owners want, as well as a schedule that general contractors need. Some people will tell you that this is called “design-build.” In the Wild Wells West it is just called PRECAST. Precast was in the design-build market before design-build was even a buzz word. Precasters have the knowledge and skills to get a structure built with economical spans for structural engineers, beautiful exterior skins for architects, and all the while supplying both schedule for the GC and cost certainty for the owner. Everyone ends up happy…except those steel folks.
So, bring your trusted precaster into the mix early and often to allow for their knowledge and skills to guide the project in an economical and efficient design and install. Some of the knowledge benefits that your trusted precaster can bring are:
- Design team can have a clear direction on drawings and precaster and other trades can guide cost impact as things change
- GC can better track budget
- Owner can insure cost
- Precaster can help model and assist in layouts
- Precaster can work more efficiently- early and accurately
- Precaster can ask guided questions as project develops
- Early collaboration allows design team to minimize rework
- Knowledge examples for a parking garage:
- Garage venting and Cabling
- Snow removal
- Finish clarification/Aesthetics
- Interface with other trades –
- Foundation interface
- ADA access/fire ratings
- Expansion joints
- Misc metals interface
- Galvanizing education
- Lateral concerns
- Erection access and stability concerns
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