Preconstruction Services

Tom Heisey, Our Senior Estimator, is responsible for cost control on all projects during the important preconstruction phase. All estimates are prepared using Timberline Estimating system which is able to transfer bid information from the original estimate through to the AIA billing.


Our estimating department is well equipped to provide a full range of estimating services including evaluation of architectural plans and specifications, quantity takeoffs, value engineering, comparisons of design alternatives, preparation of estimates from conceptual to competitive bid.


On all of our projects our estimators work closely with both the owner and design professionals to provide Value Engineering (VE) services that enable the project to be completed within the budget without impacting the design intent.


The first step in the preconstruction process would be to put together a master schedule of the preconstruction phase. This schedule would be created, updated and distributed for each meeting. The schedule would include input from all stakeholders and would contain time lines and milestones for design and budgeting activities during preconstruction.


During this estimating process our estimators will also be providing a Value Engineering report for consideration. They will work closely with all design professionals (architect, civil, structural, mechanical) to make sure that you get the most 'bang for the buck'. Their recommendations will be aimed at providing value; the right product for the best price without compromising the design intent.


They will work closely with the Architect to determine effective methods of construction(constructability reviews)prior to the development of detailed plans and specifications. They will also review the drawings at all critical phases to further evaluate the building systems, make recommendations regarding constructability and suggest alternate methods and materials as needed.


When the drawings are complete, they will solicit competitive bids from our subs and suppliers which will form the basis of the final estimate. CRD has developed ongoing relationships with some of the finest subcontractors and suppliers in the area. We maintain an active database of 1500 subs & suppliers who service the area with a committed core group of approximately 200 subcontractors and suppliers who perform the majority of our work. This group enables CRD to provide competitive pricing for all required trades.


All subcontractors will be preselected and invited utilizing 'win fax' followed up by personal phone calls by our estimating staff. This enables us to insure that we receive strong subcontractor coverage on all trades. Once the sub expresses interest, CRD prepares and transmits a bid package including all relevant plans and specs. Addendums are forwarded as required. We also maintain a plan room and encourage subs to come in to review the plans. Our estimators make themselves available for questions, clarifications etc.


As bids come in, our estimating staff log in and review each estimate to determine if the scope is covered, to identify exclusions, omissions, clarifications etc. Bids are collated by line item numbers in bid files for comparisons. Subcontractor prices are entered into Timberline (Estimating software) as part of the cost of construction with any adjustments made to insure that the line item is covered.


Once this is complete, our estimating department will present a spreadsheet that will clearly outline all costs associated with the project including a breakdown on each line item in all 16 divisions as well as costs for contingency, overhead and profit. We utilize an open book policy and would review each and every subcontractor and supplier bid that has been received with with recommendations for subcontractor selection. Once this process is complete, we will provide a Final Estimate for your consideration and approval. Once the price has been agreed upon, we can pre-order any material with long lead times.


During the construction phase, our Project Manager will be responsible for cost control. An extremely important area of cost control relates to change order management. While the construction management approach will certainly significantly minimize the number of change orders, it has been our experience that there will be some owner initiated change orders. CRD uses the Primavera change order management system to track all changes from the initial cost estimate through approval which will enable both the owner and architect to identify the impact of any change on overall project costs and schedule.


In addition to containing costs, it is also important to manage the quality, schedule and safety.The Following Is a Brief Explanation of Our Procedures.


Quality must start at the top of the organization and flow downward. I visit the project on a regular basis to ensure that the quality is meeting the standards originally set by my grandfather and would meet regularly with the project manager for status reports and updates.


Prior to construction, our Project Manager and Superintendent will review the plans and specifications with each subcontractor and supplier to ensure compliance. The Project Superintendent establishes quality benchmarks for all subcontractors and suppliers and provides ongoing monitoring throughout the course of the project. Within the last thirteen years Davis has won 40 awards for quality construction including 14 national awards.


Our Project Manager will provide a detailed computerized schedule in Gant Chart form that will highlight the critical path. This schedule will not only identify all construction activities and milestones, it will also include any events that will require special attention during the construction. In addition, the Project Manager will provide a submittal schedule which helps to facilitate decision making and insure the timely delivery of materials.


C. Raymond Davis (CRD) utilizes Primavera software programs to generate project schedules, submittals and various project management reports. For scheduling, we use SureTrak to generate both Gant & Pert charts. All submittals, punch lists and other project management activities are tracked using Expedition. Both schedules and submittal tracking reports are updated biweekly to insure that decisions, material selections & ordering, as well as, construction activities are performed in an expeditious manner. We are able to transmit and receive project drawings and sketches using email and have the ability to open and review them using AutoCAD 2000.


CRD has a comprehensive safety program headed up by Kyle Davis who serves as Safety Director. Kyle is supported by a safety officer who insures field compliance. The CRD superintendents are responsible for monitoring the safety of the project in areas such as: housekeeping/sanitation, fire protection/electrical installations, elevated work areas, hand tools, power tools, ladders/ scaffolding, motor vehicles/heavy equipment, personal protective equipment, trenching/excavation and cranes/hoists.


Toolbox meetings are conducted weekly as well to insure that each tradesman is constantly thinking 'safety'. A visit is made weekly by the safety officer to insure compliance, answer questions and provide support. Davis is recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors as a Platinum Award Winner for our safety program. Our approach to safety, and safety record, can give you the confidence to know that we will do everything possible to avoid accidents. We are cognizant of the fact that accidents can be both tragic and costly.


In the past we believed that building a quality building on time and within budget would necessarily equal client satisfaction. However, over the years we have found that there is more to Project Management than providing a product in the form of a well-constructed building; it also includes a service that begins in preconstruction, continues through the construction and ends sometime after the warranty period. Since this process typically takes several years, it is important that a good chemistry exist among all players and that the process be as painless as possible.


Construction by its very nature can cause anxiety and stress and it is our job to make sure that the owner and architect are as comfortable as possible during the entire process.


Toward that end our Client Services Coordinator contacts the owner and architect each month to insure that our team is meeting expectations. This information is passed on to the President and Project Manager as well. This regular customer contact has enabled us to head off potential problems quickly and effectively and has given our clients the assurance that we are practically committed to satisfying their unique requirements.


When the building is complete and the close out documents, we conduct a client satisfaction survey which enables us to monitor our services as perceived by the client and architect which in turn enables us to continually improve.






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