Early Involvement Leads to Client Wins | Lakewood Construction

Early Involvement Leads to Client Wins

Guest Post: Town & Country Group

The destination is always the same: successful delivery of a high-quality, high-performing building on time, on budget that meets the end-user’s needs and vision.

The path to completion depends on multiple factors, including design and system complexity, budget, conditions and more.

The path an owner chooses to bring together the team of trade contractors, construction manager, architects and engineers does affect the building’s destination. And while bringing trade contractors into the mix during the design phase might be assumed to increase construction costs, the opposite is the reality.

Trade contractors — professionals with years of experience who ultimately will physically construct the desired building — play an important role in its design. Their early involvement allows for more cohesive communication, preventing potential design conflicts, redundancy and confusion of responsibilities. They also have the ability to create a preliminary schedule to prevent scheduling conflicts and identify opportunities for prefabrication, early product procurement and more.

Town & Country Group’s reputation of providing Service Second to None never varies, regardless of client or delivery method. But being involved in the design process early allows us to be better stewards of our clients’ money and needs. Our experts know first-hand how to efficiently meet the building’s needs, eliminating unneeded materials and offering practical and lasting products. 

Designers and non-trade-specific engineers are not afforded the experience of piping eight sub-panels in a room the size of a postage stamp. But a journeyman-electrician-turned-estimator can quickly foresee and explain why more space is required and how the cost will be reduced. RFI’s, Addendums and Bulletins, which can lead to change orders and extra costs, also are avoided.

Town & Country Group recently won the bid for a multi-phase renovation project for a long-time healthcare client. We were brought in at the start of construction and quickly discovered conflicts with electrical panels. The panels designed and scheduled to be installed in later phases were actually needed in the first phase. By looking at the project as a whole from the very beginning, we were able to prevent change orders during the later phases.

Instead of installing the electrical panels in Phase 3 as designed, we installed them in Phase 2. As a result, we only needed short power shutdowns to rework the electrical panels in Phase 2 instead of a long shutdown that would have negatively affected the hospital’s daily procedures.

Examples of positive impacts on bringing trade contractors into the design process are endless, and by no means trade specific. All trade professionals, from electricians to glass suppliers, have stories of poor installations that could have been prevented had they been consulted.

Over the years, significant growth has led to the evolution of certain trade contractors. Professional trade contractors are now staffed with engineers and architects fully capable of delivering a warehouse through the design-build delivery method. And today, we have the design-assist delivery method, with the same professional trade contractors partnering with the design expertise of architects and engineers to deliver high-design and highly coordinated projects, such as hospitals, schools, aquatic centers and more.

The Holland Community Aquatic Center, Lakewood Construction, Town & Country Group and other trade contractors are currently teaming using the design-assist delivery method. As a professional trade contactor, we were brought on early after the conceptual phases. Together, we ensured the design meets the owners’ needs and can be constructed without finger-pointing. Together, we have ensured all of the needs are met while maintaining the budget.

The destination of a high-quality, high-performing building for the coming decades of the Holland Community is progressing, swimmingly.