Our Process

PHILOSOPHY AND COMPONENTS OF OUR TEAM


Building Methodology

Our attitude to construction is no-nonsense but very sophisticated, open and sensitive.  Our job sites are orderly, clean and safe.  We evaluate and investigate all aspects of the project from several angles: practicality, cost and aesthetic considerations. We exercise skills that conventional projects don’t require.   For residential projects, no one is better at understanding that the spaces created for the owner will affect them and their family for as long as they reside in the home.  It is in bringing the beauty of the architect and owner’s vision to life that we find our satisfaction. 

The Components of our Typical Project Management Team

Principal:
Responsibilities include interfacing with design team members, reviewing design concepts for practicality, aesthetics and cost considerations, initial project setup, coordination with and establishment of the relationship between the owner, architect, engineers and the design team. 

Project Manager:
Responsibilities would include maintaining coordination between Lowell Construction and the design team.  Provide contract administration and management of subcontractors.  Review critical path schedule and maintain budgetary control.  Provide management and support to the project superintendent.  Oversee safety program.

Estimator & Scheduler:
Provide cost and scheduling analysis during Design Phase.  Establish schedule of values and track costs and actual schedule performance during Construction Phase. 

Project Superintendent:

Provide on-site supervision and management of subcontractors, employees, material ordering and delivery and quality control.  Provide timely information to architects relative to progress of the job and address any problems that may arise.  Hold weekly safety meeting and insure safety of job site.

Office Controller:
Responsibilities include preparation and submittal of billings, cost-to-date and budgetary analysis.

 

AN OVERVIEW OF PROJECT EVALUATION

  • Site access and usable staging areas: Review feasibility of types of hoisting based on protection of trees and vegetation.  If staging areas aren’t accessible by forklift, we may consider using a mini tower crane.  If we have to work near the drip line of a tree that needs to be saved, we have a detailed, established protocol given to us by a tree physiologist and verified in practical application for over fifteen years.  We also evaluate the health of the existing trees and surrounding vegetation before construction commences.
  • Location of utility trenches and meters: Planning and routing the trenches to the house in coordination with the architect and utility suppliers to minimize impact on the site.
  • Excavation: Excavation is evaluated when a geotechnical report is available. Site observations indicate the probability of encountering rock.
  • Mechanical routing and available spaces: Careful initial planning including the architectural team, engineers and subcontractors so that finish spaces are not compromised.  It is important to have subcontractors identified, so that they can participate and provide feedback on implementing the design.  We often provide redundant conduit or piping to accommodate potential changes.  Make-up air locations are important for proper functioning and aesthetics.  It is critical to locate foundation wall penetrations, both for waterproofing and visual considerations.
  • Waterproofing and site drainage systems: Careful review with architect and our recommendations based on site conditions and topography.
  • Material identification and sourcing: We have extensive resources for stone and wood nationwide.  We have been developing these sources for many years. Many of them are local sources for quarries, stone cutting and finishing, metals and casting, and lumber products.
  • Electrical and lighting layout: A careful review is made for potential conflicts with structural and mechanical systems.  Depth of fixtures, control and transformer locations, and switch and light layout are all-critical.
  • The necessity of protecting structural elements that are also finishes: Careful sequencing and evaluating the schedule in terms of maintaining the integrity of the structural/finish elements is essential.  Materials and methods used for protection must be considered.
  • Storage of Materials: Past experience has shown the necessity for having long-lead items identified, ordered and delivered for storage to our shop.  It is critical to have plumbing fixtures and hardware delivered, unpacked, inspected and inventoried.  It inevitably happens that there are pieces missing or damaged.  If there are problems, this enables us to reorder and have replacements here before the schedule is affected.  Quarried stone needed for a spring installation needs to be delivered either to the site or to our yard the previous autumn, as quarries typically shut down in the winter months.
  • Security issues: We make a strong effort to maintain client privacy.  We do not use the owner’s name; the project is referred to with a four-letter code.  If possible, the site is secured with a gate at the entrance.  All personnel must check in at the job site office.  Subcontractors and suppliers are required to identify everyone who is on the job.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF OUR SERVICES

Preconstruction Services

  • Scope Planning, Definition and Verification
  • Activity Sequencing
  • Activity Duration Estimating
  • Schedule Development
  • Resource Planning
  • Cost Estimating
  • Quality Planning
  • Communications Planning
  • Risk Identification
  • Procurement Planning
  • Recommendation of methods, materials and systems based on both cost and architectural requirements.
  • Participate in coordinating HVAC, electrical and plumbing design drawings with     structural requirements and utilities.
  • Coordination of all utility service providers.
  • Provide samples and mock-ups as desired by architects and owners.
  • Submit for permits and approvals.
  • Issue Notice of Commencement with issuance of building permit.


Cost EstimatinG

On going throughout the project.  Initial estimates are important for owner feedback and will allow design changes if desired.


Value Engineering and Scheduling

We feel our input and experience in making suggestions for value engineering is important, particularly in regard to methods and practicality of installations.  Scheduling is a vital component of this process.  We involve subcontractors, suppliers and coordinate closely with the architect’s team.  Submittal review, approval, ordering and delivery dates are addressed in detail.  Subs are given an overall schedule as well as a discreet schedule relative to their activity. Weekly on-site safety and procedural meetings helps to maintain the schedule.

Construction Service provided during Construction Phase

  • Obtain all governing agency approvals
  • Provide affidavit of Contractor’s Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Provide Project Superintendent (full time on site)
  • Provide Project Manager/Coordinator
  • Provide Temporary Facilities (job site trailer, drinking water, telephone and fax, power to trailer, toilets)
  • Provide and maintain construction schedule
  • Review budgets
  • Review qualification of bids received
  • Coordinate all related items between local governing authorities, architects, engineers, consultants and subcontractors
  • Coordinate safety program
  • Maintain cost accounting records
  • Review and recommend necessary changes to Architect and Owner
  • Review submittals, shop drawings and product samples
  • Provide progress reports to Architect and Owner of daily activities
  • Provide protection and security of Owner purchased materials, systems and equipment until installed
  • Final inspection
  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
  • Certificate of Occupancy

Follow Up Services

  • Provide owner with detailed Operations and Maintenance Manual. Provide CD with photos of all as-built conditions, clearly labeled for ease of use
  • Provide video of same as desired
  • In-depth walk-through with owner, architect and/or maintenance personnel to review operation and maintenance of critical systems
  • Provide on-going consultation to owner and owner’s representative at all times
  • Assist in recommending and assessing service contracts