“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin
The greatest impact on any construction project is best realized early in the process, during the concept phase– even before design has begun. Hemmer takes a proactive approach to preconstruction. Its overarching goal is to provide the owner with valuable insight on which to make sound decisions.
Determining the feasibility of the project
Hemmer’s initial goal is to assist the owner in determining the feasibility of a project—not only from a financial standpoint but from a schedule and constructability standpoint. A professional preconstruction program will also factor in the future expansion plans of the company, as well as the ultimate disposition of the building. Although the Hemmer design build method provides the earliest commitment of project cost and schedule, it also examines potential issues which could delay occupancy or substantially influence the long-term viability of a project. The goal is to eliminate surprises early by identifying significant red flags that could jeopardize the project.
Assessing current market conditions
Regulations, labor capacity, financial markets, international relations, as well as a host of other considerations that are out of owner and contractor control, can substantially impact the viability of a project. These can include rising commodity prices, tariffs and other long-lead items that could otherwise delay occupancy. Understanding these risks is critical to developing a master strategy that minimizes the potential impact of things that are out of the construction team’s control.
Identifying and Managing a strong subcontractor team
One of the most important aspects of the preconstruction process is the selection of potential subcontractors that have a proven track record for success in projects that are similar in nature to the one being considered. In addition, sites and buildings are like fingerprints—no two are the same. Therefore, it is important to develop a clear scope of work that defines the project for the subcontractor team. A good scope of work provides clarity and helps to facilitate the bidding process, which also leads to more accurate estimates.
Evaluating present cost versus future value
Value engineering is often perceived to be synonymous with cost savings as a way to lower the project budget. In reality, value engineering is an ongoing process that should begin in the preconstruction phase of a project. Hemmer’s approach to value engineering emphasizes value received as opposed to concentrating only on first cost. Maintainability of building systems, operating costs, function and energy consumption are all important factors which should be weighed in the evaluation of alternative design and methods.
Ultimately, a professional and thorough approach to preconstruction will enable an owner to incrementally test the viability of a project in order to limit the financial risks associated with design or acquiring a property that may ultimately not be viable. Hemmer’s knowledge and more importantly, its experience, is based on nearly 100 years of expertise.