Program Recap

CONSTRUCTION…DECONSTRUCTED

February 17, 2016

A panel of contractors and Owners gave firsthand accounts of what it’s like being in the construction industry in 2016. Check out the panelists' bios here.

Trent Prim, of Prim Construction, , shed light on the challenges of cost estimating. He stated that telling a client a project was under-bid is never an easy conversation. His solution is to work with Owners who understand that the economy is in constant fluctuation. He also stressed the importance of the client/contractor relationship saying, “We pick our Owners just as much as they pick us. We can’t be all things to everyone". 

Gary Griffith of Fort Worth ISD, , provided an Owner’s perspective on the topic saying “We are all living the reality of building things that were priced in a different economy”.  A great example, is that the recent low fuel prices have allowed a lot more bang for your buck for cities as well as school districts across North Texas. 

Glenn Balog with the City of Fort Worth @cityoffortworth shared the benefits of over estimating the project cost. In 2009, Fort Worth ISD constructed an entire school with the additional funds that were available after over estimating construction costs on a Bond Program. He also stressed the importance of voting for bond packages because it is the only way schools receive funding for repairs and new construction. Wayne Warren with AECOM  agreed with Glenn stating, "Every one of us in this industry is looking for cost certainty." Warren went onto say that "the delivery method is key."

Josh Minor with Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, , and Gary Griffith shared the importance of the technology. They shared a software example that allows clients to walk through new or old construction with a tablet and see the location of plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems within the walls. This high-tech software may seem like something from a futuristic movie, but believe it or not it is available now — for a price. Many find themselves asking, “Is the product worth the cost?” But Owners benefit from this software by being able to address issues in the future such as pipe leaks and electrical short circuits.    

New construction is something that the DFW Metroplex is accustomed to. Jorden Dial with Joeris General Contractors, , was quoted saying, “Bizznow shared that DFW beat out Northern NJ and is now ranked fourth in new construction in 2015”. This is great news for the construction industry as well as A/E firms across North Texas.

As always, we want to say a huge thank you to our panelists for all they shared with us. We also want to show appreciation for our moderartor, Rachel Vogel Marker, the managing director of EMRAES, a consulting firm focused on all aspects of the Architectural, Engineering and Construction Industry. Marker was the founding President of the SMPS Fort Worth chapter and remains active in the association.

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