PART THREE - WORKING WITH CONSULTANTS
’If they’re not calling, then they're not working on it.’
That is the first thing to remember. Don't wait for them to call. Make sure they know you expect them to meet the schedule. When you set up the schedule, consider intermediate checkpoints to review progress and facilitate coordination. Here is what we usually do for the design phases, along with some expectations of their phase deliverables. The percent complete refers to the architect's progress.
Schematic Design: 75% review - final review. During SD you will need to get out ahead of the consultants. The main thing you need from the consultants during SDs is feedback on adequacy of utilities, their location, systems they foresee, likely ceiling space needed for those systems and budget expectations.
Design Development: 40% review - 80% review - final review. During DDs you will need the consultants to start layouts, work out equipment locations, especially those that require space. They need to refine their thinking about the systems that will be used. By the end of the phase, the mechanical and electrical equipment locations should be nailed down with confidence. Main duct sizes and routes should be known. and verified that they fit. Get outline specs or at least cut sheets on the fixtures and fittings that are proposed.
Construction Documents: 30% review - 60% review - 90% review - final review. During CDs everything needs to come together for a final solution. For smaller jobs, you might change the reviews to 50-75-95-final because the consultants will find it hard to not just run with it. The review meetings serve two purposes - a chance to get everything discussed and coordinated, and a chance to make sure the consultants will meet the schedule. Particularly during CDs, these review meetings should involve the whole design team. The M/E or the Architect could host the meetings. Invite consulting disciplines to attend on a schedule that allows 30-45 minutes to discuss that discipline. The Architect and M/E project managers would attend all sessions. If the project has a Construction Manager, he would attend the whole meeting as well.
For the Bidding phase the only requirement for the consultants is to prepare their items for any addendum.
For Construction Administration the minimum that you will need from the consultants is to review the submittals for their discipline and to make two or three site visits with reports. How much more you wish them to do is variable. Some options are: attend progress meetings, more site visits, respond to Requests For Information, review percent complete of their discipline's work for the pay request review.
You can find the other Parts of this series here:
Part 1 - Background
Part 2 - Hiring
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