Estimating and Preconstruction Phase

Ultimately, we view our role in the construction process as that of agent to the owner.   Our goal is to maximize value for our owner.  We believe the fundamental building block for any relationship to be our ability to perform preconstruction services.  While the majority of our recent work has been commercial and municipal, all of our clients have one thing in common, they are budget sensitive.  Each and every project we are involved with allows an opportunity for value engineering and cost savings.  We believe our longstanding relationship with many of our clients, including the Town of Vail, The Vail Recreation District, the Vail Valley Foundation and Wright and Company, is in part due to our ability to provide comprehensive and accurate cost estimating and value engineering.

Methodology

Viele Construction, Inc. prepares initial estimates from a conceptual design and outline specifications. As the design progresses and construction documents become available and more detailed, we continue updating the estimate with subcontractor and supplier input until all areas of work have been priced accurately.  We prepare estimates in-house and perform quantity take offs both for design development phase estimates, as well as to verify subcontractor bids.

Pre-Construction Services Provided:

  • Preliminary evaluation of the Master Schedule and budget.
  • Revision of the construction budget as required throughout the preconstruction phase.
  • Provide  advice and recommendations on the feasibility and economic implication of various construction methods, availability of materials and labor, time requirement for procurement, installation and construction and factors related to cost including, but not limited to, costs of alternative designs or materials, preliminary budgets and possible cost savings.
  • Construction schedule development and revision.
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis.
  • Contract document development and coordination with the Owner and the Architect.
  • Subcontractor pre-qualification.
  • Value engineering through internal development and solicitation from subcontractors.
  • Development of a final GMP.
  • Conduct pre-award conferences with successful bidders.  Inform successful bidders of scheduling requirements, limits of construction, parking, delivery, storage, clean-up requirements, importance of minimizing impact on business operations.
  • Assist in obtaining building permits.

Subcontractor Pre-Qualification and Selection Process

100% of our subcontracts are awarded through a competitive process, the majority of which are a bid.  We can demonstrate this process through our success on projects we have bid as an organization and through our long list of municipal projects, which are required by law to be competitive in nature.

Our bid process is as follows:

Once a preliminary budget is established that is economically achievable for the owner, the project will be bid out to a minimum of three subcontractors per division or trade. Prior to the bid, our firm evaluates the work to be completed in each trade and organizes each division bid package accordingly.  Instructions are provided for each division or work zone to ensure that our bidders understand what is being requested of them and to make bids easier to evaluate.  We currently maintain a subcontractor database of over 1,500 pre-qualified local and regional subcontractors and vendors from which to solicit bids for your project and are more than willing to review and receive bids from preferred subcontractors of other members of the team. Because we perform commercial and residential work, we are able to leverage more effectively to obtain better pricing.  In addition, our extensive mountain experience has allowed our firm to develop a rigorous pre-qualification process for subcontractors that ensures that the client receives the greatest value for their dollar.  The majority of subcontractors we work with reside in Eagle County and the surrounding areas, including Pitkin County.  Among these, we have over 300 that we have worked with over the past 10 years, and many within those that we work with on a regular basis.

Included in the bid instructions are checklists for every major trade.  After receipt of the bids, our staff prepares a comprehensive comparative spreadsheet to ensure that cost quotations are being compared “apples-to-apples”. The ownership will be furnished with copies of these tabulations along with the quotations when we recommend which subcontractors should be used. Our staff will provide the team with recommendations on subcontractor selections, after which a final stipulated sum will be established for the project.

Please note that we have employees with experience in a variety of trades including carpentry, foundation waterproofing, concrete sealing and concrete forming, but ultimately the decision to subcontract or not will be made based on the relevant economics and scheduling constraints.

Value Engineering

Our experience with the value engineering process is extensive.  The majority of our clients are extremely budget sensitive and rely on us to provide the most value per dollar spent.  A recent example of our value engineering capability is our recent construction of the Donovan Park Pavilion.   Our staff successfully value engineered $2 million dollars out of the original plan and provided the Town of Vail with a recreation facility of the highest quality.

 

Fundamental to any pricing phase of a project is a Life Cycle Cost evaluation of all materials and methods proposed.  Simply put, the client must have an understanding of what he/she is purchasing and the life expectancy of that product or material.  Our experience as developers is of great value in this respect.   We understand the time value of money and the importance of providing the client with an understanding of the expected life of a product or construction method so that he/ she may make prudent decision relative to the replacement cost / life cycle of a product.

Scheduling

Viele Construction prepares critical path schedules using Primavera SureTrak Project Manager Software.  We develop our schedule through internal control mechanisms, our historical database and subcontractor input.

We update the construction schedule on an as needed basis and present the updated schedule at each monthly project review meeting. Our system allows us to track all aspects of the project from conceptual design to project closeout.  Regular updating enables us to identify potential items affecting the Critical Path and make changes necessary to maintain project scheduling.

Guaranteed Maximum Price

We view the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract (GMP) as a not to exceed contract amount for the total contract price.  As such, each individual line item is not guaranteed, and we are bound to the total contract price.  Under a GMP contract, our firm will prepare detailed billings each month cost accounting for every dollar spent.

We typically provide a GMP upon issuance of final Construction Documents.  We have entered into a GMP at various stages prior to the issuance of CD’s, but would require a contingency line item should that be the direction an owner chooses. Our required contingency as a percentage of total costs is dependent upon the degree to which the design is complete (ie: The more complete the drawings, the less contingency we would require.)

Construction Phase Services

Explanation of Construction Phase Services Provided

We have several primary focus points that ensure success during the construction phase of a project: communication, quality control, schedule and budget.  Our charge is to ensure that each team member is aware of any change in schedule or budget and that each team member has a full understanding of their role and influence on the schedule and budget.

Communication

We maintain appropriate levels of communication through weekly meetings and correspondence via Internet, phone and fax.  Our weekly meetings include our company principal, project manager, project superintendent, appropriate consultants, the architect, owner and owner’s representative, and any subcontractor whose attendance is necessary.  Our company website offers an interactive feature whereby all correspondence, pay applications, pictures or necessary documentation is available through a password secure portal.  We have found this tool to be of great value to HOA projects with numerous stakeholders, as information is organized and accessible for anyone with a computer.

Quality Control

Our Quality Control mechanisms are largely a function of our staff’s extensive construction experience.   Many of our employees have been with the company for over 15 years and all of our management staff has at least 20 years of construction experience.

Off site Management-

Our projects are tracked through standardized software; costs are tracked through TimberlineTM accounting system; projected cost of projects are tracked and updated on a monthly basis on Microsoft Exceltm models created in house, scope change and value engineering logs are created and tracked and compared to our database, maintained through ACTtm  and updated through Microsoft Exceltm .  In addition to these tools, we       have the ability to create a variety of project specific tools to track costs, change orders, communication, shop drawings, submittals, RFI’s and  any other function related to our management of the project.  We are more than willing to share these tools with you at your convenience.

On site Management-

To ensure the highest level of quality in our product, our Project Managers schedule comprehensive job site inspections on at least a weekly basis.  Our superintendents inspect the job on a daily basis and report back to the managing PM.   In addition, our office schedules random inspections of our job sites as they relate to safety by both our Safety Officer and our Workman’s Compensation Insurance Carrier.  We mandate that our employees complete continuing education courses in safety, construction methods and applicable code issues each year.

Schedule

Schedule plays a large role in the financial success of a project.  We consistently update our construction schedule to reflect changes and present an updated schedule on at least a monthly basis.  During construction, we develop and issue “Three-Week-Look-Ahead” schedules.  This is a vital tool for enabling the construction team to focus on short intervals of the schedule, thus assuring timely completion of projects.  Schedules are posted on the job site and distributed to each subcontractor involved on the project to ensure that each team member understands their responsibilities in both the short and long term.

Budget

We feel our primary obligation to the owner is to meet our budget.  We take this responsibility very seriously and work diligently to control costs throughout the project.  We feel the best way to control cost is to have a full understanding of what they are and what has been spent to date.  As such, we provide an updated budget and cost-to-complete schedule at each and every monthly project meeting to the owner. Internally, we generate cost-to-complete schedules through our accounting system, Timberline, along with cash flow forecasts for each job.  The forecasts are generated in Excel and tie into a forecasting model / financial statement used by upper management as a forecasting tool.  Each month we hold project meetings with project management staff to discuss the budget and forecasts so that we can appropriately plan and make adjustments if needed.   It has been our experience that a full command of the budget can only be achieved through continual monitoring and cost accounting.  Our staff is finance oriented; our company principal has an MBA in finance and our controller is a CPA.  Our company culture demands an attention to detail and an understanding that our primary responsibility is to control costs for the owner.

Change Order Policy

Our change order policy is that payment is made only for work that is pre-approved by an owner.