Lauren Coles of CO Architects discusses the Construction Administration phase of the renovation of the NKU Health Innovation Center.  She explains submittals, mockups, RFIs, field reports, and site visits. She also walks through the pay app process, and advising the client what to pay based on percentage complete.

Practical Applications

My name is Lauren Coles, and I work at CO Architects, and the project we're discussing is at NKU, Northern Kentucky University. The project's name is Health Innovation Center and Founders Hall Renovation. It's a medical education building that's about 210,000 square feet.

Under the construction manager at risk delivery method, the construction manager takes on a lot of the pre-construction and bidding responsibilities for the project.

If there's non-conforming work found, only the owner can accept that non-conforming work. So it's our obligation to let them know.

You'll also go over proposal requests, or change orders, things that are changing on the project because the client would like to add something or change it. You also go over the RFIs, that's the Request for Information, and you talk about the answers to those. Typically, there's the owner, the contractor, and the architectural team, including the engineers.

For our project, in terms of payout, because it's a public project and it's state funds, payments come directly from, obviously, the client. And they have a procurement team, there at the university, that handles this, because it's a public project.

So for instance, if it's generically the roof and they're saying it's fifty percent but we feel that it's only twenty or twenty-five percent we would be able to state that and we would tell the owner to only pay that amount. In addition any items that are stored off site the owner's the only one who can make a decision to pay for those off-site items.

So punch list is when the contractor deems the project complete enough for the architectural and AE team to come in and punch the project, meaning that you will go space by space and look for any inconsistencies or missing scope or bad workmanship, things like that. You punch, quote unquote, the items that need to be corrected by the contractor. So for instance, something minor would be that there's a scrape on the paint.

So there may be a discrepancy between the mechanical drawings and what you showed on the RCPs, which are the reflected ceiling plans. An RFI that we have received before in the past is the coordination between RCPs with your consultant. So the reflected ceiling plans, the RCPs, are some of the most difficult drawings to coordinate.

This is a mini mock-up of our exterior corrugated metal panel. The contractor submitted this to us to show us craftsmanship and how the corners would meet on our facade.

So when we receive submittals like this, we wanna make sure that all of the data from the specifications are met from the glass, including that the inner layer is there and that the frit pattern is the correct design that we've specified.

Per our contract, we were supposed to go do site visits and produce field reports once a week. Because our project was in Kentucky, we had a joint venture with a local architect, GBBN Architects. They went to the weekly site visits and did the field reports.

Your field report is when you do a site walk, and in that time, if you do see work that's not to the quality that was specified, or is completely not conforming, that's your time to point those items out. You issue that report, and that's something else that is normally discussed during the OAC, the owner, contractor, architect meeting.

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In that proposal request, the contractor would take that request and equate a price on how much they thought it would cost, and then it would be up to the owner to approve or deny that change based on their feelings about the cost.

So, in a lot of cases, substitutions are allowed for that reason, that public projects need be able to bid as openly as possible.

I'm a firm believer in enhanced commissioning, to make sure that your HVAC systems are running properly. It's kind of your very last defense to make sure that the whole system was installed properly, and it also gives a chance to make sure that the energy efficiency that you had assumed during design, is built that way.

Either the base scope's not there, or there's outstanding change orders, things of that nature. And we also perform a final walk to establish that, those costs and those incomplete items.

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