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ARE 5.0 Construction & Evaluation Exam Prep New Content

portrait, April Drake

April Drake

5h 5m

In this newly updated ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics such as construction contract execution, construction support services, payment request processing, and project closeout. Our focused approach covers a comprehensive curriculum in less time, ensuring that the course covers each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation Exam. Instructor April Drake will discuss issues related to bidding and negotiation processes, support of the construction process, and evaluation of completed projects. The lesson format also includes new motion graphics and visual learning aids to enhance your studying and knowledge retention.When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation Exam.

Introduction (6m 26s)

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In this course, you will learn about bidding and negotiation, construction contract administration, and project close-out and evaluation. We'll divide this exam chronologically into three parts, which address: the four official NCARB sections of the exam. We'll start with the pre-construction activities.

Triangle Square is a mixed-use development, of almost 300 residential units, more than 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a very large amenity deck for its residents. The site of this project is actually triangular in shape, hence the name Triangle Square, and the unusual shape of the site demanded a unique design approach and the goal throughout the construction administration phase has been to maintain the integrity of that design during construction. Paul is gonna walk us through the structure and the design of the enclosure of this project.

Section 1: Pre-Construction Activities (0s)

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Finally, in Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD, there is no need for a bidding or negotiation process at all, since the architect, owner, and contractor are all part of a single entity for the purpose of building the project. Typically, the team agrees upon a construction cost for the work early on, when they enter into an agreement to form the IPD entity. Then, since the owner, contractor, and architect are all part of the same team and share the same project goals, including profitability, the team works together towards designing and constructing the project within the agreed upon budget.

One other important document in the project manual is the bid form, which is a form created by the owner and architect, so that all bidders record their bids in the same standardized format. This makes it much easier to compare bids as opposed to each contractor submitting their own proposal in whichever format they choose. If the bidders all used the same form, the architect can easily perform an apples to apples comparison.

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In this video, we'll cover how the bidding process differs for public and private projects, how you will manage questions that arise during the bidding process, and how to evaluate bids to pick the best contractor for the project. First, let's discuss public versus private projects. The goal of bidding is to ensure that a fair and objective bidding process occurs, whether the project is publicly or privately funded.

One is because, if they really want a level playing field with the number of people that are bidding on this project, they as the general contractor have to share the answer to every single question that's asked with the entire bidding subcontractors. So if you as the architect are answering a question to a particular subcontractor and that conversation is not formally documented, then presumably that gives that subcontractor an advantage, which is what you wanna try to avoid. So the answer always is go through the general contractor.

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Although the project delivery process is again, similar to design-bid-build, in this case, the construction manager will secure a separate contractual agreement with the owner, architect, and general contractor. During the construction phase, the CM as agent will advise the owner and assist them in completing their responsibilities, and may act as the owner's representative if mutually agreed upon between the parties. The other arrangement is where the general contractor acts as the construction manager.

Paul, as a project architect in some ways is MVP because he is in the weeds in terms of managing our team and our consultants in terms of how we respond to RFIs and submittals and making sure that we keep things on track when we are contractually obligated to turn around RFIs and submittals within a certain amount of time. And it is no small feat when you have in the thick of things dozens of submittals that are all hanging out there contractors waiting to get. So Paul was instrumental in getting all of that sort of organized for our team and responded to in a timely fashion.

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At regular progress meetings, the contractor should notify the owner and architect of the upcoming schedule for pre-installation meetings. Pre-installation meetings might only be between contractors and their subcontractors, but the owner and architect might choose to attend some of the more significant pre-installation meetings, such as an exterior wall. Regardless, the contractor should produce and distribute meeting minutes to the project team.

This particular owner was looking for a contractor that frankly was sophisticated enough and large enough to be able to deliver a multi-phase project of this size and quality and Power Construction fit the bill for them on multiple fronts, not the least of which was they had already worked together. And you'll find that when you're not publicly bidding a project that oftentimes that chemistry is sort of integral in making a final selection. So I think the owner, at least when LJC was brought on board already knew that they were going to work with Power Construction on this project.

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When helping the owner prepare the owner-contractor agreement, it's necessary to ensure that this agreement, A101, aligns with both B101 and A201 and that all three say the same thing about the project team members' obligations for the duration of construction. Now that we've signed the contract for construction and completed all of the pre-construction activities, and now that the team has everything they need to get started, the contractor is ready to work. In the next section, we'll discuss how the architect performs their services during construction.

And so for that project, we are using the A141, which is a standard form of agreement between an owner and a design builder. The standard form of agreement between this contractor and this owner is a one-on-one. And that's pretty typical for a design bid build project.

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Section 2: Construction Observation (0s)

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According to B101 section 3.6.2.1 and A201 section 4.2.3, the architect shall keep the owner informed about the progress and quality of the work completed and report to the owner known deviations from the contract documents and schedule as well as defects and deficiencies in the work. These sections describe exactly the type of information that should be contained in field report, which will be distributed to the owner and contractor after they're completed. If you're wondering what you should be looking for on-site visits, B101 section 3.6.2.1 and A201 section 4.2.2, provide some guidance.

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Generally speaking, when the contractor has a question for us during a site walk, we would ask that they follow up formally with an RFI or otherwise, if that's not necessarily required for the situation, we would make a note of that conversation in a field report. So LJC documents most of its field report items digitally, sometimes on our phones, sometimes on iPads. We'll usually take those photos back to our office and we will create a collaborative document where we can put together all of our field report items before sending off to Power.

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Per B101, section 5.5 and 5.9, the owner is required to furnace testing of the sub soil conditions, as well as any test inspections or reports required by law, such as the building code or by the contract documents, A201, section 13.4, also covers testing procedures and notes that the contractor shall bear the cost of testing required by the contract documents and by law. This means that if the architect forgets to include a test in their specs, but the test is required by law, the contractor must provide the test at no additional cost to the owner. The rationale behind this is that the contractor should also be familiar with testing requirements in the jurisdiction where the project is being built.

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The mock-up showed both the contracting team and the design team, how those windows should be installed in order to make sure that the window passed the water leakage test, there were a couple of things that did change from the manufacturer standard installation methods, however, it was quickly resolved by the entire team as a result of this mock-up. As far as the visual components go, the mock-up didn't result in any significant design changes. However, it did result in a couple of tweaks as it related to how we wanted to address flashing members coming together at penetrations within the rainscreen system, as well as making sure that the, again, the entire contracting and installation team was on the same page as it related to how different flashing pieces and different rainscreen components were supposed to come together.

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The responsibility for hazardous materials found on site as well as their mitigation is squarely on the owner, not the architect, for the standard AIA suite of documents. B 1 0 1 Section 10. 6 notes that the architect shall have no responsibility for the discovery, handling, removal, disposal of, or exposure of persons to hazardous materials or toxic substances.

Some specific instances when you might need to consider the project's sustainability goals are during site visits, when reviewing substitution or value engineering requests, and when reviewing submittals. Let's talk about some common instances where sustainability should be considered during construction. One thing to consider is where materials are being sourced from.

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That the CMC affects the architect's responsibilities for the project schedule during the design phase, that with FastTrack Scheduling, the line between the design and construction phases is blurred, requiring greater communication between the owner, architect and contractor. And finally that the architect ultimately doesn't have control over the construction schedule. If the architect notices the schedule slipping, they should notify the owner and work with the project team to develop a strategy, to get the project back on track.

What you're seeing here is sort of the gold standard for how almost every contract you work with tracks project sequencing in terms of critical path. So how do you read a Gantt chart? It's pretty simple, really.

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Section 3: Administrative Procedures & Protocols (0s)

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Construction changed directives are used for the owner and architect to order a change in the work and adjustments to the contract sum, time, or both without the contractor's input. They can also be used to order a change in the work when the parties do not agree to one or more effects of the change, but the change needs to be implemented immediately. Using a CCD, the contractor begins the work while the project team agrees on the changes, if any, to the contract sum or duration.

Before sending the final RFI response to the contractor, you need to catalog the RFI and your tracking system if it'll pick able. To properly catalog it, you need to document your answer and the date that you and the consultants responded, and then change the RFI status in the log. It's important to understand what could go wrong if you do not respond properly to the RFI.

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We've received RFIs based on dimensions missing, our contractor requesting more information that they could not necessarily find in the documents, as well as information related to contractors proposing different ways to complete the project. This is a copy of our RFI log that we use. So typically the catalog RFIs we use a running spreadsheet.

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Since Section 3.12.7 of A201 clearly notes that the contractor cannot install portions of the work where submittals are required by the contract documents without approved submittals from the architect is clear why the submittal schedule is of critical importance to the construction schedule. The contractor should include adequate time for review by the architect as well as their consultants, if applicable. They also should include time for revisions, and re-submittals as necessary as well as some contingency time to allow for the unexpected.

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The cast-in-place concrete specification found in 03 30 00 might reference specifications 03 20 00 concrete reinforcement 031000 forms and formwork, and other related portions of the work. Part two products, list of required tests that the material must meet. The materials that should be used or the acceptable properties depending on the type of specification.

Another submittal we got for this project was an informational submittal as it relates to the wood blocking system at the exterior window system, this particular submittal was more related to means and methods by the contractor and how they were going to attach the window system to the exterior facade as you can see here, we returned the submittal back as received for information only since it was means and methods, and it was not subject to our review.

Column E lists the amount of work the contractor is saying that they're owed for the portion of the work completed during this payment period. Column F lists separately the amount the contractor feels that they're owed for an item that is stored, but not actually installed. Column G adds up Columns D through F, listing the total amount of money spent on the line items so far.

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Part of the review of a pay application is to basically verify that what they're asking for in terms of not just the monetary value, but they're saying that they're done in terms of percentage of completion is accurate. And as an architect, you have a couple of things to do to help with that process. One is your own observation, right?

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If this is not to the satisfaction of one of the parties, the conflict moves to mediation, if mediation is not successful, the conflict moves to either arbitration or litigation, depending on what was agreed upon amongst the parties, when they signed the contract for construction. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide initial steps to solve problems, without going to costly and time consuming, binding needs immediately. The goal of using an Initial Decision Maker is a haven, expeditious and fair way of resolving disputes that may arise during the course of construction.

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Section 4: Project Closeout & Evaluation (0s)

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That process should include the development of an OPR or Owner Project Requirements, that help guide the design team and ultimately the commissioning agent on what the owner expectations are in terms of performance of all of the systems in the building. So for example, when commissioning would happen on the systems that serve the main lobby, the air handler that I'm standing below, the commissioning agent would typically test not just the air handler itself, but all of the VAV boxes that are served by that air handler that are actually feeding the lobby adjacent to this space, to make sure that all of the temperature controls are working properly. Since this is a rated wall, every duct has a damper of fire damper on it, which also would have to be commissioned to make sure that, that is working properly, duct ceiling.

When it's determined that the project is substantially complete, the architect also is responsible to inform the owner about the amount of money remaining to complete the punch list items, prior to final completion. Article 3.3 of A101 contains an area to fill in the project's expected substantial completion date. Either by entering a date or by entering the number of calendar days, following the date of commencement of the work.

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The contractor will provide the architect with a final payment application, which will amount to the number of funds held back by the owner for completion of the punch list. In our previous example for substantial completion, the contractor would be submitting an application for payment for $40,000 which was twice the estimated cost to complete the punch list, to ensure that the contractor completed the project to his full extent. Section 9.10 further notes the architect's final inspection along with their previous site visits and inspections determines that to the best of their knowledge, the work is acceptable under the contract documents and that the contractor has fully performed their contractual obligations.

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So, there weren't any real big items that came up during the punch list that would set the situation, where a unit would not be able to be called substantially complete. Our GC uses a proprietary punch list software, that they gave to us as well as the client, in order to enter punch list items digitally. So, traditionally, a punch list would be performed either physically on a sheet of paper or within an Excel file on a computer.

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Construction, when the agent performs their site visits, acceptance, when systems are tested and post acceptance, when necessary staff are trained, A commissioning agent is typically hired by the owner during the design phase of the project, it's at this time that the commissioning agent will develop a commissioning plan. They will work with the rest of the design team to review the plans and identify systems that should be commissioned such as the HPAC system or the building's facade. Once the systems are identified, they'll design a procedure that should be followed by the contractor to commission each item.

If the architect isn't performing a post occupancy evaluation but is simply performing their one-year review with the owner after construction is complete, they should review the facility operations and any maintenance issues that have occurred since final completion. This type of evaluation is less in depth than a post occupancy evaluation. It does not include meeting with any users other than the owner.

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When coordinating field testing and inspections, ensure that the required testing is included in the construction schedule and that when monitoring the project schedule, it's important to stay up to date on construction progress so that you can plan your services and advise the owner if the schedule is slipping. In section three, we covered your role in administrative procedures and protocols. Here, you learned how to manage the exchange of information during construction to avoid conflicts amongst the project team and how you handle contract modifications, RFIs, conflicts, and applications and certifications for payment by implementing proactive contract administration practices.

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