Most Recent Story

Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build?

Communities responsible for the creation of a new swimming pool and natatorium are often faced with choosing between a conventional AIA protocol of design programming, schematic design, design development and construction documents, bidding and construction administration as compared to negotiating with a sole source package pool installer (design-build).  One must be knowledgably about different manufacturers and their products that are somewhat different than each other as well as performance records in the field.

 The development protocol that will be chosen will produce different results at different costs, both in first cost and in life cycle costs.

 Frequently, life cycle costs are not taken into account during the construction phase because they will be met with other budgets. If these costs are examined, often they reveal a significant cash flow line item for the owner’s budget.

 Some General Observations:

 1.      Competition among companies has been the basis for obtaining quality construction at the lowest reasonable price for the owner. To achieve this goal, experienced owners have retained professional architects and engineers to serve as the owners advocate to create a professional set of bid documents based upon experience, knowledge and technical skills.

 2.      Design firms will develop a plan based upon years of history in the industry which benefits from the experience from hundreds of other similar facilities.

 3.      The advantage of the contract bid documents is that it invites qualified swimming pool contractors and dealer installers to compete head to head so that the owner is given the benefit of seeing what a number of options exist and everyone is agreeing that their price is for the same basic project.

 4.      Competition is the foundation of the free market system in America. Yet, most entities whether business, athletes, research scientist and even universities prefer to dodge competition on occasions. People that build swimming pools or no different. When any builder can avoid competitive bidding and negotiate instead with a buyer that does not have in depth knowledge of the seller’s product or what is available in the marketplace, the builder has an advantage.

 5.      The most important benefit of utilizing a design firm is their responsibility to the owner in creating the best facility to meet the owners requirements:

            a)      Functionality to accommodate current activities, future activities, potential activities and feature activities.

            b)      A combination of structural systems and mechanical systems that will minimize:

                     1.      Labor costs for operation and custodial tasks

                     2.      Replacement cost and frequency of replacements

                     3.      Flexibility of design that will accommodate changes in activities, rule and regulations and mechanical systems.

 6.      The goal of any engineer is to create a pool in natatorium which can be efficiently operated at a reasonable cost for the life of the complex.

 

In summary, no matter what direction the owner decides to go, knowledgeable planning is the most important phase of the entire process.

 

All Stories

I Think

Joe Hunsaker always taught us to do your homework and only provide answers you know are right.  If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and follow up once you do.  Often times, people fall into the “I think” or the “I don’t think” syndrome.  Far too often people make decisions based upon assumptions […]

Tropical Resort in Germany? What about the US?

Let me paint a picture for you: it’s the middle of winter and the streets of Berlin are covered in snow.  You and your family are ready for a tropical get away, yet the closest ocean is over 100 miles away and the Baltic Sea doesn’t quite count as a “tropical” destination.  Fortunately less than […]

Will the Olympics Come Back to the US?

2024 is eleven years away but that hasn’t deterred the US Olympic Committee (USOC) from thinking about the future.  After a two repeated failed bid attempts (New York City in 2012 and Chicago 2016), the USOC recently sent letters to 35 mayors, inviting them to consider bidding for the 2024 Olympics. “Our objective in this […]

Yards vs. Meters vs. Meters

Every wonder why competitive swimming has three (3) different courses of play; short course yards, short course meters, and long course meters.  And why are there two different “mile” races, 1650-yards and 1500-meters? And for the record, a mile is closer to 1600-meters or 1750-yards.  America is the only country on the planet using the […]