Tim Walsh with Confluence Companies, Carey Crain with Prime West Development and Jeff Bemelen with the University of Denver participated in last Thursday’s AIA/AGC/ACEC program panel discussion and all three seemed to agree on several items including: regardless of the project type or size or delivery method one of the most important items is creating a trusted team that can deliver the project.
Another recurring theme of the presentations was control – of the project and budget. Ironically they didn’t all agree on one delivery method affording the ultimate level of control. While Tim Walsh with Confluence Companies regarded Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) as most effective at offering control and collaboration as well as substantial savings in time and money.
“We are an archaic industry,” said Walsh. “Change needs to come from the owners. You pick a good team and then you trust them to deliver the project.”
Carey Crain from Prime West preferred a modified IPD approach and Jeff Bemelen with DU explained that their Design-Bid-Build approach was rooted in tradition and continued to work best for them.
Brian Laartz, Senior Vice President of Golden Triangle Construction, asked “What future challenges do you see to getting projects developed?” There were several challenges mentioned which, not surprisingly, included uncertainty in the market and the future of the economy, the pressure to contain and control costs while doing more with less, materials costs, labor shortages and lack of a trained workforce and getting projects approved by municipalities.
Both Tim Walsh and Carey Crain agreed that schedules and budgets are getting compressed. What they see as an answer to the tightening market is more integration of Building Information Modeling and prefabrication. Crain is in the planning stage for One Belleview Station. The development will be a 16 story, 340,000 square foot office building adjacent to the Belleview light-rail station. Crain would like to see total integration of BIM on the project, which will be constructed by The Weitz Company. Walsh is in the process of completing 1736 Boulder Street in the Lower Highlands. 1736 Boulder is a 5-story residential development that consist of 73 rental units. Walsh is utilizing an innovative prefab light gauge structural system instead of the conventional wood construction. This prefab panelized system was erected in a fraction of the time that conventional wood frame would of taken.
Look for upcoming owners panel presentations in June and September at www.AGCColorado.org.