Mold Within City Buildings: A Common & Growing Issue Part 2

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 20, 2017 2:52:00 PM / by Morris Yarjovski, CCPM, CCI

Part two of a three part series

In older buildings, the facility needs to be reviewed diagnostically. By that, I mean, the structure needs to be analyzed for what may be producing a problem, and not just from what can be designed better. In other words, we need to observe the sources that contribute to the growth of mold within the aging structure.

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How should an Owner select a Design Consultant and Contract for Design on a Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 11, 2017 12:55:00 PM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

The most effective use of an Owner’s Budget on a project is to ensure that they have a good design. The lack of a complete and coordinated design on a project has resulted in many failed projects.


Going cheap on a design team is the worst area to try to cut money on a project. This does not mean overpaying for design but it does mean getting the right design team for the project and paying a fair value for the design services as well as holding their feet to the fire to achieve a complete design. As an Owner’s Representative, it is key for us to help the Owner in these tasks.

The best process to select a design professional is a two-step process. The first step will be a submission of qualifications (RFQ) and the second step is a submission of pricing (RFP). The reason we recommend a two-step process is to ensure that first we narrow the field down to design firms who are qualified for the type of project they are designing and secondly, separately, get pricing from that narrowed down field.

RFQ Process

A detailed Request for Qualifications process is the first step. The Owner’s Representative, with input from the Owner, should develop a list of Design Consultants to solicit qualifications from on a project. The Request for Qualifications Package should provide the Project Definition/Scope/Client Requirements in narrative form and the required Time of Performance from the Milestone Schedule for the Design Milestones which will help the Design Consultant understand what the project will entail. The Request for Qualifications should request the following responses from the design firms:

1. Firm’s Approach to the Project

As the Owner’s Representative, you want to understand how the Design Team will approach this Project. How may design evolution packages do they believe are necessary? Do they have a unique approach to the Project that would make them the better choice for this Project?

2. Firm’s Experience in Similar Projects (usually at least five similar projects)

You will want to know what other projects, like the one you are managing for the Owner, they have done in the past. This will help you understand their capabilities on completed projects and allow you to gauge their capabilities.

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Asbestos Testing and Clean-Up

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 5, 2017 9:22:00 AM / by Robert Pfeifer, AIA

Part two of a series. If you missed part one of our Asbestos post series, you can access that here. 

Asbestos Testing and Clean-Up

Once asbestos is discovered or suspected the following steps should be safely taken by qualified professionals; secure the property to be sure no individuals or workers go into the building without proper training and personal protective equipment, survey the property, inspect for the presence of asbestos contamination, and locate the source of the asbestos contamination.

CCA has led asbestos remediation, leading teams of professionals to inspect, evaluate, and de-contaminate buildings. Working with local environmental inspection and testing consultants, CCA and the consultants would safely enter the building, take surface and airborne samples, and determine if the structure is, in fact, contaminated with airborne asbestos particles.

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Why have a Master Schedule? What should be included in that schedule?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2017 10:53:00 AM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED


In parallel with the development of the budget is the development of the Master Project Schedule. This schedule will outline the goals of the Owner for the project with respect to time.

The Owner’s representative should develop various alternative approaches for phasing, sequencing, management and implementation of the project from due diligence through commissioning. This schedule is an outline of the key activities necessary to complete the project. Then based upon review with the Owner, the Owners’ Representative will prepare a final Master Schedule that will detail the overall time related goals for the project. This schedule should be presented in a format that the Owner can comprehend even if it is developed in a sophisticated scheduling program like Primavera P6. It is critical that the Owner’s Representative get acceptance of the time line from the Owner prior to finalizing the Master Schedule.

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Preliminary Cost Investigations and the Importance of a Detailed Budget

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 21, 2017 9:55:27 AM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

 This is the sixth post in our year-long series about the best ways to work with your Owner's Representative.  You can view all of the series posts here.

The most critical segment of the pre-design phase of your project is the development of a sound budget through good preliminary cost investigations.


A project can be made or lost in those crucial first few days or weeks if careful thought is not put into the budget. Once the budget is set and the Owner gets its funding it becomes an uphill battle to get more funding so all budgets need to be reviewed by everyone who has a stake in the project from the Owner’s side. The budget should be broken out in adequate detail to allow everyone to understand what is included in the budget and what is not included in the budget.

Most of the time budgets are developed with little, if any, design documentation. This initial budget estimate may be required prior to any plans or sketches and be based solely on a “concept” or “program,” hence the need for a well thought out and written Scope or Project Requirements, which should be developed in parallel with the budget and will provide the detail of what is included in the budget.

Actual estimating will typically be limited at this stage to broad budget type numbers based upon areas. Those areas should be included in a written Scope or Project Requirements (Program). In any budget breakdown, notes should be added to line items to ensure that others understand what was considered and be able to follow the budget logic.

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Mold Within City Buildings: A Common & Growing Issue

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 20, 2017 7:48:22 AM / by Morris Yarjovski, CCPM, CCI

Part one of a three part series

If one was to do a random inspection for mold in a large city, like New York City, the likelihood of encountering it would be relatively high.

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What should be considered in a proper project site due diligence?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 9, 2017 9:45:11 AM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

 This is the fifth post in our year-long series about the best ways to work with your Owner's Representative.  You can view all of the series posts here.

In the Pre-Design phase of the project there may be a need for additional due diligence studies to ensure that the project is feasible. One of the first due diligence studies could be a Property Condition Assessment (PCA). 

The standard format of PCA is detailed in ASTM E2018. As an Owner’s Representative when asked to assess a property we use this format when performing a due diligence study. The most critical process for the firm who is contracted to perform a PCA is systematically reviewing the property and completing the information required on the standard which will ensure that a property is completely reviewed.

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Avoiding "New Home Heartbreak"

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 1, 2017 3:38:03 PM / by Diana Bass

Since 2010, more than 200 complaints about new home construction have been received by the the Indiana Attorney General's Office.  Poor workmanship and failure to honor a warranty are some of the common complaints against builders.

Partnering with Call 6 Investigates in Indianapolis, ABC News recently interviewed CCA's CEO Mark McGivern. As a construction defect expert, McGivern provided perspective and insights into this situation:  

Construction expert Mark McGivern said water intrusion is the biggest -- and the most expensive -- problem homeowners face. 

"In some cases, it can cause mold, which then becomes a health concern," said McGivern, CEO of Construction Consulting Associates.

McGivern said there are a number of things a homeowner can do to protect themselves.

“Be an informed and educated consumer, and whether you’re buying a $200,000 house or a $2 million house, the rules apply as just good common sense,” said McGivern.

Watch the news story and hear more of McGivern's insights at the Call 6 website.

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What is Critical in a Project Management System?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 30, 2017 9:36:34 AM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

This is the fourth post in our year-long series about the best ways to work with your Owner's Representative.  You can view all of the series posts here.

One of the key areas that require management on projects is the management of data. The larger the project the more data there is to manage. Projects have failed due to the lack of management of data.



Over the past two decades the industry has moved from the era of hard copies in filing cabinets to electronic processes. One reason for this shift was to aid in the management of the large amounts of data required on a project. In the 1980s and 1990s I worked on several multi-billion-dollar theme park projects. The management of data was primarily done with large areas of filing cabinets, plan rooms and libraries of information. There was so much data in hard copy form that, at times, information was forgotten and/or lost. This type of situation drove the development of computerized Project Management Systems. The focus for Project Management Systems was becoming the repository for information on a project that would allow an individual to easily search and find key data.

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A Project Management Plan is key to a successfully run project

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2017 8:39:04 AM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

This is the third post in our year-long series about the best ways to work with your Owner's Representative.  You can view all of the series posts here.

The Project Management Plan is the heart and soul of how the Owner’s Project Team will run the project.

This plan outlines key visions of the leader of the Owner’s Representative Team on how the project should be run. Not having a plan will cause starts and stops in a project as the collective team (Owner, Design Team and Contractor) wait until the Owner’s Representative puts in place the segments of this plan on the fly. Development of this plan will help put in writing the vision of the project, budget, schedule and processes necessary to achieve that vision.

The key elements of a Project Management Plan include at a minimum:

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