Plan and Spec: Better Results Guaranteed
When it comes to control systems, plan and specification projects, better known as plan-and-spec have a number of drawbacks that complicate the process of choosing the best contractors. If you’re not careful, the lowest bids are often the mostly costly in the long run.
Plan-and-spec drawings and specifications are oftentimes put together by a design engineer who was awarded the project based on a bid made competitive by budgeting fewer hours for design, resulting in specs that are not as detailed as they should be. In turn, BAS contractors, basing their bids on inadequate specs and drawings, may cut corners and use substitutions to provide their lowest possible price to decision makers who are often lacking in building automation knowledge. During the best and final offer phase, bids that are already rock bottom are often driven down even further. The result: 15-20% in change order cost increases, never ending startups, high energy costs, and continual functional issues due to lack of thorough testing.
Adding insult to injury, clients find themselves in a vicious cycle of frequent callbacks and high maintenance costs, locked in to a relationship with a control company they wish they’d never hired.
In contrast to this all-to-common scenario, MSC recently completed a large BAS installation that included startup and testing as well as complete commissioning and performance testing. The new three-story, 375,000 sq. ft. client headquarters included a full mechanical basement with more than two thousand I/O points. Despite the fact that theirs was not the lowest bid, MSC’s proposal offered the best overall value.
Though designed as a plan-and-spec project, MSC approached it with a design-build mentality. Having been heavily involved with maintenance at the original facility, MSC possessed in-depth knowledge of the existing equipment and controls, which was incorporated into the bid in terms of what could be saved, what could be improved upon, and how it should be Implemented. MSC provided a specific outline of how the system would be installed and tested to support major milestones and assist third-party commissioning, as well as air and water balancing. As a result of thorough planning, there were no unnecessary or runaway project costs, and no finger-pointing or last-minute changes. In the end, superior planning and a unified team effort produced working, tested systems and a very satisfied customer.
Mechanical Service Corporation - The Go To Guys
41 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, New Jersey 07981