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Designing Residence Halls Specifically for the Student

Integrating specific academic environments into five Ball State University Residence Halls was a key early design consideration for the combined $144+ million projects. There was an opportunity to create an interplay between pre-millennial student lifestyle, academic, and career interests while also optimizing for energy efficiency. By adding the latest technologies, new amenities, and flexible design elements into the residence halls, a new sense of camaraderie and function can be seen throughout.

Here’s a synopsis for each:

Botsford/Swinford Residence Hall – Emerging Media Center

Size: 164,000 square feet
Cost: $27,800,000

  • Audio and video production studios
  • New lounge spaces
  • Demonstration kitchen—enables guest chefs to demonstrate food skills including healthy eating and unique cooking styles
  • Original structure was demolished to its concrete frame and foundation
  • It was designed for LEED Silver certification and received LEED Gold certification.

Botsford/Swinford

 

Schmidt/Wilson Residence Hall – A Living-Learning Community for Dance, Theatre, and Design Students

Size: 154,000 square feet
Cost: $33,000,000

  • Two-story lounge spaces and central lounge with a performance area
  • Dance studio, black box theatre, computer lab, fitness room, and drawing room
  • Strong sense of collaboration and camaraderie
  • The new facility re-images the entry into campus where students are center stage
  • Currently in review for LEED certification.

Schmidt/Wilson

 

Studebaker East Residence Hall – Creating A Home-Away-From-Home For International Students

Size: 109,750 square feet
Cost: $18,450,000

  • Student collaboration is enhanced through a new multi-purpose room and three two-story lounge spaces
  • Lounges are equipped with kitchens so students can share cultural foods
  • Provided a sense of community for present and future students
  • New highly-efficient mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology systems throughout the building resulted in LEED Gold Certification.

Studebaker East

 

DeHority Residence Complex – Collaborative Spaces for Honors College Students

Size: 131,070 square feet
Cost: $21,920,000

  • Integrating social, learning, and living space so dedicated honor students can combine interests and ambitions
  • Semi-private restrooms with lockers. Each room has stackable furniture and adjustable wardrobe closets
  • Students can take advantage of the exhibition hall for meetings and presentations
  • Ball State’s first LEED Silver certified building on campus.

DeHority

 

New Residence Hall 1 – Construction is underway for the third living/learning community developed from the North Campus Master Plan.

Size: 137,700 square feet
Cost: $43,600,000

  • Built for S.T.M. students and equipped with a makerspace, fabrication lab with 3D printing capabilities, and a virtual reality pod.
  • New campus neighborhood
  • Living/Learning Community
  • Site amenities include a fire pit and hammocks
  • LEED Certification anticipated
BSU-NewResHall1

New Residence Hall 1

 

Like what we did? Need someone for your next project? Let’s Talk!

 

2017 AIA Conference on Architecture

Each year architects from our office attend the National AIA conference. They hear best practices in the industry, network, visits projects, and come back invigorated. Here’s what this years Schmidt Associates attendees took away!

Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP

 “Michelle Obama talked about how it is our role as architects to make sure youth are introduced to the profession. Women all over the world, and the US, are looking for jobs. They can’t enter the industry if they don’t know the industry exists. It is our job to reach out and mentor youth.”

“This is part of the reason I serve on the Board for Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. JA has a program called JobSpark. Firms from various professional industries provide hands-on learning experiences to introduce local students to the career. Schmidt Associates was actively involved for the kick-off event and is helping plan the second annual JobSpark now. Working with IPS, we created an internship model that required every participating firm in IPS Capital projects to hire IPS interns. In fact, we are super proud that one of our old IPS interns is now at Ball State University, on her way to becoming an architect, and has returned to us this summer for another architectural internship!”

 

Wayne Schmidt, FAIA, HonD.

“The absolute best thing was Michelle Obama’s keynote. She was funny, intelligent, humorous, and insightful. She was the best!”

 

 

Ron Fisher, AIA, LEED AP

 “One of my favorite things to do at the conference each year is site visits. I enjoy seeing architectural solutions. A tour of the Daytona 500 Speedway was incredible. The Speedway features five main entrances, each with sponsorship rights for naming and branding the area. One was the Toyota Entrance featuring their vehicles, history of the firm, participation in racing, education about their manufacturing in the US, and more. It was intriguing to see the way the Speedway is designed to funnel the visitors throughout the grandstand.”

 

Desma Belsaas, AIA, LEED AP

” I was reinvigorated about all the good architects can do for the betterment of society. I got more inspired to do more writing when I attended a session about the Top 10 Things Architects can do other than architecture.”

 

 

Lisa Gomperts, FAIA, LEED AP

 “The session that stood out to me was about unique ways to engage the emerging professionals at your firm. It was a panel of millennials from architecture, engineering, and construction firms. They had created young professional development groups with chairs and co-chairs for learnings in networking, cultural events, continued education and more, all on a low budget. They found ways for their peers to get more involved at their firms, all while learning more about their career path.”

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Real About Value Engineering

“Value engineering” is perhaps the most overused and under-realized term in the design/construction industry today. It has become the catch bucket for any exercise that involves reducing costs.

By definition, value is the ratio of function to cost. Value is increased by improving function or reducing cost. A great example: the benefit analysis of solar shading provided by extending the overhang of a roof. Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and special software programs, we can determine the optimum energy savings obtained from shading by applying the most cost-effective roof extension (the ratio of function to cost). Our analysis identifies the point of diminishing return – the point when the increased cost of the roof begins to yield lower shading benefit. This is value engineering.

In contrast, most references to a “value-engineering exercise” are in reality a “cost-reduction exercise.” It involves compiling a list of items (or functions) to eliminate from the project, thereby reducing cost. This is not necessarily a bad thing to do. In fact, it is often an unavoidable part of any project since needs and wants are almost always greater than budgets. However, calling it “value engineering” is a misnomer because the function is eliminated along with the cost.

It is important to recognize that value can be lost with the cost reduction. This often occurs when a function that yields a long-term benefit (reduced energy or operational cost) is eliminated to provide an initial cost reduction. A clear understanding of the difference between “value engineering” and “cost reduction” helps avoid decisions with unintended consequences or “de-value engineering.”

Construction Manager as Constructor – How is the CMc Selected on Publicly Funded Projects

In our last blog on Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc), we discussed what differentiated this delivery method from others. We also talked about what made a CMc different from a more traditional CM or Construction Manager as Adviser (CMa). This blog will look at the process required by law to formally select a CMc on a project funded by tax dollars.

 

In the private sector, an owner can select or hire a CMc based upon any criteria they desire: relationship, experience, personnel, or any other metric. In the public sector, there are very specific requirements.

The owner is required to make a public notice regarding Request for Proposals (RFP) for their project. The RFP is required to include:

  1. Statement of the owners planned criteria, process, and procedures to be utilized during the RFP process. This must include:
    1. How the RFP response will be evaluated
    2. How the CMc will be selected
    3. How the CMc will be awarded
  2. How the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) will be established, if required by the Owner.
  3. A statement on the insurance requirements for the project.
  4. Description of the CMc’s history of contracting with or hiring MBE, WBE, and VBE.
  5. Documentation showing the CMc’s good faith efforts to fulfill the state’s goals for contracting with MBE, WBE, and VBE.

RFP Response evaluation

The owner must describe how the evaluation process will be handled. If a scoring method is utilized, then it must be enumerated. If a rating system will be implemented, ratings must be defined. Fees & qualifications are also required to be a part of the RFP response. Therefore, they must be a part of the criteria as well. Will the various requirements be weighted differently or equally? Will fee be a 20% weighted criteria and experience a 30% weighted criteria? All of these matter in how the RFP responses will be scored.

CMc Selection & Award Process

The owner now has to make a selection—the reason the previous discussion about criteria for evaluation is so important. The evaluation process will be questioned. Owners will get asked to provide the scoring used for each submitting firm and RFP. The owner should test their scoring with different potential scores in the categories determined. There should also be discussion about making some categories a pass/fail instead of a rated score or grade. If there are criteria that the owner determines is so important that a response should not be successful without it, then that category could be a pass/fail item. That might be project experience type or an experience level of key staff to be assigned to the project. Maybe it is a fee amount limit. The options are numerous. The requirement to describe the selection process to the CMc’s is important. The firms responding to the RFP need to know what is important to the owner to help determine if this project should be pursued. These companies will be making estimates on how they believe they compare to the competition in the marketplace.

A savvy owner will understand what they are asking for and the likely responses that the CMc firms in the community will provide. Planning the criteria and the selection process out thoroughly will help avoid surprises. In the end, this is a public process. The owner needs to be prepared for the transparency necessary in this process. In the next installment, we will discuss Guaranteed Maximum Price and how it can be implemented.

Construction Manager as Constructor

For public institutions, there are three project delivery methods approved by state law: 

  1. Design-Bid-Build
  2. Design-Build
  3. Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc)

In this blog, we will discuss Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc)—a new construction project delivery method signed into law in March 2014. Public educational institutions have been able to use the CMc method since that year; in June of 2017, all other state institutions will also be able to use it.

Contractors work on projects with different project delivery methods. The same contractor might be working on five projects—all with different delivery methods. It doesn’t change who they are as a contractor. It does change the roles, responsibilities, and contractual obligations they have on a given project. This fluidity of delivery methods can be confusing when owners think of companies as “Design-Builder”, “Contractor”, or “Construction Manager”. These are all delivery method roles—not definitions or limitations on them as companies.

A defining characteristic of a Construction Manager (CM) contract (of any type) is the timing of their involvement in the project. In the traditional Design-Bid-Build delivery method, the construction entity is not involved until the “Bid” portion of the project. Design occurs without the involvement of a construction entity. When a construction manager is involved by contract, they are involved in “pre-construction” activities. Therefore, during design, they can be contracted to offer schedule, budget, and constructability input or feedback to the owner. This early involvement can be beneficial if the owner and/or design firm do not have strong construction experience to draw upon internally.

CMc is sometimes also known as Construction Manager at Risk. This implies that there is additional risk being taken on by the CMc that “normally” does not exist. “Normally”, is related to the standard term of CM. In the construction project world, CM refers to a Construction Manager as Agent (CMa) or Advisor. The CMa is a construction partner in the long-standing Design-Bid-Build project delivery method. Their role is to serve the owner as an adviser or non-constructor. They advise on schedule, constructability, scope of work, etc. They do not self-perform any portion of the work. It is truly the work of managing construction—while not pounding any nails or laying any bricks. The contracts they manage as a CMa are all held (or signed) by the owner.

As a CMc, or at risk, work can be self-performed. In addition, the contracts for the other firms performing work (subcontractors) on the project are held (or signed) by the CMc, not the owner. These two realities create the inherent risk being assumed by the CMc. By holding these subcontracts, the CMc is responsible for the schedule, quality, and cost of the work covered by these agreements.

In order to create a transparent and open competition for publicly funded work, the CMc law signed in 2014 requires some very specific steps, processes, and communication. In our next blog, we dive in to specifics and complexities of the law making that possible.

 

Check out the second blog in the series

 

 

Energize and Save $

What if I told you that utility companies will pay you to reduce your utility bill? Is that too good to believe? Well, believe it! “Energizing Indiana” offers energy efficiency programs that bring savings to communities across the state. With programs for homes, schools, businesses, and commercial facilities, Energizing Indiana provides education, tools, and incentives (rebates) to improve efficiency and conserve energy.

If you are a residential customer you can sign up for a free home energy assessment—which can even include the installation of low cost energy savings measures such as CFL bulbs, efficient sink aerators, and shower heads.

Schmidt Associates serves our clients by exploring available incentives (rebates) as a part of our project design. Many of our clients qualify under Energizing Indiana’s commercial program. We understand how to navigate the complex analyses to enable the most cost effective decisions. We are also experienced in preparing the required documentation to obtain the available incentives (rebate dollars).

Two projects for the Lake Central School Corporation provide a great example of this service. As part of the design of a new elementary school and an addition/remodel of their high school, Schmidt Associates’ engineers identified 14 different energy saving incentive programs enabling the Owner to receive rebate checks totaling more than $138,000. Yes, you can be paid by your utility to reduce your bill!

To learn more about Energizing Indiana, visit their website:
https://energizingindiana.com/

To learn more about the Lake Central High School project, visit the project blog here: http://lchsroomconcepts.blogspot.com/