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    Week Five at Boulder Associates

    By gfrank1
    Jul 5, '15 3:45 PM EST

    Week Five - Geneva Frank

    Week’s Summary:

    This week I’m doing the similar tasks I’ve been doing the past few weeks: Helping various designers pick up redlines on several designs. It is interesting to learn what the typical setups and layouts are for different healthcare buildings, whether it is a medical office building, a university health center, or an eating recovery center. There are certain protocols for each kind of building in order to enhance the healing of the patients. Besides picking up redlines, I’ve also started picking finishes for an Oregon Medical Group Clinic. (OMG) Annie asked me to help her because we have to pull materials for three different schemes for one client:  One with cooler tones, one with warmer tones, and one with a neutral palette, however they will all still have to work together. This is because the client likes to mix and match things, and will pull materials from different schemes and put them together.

     

    Week’s Focus:

    This week I spoke with James Lenhart, a principal at the firm, so he could walk me through the business practices, project costs, and budget management. Boulder Associates does not have a purchasing department because it isn’t a hospital or manufacturer. The firm specifies specs and drawings, and puts them out to bid. As far as how the project fees are determined, James, who has a spreadsheet, revealed that clients are not charged hourly, but rather billed in combined lump rate fees. There were two main sections on the spreadsheet. One was the top-down version, where he would estimate the schedule for schematic design, design development, construction documents, construction administration, etc. Depending how many members on the team there were, he would calculate the amount of hours that each member would spend on the project and in which phase. They charge more in schematic design since Revit has taken off and the work is more front-loaded. The bottom-up method is breaking down the phases into certain tasks that need to be completed, and/or meetings. He would compare both the percentage from the top-down method to the bottom-up one and make them match. Boulder Associates' fee is usually 5%-9% of the construction budget. Furniture, landscape, and electrical charges go below the line, so are is not included in this budget. Boulder Associates contact the MEP and structural engineers, and write a proposal letter estimating their fees. Once they estimate a cost, Boulder Associates draws up a contract, using AIA B101-2007. In this contract, it describes the phases in the project. These fees and services are judged against what the average architect is expected to do in Colorado. Overall cost estimating is to be done by a general contractor, or cost estimator, because Boulder Associates has only done a few in the past, and does not like doing them. Boulder Associates uses a program called Deltek Vision to manage the project. Each designer documents how many hours they have spent on the project. (each project has its own number) There is also a labor code that is added in to the program to distinguish what phase the designer is working on, whether it is design development, or construction administration. Each month James gets an invoice and checks the figures with Deltek Vision to  make sure the fees are working out, and ensure that Boulder Associates is making a profit. He said “you win some, you lose some.”

     

    Getting to Know Someone New:

    This week I talked more with Paul Legan, who graduated in 2010 from UT. When he graduated he said it was a rough time because no firms were hiring. After graduating, he worked for about a year, completing life safety plans and work along those lines. Then he started working for Gresham, Smith and Partners in Nashville. He heard about BA because GSP and BA were collaborating on a hospital design together. (Grand Junction Community Hospital) He started doing residential work when he first moved out to Colorado. Then he moved to Boulder, and got the job a Boulder Associates. He is currently working on a Country Club Clinic in Eugene, Oregon, Longmont Clinic, and Front Range Clinic. Paul moved to Boulder because of all of the outdoor activities. The mountains here are very accessible, and there is an avid cyclist community that he loves. He said you’re basically living in a place where a bunch of people vacation. Paul did admit to missing Tennessee, but not the humidity in Tennessee. 



     
    • 1 Comment

    • Not sure what this means "Boulder Associates does not have a purchasing department because it isn’t a hospital or manufacturer" lots of business other than "a hospital or manufacturer" have a purchasing department...?

      Jul 9, 15 10:54 pm

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