Why Our Clients Trust Formcraft for Construction Management
Our construction management team does more than just build or renovate your office space, they are involved at the project’s inception alongside management, designers, and architects. By the time our team breaks ground, you will be extremely familiar and comfortable with the construction professionals immersed in your project. And, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Formcraft is a process-driven company. Construction management overlaps and intertwines with all the other parts of the process—from discovery to design to delivery. To provide the most value to our customers, every project starts at the design process, and we strive to make seamless transitions as we navigate through each stage.
Construction management at Formcraft is rooted in three promises: Schedule Certainty, Quality Certainty, and Cost Certainty.
Based on our expertise and experience with prominent clients such as Pilot Freight Services, Northwestern Mutual, AGC Chemicals, and ASTM International, we’re able to provide accurate scheduling estimates. Setting expectations early on builds trust and keeps you informed about your project’s timeline.
Additionally, our talented construction professionals hail from top construction companies in the Philadelphia region, such as LF Driscoll and JLL. They bring construction expertise and the utmost respect for quality-controlled projects.
Finally, in our 25 years as a company, we’ve never heard a customer say: “This is not a budget-driven project.” Our cost-certainty promise is simple: we will always evaluate and reevaluate what we do relative to your budget.
What You Get from Formcraft’s Construction Management Services
Construction management at Formcraft is well-thought out and repeatable. At the beginning of each project, key stakeholders meet with customers and take the time to develop a deep understanding of our customers’ needs. While customers drive the budget and timeline, our construction management team is responsible for assuring the Formcraft team meets those needs.
Our Construction Management Services include:
- Pre-Construction evaluation and estimation.
- Multi-stage approval process, keeping every client informed and in charge of the final deliverable.
- Honest pricing that works with your budget and TIA.
- Expert construction quality.
Meet Jim Beale, Director of Project Delivery
Jim oversees the project from start to finish. As the director of project delivery, he serves as the customer’s contact on a daily basis. He offers solutions, acts as a facilitator and risk mitigator, and gets his hands dirty as often as necessary. Jim has over 29 years of experience in design, engineering, and construction management in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas. He is a huge part of the entrepreneurial & progressive spirit of the company, especially enjoying the opportunity for a unique collaborative experience with each customer.
What Is Pre-Construction Evaluation and Estimation?
The pre-construction evaluation involves the Formcraft designers and pre-construction manager who will be working on the specific workplace project. These integral team members discuss design concepts and develop a preliminary budget. The pre-construction estimation is based on the pre-construction manager’s budgeting insights from key project trade subcontractors and suppliers based on design concepts. The pre-construction estimation is also informed by the construction team that provides insight into the base building systems, condition of space, site access issues and buildability of current test fit.
What Does a Multi-Stage Approval Process Look Like?
Our holistic approach to project delivery treats the team like one cohesive unit, not like many parts. From day one, our team fosters team alignment so that our focus remains on the customer. For that reason, communication gaps are nonexistent because we hold ourselves accountable with a multi-stage approval process.
Our project management team solicits input from customers to understand what key deliverables they want to review, sign off on, and then we anticipate time frames to obtain approvals. The schedule is reviewed every week with the internal team and with the customer to ensure activities are completed by the dates needed. Should any dates slip, a plan is put in place to address them.
How Do We Ensure Honest Pricing that Works with Your Budget?
As part of the Formcraft methodology the design, pre-construction and construction teams are part of the project from the very beginning and participate in every progressive budget that is presented to the client at the end of each design phase.
Expert Construction Quality
Our construction team delivers on the quality discussed. Our expert construction team comes from diverse residential and commercial construction backgrounds. We have a robust quality control program in place.
Formcraft’s quality control program is designed to improve the overall performance level, accountability, and quality of services we offer to maximize the cost management effectiveness and efficiencies of our programs. Every project is reviewed in accordance with this program to ensure that we remain in full compliance and make improvements based on our experiences.
Specifically for the construction quality, the construction team does a pre-punch exercise where they anticipate punch list items and rectify them.
“Constructability” and Pre-Construction Estimates
At Formcraft, the concept of constructability guides our design and construction team as they work in tandem. Constructability is a way of controlling cost from the beginning, a method that helps us deliver on the cost and quality discussed. With constructability at the forefront of our designers’ and construction workers’ minds, all team members work harmoniously and redo work a lot less.
“We don’t want to design something that the client can’t afford, or something that can’t be procured, or of course built. That’s what constructability means.” Jim Beale, Director of Project Delivery
Constructability in Action
Formcraft’s pre-construction and construction teams continue to provide constructibility input at each design phase to assure the design is cost effective to build. Some current conditions of an existing office space aren’t changeable and some are. Constructability is all about finding what’s unique and usable about a space and how that will be relevant to design. Constructability means never designing something that can’t be built.
When evaluating your current space, the construction team will conduct a thorough investigation of the floors proposed for this project as well as the base building systems. Formcraft has a detailed checklist of the numerous aspects of the building site that we will inspect. Our team looks out for permanent elements that will inhibit constructability such as:
- Construction hurdles
- Lighting / natural lighting
Sometimes these elements are cost prohibitive to change and our design team works around it.
When evaluating your current office space, our pre-construction and construction team also look consider:
- Neighboring businesses / tenants
- Workforce displacement
- Customer / client presentation (outward appearance during construction)
We want to make the process as painless as possible, knowing some of these barriers.
Meet David Barbalace, Pre-Construction Project Manager
Dave oversees scheduling, budgeting, and drawing approval during the pre-construction phase of interior fitout projects. Dave earned a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering from Drexel. Between co-ops and his early career, he has nearly 10 years of experience in project management. In pre-construction management, Dave spent the first half of his career working for LF Driscoll before joining Formcraft. Dave appreciates the integrated project delivery at Formcraft and having the whole process in one team.
Construction Management Services: Budgeting and Timelines
What does the customer want? What does the customer need? Will it fit into the budget? Analyzing budget and what a customer wants to spend is always a conversation. It starts with pricing estimation.
Pricing estimation is establishing the investment total based on timeline, materials, and labor. It accounts for soft costs. Once the budget estimation is established, signatures are required to move forward.
Pricing estimation done by our pre-construction team includes:
- Determining where and how the money is spent.
- Identifying redundancies and opportunities for cost savings
- Soliciting trade and supplier input
- Staying attuned to the supply chain for product availability
How Progressive Budgeting Works
At Formcraft, we use progressive budgeting, which is designed to give real-time feedback to design on any hurdles that came up in pre-construction and vice versa. Progressive budgeting is done weekly and at every design presentation, the pre-construction team will provide the corresponding updated cost plan reflecting the current design renderings and options being presented. This proactive approach is much different than the traditional reactive approach and allows our clients to make informed decisions and keeps the project on schedule.
Another budgeting item that falls under our construction management team is managing the engineer, which is key for accurate and conservative cost planning. Formcraft’s team works closely with the engineer to ensure the specifications are correct and that the design is not “over specified”, which would add unnecessary cost, and possibly time, to the project.
Establishing a Timeline for Construction
The Project Roadmap includes everything discussed as well as milestones and places where the customer needs to be involved. This roadmap helps the team plan the level of interaction needed between the customer and Formcraft.
Here are a few things the timeline for office construction includes:
- Jobsite preparation
- Zoning and licensing (when necessary)
- Legal agreement and signatures (Lease Expiration / Move In)
- Breaking ground / Initiating construction
- Workforce displacement coordination
- Finalizing construction (Fit out)
A pre-construction manager or project manager, would use the Project Roadmap to keep track of milestones and keep everyone on schedule.
Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA) Budget for Lessees
We can work with your structured tenant improvement allowance. If you have full TIA coverage for construction or partial TIA coverage for construction, we’ll know that right away. We can offer conceptual design for helping identify out of pocket budget aside from the TIA. The last thing we want you to do is waste time and money on things you can’t afford and we can’t build.
Our construction team holds a Construction Kick-Off Meeting just prior to kicking off construction in the field. Attendees include: all subcontractors, all client vendors, the landlord building team and the design team. At this meeting the construction team discusses the following items:
- Project schedule
- Three week look-ahead schedule
- Submittal and RFI process
- Building rules and regulations
- Loading dock scheduling
Health and Safety Paperwork
The workplace Construction Kick-Off Meeting also includes health and safety paperwork. There will be a safety induction session for the customer’s project team so that they are aware of the safety requirements on the job site. At the Formcraft office, there will be lockers, where each member of the project team will have their own locker which will house their personal hardhat, safety vest, safety glasses and gloves.
Hire and Issue Subcontractors
Before office construction or renovation, subcontractors will be identified and budgeted for. Site superintendents will manage contractors.
Watch Our Site Superintendents in Action
Finalize Project Construction
The final walkthrough with the customer is not a cold handoff. At this point it will be a seamless transition. Upon completion of the renovation or fitout, the design team reenters to finalize paint and finishes.
The Formcraft Guarantee
The methodology we’ve practiced for the last 35 years removes the gaps, streamlining the process into a single point of responsibility. Our team would work seamlessly with your project manager without ever having the luxury of blaming mistakes on someone else. No finger-pointing, only accountability.
The level of expectation is conceived at the early part of design and that never diminishes. Our periodic milestones are designed to check in with customers to make sure they are satisfied. Our holistic approach helps align designers and construction teams throughout the process so there’s no surprises. We also offer a full-year warranty.