When reviewing the contract documents, read all notes contained therein. Care should be taken with any caveats the design team may have added (i.e., the construction manager/ general contractor [CM/GC] is responsible for any latent conditions found behind walls). If the building is going to be used for another purpose, then the intended load (in pounds per square foot [psf]) will have to be checked against the original load capacity (psf) for the original use. This may be found by looking at building department documents or finding out the original use and then checking the code used at the time and its allowable load. If it is impossible to obtain the information required, then a structural engineer may have to prepare some calculations to determine the load carrying capacity of the structural floor systems. As a last resort, a load test of the structure may be required. This could cause a collapse of the structure, which would not be very productive.
If the building being renovated is a landmark or is located in a landmarks district, then additional care would be required by the PM. As noted in Chapter 4, the design team must obtain all approvals from the Landmarks Commission. The PM's responsibility may involve the submittal of the actual material to the Landmarks Commission for final approval. This may delay the project, so some float time will have to be allocated for this approval process and added general conditions may be required. If any restoration work is required, then specialty subcontractors will have to be retained. They should review the scope and complexity of the project as soon as possible. The costs associated and the time allocated with restoration work could be very substantial.
If after checking the utilities, the PM finds that they cannot be used effectively, then the utility companies will have to be contacted for temporary service. In most cases, the fire department will require the installation of an active standpipe going up the building. This is required so that if a fire should occur, the fire department will have access to water in the building. The fire department will also require some form of access into the building. If a hoist is required, then the fire department could use the hoist as a means
Take notes on special conditions and place them on the drawings in the appropriate area.
Take photos of all components of the building. Note on the drawings where the pictures were taken.
The designer should accompany CM/GC on the site visit. If defects are noted but are not indicated on the drawings, then the PM should have the designer sign off on the defects found.
Any adjacent buildings should be reviewed for any structural connections and for a possible need for protection of the contiguous structure via underpinning and shoring.
Prior to the walkthrough, find out what the building was used for (maybe multiple uses since the time of its construction). This can sometimes be obtained through building department records.
Look for any potential hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead paint, old oil tanks, old transformers, or other materials that may have been used for manufacturing (if that is what it was used for). Have a hygienist review the substances found. If hazardous material is found, then it would have to be removed. Inspect the roof and investigate (where possible) the condition of the base supporting material, flashing, roof membrane, penetrations, and parapets. If these items are found to be deteriorating, then a new roof and associated supplemental elements may be required. An old roof may have asbestos, so this hazardous material would have to be removed properly.
Inspect the exterior of the building and look for major cracks. This may indicate that major settlement has taken place. Also, see if the walls are plumb and not out of alignment.
Look for standing water or any water marks on the walls. This could be caused by roof leaks, pipe leaks, or water seeping into the basement from the surrounding areas.
Look for fire damage especially as it relates to wood structures. This could impact the structural integrity of the wood.
See if any floor deflections or excessive cracking have occurred. This could be caused by structural defects.
If it is a wooden structure, then further investigation will have to be made on the condition of the wood (use an ice pick), joists supports, and termite or carpenter ant damage. These elements would have to be replaced or "sistered" (overlapping of the wood joists).
Investigate (where possible) all the structural connections (wood, steel, or concrete) to make sure full structural integrity is being maintained. Determine much fire proofing will be required.
If drywall is to be used under the wood joists, how will the ceiling system be hung (usually from the joists)?
All window lintels should be investigated for potential deterioration. Make sure the windows can open or close even if the windows are to be replaced.
Inspect all the pipes to determine if deterioration has occurred. In some instances, it may be worthwhile to have the designer cut out sections of questionable pipes for review and evaluation and look through the cleanouts. Insulation on the pipes may be asbestos and thus would have to be removed.
Renovation site visit checklist.
19. The electrical systems should be reviewed for total required capacity and for investigating the conditions of the conduits, wires, and circuit breaker boxes. Also check that DC power is not being used. The local utility company should be contacted to determine if any adverse conditions or violations exist.
20. All mechanical systems should be investigated, especially if some of the equipment will be retained. The duct work should be checked for possible mold intrusion.
21. The PM should check with the design team to determine if reports were done on the condition of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and sprinkler (MEPS) systems. If available, the reports should be obtained prior to putting pricing together.
22. If the CM/GC firm does not have mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and sprinkler expertise on staff, then a MEPS subcontractor should join the CM/GC on the site visit.
23. During winter conditions (depending upon the location), the PM will have to determine how heat can be supplied to the building so that trades people can work effectively. This has to be done in a safe and secure manner.
of access. If a hoist has not been installed or it is at one end of the building, access may be required via a staircase. Thus, the PM must make sure the stairs are in good condition to support the firefighters and their equipment. This would also be true for the trades people and the equipment that may have to be carried into the building via the stairs.
When reviewing the project, a determination will have to be made of how much cutting and patching will be required. This could include:
1. Openings for elevator shafts
2. Openings for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing chases
When these new openings are required, the PM has to take into account the possible shoring of the structure until adequate supports are provided. In addition, the logistics of providing the supports have to be reviewed and evaluated. Special shoring or underpinning may be required.
After the PM has performed the proper due diligence on the scope of work involved, then the preparation of the cost can be initiated. One of the key elements of the costs for the project is the determination of what type of contingency should be added. The contingency would be based on the availability of accurate information versus estimates. For restoration projects, a 10% contingency for accurate information and a 25% contingency for a large amount of guess work.
A contingency could also be limited if a written understanding is reached between the CM/GC and the owner that the construction documents represent the scope of the project as now defined. Any latent findings not represented by the construction documents would then be handled as a change order as defined in the contract.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.