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Jun 3 2013

Doing Better. Together.

A collaborative culture is not just the best way to get the job done; it is the best way to spur innovation.  It’s also a key part of our business model.  The long-term strategic plan developed by our executive team states, “We will work creatively and responsibly with others to produce and celebrate best results.”   This focus helps us excel in collaborative team environments with mutually-beneficial outcomes that create positive experiences for our clients.

According to Andy Read, CEO, “There is an emphasis on collaboration within PSF as well as externally. The optimal mechanical solution is a balance between functionality, budget, operating costs, sustainability, and constructability.  This balance is only achieved by the collaboration between building owners, occupants, and the design and construction teams. It is both a great challenge and a great reward to work together to achieve the best project outcome.”

Pulling Everyone Together

There has been a lot of discussion and excitement in the construction industry about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) projects, and though this has not become the industry norm, we are seeing that more and more of our projects are executed using an IPD approach.  The term MEP no longer best describes the way projects are being coordinated.  MEP meetings now include full project teams with mechanical, electrical, structural, architectural, and GC team members at the table.  Pulling everyone together during the design phase means that constructability reviews are happening sooner, and inter-disciplinary conflicts, associated costs, and scheduling impacts are identified and resolved earlier.  This streamlined approach benefits the client by lowering risk, lowering costs, and reducing schedules.

In addition to our external collaborative efforts, we saw an opportunity to improve our Integrated Design-Build (IDB) Process.  We chose to locate engineers, virtual construction modelers, project managers, and administrative staff who work on similar types of projects in close proximity to each other to foster more interaction.  Lead by Chris Lawson, COO, this co-location and integration of our engineering and detailing efforts has not only improved our internal collaboration but has had a significant impact on our projects.  For example, on the Amazon.com TI at West 8th project, the engineering and detailing hours were reduced by 20%.  We were also able to reduce the schedule between start of engineering and release of fabrication by one-third.

Collaboration isn’t just the buzzword of the week at PSF.  It is an ongoing and dynamic process that is woven into everything that we do.

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