Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Elliston-Shawsville Elementary School

Branch & Associates
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County, Virginia

Construction Update

Project Manager: Greg Polcha

Superintendent: Steve Nicely

The New Elliston-Shawsville Elementary, located at 8561 Roanoke Rd, Elliston, VA, consists of a single story structure, with three mechanical mezzanines located within various attic spaces throughout the building. This 106,000 sf building consists of a central core that contains an administation area, media center, cafeteria/auditorium, gym and art rooms. There are two seperate classroom wings that raidate from the core. The building structure is masonry on cast in place concrete footings. The roof sturcture is a mix of light gauge metal framing and metal roof trusses. The exterior consists of three colors of architectural brick as well as architectural pre-cast concrete. The completion date is May 28, 2010. HICAPS is providing scheduling services for this project. HICAPS has worked with Branch & Associates on a number of projects. Please visit their webiste at www.branch-associates.com .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NASCLA Accredited Examination Program Update

Tom Smithey, who is Vice President Building Diagnostics Division is one of the professionals working with NASCLA to draft this National Contractor's Licensing Exam which has been in the works since 2002.

NASCLA Accredited Examination Program Update:
It is one of those times in an organization’s lifetime to say, “Mission
Accomplished!” The first NASCLA Accredited Examination for
Commercial General Building Contractors was administered on
September 8, 2009 in Alabama. The Alabama Licensing Board for
General Contractors was the first NASCLA member to utilize the new
examination developed by PSI. The administration of this
examination is a milestone in NASCLA history, as NASCLA been
working at least ten years toward the goal of improving the quality of
construction examinations and enabling the mobility of contractors
across jurisdictions. NASCLA committee members, testing providers,
and consultants have participated in making this accomplishment truly a
collaborative effort.

In addition to the first examination being administered, NASCLA is also extremely pleased to include Professional Examination Service (PES) as the most recent provider of an accredited examination. NASCLA jurisdictions now have two testing providers who are NASCLA-approved and have accredited examinations.
The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program consists of an approval and an accreditation process. NASCLA spent several years developing and refining the NASCLA Examination Standards, which provide detailed criteria that must be met to ensure the highest quality examination development and administration. Testing providers who pass a business, financial and security audit based on the Standards are designated as NASCLA-approved. Testing providers who want to provide an accredited examination for commercial building contractors are required to use a national occupational analysis commissioned by NASCLA and conducted by PES as the basis for the examination content. Testing providers must also pass a psychometric audit of their examination development procedures based on the Standards. NASCLA jurisdictions are strongly encouraged to request that their testing provider become NASCLA approved in order to ensure that NASCLA standards are being met.
The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program was designed to assist contractors who need to be licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Contractors who take the accredited examination can access NASCLA’s examination database (NED) and request that their results be sent to other jurisdictions that accept the examination, thereby reducing redundant licensing requirements.
During the annual conference in Nashville, there was much interest from NASCLA members about the new examinations with a little friendly competition between member states about which would be the next state to utilize the accredited examination. In addition, many states expressed their commitment to accept the examination. NASCLA Accredited Examination Program committee members also spoke with Prometric and Prov, Inc. to encourage them to become NASCLA-approved providers.
If you have questions about the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program, you can request a program brochure or other information from the NASCLA office, and you may also request that a member of the NASCLA Submarketing Program Committee provide you with personal assistance for utilizing the program in your jurisdiction. Congratulations, NASCLA, on a great achievement!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Brindley Construction, LLC

During the period beginning February 2008 through May 2009 the manufactured housing production facilities for Southern Energy and Southern Estates divisions of Clayton Homes at Addison, Alabama were expanded significantly, nearly doubling the production capabilities at this location.

Brindley Construction retained HICAPS, Inc. of Greensboro, NC to assist with schedule development and maintenance on this project. Initial project schedules were developed with the Brindley Project Team and with the Clayton Homes Production Managers that considered not only the expansion of the new facilities but recognized that production at both the Southern Energy and Southern Estates Plants could not be interrupted. Schedules were updated with the Brindley Team and the Subcontractors bi-weekly through out the project. Bi-weekly and monthly review meetings were also held with the Clayton Production Managers. Owner’s moves, equipment installations, and construction of specialized production line fixtures were incorporated in to the schedules.

This highly coupled project was phased around production schedules, planned production shut downs, and holidays. In addition to the plant expansions new offices, break rooms and restroom facilities were constructed.

The office construction, like the production plant expansions, was required to be constructed in phases and completed on schedule so that office moves could be accomplished during planned shut down times.

Because the old break rooms and toilet facilities were being demolished and replaced with new facilities phasing of these renovations was also required so that there would be break rooms and restroom facilities continuously available for the plant employees.

Sitework which included new drainage structures, roads, lighting, utility work and other improvements had to be coordinated with the production schedules. Utility interruptions including the new 2500 Amp Electrical Service to the Southern Estates Plant could only occur during planned shut downs. New manufactured housing staging areas were constructed to take the place of previously existing staging areas which would now be occupied by the expanded plants. Significant amounts of unsuitable soil encountered on the site caused the development of recovery schedules so that Brindley’s operations would not impact production in either plant.

Scheduling the delivery of the more than 10 separate buildings and additions was also a critical consideration because of limited lay down space available during the project.

Even with all of the challenges faced by the Brindley Construction Team and the Production Managers for Clayton Homes which included maintaining production schedules in the active plants, unsuitable soil encountered, code required structural upgrades and weather impacts the project successfully completed within the original contract period.

If you would like more information on Brindley Construction LLC you can visit their website at www.brindleyconst.com or Clayton Homes at www.claytonhomes.com .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meet the Partners Building Diagnostics Part IV

The cornerstone of HICAPS for the past 25 years has been CPM Scheduling and Project Controls. It is our firm belief that with good information, controls and planning, every project has an equal chance of success. Along with the scheduling and project controls as our foundation, we are also well known for our engineering, estimating, construction and claims resolution experience. Now we have added another service as a natural out growth of the our area of expertise.

HICAPS Building Diagnostic Services was conceived out of a need expressed by our clients. HICAPS has performed Building Diagnostic Services as part of the claims resolution service and performed a number of condition assessments for our clients in the past. To perform these services we tapped into our own knowledge base of the envelope and reached out to the known experts that we had worked with in the past for roofing, Infrared Theromography, Nuclear Moisture Surveys, HVAC and Electrical Analysis and Architectural services.

Because of his experience and credentials, Tom Smithey, who has been with HICAPS since 1999, was chosen as the Program Director for the Building Diagnostics Division. To is a graduate of the Building Construction Program at Virginia Tech and is a Certified Professional Constructor. Tom holds GC licenses in several states and is a LEED AP. We are proud of our team and happy to be able to offer such an important service.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meet the Partners Building Diagnostics Part III

West and Stem Architects bring a vast amount of knowledge regarding design services to the partnership. West & Stem Architects, PLLC is a new design firm born out of a strong desire to practice Architecture and build lasting relationships with clients and professional associates. The firm's principals. P. Michael West, AIA and James C. Stem, AIA have a successful working relationship dating nearly ten years as an owner and former employee of Calloway Johnson Moore and West, P.A. respectively. Michael and James bring collectively over 35 years of experience providing and coordinating a vast arrary of design services on all project types and scales.

The firm provides pre-design consulting services such as feasibility studies, master planning and programing, as well as a full range of Architectural services.

West & Stem, PLLC's main office is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Currently P. Michael West, AIA and James C. Stem, AIA are licensed to provide services in North Carolina and Virginia.

We are happy to introduce West and Stem as our newest partner member to the Building Diagnostics team. As such they comprise an important part of our team and we are proud to be assoicated with them.