Gerald Spencer, P.E. has more than 50 years experience serving as the Engineer of Record responsible for the design and construction of the MEP portions of more than 1300 building construction projects since 1968 including more than 30 years of preparing forensic engineering reports. Gerald Spencer, P.E. has also been providing licensed professional engineering expert opinion and testimony concerning HVAC, electrical, plumbing, cryogenics, ventilation, construction contract compliance, construction cost estimating, construction contract acquisition, construction contract administration, and other construction matters for attorneys with since 2001.
SEI personnel prefer the 12 Part systems estimating format proposed by the Department of State. SEI personnel also use the CESWF (Corps of Engineers, Southwestern Division, Fort Worth District) M-CACES (Minicomputer Aided Cost Estimating System) to derive anticipated construction costs, current working cost estimates and final government cost estimates. SEI personnel also use the NAFAC (U S Navy) CES (Cost Estimating System) to derive anticipated construction costs, current working cost estimates and final government cost estimates. We can also prepare construction cost estimates using the NASA Format and Criteria. Using a computer program to estimate or analyze costs helps to eliminate mathematical errors and saves time. We have prepared the final government cost estimates for all federally funded projects for the past 20 years, about 30 estimates per year. All SEI designers are normally the construction cost estimators for their projects. This keeps our designers abreast of current construction costs. We prepare the "Final Government Cost Estimates" that are used at the project bid openings in accordance with the FAR & DFAR. We also have the designers perform construction contract administration for projects that they design to assure the constructability of their designs.
The CM shall review the contractor's monthly payment vouchers and forward these vouchers to the CA for approval. The CA will have the other various design disciplines visit the site for additional verification of the construction partial payment when the CA is not positive that partial payment is justified. SEI will always strive to withhold sufficient funds to allow the project to be completed in the event that the contractor declares bankruptcy and abandons the project. The CA assumes ultimate responsibility for the validity of the partial payment to the contractor.
The CM shall generate a weekly report that will describe the construction progress the previous week, the results of any materials testing, and any unusual occurrences.
We provide construction contract administration, construction monitoring, create and maintain daily log of the construction operations, shop drawings, respond to RFI (requests for information), prepare contract change order documentation, prepare cost estimating for field change orders, prepare weekly construction reports, prepare monthly payment vouchers, review and maintain contractor's project schedule, document the construction with digital photographs, supervise and check laboratory sample testing, prepare documentation for field change orders, conduct periodic jobsite meetings, conduct or supervise training O&M personnel, prepare or supervise preparation of O&M documentation, conduct or supervise start-up and commissioning, prepare as-built drawings, provide home office support for large design contract modifications, provide project start-up & commissioning.
During construction, the CA (at the home office for small projects and at the jobsite for large projects) will be the initial contact point for both the Construction Contractor and the Government to communicate with the AE. Temporary Jobsite Offices (Trailer) will be set-up at the Jobsite. This field office will have the full support of the home office technical design staff of Spencer Engineers, Inc. on call at all times. We believe that the project designers should also be utilized as much as possible as field inspectors. This home office support would be available to provide interpretations of the drawings when requested. This home office support would be available to prepare any major field change orders. Home office personnel would be on call as required to perform regular periodic project site visits as scheduled and/or as requested either by the government and/or our field inspector. The services of the field office would also include the inspection of the construction, documentation of the daily progress of the construction, and the preparation of periodic field reports for distribution to the Government, the Contractor and the home office.
SEI describes commissioning of a project as construction completion; energizing the systems; loading the systems; starting all equipment; certifying that the systems operate within specified contractual requirements; training of the operations personnel to the point that they are understand the equipment and are comfortable operating the equipment; and training of the maintenance personnel to the point that they are able to safely maintain the equipment. SEI has been preparing written documentation and conducting training sessions for the start-up, operation, maintenance and commissioning of non-standard systems such as space simulation systems, cryogenic circulation systems, VOC aeration systems, and other special and complicated systems since 1965 at NASA-JSC. We normally coincide user operating & maintenance personnel training with the start-up & commissioning. We have performed commissioning duties for most of our major construction projects.
We stress contractor control to insure that the project is constructed in accordance with the contract requirements as defined with the contract documents. We always have the actual designers involved in the contract administration to check all of the shop drawings and be available for consultation as a minimum involvement in the construction. Our designers perform on-site construction progress observation visits (previously called inspections) and prepare written reports that document the progress of the construction and document any deficiencies in the construction that need to be corrected. We require that the contractor’s questions documented through the RFI (request for information) process. The original designers are normally assigned to reply to contractor questions presented through the RFI process for that particular discipline. The designers are also consulted for evaluation of partial payments to the contractor during the construction process. Large projects will have a “clerk of the works” furnished by SEI serving full time as Construction Monitor (CM). Most Federal Agencies normally appoints a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) or a COTR to furnish daily jobsite CA. The COR normally calls upon the AE for interpretation of the Contract Documents.
The CA and the CM will monitor the contractor's progress schedule on a weekly basis and determine the adherence to the project schedule. SEI personnel are familiar with several CPM software programs and some times create CPM programs for delivery to the contractor as a starting point for scheduling the work of the contract. The SEI architects and engineers are construction oriented and have a good opinion of the time required for various construction operations.
The field office could be expanded with a small cadre of key home office personnel to be the base of operations to furnish preliminary training for the Government O&M personnel that might be newly assigned to the project.
The field office would also maintain a log of the RFI requests submitted from the contractor and will forward the RFI to the home office for clarification if the CM cannot provide the answer to the request. RFI's will be submitted in a numbered sequence and identified by the sequence number. The CM shall submit one copy without answers to the government for information, and one copy with answers to the government. The government may comment if desired. One answered copy will be transmitted back to the field office, and the field office shall provide the contractor with a copy of the answered RFI. The field office would be the primary responsible office for the maintaining the status and knowing the location of all RFI's from the contractor at all times. Copies of the final answered RFI's would be on file at the jobsite and at the home office. Dual RFI records would provide extra security in the event of a fire or other disaster at either office.
The field office could be expanded with home office personnel to be the base of operations to furnish plant start-up and commissioning services to the Government if required.
We provide our electrical engineers on-site for the resistance certifications, equipment energizing, load start-ups, phase balancing, power factor balancing, and operational testing for the commissioning of the Electrical systems. This includes the certification of the controls, Fire Alarm System, Nurse Call System, Utility Control/Energy Management System function/program/operation, and other systems. We can provide all or part of these services with the construction contractor providing all or part under the direction and auspices of our contract administration services. We normally supply all portable calibrated instrumentation equipment for field measurement of temperatures, voltages, amperes, temperatures and flows when we are to certify the performance of these systems. All test data measurement acquisition will be performed and certified by one of our Registered Professional Engineers. We normally coincide user operating & maintenance personnel training with the start-up & commissioning. We have performed commissioning duties for most of our major construction projects.
The field office would also maintain a log of the shop drawings submittals from the contractor, forwarding the shop drawings to the home office and to the government for approval, information, modifications, or rejections in the field office. Two copies of each submittal would be transmitted to the government for comments, with one copy transmitted back to the field office with comments before release of the shop drawings to the contractor. The field office would be the primary responsible office for the maintaining the status and knowing the location of all shop drawings submittals from the contractor at all times. Copies of the final checked shop drawings with all comments from the Government, the home office and the consultants would be transcribed onto the required number of record shop drawing sets and distributed to the contractor, to the Government and to the home office. Dual shop drawing records would provide extra security in the event of a fire or other disaster at either office.
The prime purpose of the Construction Contract Administrator (CCA) is to personally assure that the contractor is complying with the construction plans and specifications and with the other contract requirements. A Registered Engineer will always be permanently assigned as the project Contract Administrator. The Government will be advised (in writing) when this personnel assignment is even temporarily changed (for Vacation, Sickness, etc.) The CCA will always be available for communications with the Government and/or the Construction Contractor. The CCA will periodically visit the project jobsite to support and monitor the Construction Monitor.
The services of the field office would consist of maintaining a daily log of the construction operations as observed by and documented by the CM. This would include photographs and narrative descriptions of the daily operations. The entries of the daily log shall be copied and transmitted to the home office on a daily basis.
During construction, the CCA will appoint a Construction Monitor (CM) to keep a daily project log, and to be at the field office on the jobsite every day to observe construction operations and report directly to the CCA. The CCA retains responsibility for the actions of the CCA.
SEI prepares construction contract field change orders to our construction projects for a variety of reasons. User agencies requesting building changes to meet changing mission or building function requirements can create contract modifications. Sometimes facilities are constructed to house equipment that has not yet been designed, and contract modifications are required to meet the equipment space and utility requirements. AE contract drawings can have errors and omissions that prevent project completion. Sometimes change order requests are created to spend the entire contingency funding at the end of the project, rather than return the funding. When we prepare change orders for our projects, we also prepare independent construction cost estimates to establish a monetary amount due the contractor for each contract modification.
A jobsite office will consist of one office plus a conference room with a conference table, folding chairs and a telephone dedicated for use by the owner and/or architect. This facility will be supplied by the construction contractor. This will be used for jobsite conferences and meetings. The contractor may use the conference room when the AE and the Government representatives are not on the project site.
SEI normally specifies that the contractor keep two sets of blue-line prints on the jobsite for as-built record keeping as a part of the construction contract requirements. The contractor will be normally be contractually required to mark each hidden feature and/or utility with an exact dimension so that these features may be located for repair and/or addition after the construction is complete. The AE will normally furnish the contractor with a set of CADfiles for the contractor to up-date the drawings, or the marked-up blue lines will be given to the AE and the AE will up-date the CADfiles and designate these files as the "AS-BUILT" drawings.
We provide our mechanical engineers on-site for the equipment start-ups, water balancing, air balancing, and operational testing for the commissioning of the HVAC systems. This includes the certification of the air distribution system balancing, air flows, water circulation system balancing, chiller capacity, boiler capacity, controls, Utility Control/ Energy Management System function/ program/ operation, and thermal systems. We will include flow, temperature and pressure measuring devices as required for accurate determination of operating conditions into the contract drawings. We can provide all or part of these services with the construction contractor providing all or part under the direction and auspices of our contract administration services. We normally supply all portable calibrated instrumentation equipment for field measurement of temperatures, voltages, amperes, temperatures and flows when we are to certify the performance of these systems. All test data measurement acquisition will be performed and certified by one of our Registered Professional Engineers. We normally coincide user operating & maintenance personnel training with the start-up & commissioning. We have performed commissioning duties for most of our major construction projects.
The personnel at Spencer Engineers, Inc. (SEI) believe that the contract documents that we prepare are only an instrument required for the first step toward construction of a facility, which is normally our final objective. The Engineers with SEI are very experienced at performing construction contract administration to assure that the contractor performs the work defined by the construction contract.
SEI personnel are also experienced with assisting the COR (Contracting Officers Representative) or COTR (Contracting Officers Technical Representative) with the construction contract administration of federally funded Construction Contracts for the U S Army Corps of Engineers, NASA, U S Navy, NIMA, and the USPS.
SEI personnel are very experienced at performing the construction contract administration for The Methodist Hospital - Houston, Exxon, The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - Houston, and all of our private corporate clients. These projects have been as large as $10,000,000.00. We are available to perform contract administration during the construction of our projects for the Government.
We are willing to be appointed as COR or COTR. The SEI professional liability insurance carrier does not allow us to perform inspection services, but does us to perform Construction Contract Administration for our AE designed construction projects. (I think that these services are identical to the Inspection services that we previously performed.)
The Legal Civil Courts system has determined that performing inspection services implies day-to-day control and responsibility of each and every operation of the contractor. When a personal injury on the project occurs, the AE has been found partially responsible and liable if he is performing inspection services. Our Contract Administration Services that we provide are essentially identical to the Inspection
SEI normally performs the Contract Administration (CA) for all of our privately funded projects. SEI normally assists the Government Contracting Officers Technical Representative (COTR) with the Contract Administration (CA) for most of our federal government funded projects. SEI is available to perform the Contract Administration Services that we provided until about fifteen years ago. (CA) for your projects if requested.
1.713.621.2482 or 1.800.383.9685
4635 Southwest Freeway, Suite 900
Houston, Texas 77027
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