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.

quality control during design

Spencer Engineers, Inc. (SEI) has prepared construction contract drawings and specifications for more than 1800 construction projects during the past 34 years.  SEI engineers 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 construction oriented and are very experienced at performing construction contract administration.  This assures the constructability of the construction contract documents that we create.  SEI has an in-house design quality control plan that assures that our project contract documents are as error free as possible.  The SEI project manager is the key person for all of our project quality design and construction projects.  All decisions, information, and communications are processed through the project manager.

1.     RESULTS OF SEI QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAM:  SEI has produced excellent results with our in-house Quality Control Program.  The ACASS summary (Department of Defense AE contract performance summary maintained by the Corps of Engineers) printout on 30SEP96 for SEI indicates 21 completed projects with one excellent performance rating, one above average rating, and the remaining 19 projects with an average performance rating.  ACASS summary printout 08MAY00 reveals 11 projects with one above average rating and 10 projects with an average rating.  A copy of this summary sheet is included behind the form 254’s.  The complete ACASS report indicates that all but two of these DoD projects were completed without contract modifications due to design deficiency.  These two project modification amounts totaled less than $10,000.00.  The construction value amounted to more than $60,000,000.00.  This report indicates that all of the projects had the low bid within the funds available, that the AE services were performed within the time frame allocated, and that all projects were awarded construction contracts.  A copy of this report is included behind the form 254’s.  SEI has commendation letters (1986 & 1987) from U S Army personnel commending SEI for our AE project management performance.  These commendations are in reference to the total project including programming, design, management, cost control, timely service, quality of work and construction contract administration.  SEI must be performing to the satisfaction of these clients, or SEI would not have been awarded such a continuous stream of projects.

2.     PROJECT MANAGEMENT:  All coordination between our project manager and your organization will be documented to as much detail as written word and sketches permit.  All meetings and telephone conversations are followed with written confirmation of all items discussed and decisions made at that meeting.  All verbal instructions from our clients are confirmed in writing.  This documentation is in the form of confirmation notices numbered in sequence so that continuity of numbered notices assures each recipient that they have all of the coordination documentation on the project.  We do not miss any of our clients directions due to misinformation.  We want Government user input into the design.

3.     REVIEW MEETINGS:  We have periodic formal coordination review meetings during design with all disciplines involved.  These meetings allow each design discipline to be informed of the actions of other disciplines, and allow information flow concerning actions of one discipline affecting other disciplines.  All project designs are coordinated by the Architect (or other lead discipline) for purposes of overall coordination and integrating the various disciplines into the project.  Our clients are always welcome to and encouraged to attend these meetings.  Client input at these meetings is an important part of the design process working to satisfy the needs of the client.  The principal of the firm who is the project manager conducts this meeting.  All principals attend design review meetings.  The principals of the firm approve or disapprove the design concept at each stage of the design process that retains control in detail by the principals of the firm.

4. PROCESS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH PROJECT SCHEDULE:  SEI has always emphasized completing our work within the time frames allotted, within budget and with no field change orders.  These are the three things that all of our clients require, in addition to a facility that meets their facility requirements.  We always meet our schedules, even if the schedules require effort above and beyond normal expectations.  Gerald Spencer, P.E., President, Chairman, and 100% stockholder is responsible for all operations, and is solely responsible for the scheduling of efforts as required for meeting schedules.

5.  PROCESS FOR COST CONTROL:  All of the SEI designers in each discipline are also the construction cost estimators that prepare the "Final Government Cost Estimates" that are used at the project bid openings in accordance with the FARS & DFARS.  SEI believes that all of the designers should also be the cost estimators.  This keeps SEI designers cost conscious in lieu of ivory tower type designers whose designs are too expensive to construct.  SEI also believes that the designers should perform the Construction Contract Administration for the projects that they design in order to assure the constructability of their designs to the point that construction problems are minimized. Construction cost control is emphasized by all of our licensed professionals and by all of the SEI designers.
5.1.    COST ESTIMATING:  SEI updates cost estimates during the design phase and advises the client when it appears the cost estimate will exceed allowable construction funds.  SEI has ten years experience with the U S Army MCACES computer aided cost estimating system and has completed interim partial design progress construction cost estimates and the Final Government Cost Estimates for more than 40 Army & NASA construction projects during the past 4 years.  Any construction cost estimating consultants will report directly to Mr. Spencer.  Mr. Spencer is in charge of our construction cost estimating and is responsible forassuring that our designs can be constructed within the available construction funds.

5.2.   PROGRAM, CONCEPT, PARAMETRIC AND EARLY PRELIMINARY CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING:  SEI designers have many years’ experience and can prepare cost estimates for funding purposes without a design or documentation.
5.3.  CONSTRUCTION COSTS DURING DESIGN: All SEI designers are normally the construction cost estimators for their portion of a project.  We use M-CACES for interim construction cost estimating at various stages of design.  We advise clients of projected construction costs and recommend changes when they exceed project funding. 5.4.    COST ANALYSIS:  SEI has reviewed many construction cost estimates for construction contract modification proposals.

5.5.    VALUE ENGINEERING: SEI relies on U. S. Cost, Inc. for value engineering requirements.  SEI provided value engineering REVIEW services for the Mine Warfare Center project at Ingleside, TX.

5.6.   Cost control: All SEI designers are cost estimators.  We perform construction contract administration for our projects to assure the constructability of our designs and to minimize construction problems.

6.   CADD: Our CAD systems have greatly enhanced the appearance of our drawings.  This has allowed us to utilize standard proven details recalled from our central files or from other projects with great ease.  This allows greater plan coordination between disciplines insofar as locations of features and equipment is concerned.  This allows us to perfect our standard designs.

7.  SPECIFICATIONS: We have used the SPECSINTACT program for the last six years.  We subscribe to the CCB and get the up-dated CD-ROMs have all the DoD specifications from the various branches that participate in the SPECSINTACT program.  We have the latest versions of Microsoft® Word and Wordperfect® to use as word processing software.  We have prepared specifications for more than 500 federally funded projects during the past 50 years.

8.  EXPERIENCE:  SEI completed more than 30 projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; more than 70 projects for NASA Johnson Space Center; more than 80 projects for the Dallas Postal Service; more than 20 projects for Exxon USA; more than 10 projects for The Methodist Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, during the past 10 years.  These projects were all completed successfully with respect to cost control, quality of work and compliance with project design schedules.  Our record of being selected as the AE of record for many different projects over the past 30 years for these repeat clients plus many other different clients should indicate that our approach to quality control is the correct approach that satisfies the needs of our clients.  For the last few years we have been the AE or record for the Department of State, National Imagery & Mapping Authority (DoD), and The City of Houston Aviation Department.

9.  REDICHECK: We also use "REDICHECK INTERDISCIPLINARY COORDINATION" for in-house quality control that is supplemented with our in-house created checklists.

10. CONSTRUCTABILITY: Keeping our designers assisting construction contract administrators keeps our designers thinking about the construction, so that their designs do not have constructability problems.  This is not possible on extremely large projects with extended design and construction time frames, but designers are used as substitutes when the “construction monitor” is absent due to vacation, illness, etc.  All projects do not need full time CA services, and SEI offers a cafeteria plan where the USAF can involve SEI as much or as little as desired.  We can perform constructability analysis and review similar to the Corps of Engineers analysis for our privately funded projects.

11. CONSTRUCTION ORIENTATION: All of the SEI architects, engineers, and designers are construction oriented.  SEI architects and engineers have participated in many team design/construction projects where the building foundation and sitework was designed as a separate package, bid and constructed while the remainder of the building design drawings were completed.  Normally the remainder of the design drawings, except for user fit-up, could be completed, bid, and contracted for during the time required for sitework and foundation construction.  SEI has also performed as the General Construction Contractor on special occasions when our clients request this service, and when they are willing to pay a premium for expedited team concept design & construction on a cost plus basis.  SEI was the AE and the general contractor for the Exxon Paleo Lab Relocation project in 1985.  Our definition of Contract Management is controlling the acquisition and construction of projects.  The amount of Construction Management desired depends upon the speed in which the project is needed, project location if unusual labor and/or material supplies considerations need attention, and the scope of the project in terms of size and dollars.  SEI personnel have performed as General Contractor and/or Construction Manager when time constraints prevent normal economical acquisition of the construction through competitive bidding.  We can provide varying degrees of additional assistance when acquisition of construction is needed quicker than by employing the most economical processes of bidding.

12. QUALITY ASSURANCE:  Final design drawings and specifications for each discipline are checked and stamped (certified) by an officer of the firm registered in that particular design discipline prior to issue for bidding or construction.  Final design documents are also cross checked by officers registered in other disciplines insofar as coordination between disciplines is required (also spelling, graphics, and etc.).  We also have formal checklists for each discipline that are required for final approval.