Design-Build Collaboration


In February of 2015, a team of five steel estimators from Ideal Contracting collaborated with a project team of approximately 75 individuals including the client, architect, engineer, steel detailer, contractors, estimators, and project managers. Working from the client’s narrative/scope the team was able to assemble a complete design-build steel estimate over the span of three months for three Body Shops and three body conveyor trestles located in three separate geographic regions.

The collocation allowed for constant, ongoing trade coordination with Ideal Contracting’s steel estimating team. Ideal Contracting was able to successfully communicate with all trades workers including those in charge of foundations, site work, mechanical, electrical, and process.

Ideal Contracting’s value engineering ideas were presented to the team and the client, enabling rapid concept approval. This kept the estimating process on target and helped it progress quickly. The value engineering also ensured that the client was getting the most efficient and economical steel structure available. Ideal was able to build in the most efficient steel connections and structural steel framing design arrangements through constant and ongoing coordination with the process and the structural engineer.

Ideal Contracting found that the ongoing coordination and communication throughout this hands-on participation significantly increased responsiveness, ownership, and accountability of all parties involved. This integration process also helped reduce design re-work and construction activities, providing a platform for minimizing and resolving misunderstandings between project participants. Moreover, it allowed the customer to cost-effectively build over 3 million-square-feet of additional manufacturing capacity on time and within budget while allowing for real-time changes during the process.

Ideal Contracting was awarded the structural steel package for the General Motors Flint Body Shop and General Assembly project. The scope of work for this project included constructing a 1-million SF Body Shop as well as a 400,000 SF addition to General Assembly. A 3,000 FT body conveyor connects the new Body Shop to General Assembly. Combined, the Body Shop, General Assembly addition, and trestle consist of approximately 11,000 tons of structural steel. As part of the design process, the estimating team determined that the most efficient and cost-effective way to erect the steel was to have two cranes working side by side. This made for a fast-paced schedule for the construction team. The Body Shop and trestle were erected within only ten months and General Assembly was erected in just four months. Our team was able to stay on schedule through the entire project exceeding the client’s expectations.

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