Nightmare on Elsbree St.
Is the right owner construction software important? You decide. If ever there was a living-embodiment reflecting the value of Owner Insite, look no further than the B. M. C. Durfee High School project in Fall River, Massachusetts. Seriously, Freddy Krueger himself could not disrupt the dreams of a construction project owner any better than what The Herald News is reporting. For those who don’t want to venture away from the nonsensical metaphor transpiring on this page, here’s a brief rundown:
The HVAC subcontractor, Mr. Dwight Silvia, awarded work for this project submitted a public letter identifying deficiencies in the facility-to-be. Not to be dramatic, but Mr. Silvia specifically stated that, “in 51 of years of construction experience, I have never seen a more poorly constructed building than this structure.”
Mr. Silvia then went on to list specific issues relating to unresolved health risks (mold growth as a result of rain soaking the installed sheetrock and cabinetry), lacking modern safety protocols (non-existent fire-safety protocols that would’ve created a potential “death trap”), incorrectly installed materials (roof shingles and underground piping), incorrect or misleading information being communicated to the city from the general contractor, and a lack of preparedness to protect new equipment ($10 Million worth of HVAC) from the future demolition of a nearby existing structure.
According to Mr. Silvia, all of this has been documented by several of the subcontractors and inspectors from the city. Yet somehow, Paul Coogan, the Mayor, stated all issues on site have been “promptly addressed,” which was shockingly echoed by those from the construction manager’s side – who also claimed to have passed all inspections performed by the city.
While ominous music and conspicuous events presumptively transpire in the nightmares plaguing Mayor Coogan while he sleeps, things don’t appear to be much better in the hours he is awake – at least, in the Facebook comments on Mr. Silvia’s post. These aforementioned comments reflect a deep distaste for the powers at be on this project, but time will tell how these dominoes will fall. As Fall River embroils itself in a battle, one can’t help but wonder how this nightmare came to exist in the first place.
Well, allow us to take a stab at guessing. It’s probably important to start this off by saying these are the types of horrors that gave life to Owner Insite in the first place. They also continue to be the ultimate driver for the development of the solutions that we offer. Our solutions are specifically designed to assist in ownership groups avoiding the following situations.
First, the city or school district does not appear to have control of the project document control processes in place. In essence, they are not using their own owner construction software. As a result, they are only told what the construction manager or GC want them to know; they only have access to the data this construction manager wants them to see.
Complicating this matter, is the second issue: the inability to put the puzzle together. This situation has become a “he-said; he-said” issue. Without their own project controls in place, how can the Owner evaluate for red flags? For instance, perhaps there was an indication from the architect that the shingles were incorrect, but the construction manager had them installed anyway. How would the owner be able to piece together what happened? How would they be able to catch similar issues before it jeopardized the project schedule?
Ultimately, the biggest issue in play for the school district and the city is that they have no idea what data, if any, they’ll get at project closeout. Did anyone document and save the inspection that found a lack of safety protocols being implemented? Will the ownership groups receive warranty information on the HVAC systems they are putting at risk during the demolition? While it is bad that the city is jeopardizing their own protection should something terrible occur down the road, the worst part is that they aren’t taking measures to protect the students or facility occupants. Luckily, there are those on site who are keeping these issues in mind and are willing to call attention to them.
Would you be willing to bet on that happening for you?
If not, it’s probably best you look into owner software that keeps those nightmares at bay.