|The Christmas season is always a special
time, but this year it takes on even greater significance as we enter the new millennium.
Think of how few people in the history of the world have alive to experience such a an
It's a wonderful time
for a number of other reasons, too. Our country's prosperity continues to exhibit steady
growth, which began in the mid-80's. Technology has opened vast new worlds to us and
created opportunities never before available. But for those of us at F.L. Hoffman
Corporation, the real blessings of the holidays and the coming of the year 2000 are our
hardworking employees, building team partners, corporate friends, and of course, our
clients. All of you are the reason for our success. We wish each of you a happy and safe
holiday, a new year filled with all the promise a new millennium can offer, and a bug-free
How Long is That
A recent survey showed that the
typical airline passenger spends almost an hour waiting at various stages of his or her
- Check-in counter: 11 minutes waiting
in line and getting processed
- Waiting to board; 16 minutes past the
scheduled flight time to begin boarding
- Sitting on runway; 13.5 minutes from
boarding to takeoff
- Baggage claim; 18.5 minutes waiting
The Skinny On
- Each square inch of human skin has 19
million cells, 60 hairs, 90 oil glands, 19 feet of blood vessels, 625 sweat glands and
19,000 sensory cells.
- If the skin of a 150-pound person
were spread out flat, it would cover about 20 square feet.
- The average person's skin weighs
about six pounds.
- Seventy percent of house dust is made
up of dead skin flakes.
A Lot Of Hot Air
An electric fan does not cool a
room. It actually increases the air temperature because of the heat released by the motor.
What makes the room seem cooler is increased air circulation over the skin, which speeds
evaporation of moisture.
Not Such A Goofy
Walt Disney once defined success as:
"Doing something so well that people will pay to see you do it again."
In The Beginning,
There Was...An Estimate
The key to a successful
pre-construction period is the development of a project budget early in the project. This
can most easily be accomplished though a preliminary cost estimate listing all
construction and "soft" cost. This establishes cost guidelines for each aspect
of the project and provides the various design professionals (civil engineer, architect,
structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, interior designers etc.) a clear
understanding of the allowable costs relating to their portion of your project.
We've found that many design
professionals prefer cost guidelines, since they virtually eliminate subsequent redesign
or value engineering (a.k.a. "Architecture").
Oh, What a Site!
Aside from a few overly
zealous design/engineering firms ("Whadaya mean, 'budget?"), site concerns rank
up there as the leading cause of delays in purchasing or developing property. Developing a
poorly chosen site can be costly in both time and money. Some issues to consider include:
- Wetland. Are there any on-site? If so
are they in a to-be-developed area? You can only fill 1/3 of an acre without a lengthy
- Hazardous materials. Has the site
been inspected for PCBs, illegal dumping or other contaminants?
- Rock, peat or other unsuitable
subsurface conditions. Soil borings and analysis will determine the condition of the
subgrade. Solid rock will be expensive to remove. Spongy conditions will require
over-excavation, spread footings, piles or some other form of stabilization, depending
upon the severity of the condition.
- Municipal water and sewer. Is there a
public water supply and sanitary sewer system available? If not, you'll need more acreage
to develop on-site systems. The approval process will be longer, as the planning
board/town engineer analyze system requirements and potential impacts to adjacent
- Setback requirements. Do you have the
space needed for the project? If not, you will have to seek a variance from the town. This
takes time and may trigger a public hearing. Once parking, utilities, building area and
traffic flow are evaluated, it's surprising how much areas is needed for a well-designed
- Zoning. Is the property zoned for the
use you intend (B4, C6.2, etc.)? If not, a special use permit will be required and must be
granted by the town.
- Cut and fill. Obviously you'd like to
build on a relatively flat site, but they're few and far between. Excessive excavation or
large amounts of imported fill may delay constructions, can become expensive, and
depending on adjacent conditions, may necessitate additional stabilization, retaining
walls and storm water management.
The development of
a typical, well-chosen site should run about 10% of your overall construction cost. On a
fixed budget, a poorly chosen site, though usable, will effectively reduce funds available
What Makes Us So
One of the many benefits of
Construction Management is the review of plans prior to bid. During these reviews, we not
only apply our more than 37 years of construction experience, but also an arsenal of codes
and references, including the NYS Fire Prevention and Building Code, BOCA codes, National
Fire Protection Association guidelines, ADA, CABO/ANSI guidelines and more.
This coupled with our cost
estimating and design references, provides a pretty foolproof analysis of your project
before the big bucks are spent. This is one of the many reasons that Construction
Management is gaining popularity worldwide.
There's an old saying, "The
only real opportunity to save money on a construction project is during the planning
phase; beyond that point, money can only be spent." The key is a good planning team.
Design/Build is an outgrowth of modern Construction Management methods. It applies the
efficiency and control of good business organization to construction.
Too Much Of A
We're not known for providing too
little of anything. Until recently, this included information available on our website. We
tried valiantly to produce our own site to ensure it addressed the needs of our clients.
However, feedback indicates that we should stick to Construction Management and leave the
web design to the professionals. So that's just what we did.
If you've visited our site in the
past and found it way too informative, give it another shot. We think you'll find the new
layout faster, easier to navigate and much more user friendly. We've also included some
links that you may find useful and interesting. Please drop us a line and let us know what
you think of the new layout--we'd love your imput.
For those of you out there who just
can't live without all the details, feel free to contact us for a free copy of our Contruction
Management Approach publication.