How You Can Benefit From An Owner’s Representative

July 06, 2020 | Tim Hartnett

A construction project, regardless of size and scope, can be a daunting undertaking. Concept to completion can take months – even years – and comes with unknowns and risks. No two design and construction projects are exactly alike, with the varying site and civil constraints, schedules, building structural components, and numerous types of building materials and equipment. Often, the municipal staff is either too busy to adequately monitor the progress of the project or lacks the knowledgeable and experienced staff to do so. So how can municipal staff overcome these challenges to ensure a project is designed efficiently, sticks to a schedule and budget, and meets required adopted engineering building codes and ordinances?

Enter the Owner’s Representative role – someone hired to act as an extension to your staff. The owner’s representative protects your interests, coordinates, and effectively communicates to the team throughout all phases of the project while performing all site civil inspections, building inspections, overseeing budgets, payout requests, and addendums.

There are many advantages of hiring an owner’s representative; the most evident would be the time and experience. Your contractors and consultant teams may need immediate, on-site answers to technical questions; you will need to attend meetings, prepare documents, talk to vendors, assess the needs of the project, and more. Staying on top of it all takes time. An owner’s representative has additional staff resources to devote the time necessary to oversee that the project is completed on time, within budget, and code compliant.

The owner’s representative is knowledgeable about the construction process and all building disciplines. They know what needs to be done for the project (and when), and depending on the project and location, there are likely additional permits, other agency approvals, and vendors that you might need. Here is where the owner’s representative will be beneficial. The owner’s representative will oversee all the details of the project so municipal staff can focus on the more critical task of managing the day-to-day.

Whether it is for renovating or building a completely new structure, a small or large project, you need experts to represent your best interests. A representative who is aware of best design practices, current codes, permit requirements, and construction trends, and focused on bringing about the completion of a successful project in terms of finances, schedules, and deliverables.

Elk Grove Public Works Facility

Owner’s Representative for Elk Grove Village

Elk Grove Village hired HR Green to oversee the design of two fire stations and two public works buildings. The goal was to ensure the projects were completed according to the planning documents and approved permit construction documents within the budget schedule and in compliance with newly adopted building codes and ordinances. From schematic design coordination to final construction documents and code review, to site and civil inspections, and all building inspections through final occupancy, HR Green provided owners representative services to bring these unique projects to fruition.

Posted with copyright permission from APWA Chicago Metro Chapter publication June/July 2020.

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