Construction Services – A Renewed Set of Eyes for Architects

By: Hannah Hayes, Director of Construction Services – Texas

Architecture and construction are continually intertwined. Because of this, PBK’s Construction Services department is designed to be an additional set of eyes and ears on the jobsite. Merging expertise in design and construction, this division’s primary responsibility is to ensure that projects are constructed in accordance with the contract documents from start to finish, delivering the best outcome for our clients within the specified cost and required time constraints. Our quality control measures work hand-in-hand with PBK’s design teams, ensuring that our clients receive the end product they are expecting.

The People

The role of the Construction Services team is to serve as a liaison between general contractors and architects for the end-to-end construction process. From 2 a.m. concrete pours to on-site meetings discussing current issues, this division is integral in both visible and behind the scenes success. Team members with a variety of backgrounds, including licensed architects, licensed contractors, and testing lab technicians, form PBK’s Construction Services department. Together, they conduct pre-installation meetings, attend concrete pours, conduct extensive site visits, coordinate on-site with consultants, and produce the project punch list.

Construction Services partakes and contributes to many different aspects of PBK’s projects. Considered the “first line of defense” for PBK’s project team, this group is integral in ensuring projects are completed on time and that inevitable questions are answered during construction.

The Projects

One example of quality control is through conducting pre-installation meetings prior to a subcontractor starting their scope of work. During a pre-installation meeting, the team (PBK Construction Services, General Contractor, and Subcontractor) reviews the project specifications, approved submittals, and means and methods for the specified scope of work. Subcontractor coordination and the general quality expectations of the contractor’s performance during the construction phases is the overwhelming topic of the meeting. Inspection stages (by PBK, our Consultants, and Authorities having jurisdiction) and testing lab engagement is an important step in the quality assurance process. At this time, clients express scope specific concerns from prior installation issues to maintenance concerns. The primary goal of this is to ensure all required boxes are checked before moving to the next stage of construction.

Pre-installation meetings are especially important for a renovation project. Under these circumstances, the team takes time to discuss schedule and noise requirements to not disturb students and teachers. Interruptions of any kind are avoided at all costs. After the pre-install meetings are conducted, the subcontractors are approved to proceed and start work.

Potentially, the most valuable contribution of Construction Services is frequent site visits. Reviewing work in place and providing timely feedback is essential to the success of the project. After a site visit, observation reports are issued, which document not only work currently taking place but also any items that are deficient or requiring correction. At important junctions in the construction process, such as in-wall and above ceiling inspections, it is important to thoroughly document the correct placement of plumbing, electrical, blocking, and any other obstructions.

The design details that architects take their time to create must be executed well to produce a quality product. The physical schools we design go far beyond sketches and floorplans. They exist as physical buildings that will be filled with students, teachers, and staff. Ultimately, the construction services team provides boots on the ground at project sites to ensure projects are executed as intended.

“I enjoy being on the jobsite and seeing progress. I’m someone that the construction team trusts and the architect team trusts so I act as the center point of both teams. I love this job. I wouldn’t do anything else.” – Hannah Hayes, Director of Construction Services – Texas

Director of Construction Services Hannah Hayes and Construction Services Manager Darius Spurlock oversee the shotcrete process to the pool at Bellaire High School. The multi-phased, 385,000 square-foot project is set to be completed in 2023 and accommodate 3,100 students.