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Whether you are an owner, architect/engineer/interior designer, project manager, contractor/subcontractor/supplier, the program prepares you to focus your attention on design &production control, the review & evaluation of contract documents plus bidding

Course Outline

After participating in the course, you will be able to:
€¢ Gain insights to improving communications and design-review procedures that will build confidence in the quality of the design documents.
€¢ Discover contract documents quality control/assurance methods from experiences of others
€¢ Focus on finding deficiencies in contract documents before bidding and contract signing
€¢ Use techniques to discover the correlation between the quality of construction documents and change orders and therefore the need to implement quality enhancement measures
€¢ Prevent claims before they arise
€¢ Carry home a step by step program to integrate a checking process into production
€¢ Avoid future errors in the communication of construction information as well as gain new insights into quality control


One of the crucial means for controlling construction costs is to keep change orders and related costs to a minimum. This can be achieved by exercising greater care during the preparation of design, bidding and construction documents; ensuring the viability of design, improving the quality of working drawings and specifications, and being wary of the common causes of claims leading to cost overruns.
This down-to-earth practical program explains where we are now, where do we want to go and how do we get there.  Whether you are an owner, architect/engineer/interior designer, project manager, contractor/subcontractor/supplier, the program prepares you to focus your attention on design and production control, the review and evaluation of contract documents plus bidding and contract award process.  By equipping you with the knowledge to enhance the quality of contract documents, this seminar enables you to avoid potential claims.


To identify the problems and then to focus on the available opportunities for reducing these, and thus possibly eliminating many of the frequently re-occurring situations which give rise to costly revisions, substitutions and claims which routinely occur during construction.

Who Should Attend

Government, institutional and private sector owners, architects/engineers and other design professionals, planners and contractor representatives, individuals responsible for developing and using construction documents, plus other construction personnel who can benefit from sharing the experiences of instructors and other participants.

You will receive a copy of the Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice

Program Outline

Faculty: Martin Gerskup, Best Consultants Martin Gerskup Architect Inc.

Day I The Problems: Where Are We Now?

8:00      Registration and Coffee

8:20      Welcome, Introduction, Workshop Preview, Learning Outcomes and the Assessment Method

8:30      Overview 
            €¢ Scope of program-types of facilities 
            €¢ Industry trends that give rise to major concerns
            €¢ Scale of losses resulting from changes and claims
            €¢ Stages of a project-architectural and engineering
            €¢ Components of the bidding documents 
            €¢ Recent claims-weaknesses in the documents?
            €¢ Project delivery methods-their impacts

9:30      Legal Issues
            €¢ Consultants liability
            €¢ Owners liability
            €¢ Contractors liability

10:10    Refreshments and Networking

10:30    Contracts-A Synopsis
            €¢ Contract forms
            €¢ Who is responsible for what?
            €¢ Client/consultant agreements
            €¢ Special consultants-their roles
            €¢ Owner/contractor agreements 
            €¢ Contractor/subcontractor agreements

11:45    Lunch

12:45    Inconsistencies In The Documents-An Owner's Perspective 
            €¢ Where do they start?
            €¢ What do owners expect from their consultants?
            €¢ Project initiation
            €¢ Planning and design stages
            €¢ Cost planning and cost control
            €¢ Document preparation and bidding stages
            €¢ What do owners expect from contractors/subcontractors 
            €¢ Construction stages
            €¢ Construction modifications

1:30      Commentaries

1:45      Difficulties In Producing The Documents- A Consultants Point of View - What Are They? 
            €¢ What do consultants expect from owners
            €¢ Project Team-Owner/Consultants 
            €¢ The process of preparing drawings and specifications
            €¢ Cost planning and control
            €¢ Coordination with owner requirements
            €¢ Coordination with authorities
            €¢ Coordination with consultants
            €¢ Computer aided design and drafting

2:30      Commentaries

2:45      Refreshments and Networking

3:00      Shortcomings in the Documents- A Contractor's Point of View 
            €¢ In the bidding documents
            €¢ During the contract award
            €¢ In the "issued for construction" documents
            €¢ Instructions issued during construction 
            €¢ Claims from contractors resulting from imperfect documents

3:45      Commentaries

4:00      Reasons Why Change Orders and Delay Claims Happen
            €¢ Owner caused
            €¢ Design team caused
            €¢ Construction team caused 
            €¢ As Found conditions
            €¢ Authorities having jurisdiction 
            €¢ Logging of changes

4:40      Open Forum-Questions and Answers

5:00      Adjournment

Day II Setting Objectives: Where Do We Want To Go?

8:30      Avoid Problems-Drawings
            €¢ But first-what are they?
            €¢ Demolition 
            €¢ Architectural and landscaping
            €¢ Civil and structural
            €¢ Mechanical and electrical 
            €¢ Specialty trades

9:15      Avoid Problems- Specifications 
            Here are some for discussion 
            €¢ Supplemental conditions
            €¢ Instructions to bidders
            €¢ Bid form(s)
            €¢ Trade sections
            €¢ Coordination between sections/between drawings and specifications

10:00    Refreshments and Networking

10:20    Avoid Problems-Bidding Documents
            Most have legal implications
            €¢ Supplementary conditions
            €¢ Invitation to bid
            €¢ Instructions to Bidders 
            €¢ Bid forms and attachments/alternate, identified, separate, unit prices, allowances 
            €¢ Bid security forms
            €¢ Information available to Bidders
            €¢ Inquiries-pre bid briefings 
            €¢ Addenda

11:00    Avoid Problems-Construction Costs: Cost Planning and Cost Control
            €¢ Conceptual versus actual estimates
            €¢ Cost limit established
            €¢ First cost plan prepared
            €¢ Cost checks made through design development and preparation of drawings and specifications
            €¢ Identifying critical cost control measures
            €¢ Document review for major cost-impact items
            €¢ Final estimate and cost check (prebid estimate)

12:00    Lunch

1:00      Cost Control During Bidding and Construction
            €¢ General contractor selection
            €¢ Assessing the often unknown impact of the marketplace
            €¢ Cost analysis of bid
            €¢ Cost saving exercises
            €¢ Assessing substitutions 
            €¢ Assessing schedule of values and construction schedule
            €¢ Cost control of delays and changes

1:50      Selection of Professionals- Consultants and Contractors 
            €¢ Excellence is the objective
            €¢ Prequalification 
            €¢ Approaches/direct selection, invited, open competitions 
            €¢ Request for proposals/responses 
            €¢ Interviews/reactions
            €¢ Evaluation criteria

2:40      Refreshments and Networking

3:00      Owner Assessments of Documents 
            €¢ Costs contingencies 
            €¢ Design and document reviews-creating an effective process
            €¢ QA and /or QC requirements
            €¢ Contract modifications during construction 
            €¢ Use of project site representative and/or construction manager

3:40      Open Forum-Questions and Answers

4:00      Workshops
The Day III program is entitled "Evolving New Protocols" for improving the quality of construction documents.  In preparation for tomorrow's session the attendees will be divided into 3 teams.  Each team will be responsible for compiling a list of improvements for quality assurance and quality control procedures which the team believes should be implemented by owners and consultants.

For this exercise assume that such protocols are not already in place
€¢ Team A - Planning and design
€¢ Team B - Drawings and specifications
€¢ Team C - Bidding, contract award and contract modifications

Each team will be asked to give a 15 minute presentation on Day III, commencing at 8:30 am

4:30      Adjournment

Day III Evolving New Protocols:  How Do We Get There? Who Does What?

8:30      Workshop Presentations and Related Discussions
(Program Participants)
*Team A
*Team B
*Team C

9:40      Refreshments and Networking

10:00    Planning and Design Stages-Being Right from the Start 
            €¢ Concepts that need to be understood by the entire design team before the first line is drawn
            €¢ Coordination between design team members
            €¢ Use of checklists integrated into the design/contract document quality assurance programs
            €¢ Importance of design development
            €¢ Client signoffs at each design stage

10:45    Working Drawings-New Approaches and Better Uses of Those We Already Have
            €¢ Starting point-approved design development documents
            €¢ Evolving a systematic internal review process
            €¢ Creating a team review process; 60%, 90%, 100%
            €¢ Incorporating design changes at this stage
            €¢ Involving project managers and field administration personnel from the early stages
            €¢ Increased interference studies and related coordination 
            €¢ Study the difficult details first, typical after
            €¢ Third party reviews
            €¢ Client signoffs  

11:45    Lunch

12:45    Specifications and Bidding Requirements-Consistency A Must
            €¢ Integrated drawing and specification systems
            €¢ Use of internet for product selection 
            €¢ Specification binders
            €¢ Meeting client€(TM)s scheduling requirements

1:15      Bidding, Contract Award and Construction Modifications 
            €¢ Ensuring that the bidding period proceeds smoothly 
            €¢ Evaluating bids effectively
            €¢ Preparing the contract correctly
            €¢ Using the pre construction meeting to advantage
            €¢ Issuing supplemental instructions clearly
            €¢ Reviewing quotations and time changes fairly

2:00      Partnering-A Concept for Success 
            €¢ What is it?
            €¢ How is it implemented?
            €¢ Why a charter?
            €¢ Is the concept effective?

2:30      Refreshments and Networking

2:50      Summary-Key Words
               A list of key words, phrases and concepts which evolved from this program will be assembled during the last 30 minutes of the program

3:30      Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

4:00      Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment

Martin Gerksup
Martin Gerskup, B. Arch, OAA, MRAIC, is President with BEST Consultants Martin Gerskup Architect Inc. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of Investigative Architecture and Building Science. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) and has served in various capacities on the Ontario Building Envelope Council (OBEC) Board of Directors from 1991 to 1997. He was President of OBEC from 1993-1994; and a member of Council for the OAA from 2003 to 2005; and is currently a member of the ULC Thermal Insulation Committee.

During his tenure on council at the OAA, Martin was Chair of the Discipline Committee, and actively served on the following committees: Practice Committee, Registration Committee, Public Interest Review Committee, Communications Committee and the University Liaison Task Group. Martin has authored and presented many technical papers on the subject of building science and taught as an Assistant Adjunct Professor and tutor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design from 1999 to 2001, and for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Ryerson University in 2002.
Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

2.1 CEUs / 21 PDHs

Cancellation Policy
To withdraw from a course, you must send a request, in writing, with the official receipt to our office. Fifteen or more business days in advance: full refund less $50.00 administration charge. Five to fifteen business days in advance: non-refundable credit of equal value for any future EPIC seminar within one year. Credits are transferable within your organization. In case of an unexpected event occurring after this time, you may send someone else to take your place without any additional cost.
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The course was very well presented and the course instructor was absolutely amazing.
Reviewed by 2013
Our instructor, Stephen Lamming, was outstanding and a true expert in his field. He was able to complement the technical air monitoring information with practical real life examples which was highly beneficial. He is an excellent communicator and was highly interactive with the course attendees. This course was recommended to me because Stephen Lamming does an outstanding job. I was very impressed with this course and have subsequently recommended it to my colleagues.
Reviewed by 2012
Would have liked more interactive problem solving.
Reviewed by 2011

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