We make a priority of communicating frequently with our clients while providing engineering services, thereby ensuring that the project meets the client’s needs and requirements. As such, the members of our staff who are responsible for a specific project are continually available throughout its duration, attend scheduled meetings at the client’s offices, and confer with the client’s project manager at least weekly to keep him or her apprised of project progress. In addition, we have found that it is often important to confer with the client’s operations and maintenance staff, particularly during design projects; operations and maintenance personnel can offer valuable insights regarding safe, reliable, and functional facilities.
When assembling a project team for a particular project, we assign specific responsibilities to engineers and designers/drafters who have significant experience in providing the specific engineering services required for the proposed project. The size and experience level of our staff are such that we have little difficulty in offering project teams that are capable of providing services for virtually any type of public works project, including those involving reports, estimates, design, or contract administration.
Prior to designing a specific project, we perform a number of preliminary evaluations in cooperation with the client’s staff to establish various design parameters for use during design engineering. We also perform a records search regarding the site or alignment and nearby utilities, and prepare a legal description and plat in the event that a specific site or easement must be acquired prior to construction.
As an example, the basic elements of our engineering services for design projects include: records searches, preliminary design, design surveys, preliminary contract document preparation, permit application preparation and submittal (if necessary), conferences with the local electrical utility regarding electrical service requirements (if necessary), and final contract document preparation. Engineering services tasks are set forth in a logical and systematic manner to allow completion of each segment prior to commencement of the next segment, thus allowing services to proceed efficiently with limited redesign or redrafting. Scheduled meetings are generally held with the client’s staff at the beginning of the project and at various stages of contract document completion, although we always anticipate having additional meetings throughout the design engineering phase to ensure that the project’s design fulfills the client’s needs and requirements.
We prepare our contract documents using a client-approved or specified orientation and layout. Our base drawings usually consist of 24″ x 36″ sheets, and incorporate the client’s title block. We believe that clear and concise technical specifications are particularly important, as they are necessary to ensure that the client receives facilities which provide a high degree of both reliability and longevity. In addition, our special requirements/provisions include a sequence of work and a requirement that the contractor perform work in a manner that will not interrupt operation of any of the client’s existing facilities.
We confer with the regulatory agencies which have some form of jurisdiction over the specific project during the preliminary stages of project design in order to adequately provide for their requirements during final design. As soon as preliminary design is completed, we submit construction drawings and the appropriate permit applications to ensure that the required permits are obtained prior to the construction start date. We generally prepare the various permit applications and have them signed by the appropriate client representative. In order to further limit delays associated with permit acquisition, we identify those agencies which require the longest lead time (e.g. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and ensure that applications are submitted to said agencies first.