Historically, most public school districts in Texas utilize either a competitive sealed bid or a construction manager contract when they engage in a school construction project. However, Ramtech encourages schools to consider taking a different approach – one that we believe is a superior method and uses our specific approach to the design-build delivery system and permanent modular construction. It is faster and less expensive than using either the competitive bid or construction manager approach, and the school district knows what the project will cost prior to paying any large design fees or committing to a construction contract. Our method also eliminates the disconnect between the design and pricing which often results in project costs exceeding the school district’s budget. Ramtech’s design-build approach has three phases:
Phase 1: Ramtech’s Free Project Planning. At absolutely no cost and prior to entering into a contract, Ramtech will provide a floor plan layout, a preliminary site plan design, an exterior rendering, outline the building specifications, and submit a detailed preliminary budget. Should the school district then desire to move forward, Ramtech will assist them in meeting any state requirements for selecting their design-build contractor. When selected by the school, Ramtech then moves on to phase two.
Phase 2: Ramtech’s Preconstruction Services. This initiates the design phase with a cost that usually falls between $30K to $75K. The design is taken to a point of completion where a fixed construction price can be established. After a comprehensive programming meeting the civil design is taken to a level necessary for the site improvements to be priced out, while a geo-technical survey and report is conducted to the stage required to do the foundation design and pricing. At the same time the building design is taken to a point requisite for its pricing, and finally a detailed project schedule is generated using CPM software. The final pricing for the project is then presented either as a Stipulated Sum or as a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP).
Phase 3: Ramtech’s Construction Services. At this stage the school district only has to enter into the construction phase of the contract if it is completely happy with both the design and the final price for the building. Once satisfied, the district provides Ramtech with a notice to proceed and we complete all the design to 100%, obtain the necessary permits, and move forward with construction.
When we use our approach to design-build construction for modular building projects, Ramtech’s designers and cost estimators work closely together as a team with the district. We stay focused on what the school district’s budget is in order to develop a fixed cost proposal within that budget for their review before anyone spends a lot on design fees or construction begins. Our vertically integrated approach insures a much smaller design fee, lower construction costs, reduced overhead expenses, and a faster completion time. And, by using permanent modular construction we can provide superior quality and added safety, less site disruptions, and reduced waste when compared to onsite construction using competitive sealed bids or construction manager contracts.
Ramtech has worked with public schools throughout the southwest for over 30 years, and our customers agree that Ramtech’s vertically integrated single source design-build approach is truly “a different and improved design build experience”.
Gary White is Vice President of Sales & Estimating at Ramtech Building Systems, Inc. He has been in the commercial modular industry for 33 years and is responsible for the management of all sales and estimating efforts across each of Ramtech’s key market segments: Education, Government, Medical, and Commercial.