To help the city stay on schedule and within its budget during the construction of phase 1 of the Britannia Street housing project, Stratford councillors voted at Tuesday’s council meeting to include a construction manager on the project’s design team.
After council approved, in principle, the proposed plan to construct 55 new affordable housing units on a hectare of the Stratford Fairgrounds, the first phase of which is set to begin next spring with the construction of 35 housing units, councillors awarded the contract for architectural services to SRM Architects in September.
Based on a recommendation made by the city’s hired consulting firm, Tim Welch Consulting Inc., the city’s social services department then gave notice of intent at council’s Oct. 10 regular meeting to issue a request for proposals for the solicitation of construction management services.
According to interim manager of housing Ellen Balmain’s report to council, a construction manager would work closely with the architect and consulting firm as a member of the project’s design team to provide input on the design of the housing project.
Involved in the preconstruction phase of the project only, a construction manager would participate in the design process and provide cost evaluations of alternative materials and systems, offer advice on energy efficiency approaches for multi-residential construction, prepare a construction estimate for the project coordinators and the city, advise the architects and the consultants if it appears construction costs may exceed the approved project budget and make recommendations for corrective action, and estimate the duration of construction with the assumption of an April 2018 start date.
“The (construction manager), as part of the development team, would ensure that the project remains on track with the construction manager being onsite for all phases of construction,” Balmain wrote in her report.
“The hiring of a (construction manager) would assist in keeping the project within budget. If retained by late fall 2017, the construction manager would bring insight early in the project for informed costing.”
The cost of retaining construction management services would be covered through the original construction budget included in the financial plan for phase 1 of the housing project, submitted to council in April.