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E-Bits

PDMi is committed to providing pithy information through our E-bits blog and we hope you find these articles useful.

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  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

If you are like me, you love all the things you can do during the summer months. As the song says “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”. Whether you’re enjoying the golf course, picnicking with family and friends, going to see your favorite baseball team play or cooling down at your favorite waterpark, always keep the perspective that living should be easy (I didn’t say not busy – just easy).

As much as summer living should be easy, building projects are not always easy. All too often, we see projects that are made difficult by decisions that are made or decisions that are not made. We are working with a client that is going through changes in how they will be using their facility in the future. They called us to attend the kick-off meeting for the renovation project. As the meeting started it quickly moved to a discussion by the owner’s staff about who was moving where and what to do with the vacated space. It became apparent that a project that could be “easy “was becoming difficult due to the staff trying to solve problems before goals and program requirements were set. To get them back on track, we

  • …went back and started from the beginning to carefully identify all their needs and projected future growth of each department. Constraints were identified and “needs” were distinguished from “wants”.

  • …organized the programing process and quickly came up with a solution that addressed each of their identified needs so a floor plan could be developed for review & approval.

This is just one of many experiences that have repeatedly proven to us that the success of a project depends on the quality and integrity of the initial programing and planning. The programing and planning phases lay the foundation for the detailed design and construction phase. We would like to help you keep your next project “easy”. Give us a call.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

There are normally two ways to accomplish any task. Generally speaking either way can get the job done, but without a doubt one way will lead to success and the other way will lead to unexpected (or maybe expected) consequences. As a good friend of mine would say “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. My prediction is that the air conditioning unit may work – at least until it falls out of the window, which it will.


Sadly all too often we have clients that try to short cut the design process on their building projects. They look for a quick fix. This inevitably leads to poor designs, unexpected cost over runs, construction schedules not completed on time and product performance that will not live up to expectations. In past ebits we have talked often about the value of planning before you do the detailed design/engineering documents and completing the design/engineering documents before you start building. These are great concepts that we stand firmly behind. But you can have the best planning, designing, and building only to find the systems/components of the project are flawed or are not right for your application.


So to help you not get caught in a quick fix, you will need to take the time to have detailed documents completed. Without these documents the construction phase is guided only by guess work.

Good construction documents should…

  • …Communicate the design parameters and details to the contractor and the agencies. PDMi uses 3D modeling as a great tool to accomplish this.

  • Provide Constructible Details. Just because a detail can be drawn on paper (or for that matter, dreamed up in your mind) does not mean it can be constructed. The PDMi staff has spent many years alongside contractors to understand constructible details.

  • …Specify Material Selection. The right materials used in the right places will assure a project's success.

We know that good Detailed Design documents will guide your project. Give us a call to talk about how PDMi can work with you on your next project.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

The cost of construction has gone up in the past 5 years. I could have stopped with that statement alone and you would have thought “he does a good job of stating the obvious!” In all seriousness, we have all seen the cost of everything from gas to groceries to building material costs rise over the past 5 years. I could point to many different factors that have caused these increases, but we can all agree that everything is more expensive these days for lots of different reasons.


Speaking of things being more expensive, we have been working with a client for the past 3 years that is looking to build a new manufacturing facility here in Fort Wayne. The project has been on and off about 4 times over those years, but is now back to being “on”. In the initial planning meeting we had with the client this week, they started to ask about budgets for their new building. We had talked budget 3 years ago and they are still somewhat basing todays building on those old numbers. The reality for them is that the budget from 3 years ago will not allow for the same facility today. As Dan Gagen in our office often says, “compromise is not a bad word”. It is very likely that the client will need to compromise on scope, quality or budget. We’ve done many e-bits in the past on Scope x Quality = Budget. You can control two of those variables, but someone else will control the third. This client does not have a lot of flexibility on the quality, so they will need to either increase their budget or decrease the scope (in this specific case, size of the building).


We know that building projects can be daunting, especially in this environment of increasing construction costs. One of the many things that PDMi offers is detailed upfront planning to help our clients filter the “wants” from the “needs” which can help solidify the scope of the project early on for budgeting purposes. Give us a call, we’d love to help solidify your project scope early in the process.

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