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


Several years ago we were in the process of planning a warehouse expansion for a long time client. Over the course of several months we had interacted with the building owner and tenant to determine the building size, height, column spacing and racking layout. Then just as we were wrapping up the planning phase and getting started on the construction document phase, the tenant’s safety group got involved. They requested a pedestrian walkway alongside the fork truck aisles, which caused some major changes. Unlike Adam Sandler in the movie “The Wedding Singer”, no one was mad about the last minute addition to the design criteria, but it did put a kink in the planning process. In reality, this happens somewhat regularly in the design world. It’s rare that our first set of planning documents translates to match the final construction documents.

There are many thing we have found to be true about planning, designing and constructing new facilities and additions to existing facilities, two of them are…

  • “Sequence Matters”. When projects are planned, then designed/engineered, then constructed you end up with a successful project. When those three functions are done out of sequence, the project struggles, the stakeholders get frustrated and budgets are affected.

  • “Scope x Quality = Budget”. This formula never fails. On any project you can control a max of two of the factors in the equation (not all three) and someone else will control the third. The game is to be sure you are always controlling two of the factors. We talk about this formula often because it is such an important thing to keep in perspective.

The “Things I Should Have Known Yesterday” items can affect both schedule and cost. Give us a call and we will help you identify scope items early and establish workable solutions.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

We are in the process of doing a space planning project for an ongoing client. They have purchased an existing building that actually came with a set of the original blue prints (that almost never happens!). The issue is that there have been several internal renovations done over the years and no one documented the changes. We are now tasked with surveying the existing building and putting together an accurate set of existing documents so that we can effectively complete the space planning. This is an example of doing a set of “As-Builts” well after the fact. Had the previous owner documented the renovations “yesterday”, it would be easier to do planning “today”.

Both space measurement and “As-Built” documents are very important components to the building renovation process. Space measurement normally occurs early in the project in order to establish existing layouts, wall locations and overall building size. “As-Builts” are normally done when a project is completed to document exactly what was built, as it may differ from the original construction documents. Having good documentation is key to any successful project. It can come in the form of space measurement up front or “As-Built” documents at the end, but either way it’s important.

If you’d like to know more about good documentation, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you with all of your planning and design needs.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

We often have clients that are “new” to the building process. Similar to the picture, the building process can be confusing and overwhelming. We have helped countless clients work through the confusion that is the building process.

I had a potential client call me a few weeks ago. She had purchased an older building and wanted to convert it to a coffee shop. She has a good business plan and an even better vison of what her coffee shop will look like when it opens for business. The problem is, she has never gone through a building process before. We met with her and talked through all of the constraints of the local agencies, the State of Indiana building codes and the importance of hiring the right contractors to get the work done on time and on budget. As you could imagine, she had lots of questions.

PDMi has done countless building projects through the years. We work on everything from small existing renovation projects, to new office/retail buildings all the way up to large warehousing and manufacturing projects. This vast range of projects has given us the knowledge and experience to walk clients through the building process, step by step. It all starts with solid up front planning and moves from there into detailed design. Once those items are complete, the client has the tools to engage with qualified contractors that will help finish the project and allow the client to execute the vison they have for the project.

The building process can be daunting, but PDMi has the knowledge and expertise to work with our clients to get them to the finish line. Give us a call, we’d love to take the journey with you.

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