ACE Virginia: Joint Owner Forum with Local Government Clients from the Greater Richmond Region of Virginia

ACE is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, to educate and promote best practices of the design and construction industry.

Join an interactive panel discussion with key local government decision-makers to discuss upcoming projects and ways the industry can best collaborate with the respective bodies. To date, Hanover County, Henrico County, Chesterfield County and City of Richmond leadership have been invited to participate.

Legislators will be invited to the reception. Learn more or register online.

Please join us in thanking our sponsors:

Pella Windows of Virginia

The Garland Company

AIA Virginia Hosts Joint Forum with Richmond-Region Public Owners in February

AIA Virginia, in collaboration with ACEC Virginia and AGC Virginia, hosts its first 2019 ACE Virginia event on Feb. 21, 2019 from 2:30­–4:30 p.m. at the Richmond OMNI. Participants will join an interactive panel discussion with key Richmond-region government decision-makers to discuss upcoming projects and ways the industry can best collaborate with the respective bodies. To date, leaders from Hanover County, Henrico County, Chesterfield County and City of Richmond have been invited to participate.

The interactive discussion will be followed by a cocktail reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Key Virginia legislators will be invited to attend the reception as an opportunity for the industry to connect policy and law-makers.

ACE Virginia is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, to educate and promote best practices of the design and construction industry.

Registration is open to members and the fee is $50. Space is extremely limited.

Register online.

ACE Virginia is sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
The Garland Company

ACE Virginia Joint Owner Forum Recap with Higher Ed Clients

ACE is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, to educate and promote best practices of the design and construction industry.

ACE had its second forum on June 18 at the College of William & Mary. Approximately 100 members from the three organizations attended to hear what those who lead the design and construction efforts at the College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University had to say.

The panel consisted of the following participants:

Jeff Brancheau, PE – W&M Director of Facilities, Planning, Design & Construction
Mary Cox, FAIA – VCU University Architect
Jean Kennedy Sleeman, AIA – ODU University Architect
Terry Woodhouse – NSU Director of Capital Planning and Improvements

Great dialogue was exchanged regarding upcoming projects and long-range planning, how to get work, SWaM, sustainability, and procurement vehicles. Audience members shared their desires for university leadership to be transparent in consultant selection, provide uniformity in standards, and define the expectations of value engineering early in the design process. The event was followed by a networking reception that allowed for more intimate conversation with the panelists.

Upcoming Projects and Long Range Planning: Each university panelist spoke in depth of their upcoming capital projects and provided spectacular insight on its long-range planning. These opportunities for design and construction professionals crossed a wide spectrum of building types that include academic buildings for the sciences and athletic facilities. The panelists shared this information to allow attendees an opportunity to formulate a strategy in pursuing these opportunities.

How to Get Work: The panelists shared what they want to see in the RFP responses that design professionals submit. How can you stand out from the crowd in developing a proposal? Here are the top items these decision-makers look for:
• BCOM Experience (particularly for NSU)
• Project Experience as a Team
• Readability of Proposal
• What Do Your References Say About You?
• Similar Project Experience
• Who is the Project Manager?
• Make Sure the Interview Team is “THE TEAM”

SWaM: Each university is committed to the success of Small, Women, and Minority-owned businesses. There is a strong desire to be sustainable and use local talent while spreading the work to various firms. One key takeaway that was shared by a panelist is that leaders of SWaM firms should ensure that they receive training on procurement tools such as eVA.

Sustainability: This portion of the discussion touched not only building sustainability but site sustainability as well. For example, ODU faces significant challenges with implementing the required stormwater management policy. This is an issue that craves innovative design-thinking. There was a general consensus that LEED is the sustainability design metric being utilized at each campus.

Procurement Vehicles: The Term Contract is the procurement vehicle used by these universities to establish relationships with consultants, often on smaller-scale projects. This makes these contracts incredibly competitive. There was a general consensus by the panelists that this contract vehicle was preferred over Category B contracts. The use of Public-Private-Partnerships is rare for these universities. VCU has the most experience with this vehicle while others have not taken this step.

The next ACE Event is being planned for the end of September to host higher education clients in the western side of Virginia.

What Happened at the ACE Virginia Forum?

ACE Virginia – Joint Owner Forum with the Department of General Services

ACE is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, to educate and promote best practices of the design and construction industry. ACE had its first quarterly meeting on February 20 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Richmond. The event consisted of an exclusive, up-close discussion with the senior leadership of Virginia’s Department of General Services (DGS). What resulted was an improved understanding of the decision matrix at DGS, sharing of the vision of the Agency, and an exchange of innovative ideas.

Joe Damico, the new Director of DGS, served as the Agency’s Deputy Director for 15 years prior to this gubernatorial appointment by Governor Northam. He kicked off the forum with general comments about his vision for the Agency. One of his goals is to get the word out about what DGS does, especially as it relates to the A/E/C industry. There is over $1.8 Billion of new construction which is overseen by DGS and it continues to look at how to improve processes. This forum was just the avenue Mr. Damico was looking for to discuss complex issues with the design and building community.

A panel discussion was led by the Director of the Bureau of Capital Outlay Management (BCOM), Mike Coppa, who was joined by a team of key decision makers in the Agency. The panel was facilitated by Ed Gillikin, AIA and covered various topics of interest. Below is a high-level recap of the discussion:

Technology:

DGS is open to considering the platform you want to work with. Despite the promise of BIM as utopia, the Agency is not there yet. BIM is considered “means and methods”. In reality, keeping up with electronic documents is still difficult.

VEES:

VEES is flexible and the High-Performance Building Act is the guiding principle. While there are no changes unless legislation changes, DGS would be open to the idea of discussing and considering alternative approaches for the sustainable design of state buildings. The ultimate goal of the Agency is to have high performing buildings.

SWaM:

This is an area that impacts many stakeholders. What many thought would be a bi-partisan opportunity this legislative session to address significant confusion by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity has failed. It appeared that the large majority of attendees were concerned with the Governor’s Executive Order 20 around reaching the 42% goal of SWaM business participation. DGS would like to pick this issue back up at an appropriate time this summer. There are over 100,000 vendors of which 13,000 are “small”. No matter the decision, there will be “winners” and “losers”. DGS reminded attendees this issue is “local, local, local”. DGS provides guidelines for SWaM to Agencies, but it’s the decision of the owning Agency to make the choice of what works best for them.

Business Development:

If a firm has limited state experience, how does it start gaining that experience? First, register with various state Agencies so they are aware that you exist. Job Order Contracting (JOC) is newer legislation established to serve as a term contract for small maintenance-type projects. It is an effort to help firms begin to gain resume experience. In addition, seek out Agency-specific term contracts.

After the panel discussion, DGS attendees spread out into various sections of the room and met with attendees in small group charrettes to discuss more in-depth issues. Thereafter, the event concluded with a legislative networking reception with General Assembly members. Future forums will feature federal government, local government, universities and health systems and will be held around the state. Please be on the lookout for information regarding the second quarter event which is anticipated to occur toward the end of this Spring.

We are thankful for The Garland Company and Keith Fabry Reprographic Solutions who served as sponsors for the February ACE event.