Nicole: Coordinating with the design team leaders from the beginning allowed us to make early decisions about things like finishes, lighting, controls, the location of doors and cabinets, removal of anything that might interrupt our workflow, and ways to minimize contamination.
To facilitate communication, we had a direct line to the university personnel. As researchers, we could trust and know that what was being built would work for our research. Communication through calls, emails, and video meetings was key to coordinating all parts of the project.
Chad: Due to the project’s schedule and complexity, the university used its job order contracting method, comprised of preestablished contracts and pricing, allowing us to secure the project’s design and main contractors early. This method proved very beneficial as we worked through the previously mentioned challenges.
It also gave the contractors a better understanding of the project’s goals. With many projects, it seems like when the design is done before the contractors join the team, the contractors build it without understanding the goals and background information. This method allowed us to have a highly collaborative team.