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3 Tips When Working with Volunteers

Working with the staff and leadership of The Village Christian Church was an absolute pleasure. The wonderful relationship that we were all able to develop allowed for excellent collaboration and the ability to solve project hurdles quickly.

Using the design/build delivery method we were able to maximize the overall amount of space as well as its function based on the overall budget established by this ministry. As a trusted partner, we will do whatever we can to work within a customer's ministry budget parameters.

With ministry projects, challenges can arise at times with the need for careful communication and collaboration. On this recent project the ministry was able to procure donations of several items providing them with the ability to save a significant amount of money. These items were to be installed by volunteers who were associated with the church. Having a clear definition of where our scope of work stops and the volunteer's scope starts can be challenging.

Here are 3 tips when working with volunteers:

  1. THANK them for their commitment to the ministry and willingness to serve.
  2. Provide them with a thorough understanding of what needs to be completed in their area of service.
  3. Confirm for the benefit of the ministry that each are qualified and have the time to accommodate the master construction schedule. Determine in advance which areas need skilled labor and which areas need the work of many hands.

Proper sequencing of volunteers can also be difficult since most of the volunteers are performing their work after hours. Thankfully we were able to work through these challenges with good communication established at the onset of the project. Because of this they were able to receive the cost savings without greatly extending the overall schedule.

The end result is an attractive and inviting ministry facility with the ability to accommodate many uses for ministry.

Partnering with Al-Amin Brothers Transportation

Partnering with Al-Amin Brothers Transportation through the design and construction of their new refrigerated warehouse, freezer and corporate headquarters was an honor for PBS.

Al-Amin Brothers Transportation approached PBS as they were making plans to accommodate their continued growth. Their plans were strategic around how to best accommodate their team, continue to provide quality service to their customers and keep up with changing regulations within the industry.  Their desire was to work with a single source of delivery/responsibility for the design and construction of their new facility.  By utilizing this delivery method, Al-Amin worked closely with PBS to develop the most efficient facility for their needs.

After a period of extensive and thorough planning including coordination with local government and permitting authorities the final design provides them with a professional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing facility.  Their new headquarters also provides them with significant room for expansion and positions Al-Amin Brothers Transportation at the forefront of the refrigerated cooler/freezer warehousing and transportation industry.

As great as the experience was, the more valuable result of this partnership for PBS was the relationship that developed with the Al-Amin Brothers team.

Church Design Builder

PBS is a design builder specializing in the planning, design and construction of commercial and religious buildings throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. As a design builder, it has been proven that the more planning and coordination that can occur under one umbrella, the more opportunity there will be for project success byway of cost effectiveness and overall construction efficiencies.

Through our 5-step process, we work closely together to build a relationship with those we are partnering with. The PBS team is comprised of Certified Church Consultants and is in leadership as a member of the National Association of Church Design Builders (NACDB). As a part of this National Association we bring to our customers opportunities to partner through PBS with a comprehensive team of professionals who provide churches with the systems and resources they need for a fully integrated project. While the PBS planning process is important to help insure that each of our ministry partners are developing the best tool for their ministry needs, we do not allow this process to get in the way of ministry vision.

Our team are equipped to meet ministry needs by way of providing Green Church Solutions, Demographics, Communicating Your Vision, Multi-Site Churches, Masterplanning and Programming, Stewardship and Financing for the 21st Century, design, construction and construction management.

We look forward to the opportunity of serving your ministry. For more information, click here.

What is Design/Build?

Design/Build is a method of project delivery in which one entity – the design/build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion – thereby re-integrating the roles of designer and constructor. Design/build is also known as design/construct and single-source delivery. Across the country and around the world, design/build successfully delivers both horizontal and vertical construction projects with superior results – no matter what the project type!

Design/build is an alternative to design-bid-build. Under the latter approach, design and construction services are split by separate entities, separate contracts, separate work.

Design/build, design-bid-build and construction management are the three project delivery systems most commonly employed in North America today. Over the past 15 years, use of design/build has greatly accelerated in the United States, making this delivery method one of the most significant trends in design and construction today.

One Contract, One Integrated Team:

Design/build streamlines project delivery through a single contract between the owner and the design-build team. This simple but fundamental difference saves money and time by transforming the relationship between designers and builders in to an alliance which fosters collaboration and teamwork. United from the outset of every project, an integrated team readily incorporates BIM and LEED certification goals.

(source article - http://www.dbiamar.org/about/what-is-design-build/)

What Lies Beneath

Where should we go? How much land do we need? What type of land should we be looking for? How much will it cost? These are all questions asked by owners when considering the search for a new facility location.

While the new Facility is naturally the primary piece of the planning that an owner is focused on; it is also imperative that the site is given equal attention. A hasty pursuit in acquiring a piece of property that appears and seems to be the best fit for your long term business planning can subsequently lead to long term complications.

For example, you may find a piece of property that appears to be as flat as a piece of paper and conceivably the "best fit" for your business model. What lies beneath that "paper" could end up being what looks like a mogul hill on the side of a ski mountain. Silt and sandy soil, significant rock, former lakes, high water table, field tile, garbage and so on. These are all real items that have been found when preparing a site for new construction that have contributed to construction issues including present and long term associated costs. What lies beneath can lead to quality construction or long term complications with the potential to never go away.

Conditions above the surface can also affect the viability of construction. Are there electrical lines, pipe lines or other utilities that are running through the site? How close are municipal utilities (water, sanitary and storm) to your site, if not already on site? What will it take to engineer them and bring them to your site? If not accessible, what other design criteria will be affected by not having the proper utilities? i.e. required storage tanks and bladder systems for fire suppression (sprinkler) systems if a well must be installed, septic mounds / fields if sanitary does not exist or retention/detention ponds based on the site including its implications if municipal storm water does not exist, just to name a few.

From a general usage perspective, will you have sufficient acreage to support the master plan for your business? Does the acreage support the local ordinance for required parking? If the site is too small, but meets all other criteria is it appropriate to consider underground storm water storage infrastructure? Is this cost prohibitive? Does the acreage allow efficient entrance / exiting to and from your property? If necessary, is their enough acreage and sufficient turning radius for truck maneuverability? Are you dealing with state or local roads? Will you have contiguous neighbors? What is the shape of the site? Is it conducive to your long term master plan? Will this site work geographically in serving your client base? Are there existing floodplains or wetlands?

As you, the owner or your leadership team compiles the research for your facility and location planning, answers to these questions must be confirmed. Once you have purchased a site, while you may be able to eventually resell it after finding out it did indeed carry some or perhaps significant baggage, you likely will have exhausted much time and resources for property that may not generate a return consistent with the original investment. So, in addition to obtaining clarification on the questions above, thorough research on the history of the site, previous usages and soils investigations are all important pieces to ensure your business is purchasing or planning to construct on a quality site.