Building to Budget: A D/B Project

One of the numerous advantages of the design/build approach over traditional plan-and-spec is greater cost control. D/B allows a contractor to design and build a better project around the client’s budget and specific needs

A prime example of how design/build can better meet a building owner’s project needs while adhering to a budget is a company that sought plan-and-spec bids to replace a jacketed cooling system for several large tanks. The existing process cooling system was old, unreliable, and in constant need of repair. With specific cost expectations in mind, the owners were shocked when bids came in way above their budget. Even after several rounds of value engineering, reworked project estimates still far-exceeded the budget. A decision was made to explore design/build, and PJM’s design/build team was brought in to take on the project

With strict attention the client’s specific needs, PJM delved into the process system to determine how it could be operated efficiently and effectively and came up with an affordable solution: installation of a new 400-ton high-efficiency chiller system with primary/secondary loops sized for future capacity. VFDs controlled pump speed, and three-way mixing valves were installed at the tanks. The new controls allowed for use of two tanks at the same time, rather than all six tanks at a time. This process arrangement worked well for the client’s current capacity and addressed the possibility for future expansion.

The project was successfully completed within the client’s budget, costing 25% less than the lowest plan-and-spec bid.

About PJM

PJM Mechanical Contractors, Inc. is a multi-faceted mechanical contractor providing construction and installation, service and maintenance, and design/build services in a comprehensive range of mechanical disciplines that include HVAC, plumbing, controls, refrigeration, custom metal fabrication, piping, fire protection, and backflow preventer testing. PJM primarily serves clients in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, healthcare, institutional, and other various commercial and industrial sectors.

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 1688 5th Street | Ewing, NJ  08638 | Tel: 609.921.1394 | Fax: 609.530.1437

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