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June 2014

BCK-IBI Group Expands, Adds Four Employees

BCK-IBI Group proudly welcomes four new members to the firm.

William Monahan, PE, LEED AP BC+C, is joining BCK-IBI Group as an electrical engineer. Monahan has more than 26 years of experience with electrical system design for buildings and infrastructure projects, including educational facilities, medical facilities, municipal wastewater, and water treatment facilities. Monahan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Binghamton University, is a licensed electrical engineer, and a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional.

Gene Webber, ASLA, CSLA, has joined BCK-IBI Group as a landscape architect. Webber has more than 29 years of experience and received a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia Graduate School of Architecture. Webber will be responsible for site design, including cost estimating, topographic design, storm water design, sanitary/septic design, and environmental assessments.

Andrea Litwak and Paula Johnson have both joined our support team as administrative assistants. They will be working on the construction phases of various projects, as well as providing support to the architecture and engineering staff.


BCK-IBI Group CANstruction "Minion Picnic" Helps Feed Hungry

This year BCK-IBI Group sponsored, and participated in, the inaugural Canstruction® of the Southern Tier Event held at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY. Canstruction® is an international hunger-relief competition where architects, engineers, and contractors compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from cans of food.

Our award-winning structure was titled "Sharing a Picnic" and was a representation of two minions, from the movie Despicable Me, enjoying a picnic of nutritious snacks. The team chose cans to represent the colors of the cartoon minions, while providing options for healthy meals of pasta, beans, or seafood.

Thanks to the efforts of this year's event, ten teams from local businesses and schools participated, using a total of 21,349 cans of food (which translates to 17,791 meals), all of which were donated to CHOW and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier for distribution to food pantries throughout Broome County. BCK-IBI Group is proud to support such an event and was thrilled when we were awarded the Best Meal award this year. We hope that our participation will bring awareness to food insecurity issues across Broome County, and we look forward to participating again next year.

Click here for a slideshow of the can structures, and more information on Canstruction® provided by Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

Capital Project Process—The Bidding and Construction Phase

To complete our three-part series on the Capital Project Process, this month we will focus on the Bidding and Construction Phase.

Before construction begins, your architectural team will prepare the construction documents, which are the final drawings and specifications used to bid and build the project. The bidding process is used to select qualified contractors for construction. To begin the bidding process, the district is required by municipal law to post a public advertisement five days in advance of the project bid date. Once bids have been received, the project team will conduct a thorough review of all bids. Special attention is paid to the apparent low bid to ensure that everything in the project scope of work is covered and there are no misinterpretations of the bidding documents. At this time, it is also important to leave adequate contingency for unforeseen conditions.

Once construction begins, the district should stay involved to understand the potential impact construction may have on school activities. Attending construction meetings will give the district a good understanding of what work will be occurring in the upcoming weeks. It is to be expected that unforeseen conditions will arise during construction. Your architect or construction manager will keep track of any unforeseen conditions and the impact they may have on the project costs. It is always a good idea to hold financial meetings on a regular basis with your architect and construction manager to review project costs, including incidental expenses.

There are a number of items that need to be addressed at the end of the project in order for the district to begin receiving state aid from the State Education Department (SED). First, your architect will submit a Certificate of Substantial Completion to SED in order for the district to receive their Certificate of Occupancy. Next, wrap up any outstanding punch list items and complete all of the contractor closeout paperwork. Once these items are resolved, the last step is having your financial advisor prepare and submit the final cost reports.

BCK-IBI Group recognizes the planning, designing, and construction of a capital project is a complex process that can be confusing for educators and the public. Our team of professionals is available to present the entire three-part series to individual districts on an as-needed basis. Please contact Steve Thesier to schedule a session for your team or for additional information.

Schools Going Green

"By promoting the design and construction of green schools, and by greening the operations and maintenance of existing schools, we can make a tremendous impact on student health, school operational costs, and the environment."- The Center for Green Schools

The members of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) have established the Center for Green Schools, an advocacy organization promoting the transformation of all schools into sustainable and healthy environments in which to live, work and play. The Center works directly with educational professionals and community leaders to create programs, resources and partnerships that transform schools into healthy learning environments by focusing on key issues such as:

  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Acoustics
  • Thermal Comfort
  • Daylighting
  • Experiential Learning

The website for the Center has three main sections—who is involved, education on issues, and how to get involved in advocacy initiatives. There are also many resources available, including 11 Ways to Green Your Schools and Green Classroom Professional Certificate for educators.

Currently the site features the "2013 State of Our Schools Report" that tries to quantify the massive effort required to modernize our nation's educational environments. Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools, summarizes the report's intent with a State of Our Schools Address video. In addition, you can download the 16-page report that includes a preface from USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi and Rachel Gutter, along with a foreword from President Bill Clinton.


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Tel: (607) 772-0007

IBI Group is a multi-disciplinary consulting organization offering services in four areas of practice: Urban Land | Facilities | Transportation | Systems

Bearsch Compeau Knudson Architects & Engineers PC is affiliated with IBI Group.