Current Projects

There are several different ways that a building project may be completed using Blue Sky Builders.  Choice is offered so that the best method may be used for each individual project, both to meet the needs of the construction itself and to accommodate the individual preferences of the Owner. 


Design / Build

In a Design / Build project, the Owner and Blue Sky Builders collaborate from the start. The Owner expresses to us what their goals are for the project and what the approximate budget should be.  We then develop a concept for the structure and related construction which will satisfy the budget, schedule and other constraints.  Upon the Owner's approval, construction documents are created which will allow for the project to be permitted and built.  If the project is relatively simple, Blue Sky Builders may do the drafting and design in-house, hiring out the engineering as needed.  If the project is more complex, Blue Sky Builders will hire and supervise the architect and other design team members, retaining the control needed to ensure that the project is designed to work within the Owner's plan and budget.  Because we will have been a team player from the start, there will be no surprises down the road, and the Owner will get what they wanted for the price they expected.  The Design Build method can be a package agreement, where Blue Sky Builders gives a cost for the complete package of design and construction or it can be split up into two parts, the design as one and the construction as another. In either case, the arrangement can be structured under a General Contractor or Construction Management scenario, as outlined below.  Construction can begin immediately upon issuance of the permits and proceed efficiently, as we will already be familiar with the project and plans and will have already done much of the legwork.  The greatest benefit to the Owner is the single point responsibility and consolidation that the Design / Build scenario affords.  This is true turn key construction.



General Contractor

If the Owner already has an architect or a set of plans, Blue Sky Builders can act as General Contractor on the project.  This means that all work will be performed by or subcontracted and supervised by Blue Sky Builders.  We will pay all the suppliers and subcontractors directly and bill the Owner in draws for the Work, as per the Construction Agreement.  The actual contract between the Owner and Blue Sky Builders may be a fixed price, or a time and materials contract.  If the project is straightforward and the plans are concise, we will offer the Owner a Fixed Price agreement, which states the price for the Work, turn key, including both direct construction costs and indirect contractor costs and fees.  If the costs exceed this amount due to no changes by the Owner, Blue Sky Builders will absorb the extra.  If the Owner makes changes to the plans or scope of work, or if there is work required which was specifically excluded, we will submit a change order for the extra work, and the Owner will be responsible for this extra amount.

On renovations or other projects where the scope of work has not yet been defined or the extent of work cannot be adequately determined, we will offer the Owner a Time and Materials agreement.  Under this scenario, the Owner will be billed for all materials, subcontracts, labor, and other costs related to the project.  The items which shall be considered reimburseable will be listed and defined in the Construction Agreement.  The Contractor will work at all times to control costs and schedule and get the best work at the best price for the Owner.  Blue Sky Builders may work under a percentage fee arrangement or under a fixed fee arrangement, depending on the project.  Because of the risk to the builder under a Fixed Price agreement, the cost of a Time and Materials agreement may actually end up being less, as this intangible is eliminated.




Consulting

Perhaps you are considering a project, but not ready to select an architect or a building contractor. There are many questions at this point, like whether the project is even feasible, and, if so, what it will cost, how long it will take, etc. More specifically, you may be agonizing over the general design, architectural style, overall size, or other details of the project which need to be addressed soon.

Blue Sky Builders can be hired as a consultant providing services as requested to get the ball rolling. I can help you with planning the project, developing a design, comparing materials and components of the construction, developing specifications, and pricing the project. If you already have plans, I can assist with plans review, materials sourcing and project coordination. I can help you with choosing the best heating system, sourcing the least toxic material for a given application, or solving a tough technical problem. With my extensive knowledge of design and building, and especially of environmentally conscious building, I am your own personal project resource.

Great projects don’t just happen. They take a lot of forethought, a lot of planning. The cost of hiring a consultant in the early days of project planning will more than pay for itself once the project starts and the meter is running. It’s amazing how fast funds can be spent once underway. Having a good plan ahead of time will assure good progress through the actual construction.

This expertise and familiarity with you and your program continues to make a very positive difference once the construction is underway. Having someone who is a picky builder watching over things can help you sleep better. Having your own expert available to look at anything at any time and tell you honestly what is right and what is wrong, what is within the contract and what is not - this can make all the difference between things staying on track and things getting deep into trouble.

Your project can be anywhere in the world and we can communicate via phone, fax, mail and e-mail. If warranted, I can fly in for crucial meetings or onsite consultation. You can use me in the way that is most beneficial to you, and terminate my services whenever they are no longer needed. If you are considering Blue Sky Builders for the construction of the project, you can get to know me through this preliminary work first, and then make a decision whether to proceed with us for the construction. And all of the work I do upfront will continue to benefit the project as it unfolds.

Whatever arrangement we decide on, you can rest assured that I am working for your best interest. Developing positive relationships with clients so that we may all continue to work together in the future is an earnest goal. The well being and satisfaction of the Owner is more than just a concern, it is an imperative.



Special Services

Although building contracting is the bread and butter of Blue Sky’s business, we are interested in all kinds of opportunities.

You can contract me to act as the Owner’s Representative in order to push your agenda forward with architects, other consultants, design review boards and building departments. I can help with the screening, interviewing and selection of an architect, design professionals, even of another building contractor if it is impractical to use Blue Sky Builders for the construction. I can review proposals, cost estimates and contracts for completeness and accuracy. You can have your own professional in your corner, working solely for your benefit. On a large project, this can protect your interests and save many thousands of dollars in costs.

I am pursuing LEED accreditation, and should have it soon. I am very interested in working on LEED-certified projects, especially commercial projects. Most desired is to contract for the design and construction of such a project. I would also be thrilled to offer consulting services, or to build the structure, if the design team has been selected. If you already have design and building contracts awarded, I could act as the LEED Project Professional, in order to ensure that you actually get the certification desired from the US Green Building Council.

Another service offered is for architects or builders who wish to increase their knowledge and capacity for modern green building. I am available as a consultant, or to do a presentation to your firm. Topics could include becoming a greener business, developing specifications for green building, specific information on materials or methods of green building, training subordinates to embody a green business philosophy, etc. What is your need, and how can I help?

I am available for education and outreach programs of your design or mine. I can come to your town, your business or your family and present a program on sustainable design, green building, ecological business practices or whatever is important to you. The program will be custom-designed to achieve your goals. I have done this many times over the years, in settings both public and private, and have had very positive feedback on these presentations. I am especially interested in children’s education, and would bend over backwards to make a special program for a group of youngsters. We can do a hands-on workshop to teach skills, or have a more traditional class with slides, or whatever is desired.

I have always wanted to do a video of the construction of a green project from start to finish. I have not yet found a satisfactory example of this available for purchase. It could be a great educational and promotional item. I envision the film having a high production standard, and being both an armchair view of what is involved as well as a practical guide to some of the materials and methods we use to achieve our goals. I have no aspirations to be the central figure or even narrator of this, but would rather have the project itself be center stage. If someone was to approach me with a project which would be a good candidate, I would be very motivated to make it happen, and would consider financing the video myself.

Another pet project that I would very much like to do is to design and / or build a school or education center. Of special interest are alternative schools like Montessori and Waldorf, or home school cooperatives. I have an intense desire to put my time and energy into efforts which benefit children who are eager learners, and would go out of my way to accommodate such a project. Most desired would be to involve the children in the design process, so that they feel they are co-creators in their own learning environment. Also possible would be to have the children participate at some level in the construction process. How about a video of this ...

 

 

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