Why we’re important to your project

Lean, nimble and responsive services tailored to your needs

Owners planning small to mid-sized construction projects—residences, commercial and institutional projects of $250,000 to $10 million—need the same high-quality pre-construction design and legal advice as owners of the largest projects.  Often, however, the small project—a residence, addition, commercial tenant space, or small academic or hospital project—is the owner’s first project, or the first in many years.  Such owners rarely have the support of an experienced in-house facilities staff, and cannot burden the project with the high overhead and hourly rates commanded by major consulting firms for quality pre-construction services.  Moreover, junior personnel, who are often assigned by big firms to small project, may lack the training, experience and insight to quickly identify problems, and may not have the confidence and ability to steer team members with conflicting interests toward a timely solution.

All projects, large and small, should be fully equipped for success.  MEP-C steps into the void by providing experienced, top-quality pre-construction and management services to a chronically underserved segment of the building market.

Owner’s Contract Responsibilities: A Full-Time Job

Many owners are surprised to learn that when they entered into the standard owner-architect and owner-contractor agreements, they signed up for an extensive list of duties that they must perform during the project--or risk breaching these contracts.  Along with paying the designers’ and contractors’ invoices, the owner must also gather and provide basic information about the existing site (and in some cases vouch for its accuracy); obtain necessary public approvals; make timely and informed decisions on design, construction and scheduling issues; approve change orders; determine the dates of substantial and final completion; provide timely notice when another party has not performed; and, when necessary, determine when payment should be withheld or contracts terminated.  Although some of these tasks can be delegated to other parties, too often these tasks fall through the cracks, leaving the owner with an unexpected and unwelcome burden late in the project.

On any successful project, every member of the project team understands his or her role, accepts it, and fulfills his or her responsibilities to the other parties.  This does not happen by accident. Early in the project, MEP-C will structure the owner’s contractual relationships with the other members of the project team, by breaking down the mutual promises of the contracts, helping to determine which party performs which task, and thus avoiding misunderstandings that cause finger-pointing, delays, and unexpected costs.

MEP-C can perform some or all of these duties on behalf of the owner, freeing the owner and its team for other business or personal tasks, or assign these duties to the other members of the project team.  In addition, MEP-C will enforce the contracts on behalf of the owner to ensure that designers, contractors and other members of the project team fulfill all of their contractual responsibilities.

Experience and Understanding Are Our Competitive Edge

To the project owner, large or small, a building project is not merely a finance-driven real estate transaction.  It also embodies many intangibles, including the image, self-perception, reputation, and long-term vision of the owners and designers, in ways that cannot always be reduced to dollars and cents.  It can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences—if handled with the appropriate skill.  

In three decades of legal and architectural practice advising corporate, institutional and private clients on a wide variety of projects, Michael Peters has added value to each project by not only providing important services, but also by getting behind the client’s request—for a design solution, a contract, a dispute resolution—to find out what the client needs.  These are questions we will not leave unasked and unanswered.  
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