flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

Amid supply chain woes, building teams employ extreme procurement measures

Contractors

Amid supply chain woes, building teams employ extreme procurement measures

Project teams are looking to eliminate much of the guesswork around product availability and price inflation by employing early bulk-purchasing measures for entire building projects.


By David Barista, Editorial Director | March 28, 2022
Amid supply chain woes, building teams employ extreme procurement measures
Photo Pixabay

Fifty-two weeks. An entire year. That’s how long project teams are having to wait for certain building materials, systems, and equipment in the post-Covid environment. These include critical core-and-shell materials like steel, steel deck, steel joists, and roofing components such as ISO foam board insulation and fasteners. Even readily available “off-the-shelf” products like drywall, metal framing, and paint have lead times. Not to mention near-historic price inflation levels and shipping costs across almost every product category.

Faced with these immense supply chain issues—on top of the ongoing skilled labor shortage—building teams are forced to employ aggressive product procurement tactics to pull off new construction and major reconstruction programs on schedule—and anywhere close to budget. Common strategies include real-time price tracking, product availability analysis during the design and bidding phases, more-optimal project planning (duh!), and sourcing locally, when possible. 

Some project teams are looking to eliminate much of the guesswork around product availability and price inflation by employing early bulk-purchasing measures for entire building projects, even multi-build developments. This “buy-and-store” approach to product procurement has worked for several recent healthcare projects led by design and construction giant Haskell, says Denise Muth, Project Director with the firm’s Infrastructure and Transportation group. 

ALSO SEE: How building owners and developers can get ahead of the next supply chain disaster

“For one hospital project, it was determined to buy the whole project out from the start and utilize local storage leased by the hospital,” says Muth. “On another project, we accelerated roofing, MEP equipment, elevators, and steel to help jumpstart the lead time process while the balance of design is completed. Depending on the stage of design, our owners are encouraged to purchase the entire project as quickly as possible.”

AEC industry consultant Ryan Bosworth, Principal with Rider Levett Bucknall, urges project teams to take advantage of the glut in vacant or derelict retail stores, especially big boxes, to purchase building products in bulk and warehouse them locally. “Landlords are begging for revenue while they reposition properties,” he says, adding that these spaces are relatively inexpensive to rent and require little build-out.

This bulk-purchasing approach, while effective, does have its obstacles, says Muth, including added front-loaded costs for owners/developers, insurance considerations related to storage facilities, and the risk of changes to specifications or design after materials have been ordered and stored.

Related Stories

Building Team | Apr 30, 2024

Building Design+Construction wins a 2024 Jesse H. Neal Award for editorial excellence

The editors of Building Design+Construction and Multifamily Pro+ were honored last week with a 2024 Jesse H. Neal Award for editorial excellence for their work on the “2023 Multifamily Annual Report.” The 76-page special report, published last October, won the Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Package. 

Engineers | Sep 8, 2023

Secrets of a structural engineer

Walter P Moore's Scott Martin, PE, LEED AP, DBIA, offers tips and takeaways for young—and veteran—structural engineers in the AEC industry. 

Giants 400 | Aug 30, 2023

Top 75 Engineering Firms for 2023

Kimley-Horn, WSP, Tetra Tech, Langan, and IMEG head the rankings of the nation's largest engineering firms for nonresidential buildings and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.

Building Team | Aug 28, 2023

Navigating challenges in construction administration

Vessel Architecture's Rebekah Schranck, AIA, shares how the demanding task of construction administration can be challenging, but crucial.

Giants 400 | Aug 22, 2023

2023 Giants 400 Report: Ranking the nation's largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms

A record 552 AEC firms submitted data for BD+C's 2023 Giants 400 Report. The final report includes 137 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.

Senior Living Design | Aug 7, 2023

Putting 9 senior living market trends into perspective

Brad Perkins, FAIA, a veteran of more than four decades in the planning and design of senior living communities, looks at where the market is heading in the immediate future. 

Resiliency | Jul 27, 2023

'Underground climate change' can damage building foundations, civil infrastructure

A phenomenon known as “underground climate change” can lead to damage of building foundations and civil infrastructure, according to a researcher at Northwestern University. When the ground gets hotter, it can expand and contract, causing foundations to move and sometimes crack.

Sponsored | Fire and Life Safety | Jul 12, 2023

Fire safety considerations for cantilevered buildings [AIA course]

Bold cantilevered designs are prevalent today, as developers and architects strive to maximize space, views, and natural light in buildings. Cantilevered structures, however, present a host of challenges for building teams, according to José R. Rivera, PE, Associate Principal and Director of Plumbing and Fire Protection with Lilker.

Apartments | Jun 27, 2023

Dallas high-rise multifamily tower is first in state to receive WELL Gold certification

HALL Arts Residences, 28-story luxury residential high-rise in the Dallas Arts District, recently became the first high-rise multifamily tower in Texas to receive WELL Gold Certification, a designation issued by the International WELL Building Institute. The HKS-designed condominium tower was designed with numerous wellness details.

Industry Research | May 22, 2023

2023 High Growth Study shares tips for finding success in uncertain times

Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner, Hinge, reveals key takeaways from the firm's recent High Growth study. 

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category



Giants 400

Top 75 Engineering Firms for 2023

Kimley-Horn, WSP, Tetra Tech, Langan, and IMEG head the rankings of the nation's largest engineering firms for nonresidential buildings and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.


halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021