Window Project Organization (final)

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johnleeke
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Window Project Organization (final)

Postby johnleeke » November 18th, 2011, 4:08 pm

(update: 3/7/13)

This is a suggested procedure for organizing a window preservation project.

1. Assemble the Window Team early in the planning phase, which must include significant input from a window preservation specialist with extensive hands-on experience, and may also include a representative for the building owner, a project manager, an architect, etc. "Extensive experience" is defined as having personally worked on at least 200 windows over a period of 20 or more years and still currently working on windows. The window specialist must be compensated for the knowledge brought to the planning process.

2. Identify the Window Resource and Assess the Situation. Identification includes determining what kind of windows are they and their contribution to the style, history, function and use of the building. Assessing the situation might include determining the form of building ownership, available funds, skill and knowledge available, when the work can be done, needs of the owner, needs of the occupants, etc.

3. Survey and Assess Conditions by documenting the types of windows and their condition, which might include details of their architectural character, historical significance, measurements and locations.

4. Set General Guidance for how and why the work will be done. For example, will the windows be stabilize at low cost to hold their condition for future more costly work; or will there be a high-cost complete refurbishment; or, something in between such as ongoing maintenance? Is preserving historic fabric important, or will ordinary repairs with the loss of some historic fabric be adequate? Are improvements in energy performance necessary? Can durability be improved to reduce future maintenance costs? Answers to questions like these set the stage for effective planning.

5. Determine an Approach for the work. Approaches can be significantly different for a few windows, dozens of windows or hundreds of windows. Approaches can vary widely, here are some possibilities:

- Select and contract directly with a window preservation tradesperson or contractor
- Hire a skilled and knowledgeable window preservation tradesperson to be part of the maintenance staff that cares for the building
- Do all window work in one big project, with a large contractor that can handle hundreds of windows at a time
- Do window work a few or several at a time in a few phases, over a few years or spread out over a decade or two
- Hire a window preservation tradesperson or smaller shop to do annual window maintenance, with a few upgrades each year on highest priority windows
- "Out source" your institutional window maintenance and repair needs to a local shop with an annual contract so they can be on call to respond to immediate needs, and to implement an ongoing maintenance and upgrade program

These are just examples, there are other effective approaches.

6. Determine Treatments and Scope to include appropriate treatments for each condition. This is deciding the specifics of what needs to be done to the windows. Then assemble the treatments into a scope of work that makes sense for the situation.

When it is unclear what needs to be done, testing of methods and treatment development may be needed.

When it is unclear who will implement the work, training may be needed. Training is available from several independent professionals, organizations and schools. Topics for training include assessing conditions, writing specifications, planning projects, developing skills for window maintenance and repair methods, costing the work, and much more. Local and state historic preservation offices and preservation organizations often keep lists of tradespeople, contractors and training resources.

7. Implement work samples and method demonstrations. Work samples are one of the most direct ways to help assure quality of work. One or a few windows are done as a preliminary demonstration of the capability of the workers. The experienced window specialist, owner or architect can examine the work samples as they are done, and the completed work to judge the character and quality of the work and decide if it is suitable for the rest of the work. If it is not suitable then measures can be taken, such as selecting other treatments and methods that the workers can use to produce quality work, training the workers to improve the quality of their work or finding other workers.

8. Implement and supervise the window work.

9. Develop recommendations for ongoing maintenance of the windows.

johnleeke
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby johnleeke » December 24th, 2011, 11:44 am

How can we define "extensive experience" of a window specialist?
John
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johnleeke
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby johnleeke » January 9th, 2012, 11:14 am

I just had a conversation with Duffy Hoffman about the need for architects to understand how to plan a window project and for window preservation tradespeople and contractors in how to develop costings for this work.

Based on this conversation, I have added the following to item 6 above.

"Training is available from several independent organizations and schools. Topics for training include assessing conditions, writing specifications, planning projects, developing skills for window maintenance and repair methods, costing the work, and much more."
John
Standards Co-Founder
Standards Editor

http://www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

Kathy Morgan
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby Kathy Morgan » January 9th, 2012, 12:45 pm

You might add to check with local government to see if they have a historic preservation office. My office provides the majority of training opportunities and maintains a resource list.

johnleeke
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby johnleeke » January 9th, 2012, 1:12 pm

Good idea Kathy. I've added it.
John
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby LeedsClark » January 9th, 2012, 1:20 pm

John:

What I learned from our meeting in Austin, TX is the vast difference between contractors that work on residential and smaller building projects, to the ones that work on large institutional or commercial projects. For large projects, the contractor is faced with a multitude of items such as staging, environmental, project time lines, verification of proper survey, insurance requirements, etc..

I would advise separating recommendations for projects under 80 to 100 window units; and projects above these numbers. We are often faced with occupied buildings vs. unoccupied as well.

Just food for thought.


Tom Clark

johnleeke
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby johnleeke » January 9th, 2012, 2:38 pm

Tom, thanks for your comments. Check out what I have added to number 5 above.

Could you say more about the differences between smaller and larger window projects?

I have an impression that you work mostly on larger projects. Perhaps someone who does mostly smaller projects will join in.
John
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johnleeke
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Re: Window Project Organization (rough draft)

Postby johnleeke » November 9th, 2012, 5:12 pm

I just had a good conversation with Corey Thomas of Pishny Restoration Services in Kansas. They work on larger projects with hundreds of windows, often at a long distance from their shop. He said they often organize projects by sending "supervisors" to the project site to get the project started, hiring and training local workers to do the onsite work while sending sash back to the shop for refurbishing. This approach holds their worker lodging and travel expenses to a minimum.

This is definitely one difference between the big outfits and the smaller shops that serve only a local market.

Should I add this to the listing of approaches for organizing window projects?
John
Standards Co-Founder
Standards Editor

http://www.HistoricHomeWorks.com


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