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Director of Design & Construction

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New York City Metropolitan Area
  • Client: Institution - Higher Education
  • Search ID: 17-1102-13
A New York City higher education institution has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search for a Director of Design & Construction. Under the direction of the Senior Director of Planning, Project Management, and Business Affairs, the Director of Design & Construction (Director) will have overall responsibility for management of all design, renovation, and construction initiatives and projects for all New York campuses. The incumbent will be responsible for all phases and aspects of these projects, including the inception, planning, due diligence, design, and construction. The incumbent will be responsible for successful completion of all such projects, to high quality standards, on schedule, within budget, in compliance with all laws, rules, regulations, and stipulations. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits, signoffs, and certificates, as well as closing-out the project. The incumbent will project manage a sizeable portion of the total project portfolio personally. Additional responsibilities will include being the primary contact with the user community and leadership, with the architects, engineers, consultants, construction managers, contractors, and other vendors for renovation and construction projects; management of Design & Construction staff; and space management.
 
Responsibilities include:
 
  • Directs day-to-day activities of the department and provide management and guidance on all design and construction projects. 
  • Provides periodic and ad-hoc status updates on all design and construction projects to the university including schedule, cost, and significant issues.
  • Works closely with the Vice President of Information Technology and Infrastructure, Senior Director of Planning, Project Management, and Business Affairs, PMO office, directors, and other project managers to establish policies, programs, budgets and procedures for managing the design and construction process.
  • Develops program statement, formal plans, and project documents, including a design services RFP, in preparation for bidding for an external architectural consultant and other design consultants.
  • Conducts due diligence to select an external architectural consultant and other design consultants and makes a formal recommendation to the university.
  • Conducting preliminary and final design, including cost estimation and project budget, project timeline, milestones, and deliverables either directly or through external design consultants. 
  • Prepares construction documents, including construction bid packages and construction RFP, either directly or through external design consultants. 
  • Conducts due diligence to select a contractor and makes a formal recommendation to the university.
  • Manages the bidding and award process in coordination with the PMO Office and Procurement Services. 
  • Obtains or manages vendors to obtain all necessary permits for all construction projects prior to project start. At the completion of the project, obtains or manages vendors to obtain all necessary sign-offs and certificates, including the final certificate of occupancy. 
  • Oversees and manages the contractor and design consultants throughout the construction process to assure successful completion of the project in time and on budget.
  • Coordination and management of select projects, reporting all variances, risks and potential mitigation strategies to the PMO Office, Senior Director, and Vice President, ensuring that all critical dates and durations associated with the project are identified and met. 
  • Manages multiple external vendors and consultants, including architects, engineers, construction managers, contractors and sub-contractors, expediters, and other specialized consultants. 
  • Works closely with internal and external project team members, overseeing the coordination of activities and communication between the project stakeholders, internal professional staff, external consultants, and contractors. 
  • Monitors the cost control system established for the project ensuring accuracy and to track contract execution, vendor payments, change orders; and monitors quality control. 
  • Provides periodic and ad-hoc status updates on design and construction projects to the Senior Director and Vice President of Information Technology and Infrastructure including schedule, cost, and significant issues. 
  • Effectively communicates with a diverse group of clients and constituents with varying needs and expectations to develop project requirements, designs, plans, project documents, and provides the same constituency project updates. 
  • Collaborates with department heads to gain full understanding of business requirements and impact of proposed projects on existing and proposed facilities. Provides consultation to various units regarding renovation and construction projects. 
  • Ensures all federal, state, and local codes and standards are enforced for all new projects. 
  • Ensures full compliance for all new projects with college policies, procedures, and standards. 
  • Prepares, compiles, reviews, and submits the closeout documentation and report. 
  • Manages and oversees management of multiple renovation and construction projects simultaneously. 
  • Develops and/or supervises development of the collection of CAD drawings for all New York campuses and keeps it current on an annual basis.
  • Evaluates new and emerging construction technologies and their application to university environment. 
  • Develops and implements design and construction and other associated product standards to be used throughout university. Keeps standards current. 
  • Contributes to the development of the annual capital renovation and construction budget, including prioritization of the individual projects. 
  • Contributes to the development of the long-term capital renovation and construction budget and priorities.
  • Analyzes space requests, resolves space conflicts, tracks space commitments, and provides advice and consultation to the college for effective assignment and reassignment of space as well as long-term space planning. Working with administration, develops space related strategic vision for the university for both existing and long-term facility needs. 
  • Collects, maintains, and manages the space inventory for all New York campuses.
  • Proactively identifies needs and proposes solutions. 
  • Prepares and manages capital budgets; providing cost comparisons and risk analysis for management. Manages staff and budget in rapidly changing technical environment. 
  • Assigns, schedules, and reviews work of department staff. Interprets university polices and goals for the staff. Participates in decisions concerning staffing and promotion; the risk of turnover in staff requires creativity and focus to attract and retain staff. 
  • Provides on-call coverage outside of business hours on a routine rotation basis and for special projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, Engineering, or a related field.
  • Minimum of twelve (12) years of gradually more responsible relevant experience.
  • Appropriate professional registration is highly desirable.
  • Ability and proficiency in developing effective proposals to address complex needs.
  • Experience in every aspect of design and construction process, from inception to closeout. 
  • Experience in design and construction contract negotiations; a strong understanding of construction process in local practice.
  • Resourceful, creative, and strong problem solver.
  • Demonstrated ability and proficiency in managing and delivering design, renovation, and construction projects to high quality standards, on schedule, and within budget. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple renovation and/or construction projects simultaneously. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex set of priorities and adapt to changing priorities.
  • Must be able to direct, control, and plan the operations of the department, bringing together knowledge of operations and information needed of department, such as accounting, purchasing, and inventory control. 
  • Adept at managing multiple complex projects and their budgets simultaneously and successfully. 
  • Must have the ability to manage capital and operating budgets. 
  • Must have the ability to make decisions based on factual data to evaluate progress or success of technical projects.
  • Ability to write Requests for Qualifications and Proposals (RFQ & RFP). 
  • Ability to prepare drawings using AutoCAD, bid documents, and specifications.
  • Experience in cost estimation and understanding of construction costs and standards. 
  • Experience with New York City and Long Island regulatory agencies, including building departments, fire departments, health departments and other regulatory bodies. 
  • Experience with and understanding of union requirements. 
  • Must have a solid working knowledge of computer programs used for design and scheduling of construction projects, specifically, proficiency in AutoCAD, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Office Suite. 
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals, technical procedures, and/or governmental regulations. 
  • Demonstrated proactive approach and self-initiative is a strong plus. 
  • Ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of users with different expectations and backgrounds. 
  • Strong organizational skills with emphasis on detail and follow-up. 
  • Managing projects and priorities in a dynamic, fluid environment. 
  • Excellent decision-making and problem solving skills and effectiveness in getting things done collaboratively. 
  • Previous experience in a higher education environment is strongly desired. 
  • Must be able to work on holidays, weekends, and evenings as needed.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and presentation skills, and ability to work independently. 
  • Excellent customer service skills.

Search Consultants: Lee Grandovic and Jason Vallozzi

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