The specialty contractors can add a great value to the construction industry in the early stage of the
The definition of Specialty Contractors
A team comprises with specialists performing construction work utilizing special skill, specialized building
trades, crafts and technologies.
Now-a-days the companies are making special projects with huge upgrades like the alteration of an
apartment building to a condominium, modify from a hotel to condominiums, parking garage to office
building etc. In these types of adaptive reuse projects the role of specialty contractor is increasing day by
The huge upgrades and changes to the overall building structure involve some innovative strengthening
techniques like – fiber reinforcing, utilization of Fiber reinforced polymers, section enlargement, external
The specialty contractors can help to provide the optimal solutions & techniques to cope up with the
revisions occurred with the building and support the many different parameters of a particular project.
Along with engineers and architects the specialty contractor can be appointed in the early design stage and
meet up the engineering requirements towards constructability and cost with a balance approach.
The Building Envelope
A specialty contractor along with building envelope specialist can carry out an overall physical inspection on
building elements like roof, walls, windows and below-grade elements and conduct & document any
necessary water tests to find out leakage and any unsafe conditions of the construction. The specialty
contractors can also provide assistance for the material selection, development of the project scope,
planning and implementation etc.
The specialty contractors are great sources for value engineering. They can review the material cost, the
useable life and anticipated replacement value of each material, maintenance history of the materials and
provide assistance to reduce cost.
Value engineering can extend to make stronger building components. Considering the required capacity for
upgrading each individual component permits the specialty contractor to discover the most cost effective
approach for each - whether it is carbon fiber, external post tensioning or enlargement.
The structural steel specialty contractor--the steel fabricator—can play the role like design-build entity for the
design, detailing, fabrication and erection of the project’s framing system
If appointed in the early stages of the schematic design phase of a project the structural steel specialty
contractor can generate true value engineering services which develops the project’s design and confidently
influence the budget and schedule. If the schedule is affected safety and quality of the completed project
may be put at risk.
A recent survey shows that including the specialty contractor before design is 20% complete often lead to
improvements to cost, schedule and quality. A 2001 survey of 70 contractors and their experiences with
specialty contractors by a Penn State architectural student found that in projects contractors rated as
“excellent” the specialty contactor was engaged when the design was between 15% and 45% complete.
This publication provides vital information about specialty contractors and their key role for the construction
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