Be careful of the standards you choose. Are they up to “reality” standards? The standards of the marketplace? Know your risks.

You are looking at a photo of a house on Mexico Beach, Florida which was where Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 Hurricane, made landfall on October 10, 2018.

Almost all of the homes surrounding this home were built to 1970s Category 3 Hurricane standards set by the local government. You can see what happened to them. Catastrophic destruction.

This particular home was built “for the big one.” In this case, a Category 5 Hurricane standard able to sustain winds of 250 miles an hour and very high storm surges. The owners of this home took the time to think for themselves and choose to work with different standards, higher standards, so they could cope more effectively with the new set of threats being created by climate change.

Given the picture above, here’s the questions to ask yourself as you choose an Owner’s Representative for your next project:

  • Do I or someone on my team have the knowledge to assess ORs in terms of competence, experience, ability to lead and manage, availability of senior staff, relevant experience, previous outcomes, and specific project requirements?
  • What criteria and standards am I using in selecting an OR?
  • Do I know my standards? Where am I getting those standards?
  • How reliable are they? Are they appropriate?
  • What other standards might be more important, useful and worthwhile to consider?
  • And what about fees, how they handle change orders, disputes, track record of estimating, procedures for handle scheduling, insurance, documentation, contract expertise, litigation, and personality?
  • Do I like them? Are they straight-forward? Trustworthy?

There is a lot to consider. But it is time to assess the criteria and standards that you are using to evaluate your project’s owner’s representative. Times change and standards need to change to reflect new realities – as proof, look at the home that is still standing on Mexico Beach one more time.

As the ultimate owner’s reps, we at DAE Group would welcome the opportunity to explore the universe of standards that you could consider and select the ones that are appropriate for your situation and the new realities.

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