Last post we mentioned the principles that we followed in deciding on cost-saving changes to the project. Here are some examples:

We looked at two different possibilities for reducing the size of the new building. After some discussion, we rejected both of those options because making the building smaller would make it not serve our current needs and goals. Also, whatever size we make the building is the size it will be forever – this is not something that we can undo. We did not feel that this would be a good move.

We did, however, agree to change the type of flooring to less costly options. We chose this option in part because it can be easily reversed, almost up to the end of construction. Flooring is the last thing to be installed, so if we happen to have sufficient funds and wanted to prioritize this, we could make a change in the 11th hour.

Another major cost savings we decided on was to tap in to the HVAC system for the current building rather than install a new system for the new building. The original thinking on not connecting to our current system was the age of the system and the fact that the physical location of the chiller plant and boilers is as far away as it could be from the new construction. Connecting to it would not be easy or inexpensive – and we initially thought that we would have to make the connection by going through or over the sanctuary. However, Matthew Wright suggested that we could connect via the mechanical mezzanine near the kitchen, which would save us some distance and eliminate the design challenge of getting through the sanctuary. And, our engineer agreed that the capacity of our current system would be adequate for the new building. This decision saved us a considerable amount of money – the biggest single savings that we identified.

Other areas of savings include using a flat roof over the adult education space, addressing sound-proofing between floors of the new building in a different way, different ceiling design, less costly elevator design, and reducing the amount of renovation in the current office area. More on this last item in the next post.