Renovation and Equipment Services and Costs
Copen & Lind Consulting has been involved in PEG access television for over 25 years. We are experienced in all aspects of access management; technology; finances; evaluations, ascertainments and contract negotiations. We also specialize in renovation of video/media production centers including facility site selection, design and specifications, contractor bidding and selection, AIA contract negotiation, and renovation oversight.
We provide equipment selection, package design and installation services and integration of computer technologies and data/video networks. We have worked with boards, directors, municipalities, schools, contractors and company project managers.
We began designing media production centers when we realized that few architects or contractors are knowledgeable in television studio design. Those architects who did have this experience tended to use design specifications and specialty materials that raised the price of renovation considerably and frequently put good facility design beyond the financial range of many communities. Furthermore, most architects and television designers had limited understanding of the particular programming, equipment and community needs of an access center.
Our designs reflect a dedication to providing systems and spaces that empower the users. We look at facilities as organic wholes not just a collection of technical and administrative rooms. In all of our designs we work to bring in the human factor in both scale and placement. Our facilities are designed to enhance the flow of people and equipment. Floor plans are created to guide people through the facility so that they understand where they are and feel secure and empowered, rather than overwhelmed by a mass of halls, rooms and equipment. Our people-focused designs help to create welcoming centers where technical functions are laid out to encourage learning and ease of use. We also take into account the nature of the community so that the colors, spaces and feel of the facility reflects the general sense of the architecture of the larger community.
We have been very successful in working with organizations to create centers which are aesthetically welcoming, technically state-of-the-art, meet the specific technical requirements of both new and advanced producers, are user-friendly and affordable.
We are skilled at cost effective solutions. Having directed PEG access, served on nonprofit boards and with our years of dedication to working with many communities around the country we are always aware of the need to make funds stretch in order to provide the best and most inclusive situation possible.
Our design and negotiation processes, and the costs for our services, are directed towards saving the client organization considerable amounts of money while providing quality facilities that meet the needs of the organization and the communities they serve. For example: we have developed custom design solutions for room acoustics, studio lighting systems, HVAC systems, sound isolation walls and windows, and signal (Video/Audio/ RF/Data) conduit distribution systems which are constructed using standard materials and methods. This allows the regular contractors to create these systems without the need to go to expensive specialty houses or vendors. This design process saves significant amounts of money in a technical renovation.
We pay special attention to several areas of negotiation during the site selection, renovation and equipment bidding that significantly lower costs. These include: developing several possible facility sites and developing positive relationships with perspective landlords/sellers as we negotiate the long-term lease or buy/sell agreements; pre-bid meetings with the contractors to ascertain sensitivity and flexibility regarding cost-effective solutions; careful negotiation of the actual renovation contract with the selected builder; developing relationships with equipment vendors who understand budget constraints and setting up positive bidding processes with them and; problem solving during the build with careful attention to details.
Our process for media facility development and equipment package design proceeds generally as follows; this process is cooperatively tailored to meet the specific needs of each project:
Site Selection & Renovation Process
- We work closely with the Boards, Executive Directors Telecommunications Officers, Department Chairs, Managers or other key personnel on all phases of the project.
- We ascertain the space and equipment needs with the client so that the site selection, facility and systems design and the equipment package and installation all conform to the intended needs and uses of the center.
- Working with the organizations financial officer/committee and/or the director we establish budget parameters.
- Working with the client we identify suitable sites based on community accessibility, renovation potential, and develop cost estimates.
- Several sites, three if possible, are chosen and we negotiate lease/buy agreements that fit within the budget parameters. These agreements generally include provisions where by the landlord/seller performs some of the needed building renovation.
- A formal presentation is made to the client organization giving all pertinent information so that the best site can be selected.
- We create all necessary renovation drawings and specifications working with the client, local building inspectors, local site plan review, general contractors and subcontractors.
- We put the project out for competitive bidding to three, or more, general contractors and negotiate with the bidder. We then present the client with final bid prices and our recommendations.
- Once the general contractor is selected we assist the client in negotiating and drawing up the renovation contract.
- When needed, we bring in structural engineers who are sensitive to the budget constraints of working with a community project.
- We make weekly site visits to assure that the renovation is proceeding according to all design plans, specifications and intentions and meet with the general contractor to address any questions, concerns and change orders.
- During the week we are in daily phone communication with the general contractor and local clerk-of-the-works, solving problems as they arise. We have been very successful in keeping cost overruns to a minimum by working cooperatively with contractors to come up with creative solutions during the building process.
Equipment Design, Selection & Installation
- As the renovation plans are being developed, we begin designing the equipment plan so that the facility and the equipment function as integrated whole.
- Prior to and during the construction phase, we work with the client and an equipment committee to survey any existing equipment and to design a package to meet the needs and budget of the facility.
- We send the final equipment lists to multiple vendors for competitive bidding.
- As the initial equipment bids are received we negotiate with the vendors to obtain the best pricing, terms and delivery schedule.
- We custom design equipment consoles and install and/or direct the installation of the equipment so that the technology is easy to learn; comfortable to use; and allows for flexibility, expansion and ease of maintenance.
- The timing of this process is planned so that the new equipment is ordered during the renovation phase and is available for installation when the facility renovation is completed.