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Texas Tech ensures efficiency with campus construction projects

Often operating within the timelines of summer and holiday breaks, the university shares its secrets for beating the clock on renovations and new construction
University Business, March 2018

When Texas Tech University needed to replace the energy-inefficient windows of its multistory Weymouth Hall student residence last summer, time was indeed of the essence.

Needing to ensure the building’s vacancy during the demolition and installation process, you could say the university had a narrow window of opportunity.

But thanks to the ezIQC® construction procurement method through Gordian and National Joint Powers Alliance®, the $1.7 million project was completed on schedule with top-quality products and services.

Jeff Sutherland, associate director of operations at Texas Tech University, said his organization had found the ezIQC method to be incredibly beneficial when time is of the essence and strict timelines must be enforced.

“Bidding through the state takes time—and, often, time we can’t afford. We’re often working against the clock when students leave campus in May and return in August,” Sutherland says. “Working with NJPA, we were still able to work with local contractors we know and trust and have confidence the project will be completed on schedule.”

John Castillo, an account manager at Gordian, has worked closely with Texas Tech University for more than half a decade helping make procurement and project solutions quick, easy and on budget.

“TTU wanted to be more efficient with their procurement process along with saving the university time and money,” Castillo explains. “With the partnership between NJPA and Gordian, we brought that solution to them. As their Gordian rep, I’ve been involved in every Job Order Contracting project using ezIQC, and have developed a strong relationship with TTU.”

Industry-leading solutions

Gordian created ezIQC to make its industry-leading JOC Solutions readily available through cooperative purchasing. JOC is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity procurement process that helps facility and infrastructure owners complete a large number of repair, renovation and straightforward new construction projects with a single, competitively awarded contract.

Unlike traditional bidding where each project is identified, designed and then put out to bid, ezIQC establishes competitively bid prices upfront and eliminates the need to bid each project separately.

ezIQC launched in 2008 and rolled out nationwide in 2009, as NJPA and other leading cooperative purchasing groups began to offer it to members. Since then, thousands of projects have been completed, and currently more than $1.7 billion of construction work is finished annually through Gordian construction sourcing systems.

Since 2012, more than $18 million in construction work has been completed through JOC at Texas Tech, including $3.5 million in the past two years through ezIQC and cooperative purchasing at NJPA.

In late 2013, the university engaged with Gordian on a $1.8 million Student Union Ballroom renovation project. The old 8,000-square-foot space required a state-of-the-art customization into a multipurpose area that would give a glowing first impression to first-year students at their orientation. In addition to student orientations, the space needed to accommodate multiple uses and event schedules, including conferences, meetings and the Chancellor’s Ball.

Additional projects

According to Gordian, most projects at TTU are under $2 million, and may occur during summer and holiday breaks to minimize disruption of services. Additional projects completed at the university through the ezIQC method have included:

• residence hall fire safety updates

• restroom renovations

• window replacements

• student Union Ballroom and restroom renovations

• theater flooring replacement

• Quiznos restaurant build-out in the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research

• classroom renovations

• chiller replacements

“We’ve been able to choose from, and use, the variety of contracts procured through NJPA to complete projects throughout our campus,” Sutherland says. “And, with our close working relationship with Gordian, we’re able to lock in pricing with their JOC process.”

Cost savings

By choosing Gordian’s JOC construction procurement process instead of the traditional design-bid-build process, the university minimizes time spent in the procurement phase, leading to cost savings and allowing projects to start faster.

With Gordian’s solutions, Texas Tech has been able to:

• streamline the procurement process

• access audit-worthy price proposals through Gordian’s software

• meet project deadlines and budgets

• complete a diverse and large number of projects with a single, competitively awarded contract

• make the most of allotted funding by completing projects on time during the summer

 “Quality, time and cost are all important,” Sutherland said. “Through the ezIQC process and buying off contract with NJPA, we’re able to get things done fast.”

For more information, visit NJPAcoop.org