Mick Rich Contractors | Solving Complexity With Creativity
An Albuquerque, New Mexico general contractor, Mick Rich Construction specializes in medium scale commercial building projects in all phases of construction: new construction, building renovations, special unique construction, tilt-up construction, and design-build. To serve our clients' needs, we also have a service department for repairs and alterations.
New Mexico is a diverse state. Not just in terrain and weather, but also culture. Before the first migration of Spanish settlers in the 1600s, New Mexico’s Native American Pueblos and Tribes each had their distinct histories, cultures and beliefs.
Like Texas, New Mexico flew Mexico’s flag before it flew the flag of the United States. Our Mexican heritage still plays a large part in forming our culture today.
Just over 31 years ago, I found myself out of work in Portland, Oregon. I had been working as a junior estimator/office engineer for a highway bridge builder and heavy foundation contractor. The economy had dipped into recession, and I was out of work.
I come from California, in the Bay Area, and in my professional career I’ve worked in California, Virginia, Oregon and Washington before coming to New Mexico.
From time to time, someone will ask me, “You could do business anywhere. Why did you choose New Mexico?”
There are several reasons, ranging from the personal to the objective.
Off loading a pre-engineered building is different than off loading structural steel. For a conventional building, the structural steel, miscellaneous metal, steel joists and metal deck are all loaded separately, and can be priced out separately. On a pre-engineered building, the primary steel, secondary steel, metal wall, roof panels, and trim are all loaded together.
The pre-engineered building manufacturer will provide total weight for the building order, and will ship 40,000 pounds of steel per truck.
The layout on a pre-engineered building is different than conventional construction. With conventional construction, where multiple crafts are involved in the building frame, wall framing, and door and window installation, layout is incidental to the work. On pre-engineered buildings, the erector is responsible for primary steel, secondary framing, door and window locations, and the wall and roof sheeting. Layout is not incidental to the pre-engineered building erection, and is considered part of the project overhead.
Because the builder is responsible for the design of a pre-engineered building, the builder’s estimator must finalize the building design prior to estimating it. Plans and specifications are two of the most important – and often most misunderstood – areas that estimators face. Here’s a brief outline of how to handle them.
We recently submitted a price proposal for a large (for us) project. We came in second by 0.3 percent of the total bid amount. Coming that close, but coming up short, hurt – especially since our construction backlog has dwindled to near zero. Needless to say, we were frustrated.
Like many construction firms in these economic times, our company finds itself in a hard place. Drop prices, and worry about how to build a project? Or hold prices, and worry what to do without enough work? I believe in an old saying: when faced with two bad choices, choose neither. We chose neither.
Decades ago, pre-engineered buildings were known as simply “metal buildings” and were recognized by their galvanized roofs and walls. But they have come a long way. Now known as pre-engineered buildings, they are faced with brick, stucco and metal wall panels. They are no longer considered the “poor man’s building,” but rather are one more option available to building owners.
Mick Rich Contractors has been committed to sustainable construction for more than 25 years.
• We started with recycling metals, wood, concrete and asphalt.
• We progressed to matching salvaged materials with organizations that need them. Examples include a sawdust collection system for a new high school; skylights for a new nonprofit office and for our own office; and doors, door hardware, windows, mirrors, and cabinets for the Habitat for Humanity Renew Store in Albuquerque and Espanola.
At the Jack Miller Network meeting in Orlando, Florida last January, I was impressed with Jeff Van Hoose’s seminar on geothermal heating and cooling systems. He offered to take us on a tour of an installation, and I thought, “Why not?”
Last week I flew into Oklahoma City, met the president of Climatec, and toured their fan coil manufacturing plant. Afterwards, Jeff walked me through the new Kenworth Truck Dealership building to view a new geothermal installation.
Here are notes from my brief tour of the Climatec Geothermal Heating/Cooling System.