It begins with the plans

To the Editor:

I agree with what Nis Kildegaard said last week [Soundings: The high cost of cheap, March 7] about failed Vineyard school buildings — those with burst pipes, high energy bills, etc. But I’d like to point out that the owner’s project manager (OPM) is hired as an inspector, not a designer. The people responsible for correctly designing the building’s envelope, insulation, HVAC system, plumbing, and wiring are the architects and engineers.

A successful building project begins with the formation of an informed and active building committee. And it is their responsibility to choose architects and engineers who will listen to their wishes and have the skills to generate the drawings and descriptions of the desired features (super insulation, high-efficiency HVAC, etc.). Only after the drawings and descriptions have been skillfully generated can the OPM (with the help of the architect and engineers) be expected to skillfully perform his inspections throughout every construction day.

Chris Fried