Operations Committee, April 4, 2013

Contract Award – Fire Station No. 2 Relocation Project (FD13-02)

Consideration of contract award for professional design and construction administration services for the Fire Station No. 2 Relocation Project (FR1027)

Speaker:  Chief Allan Cain


From:  Allan Cain, Fire Chief

Prepared by:     Susan Parker, Engineer

                        Tony Jordan, Assistant Fire Chief – Logistics

                        Emily Barrett, Sustainability Manager

                        Allan Cain, Fire Chief

Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager

Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager


Executive Summary:  The Town of Cary solicited proposals for professional design and construction administration services for the proposed Fire Station No. 2 Relocation Project. The new station will be located at 601 E. Chatham Street. Staff recommends awarding a contract for these services to Williard Ferm Architects, PA.


Background:  The current Fire Station No. 2 is almost 40 years old and has reached the end of its useful service life. Additionally, the current station is overcrowded by vehicles and staff as it was designed to accommodate one-half of the resources currently deployed from the facility. Further, from its current location, emergency units responding from the station do not meet the Town’s response time objectives into the downtown area. The design and construction of the new Fire Station No. 2 will allow for the relocating of fire personnel to a more structurally stable building and aid in reaching response time goals into the downtown area.


Discussion:  On February 26, 2013 staff received proposals in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) advertised by the Town to solicit professional design and construction administration services for Fire Station No. 2 Relocation. Eight proposals were received and reviewed by staff based on established review criteria. A selection committee was formed that included members from the Fire Department, Public Works and Utilities Department, Engineering Department, and Administration Department. Committee members reviewed the proposals for items such as relevant experience of the firm, personnel assigned to this project, firm workload, project approach, proposed schedule and cost. The Town of Cary has exempted this project from the provisions of North Carolina General Statute 143-64.31 as it is in the best interest of its citizens to procure these services through a process of open competition. Therefore, cost proposals were considered in making the final selection.


The following table lists the firms who submitted proposals and the proposed project cost:



Proposed Fee*

ADW Architects, PA


Anegram Studio PA


Davis Kane Architects, PA


Gurlitz Architectural


In Situ Studio


Innovative Design, Inc.


MS Consultants, Inc.


Williard Ferm Architects, PA


*The proposed fees listed include LEED documentation and certification fees as listed in the consultant’s proposal.


In reviewing the proposals, the selection committee considered the firm’s demonstrated ability to deliver a building that is highly functional for its intended use, durable, has added value for occupants and citizens, and utilizes cost-effective techniques and equipment.  Additionally, the firm’s experience with and proposed approach to sustainability, including energy and water conservation, life cycle cost analysis, and aesthetically pleasing and effective storm water treatment were considered.


The RFP specified that the building be a high performance building regarding energy use, interior and exterior water use, and stormwater. The proposed Fire Station No. 2 will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria as part of the basic design services fee.


While staff supports the high performance standards for this building, staff does not recommend the additional step of official certification of this facility’s design and construction from the LEED certifying body, the U.S. Green Building Council.


The additional step of certification provides two key benefits: 1) documentation to ensure accountability with contractors that standards have been met and 2) national recognition for having met these standards. The certification process would cost an additional $48,000, or 0.6%, of the total construction project budget. Staff believes that the relative benefit of requiring LEED documentation from construction administrators and contractors could be alternatively addressed in three ways. These include: 1) the submittal review process, 2) the pay application process, and 3) the commissioning process.  Based on the interviews with all the design firms, staff estimates the incremental costs for integrating these methods into existing design activities will be less than $48K.  No design firm was able or willing to specify these incremental costs because of unknown challenges when working with contractors and subcontractors.


After a thorough review of all of the proposals, the selection committee conducted interviews with ADW Architects, PA, Davis Kane Architects, PA and Williard Ferm Architects PA. The selection committee recommends that the project be awarded to Williard Ferm Architects, PA based on their previous experience in fire station design/public safety facilities, sustainable design practices, demonstrated expertise to design an efficient, effective and cost-friendly fire station and references from other municipal customers.


Fiscal Impact

Operating Impact:  This station will house existing staff and vehicles.  No additional personnel or vehicles will result from the relocation of Fire Station #2.  The existing station’s maintenance costs are estimated at $14,549 in FY 2013.  Staff anticipates that the new Fire Station #2’s maintenance costs will be $18,676.

Funding:  $8,172,000 has been appropriated to date to the FR1027 Fire Station #2 Relocation project.  $6,450,000 of this amount is supported by general obligation bond funding approved by the voters in November 2012.  $583,419 of total appropriations has been encumbered/expended to date for site acquisition and related costs leaving an available balance of $7,588,582.  This available balance fully supports the professional design and construction administration costs presented in this staff report.


Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that a contract for $400,636 be awarded to Williard Ferm Architects, PA for professional design and construction administration services for Fire Station No. 2 Relocation.  This contract amount is less than the proposed fee because it does not include LEED documentation and certification.


This award by Council represents a preliminary determination as to the qualifications of this consulting firm and no legally binding acceptance of this award will occur until the Town of Cary has executed a legally binding agreement.