Learn About the TI Construction Process

By Ken Thomson

TI (tenant improvement) is a generic construction term for the interior build out of an existing building or space within a building.

Facility Builders & Erectors, Inc. has delivered TI construction for over 20 years to the Southern California industrial and commercial businesses.

A few examples of TI Construction includes individual shops in a mall or shopping center, offices in a multi-story office building, manufacturing or processes built into existing industrial space or any other facility improvements to convert an existing space.

A simple example would be additions to an existing office space, such as: office extensions, building new walls, adding finishes and doors to match existing ones and extending electrical and air conditioning systems.

A complex example of TI construction includes converting an existing industrial building for a different industry and new occupant. This includes extensive modifications or removal of the existing features new electrical and mechanical services, new offices and specialty environments such as laboratory space, R&D workshops, and custom manufacturing including clean rooms of all types.

Sometimes, it's just a office. Sometimes, it's much more. Facility Builders & Erectors have worked a variety of tenant improvements. Each experience FB&E has completed successfully, meeting the owners expectations.

Converting an 100,000 s.f. ongoing hi-tech manufacturing plant from open floor production to multiple clean rooms, all while keeping the production levels in place was a multiyear effort.

Converting a 120,000 s.f. 2 story office to a sophisticated R&D lab with clean rooms, offices and staff support facilities, designed and built in 5 months was an exciting project.

Taking an empty 160,000 s.f. industrial building and building a state of the art tortilla factory in 14 months including design, permitting and construction was a monument project for all of us.

TI construction can be contracted for in a number of ways, including Design-Build with a Guaranteed Maximum Price, Construction Management, or Design-Bid-Build. The three different delivery methods each offer benefits for the Owner. Often the knowledge and time the Owner has to invest in a project will dictate the method of delivery.

Projects are a success when the designers and builders exceed the Owners expectations for the overall project. It is critical these three members of the project team have good communications amongst themselves and their respective team members. All three teams need to perform the responsibilities demanded during the course of the project.

Key questions asked early and then updated through the design and construction process includes: What is it going to look like? How much is it going to cost? How long is it going to take?

One of the key roles for the Owner during a project is to provide funding. Before committing any money to a project, a reasonable question to ask is how much is this going to cost.

A Design-Build Contractor will address the costs of Design, Permitting and Construction. In addition to these hard costs there could also be costs for furniture, computers, operating equipment and possibly relocation expenses. Once an Owner has a conceptual idea and approve the project costs it will move to the next step.

During the design development and permitting process, costs are updated as plans are developed to validate the design. Costs and design remain consistent with the original budget estimates and accommodates changes; the Owner then has the opportunity to adjust the project financial expectations as needed. By the time construction is ready to begin, a final construction cost is firmly established.

TI construction is a finished product, equipped to support whatever activities need to take place. It is important to know that it is a process. Each process is done with a team working together, defining and delivering the construction services. A team with good communication can result in a value driven project, where crisis management is the exception rather than a daily operating style.

Meeting Owner expectations in both the process and the end product is a true measure of the project success. So when the questions are asked of the Owner, Did you get what you wanted? Was it done on budget? Was it done on schedule? If all the answers are positive, then everyone knows it's a job well done.

Facility Builders & Erectors, a Southern California based Design Build Contractor has the experience, the references and the team to address any TI construction challenge. Call Ken Thomson or Steve Sindelar at 714-577-8060 to discuss your TI needs. Let's see if FB&E is the contractor for your upcoming TI.