Simplifying the baaqmd permitting process for generators

Posted by Craig Jones on Aug 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), otherwise known as the “Air District," is tasked with regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround the San Francisco Bay: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties. The Air District's mission statement is to, “create a healthy breathing environment for every Bay Area resident while protecting and improving public health, air quality, and the global climate” and strives to achieve these objectives through:

  • Reducing and eliminating health problems caused by air pollution.
  • Achieving and maintaining air quality standards for all criteria pollutants.
  • Creating high-quality, relevant regulatory programs and ensure they comply with federal, state, and local laws.

Most of the equipment that emits to the atmosphere to be installed and operated in the Bay Area will require Air District permits which are documents that authorize the permit holder to install this type of equipment (“Authority to Construct”) and/or operate this type of equipment (“Permit to Operate”).  Air quality permits are required by law and are needed for:

  • Any equipment that may cause air pollution.
  • Modification to existing permitted equipment or their permit conditions.
  • Permitted equipment that is moved to a new location.
  • Transfer of permitted equipment to new owners
  • Installation of equipment used to control emissions.

NOTE: Depending on the type of equipment, its installation or use may also require separate local jurisdictional permits.
(e.g., in the case of an Emergency Standby Diesel Generator Set, a generator permit(s) will be required by the local jurisdiction for the installation of the GenSet and fuel system; a BAAQMD Authority to Construct permit will be required to fuel and commission the generator; and then a BAAQMD Permit to Operate permit will be required to operate the generator.)

We have created a summary flowchart that shows the usual steps to be followed for the Air District permitting of an Emergency Standby Diesel Generator Set (the most common requirement that we have experienced with our clients and the BAAQMD) based on the Air District’s requirements and Skyline’s extensive experience with the installation and commissioning of this type of equipment.  Depending on the other stationary equipment to be permitted, the steps, timing and application deliverables may vary.  Although this infographic is a simplified depiction of the generator permit process, the application documents and process can be quite complicated. I you require assistance, our Skyline team can provide additional clarification to the permit process related to specific equipment installation or operation and can further explain the detailed BAAQMD application requirements (or any additional permit requirements from other parties) including Form P101-B “Authority to Construct/Permit to Operate; Location Map; Facility Map; HRSA Map; Form ICE Internal Combustion Engine; Form HRSA; Specific Generator Specifications based on actual engine to be used.

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Topics: general contractor, generator, BAAQMD, air quality, air district, permit

Controlling Cost on Your Construction Project

Posted by Craig Jones on Mar 20, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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I’ve worked as a general contractor for over 30 years and the number one question I get asked is, “How can we reduce project costs?” Over time, I have learned that although there are things that we (your contractor) have no control over, there are still several creative ways we can help, and better yet, there are factors that you (the client) can control yourselves to reduce your final bill. So what are they? 

We've partnered with The Bridge Group to offer 2 perspectives on how to save money on your next construction project. The Bridge Group offers tips to Construction Managers, Facility Managers and Operation Teams to lower construction costs in their blog post, Three Simple Ways to Control the Cost of your Next Construction Project.

Alternatively, I've outlined these 3 key cost contributors below, and how you (the client / end user) can take matters into your own hands to reduce costs.

Cost driving factors that your contractor has NO control over

  • Commodity prices are rising making the cost to produce and ship materials for your project higher.
    • Copper is up 47%
    • Crude oil is up 34%
    • Metal studs are up 20% and projected to increase 20% - 30% more
    • Drywall is projected to increase another 5%

  • Assembly Bill 1701 went into effect on January 1, 2018, which now makes general contractors (GCs) financially responsible for any subcontractor who fails to pay their employees, even if the GC has paid the subcontractor for the work completed. This requires GCs to assume liability for unpaid wages, fringe and other benefit payments or contributions, including interest owed by subcontractors to their employees. Ultimately, this new law will likely lead to higher construction costs.

  • The new OSHA Silica rules have caused subcontractors to implement new procedures and safety measures on their projects to comply with such rules, which has the potential to increase project costs.

  • Several natural disasters have also impacted costs: Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma resulted in $200 billion in damage and the Northern and Southern California wildfires increased our already taxed housing situation which all cause further stress on construction materials and labor.


Areas your general contractor can help reduce costs

  • Understand city plan check and inspection lead times to factor into the schedule and avoid overtime labor costs

  • Prepare effective schedules during pre-construction to sequence the workflow and maximize efficient manpower usage

  • Involve AV, IT, cabling, and security subcontractors (and the Owner stakeholder for these trades) early in pre-construction so that design is final and priced into the project to eliminate change orders during construction

  • Set realistic construction schedules - if the schedule is too short, subcontractors will price labor higher to meet schedule demands

  • Order materials early on projects so that no overtime is necessary for installation

  • Work closely with the design team to select readily available materials and products

  • Hire key subcontractors early to coordinate with the design team and existing building conditions to eliminate pricing contingencies

  • Use new technology to streamline the design and construction process. Some examples of new technology are mobile applications and cloud storage for quick access to important documents; laser scanning to help capture accurate space conditions and drones to help survey the space from a different vantage point.

  • Use modularization and prefabrication when possible to reduce field labor costs


How YOU can control your own costs

There are ways that you can take costs into your own hands while selecting and conceptualizing your space. We’ve created a tool called the Bay Area Cost Comparison to help guide you towards a less expensive project. This white paper will give you an idea of what an average project might cost in your area, what factors drive cost escalation, and what cost saving measures to look for.

Here are the most important factors that you can control to reduce your own construction project:

  • Pay attention to the existing conditions while selecting your space. The current condition of things like restrooms, drywall, floors, window shades, etc. can either save, or cost you a lot of money.
  • Mind the 3 F’s: fixtures, finishes and features. Work closely with your contractor to determine material cost and availability when selecting finishes like millwork, flooring, ceiling and special features like stairs, Audio Visual or kitchen appliances. Light fixture type, lighting distributors, control systems and existing wiring will also drive your costs.

  • Examine your HVAC system’s existing condition to check the condition of the  medium pressure loop, VAV boxes, ductwork and controls. Replacing any of these elements can be costly.

Tips for Construction Managers & Facility Management professionals

The Bridge Group outlines their tips for construction professionals to strategize cost saving measures for their clients in their blog post, Three Simple Ways to Control the Cost of your Next Construction Project.

 

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 START CONTROLLING YOUR CONSTRUCTION COSTS HERE

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Topics: costs, Construction costs, construction regulation, AB 1701, Silica, schedule, budget, controlling costs, OSHA, plan check, general contractor, reduce cost