Be the Match

The Cure for Blood Cancer is in the Hands of Ordinary People – Like You and Me.

I’ve signed up to participate in By The Mile for Be The Match® to raise funds to help match volunteer marrow donors with patients who have blood cancers, like leukemia or lymphoma – like Amy here. I need your help.

Amy’s Story

“I’m Amy, and I’m writing today to invite you to support Be The Match® in an exciting way this summer—by participating in By The Mile for Be The Match!

You see, Be The Match helped me find a marrow donor last year, giving me a second chance at life—a chance to watch my daughter grow up. A month after my transplant, when I transitioned to outpatient status, my husband, Jeff, surprised me with a beach cruiser bike! Cycling has always been a big part of our family. Jeff is an avid mountain biker—he even proposed on a bike ride! So of course, after riding the stationary bike at the hospital, the gift was such a happy surprise.

Maybe you were wondering what the woman in the mask was doing on a bike… Well, during my recovery, I lived in an apartment near the hospital and often rode the Cherry Creek Bike Trail in Denver, Colorado. I may have looked a little strange riding my bike while wearing a mask and carrying an infusion ball full of magnesium, but feeling the breeze on my face and biking to a bookstore or coffee shop—it gave meaning to my day and helped me slowly build my strength.

I’ll be hitting the trails this summer to encourage my friends and family to help me raise money through By The Mile for Be The Match, and I’d love for you to join me.

Your support will help Be The Match save even more lives! Thanks for your help.”

What You Can Do Now

Most patients needing a marrow transplant need to turn to the Be The Match Registry® to find an unrelated donor. But, Be The Match doesn’t stop there. The organization also helps cover uninsured costs for patients like co-pays or transportation to and from the hospital, and they fund research projects to improve transplant success.

This summer I am pledging to ride for patients in need. With your help, I’ll do a world of good with every mile I ride.

By The Mile celebrates the 100-day-post-transplant milestone that is the most critical for marrow transplant patients. Once they cross the 100-day threshold, their chances of a healthy recovery increase dramatically.

Thanks to your generous help, we’ll be able to continue adding new potential matches to the marrow registry, researching breakthroughs in the science of transplant, and improving care and services for post-transplant patients. With your gift, we can make more 100-day milestones possible for more patients.

My goal is to raise $1,000.  Can I count on your support?

I invite you to contribute to my efforts by clicking Click here to visit my personal page” and making a donation of whatever amount you can. Your donation will help patients who rely on Be The Match for a second chance at life.

Give today!

I’m grateful to have people like you in my life who care about making a difference. Please give today by clicking the link below to help patients find their match!

Thanks in advance for your support!

Be The Match® is a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. Be The Match® conducts research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network. Learn more.

Apex Project Consulting Saves Tissue Banks International Over $2ML

Apex Completes New Processing Lab for Tissue Banks International

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -June 3, 2014—Apex Project Consulting, Inc., has successfully completed Tissue Banks International’s new Richmond, CA, facility that will house the company’s state-of-the-art ocular processing laboratory for musculoskeletal allografts, Apex President Tom Conzelman announced today.

Apex provided a broad range of diversified project development services including purchase and sale agreement consulting, building evaluation, architect and engineer selection/administration and construction contract drafting (modified GMP) as well as on-site construction management.

 Tissue Banks International Microbiology Lab
Tissue Banks International Microbiology Lab

“We are proud to have been part of the Tissue Banks International team,” Conzelman said. “Working closely with their executive team, we were able to negotiate a strategic collaboration and partnership between the MEP engineering teams and the general contractor.”

According to Terrell Suddarth, Vice President of Product Engineering, Apex’s leadership “Resulted in over $2 million in hard cost savings and a 3 month reduction in the overall project schedule.”

At 57,820 sq. ft., the new facility includes show-case caliber offices and conference rooms, warehouse and approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of dedicated state-of-the-art ISO Class 5-8 clean processing rooms and labs. TBI/Tissue Banks International is a non-profit network of medical eye and tissue banks dedicated to the relief of human suffering through transplantation. More than 100,000 patients are treated with TBI tissue annually.

Apex Project Consulting, headquartered in Orange County, CA, leads projects throughout the western U.S. Apex has managed over a thousand projects from design through completion, including commercial, industrial, clean rooms, labs, manufacturing, and specialized environments.

Three types of estimating image

Three Types of Construction Estimating Techniques

(…Everyone Uses Whether They Know It or Not)

There are a gazillion types of software, programs, catalogs and/or other tools for estimating construction costs. But all of these price-delivery tools fall into one of three basic categories.

  • Analogous
  • Parametric
  • Bottom-Up

What do these mean? How are they used? Which one should you use?

Glad you asked.

Analogous Estimating

Analogous estimating (sometimes also called top-down estimating for reasons you’ll understand in a second) is a form of experienced, sophisticated guess-estimating.  It’s also the handiest and least detailed.

Analogous estimating relies on experience. Cost information is derived from historical information from previous, like-kind projects. The projects need to be similar only in broad categories such as size, project schedule, industry type, (manufacturing, distribution, bio-tech, lab, etc.) and the type of the constructed or installed improvements.

For example, let’s say you’re using the Analogous estimating technique for a life science lab. Start by drawing on cost information that you have archived from previous similar projects. This would include mechanical, electrical, lab equipment, benches, finishes and flooring etc.  Assuming the projects are similarly sized, an estimator could “analogize” the cost of the previous projects to the present example.

Architects and engineers are likely to select this type of estimating methodology.

This works well if the projects are similar in many broad dimensions. What the Analogous method lacks in specificity or detail it makes up for in speed and convenience.

Parametric Estimating

Parametric estimating introduces a bit more empiricism. While not detailed down to every nut and bolt, it does rely on algorithms and mathematical relationships to establish cost.

Parametric estimating relies on the mathematical relationship of cost per unit. The unit can be square footage or length of cable or number of outlets or linear footage of wall. The point is that manageable chunks of the work are assigned labor and material costs. These unit costs are then multiplied by the quantities in the particular project.

Parametric estimating provides a much more higher level of accuracy and sophistication. As long as the underlying data is up to date and accurate, one can get high quality estimates without the tedium of counting every single carpet fiber.

While not as solid as Bottom-Up estimating, Parametric estimating is a great way to get a semi-solid estimate of costs without the brain damage and time required for a complete Bottom-up estimate.

Bottom-Up Estimating

This is the methodology used by almost all general contractors. 

Bottom up estimating is a detailed quantity and labor take off. Materials and tasks are broken down into the smallest reasonable component.

Let’s take light fixtures for example. Imagine a matrix of every light fixture to be installed on the project. Naturally each light fixture would have an individual cost multiplied by quantity. Similarly each fixture would have a associated amount of time for installation. Multiply the number of fixtures by the time by the fully loaded cost of labor to install the fixtures and voila!, you’ve got a powerful, detailed component of the larger cost estimate.

Then basically rinse and repeat for every other element of the project.

This technique is embodied in a broad range of construction estimating software and books. But generally speaking, they’re all just automating or more efficiently executing the technique above.

This technique is essential, maybe even mandatory for competitive bid situations. On the other hand, if time is of the essence and the scope of the project is still a bit fluid, an Analogous or Parametric estimating technique may be more suitable.

Bottom Line (no pun intended)

It’s less important which of these methodologies you choose as long as you’re aware of what you’re getting.

A conceptual budget to provide a broad framework of the total cost of the project may be effectively accomplished with Analogous estimating. However in a competitive bid situation expert professionals, regardless of the software or tools, will perform some variation of Bottom-up estimating.

As long as the choice is informed and deliberate, each estimating technique has its place depending on the trade-off between speed and accuracy.

Either way there’s no substitute for experience. I’m reminded of the old saying, “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment”.  Choose wisely my friend.


HID Global

Apex Project Consulting Aids HID Global’s Consolidation of North American Operations in Austin, TX



March 6, 2014–Apex Project Consulting has successfully completed its engagement with HID Global to plan and implement the transition of its U.S. headquarters from California to a new 250,000-square- foot manufacturing and distribution center in Austin, Texas, Apex President Tom Conzelman announced today.

Apex was hired by HID Global in August 2011 to provide site development, construction capital budgeting, property condition assessment, and architect and engineer administration for HID Global’s new facility in Austin. “Our services included evaluation and budgeting for the decommissioning of HID Global’s Northern California, Connecticut and Minnesota facilities into the consolidation of its new headquarters.” Conzelman said.

Apex also contributed to the build-to-suit purchase agreement transaction along with HID Global’s brokerage team and outside counsel. Additionally, they were tasked with the analysis and pro-forma budgeting for potential LEED® certification and led the architectural and MEP team through analysis of LEED® point opportunities and associated costs.

“Tom Conzelman’s breadth of knowledge and expertise in all aspects of real estate and project development during the preliminary phases of our North America Manufacturing Footprint Consolidation project,” said Ed Reichardt, former HID Global Facilities Services Director, “allowed us to make comprehensive assessment of the feasibility and then to later validate the initial assumptions. His involvement in the early development of the project helped us identify key resource needs and risks, to make critical decisions relative to buy/lease, delivery method, MEP and LEED aspects of the project, and to set the project up for a successful outcome.”

The relocation, which began last February, will eventually see HID Global pour some $50 million into the project. The company makes smart cards and readers for governments, logistics companies and others, as well as animal tags and secure printers that personalize access credentials and encodes them with data.

Design plans

Design Firms: How Risky Is Your Next Project?

There’s an area of business that all too many architectural design firms tend to overlook. In the excitement of chasing that project they’ve just heard about, they sometimes forget to look at the risks involved should they be awarded the job. Yet controlling is one of the most important contributors to the company’s long term profitability.

Well-run design firms follow specific strategies to keep liability claims low and infrequent. Here’s a very helpful article posted in ENR.COM that can guide you as you consider whether that next project is your masterpiece…or your financial downfall:

Project and Client Selection: Develop a Project Evaluation Checklist

Is it a good project for your firm? What do you know about the client? Does he/she have a history of suing their design professional? Is the money there? How’s the schedule? A process to evaluate prospective projects and clients can dramatically decrease the likelihood of a claim. 

Sign Equitable Contracts

If there is a problem or litigation on a project, your contract will become a source of scrutiny. A contract is supposed to lay out who is supposed to do what as well as outline terms and conditions. A well-written contract that accurately describes the intent of both parties will help prevent misunderstandings and simplify the resolution of any disputes that arise.  Well-run firms have developed contract review policies and procedures to make sure their contracts are reasonable. 

Identify Problems Early

While the definition of a claim in a Professional Liability policy is “a demand for money or services,” most Professional Liability policies also allow for and strongly encourage their policy holders to turn in “circumstances” which may give rise to a claim. I cannot emphasize how important this is. It can not only protect your insurability down the road, but the earlier you act on a potential claim, the quicker and less expensively it is generally resolved.  Educate your staff to know the warning signs of a potential claim. More at ENR.COM

The article goes on to discuss dispute resolutions provisions that you’ll want to check for in any contracts you sign. As both a project leader and a J.D. myself, I’ve always found it critical for this aspect of the negotiations to be dealt with throroughly and carefully.

All too often, contracts with design experts are a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” So even if you’ve got decades of experience in drafting contracts and contract scopes, it’s always a wise idea to run this past your attorney. And as quoted in the article…make sure you have the right professionals on your side, i.e. a knowledgeable attorney and specialist insurance broker. And I would also recommend a professional with expertise at drafting agreements for design and engineering work that maximize performance and reduce risk. Get this critical process right, and you’ll be on the right path to finding projects and clients with whom you can have an enjoyable, litigation-free experience.

A carpenter on site

Report: January Jobs Picture is Brighter

Things are starting to look a bit brighter for jobs inside the construction industry. News articles report the highest construction worker employment rates since July 2009.  Read more

Home page of Apex Project Consulting

Apex Launches Revised Website

HomePageSiteLaunchA Rancho Santa Margarita, CA—1/20/2014—Apex Project Consulting today announced the launch of their newly redesigned company website at, according to the firm’s president, Tom Conzelman.

The new design reflects the company’s mission to deliver results-oriented project leadership and A&E/construction management services to clients nationwide. The website highlights the firm’s focus on providing not just services, but results that offset or completely remove the cost of professional project consulting services. Read more