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Aug. 30, 2018
This paid piece is sponsored by TSP.
When co-workers at TSP Inc. gather to begin a new project, one of its most valued team members may not carry the title you might expect.
People associate this firm with architects and engineers. However, Scott Lardy’s role as the construction cost estimator enhances the work TSP’s architects and engineers will do in designing a new facility or renovating an existing structure.
In fact, while the official record states that TSP employs Lardy, it is fair to say Lardy himself believes he answers to another boss. As he begins to assemble cost projections for a project, he would say his goal is to ensure clients will get a fair value for the money they are investing.
To do that, Lardy becomes involved in the design process as soon as possible.
“Cost is always an issue from the very beginning,” Lardy said. “So most of the time I’m aware of (any new) project. It might be just sharing general cost information on the size and scope. As the project develops, I’ll get more involved. That varies depending on the project or the client.”
As Lardy listens to conversations among members of the design team, he becomes familiar with what materials will be needed. While the design team may have a good idea of what a particular material will cost, Lardy’s expertise either solidifies that or provides valuable cost comparisons that will save time later.
“A cost comparison between materials helps them early on avoid going down a path they ultimately aren’t going to be able to afford,” Lardy said. “They can steer it to get it on track right away and not waste a lot of time on something that’s not going to work.”
Lardy’s value to TSP and its clients lies in the precision in cost estimating he brings to a project, according to CEO Jared Nesje.
“His value lies in his knowledge of the construction industries and how that betters our deliverables, knowing what the cost is along the way,” Nesje said.
Lardy’s experience encompasses construction cost estimating, including cost projections, value engineering, constructability reviews, and material, labor and equipment evaluations. He offers alternate products and procedures while advising on economic factors affecting these choices.
Recent projects in Sioux Falls that Lardy has advised include the Dow Rummel Village Memory Care and Assisted Living Addition, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport baggage area renovation and expansion at Southeast Tech.
When possible, Lardy visits the prospective site in person, taking photographs that he uses for reference as the project develops. He also knows that sometimes, since a project may take multiple years to develop, he could be called on to re-evaluate his figures more than once.
“From year to year, it averages a 3 to 5 percent cost increase,” Lardy said. “An estimate I did five years ago, I would go back and add 3 to 4 percent per year to get it up to date.”
Lardy’s background — a graduate of the North Dakota School of Science, he spent almost a quarter-century working for a general contractor in Brookings — makes him uniquely suited to cost estimating. He performed numerous detailed cost estimates with purchasing materials and labor and equipment, put together proposals and sent out bids. His experience has ranged from rural health care facilities to large commercial buildings.
After nearly 15 years with TSP, Lardy knows precisely what is needed, both for the firm and for its clients.
“Our main goal here is the bottom line. We want to know what the project is going to cost,” Lardy said. “That’s my purpose as the estimator. People always want to know what is it going to cost and how much can we afford to build?”
“People always want to know what is it going to cost and how much can we afford to build?” That’s why this team member at TSP is critical.