One of the most important aspects of the SPS Savings BluePrint is that the process assures the board’s independence.
“We collaborate with board members to help them make informed decisions,” says Daniel. “We help them understand their options and develop specifications and pricing together. But the board always has complete autonomy. They choose their own solution. They make the final decisions about whether to go ahead with a project, and whether or not to hire SPS to perform the work.”
These are big decisions and big numbers, says Daniel. “That’s why we encourage Savings BluePrint clients to hire a qualified third-party to validate project scope, specifications, and pricing.”
At Mills Pond, the board hired Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects (GRLA) to conduct a peer review of the project. “We wanted an independent assessment before moving forward,” says Wissuchek. “And GRLA looked at everything.”
“Our responsibility is to the owners,” says Neil Rouleau, director of GRLA’s Building Envelope Sciences group, which specializes in specifying, designing, and managing large-scale building envelope projects. “The client pays us directly. We report to the board, not SPS.”
GRLA’s review verified that the board’s Savings BluePrint project scope was necessary, the specifications were valid, and the pricing was fair and consistent with market standards.
“SPS’s Savings BluePrint is a smart and useful tool for condominium communities,” says Rouleau. “It’s a comprehensive process that guides owners through all aspects of a building envelope problem towards a practical and actionable solution. In my experience, it can also produce real long-term savings.”
The way Gwynn Wissuchek sees it, working through the SPS Savings BluePrint process made it easy for the board to do its job with confidence. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to make the right decisions,” she says. “Now we have a project that is going to give us a brand new building envelope and a financing solution that makes it possible. And I don’t know that we would have ever gotten here without SPS.”