Request For Proposals for phase II of MOMSAH rebuild

Intro from Richard Fuller, Acting Co-clerk of MOMSAH

This document is getting older by the day, and it’s pretty technical–it’s in architects-speak. Still, MOMSAH wanted this to be out in the community where anyone could find it because it gives a good overview of the issues we were facing in August, 2008.

Before an architectural firm offers us a proposal they will combine a careful study of this document with a “Walk-through” of the building and the damage assessment being compiled by the highly-regarded company Inspec. Inspec’s work is the official description of the condition of the building, highlighting the consequences of the water damage. Their report is the document which will be the legal basis of Architects’ bids, and if there are problems down the road, we will rely on this official description, as well as the official Request For Proposals, below. We expect Inspec’s report around the end of September, 2008.


Twin Cities Friends Meeting (TCFM) Meetinghouse Committee/ Trustees
Request for Proposals – September 10, 2008
Architectural, Interior, and Engineering Services for TCFM, 1725 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105


On Jan. 26, 2008, a sprinkler pipe burst above the Meetinghouse (MH) apartment, spraying water down into the space.  With some investigation, Friends found that this was just part of several problems with the MH building, some of which must be as old as the addition.  The MH committee began to investigate the problems, but the scale of the damage and deterioration to the MH demanded the involvement of the trustees, who engage on capital projects and expenditures.  The MH committee and trustees have been meeting jointly to move forward with this work.  That is, they have jump-started assessments of the damage to the MH, taken steps to control the damage and spread of contaminants, taken steps to limit exposure of the Friends in Residence (FIR, members who live and work in the MH apartment), identified larger goals and potential work that may be part of the renovation.  This RFP comes out the work of this joint committee, but the architect will meet with the newly formed ad hoc building committee – which has taken over responsibility for the MH renovation.  This is generally referred to as MOMSAH.

Description of Project

TCFM is planning a renovation that will take place in at least two phases.  The first phase of work will include mold abatement and repair of the exterior envelope.  Assessment of the extent of damage to roof and exterior walls is currently being contracted to Inspec, while abatement and repair will be contracted to an architect, builder or design builder.  The second phase is the subject of this RFP – and will be led by an architect.  The first phase of construction should begin the fall of 2008, while the second phase of construction should begin early in 2009, though the timing for the latter depends on the results of a capital campaign.

There are several priorities that inform how we wish to proceed, including the following:

MH Activities The renovation should address the prescient failures of the current building, while minimally disrupting TCFM activities.  These include Quaker events like Meetings for Worship on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, adjacent fellowship and discussion time, and committee meetings, but also non-Quaker events and group meetings.  Friends are equally concerned about the length of time in which the apartment will need to be vacated.  This unit houses the Friends in Residence (FIR) who are a continual presence in the MH, coordinating MH events, cleaning and maintaining the building.  These Friends are necessarily being housed elsewhere while work on the FIR apartment is completed, which is inconvenient and costly for the FIR and for TCFM.

Allergies and other sensitivities The building should be habitable for those with chemical or pollutant sensitivities or allergies.  Mold abatement in particular and all construction in general can require certain toxic substances which may cause problems for more sensitive members and attendees of TCFM.  Whenever possible, the work should use minimally toxic procedures and materials, and notice will need to be given to TCFM in advance of work that may cause particular difficulty.  Construction should be staged in such a way as to separate occupied from unoccupied spaces. Procedures that are absolutely necessary to ensure the health of building occupants will be staged and scheduled to have the least possible effect on TCFM activities.

Building Sustainability Any work done on the TCFM MH (MH) should be done with consideration for long-term environmental sustainability.  Where building structure and TCFM budgets permit, and with the aid of green building experts as needed, the project should incorporate as many sustainable design solutions as possible.  Once the work is complete, it should qualify as a certified building, based on the LEED EB 2009 guidelines, though TCFM does not wish to register the building with the USGBC.  If the Architect can demonstrate that another set of sustainability guidelines will stand in place of LEED, then they may be used in place of LEED.

Communication of Work Because decision-making in a Quaker Meeting requires the participation of many, the joint committee has made a commitment to communicate decisions and activities and to involve the broader community in decision-making on the renovation work.  Regular reports will be made to the monthly Meeting for Business (MWB) and threshing sessions or special meetings will be held as necessary to validate project scope.  The architect will be expected to attend and present to at least three of such meetings.  Meanwhile, all committee meetings are open to those interested in listening or providing input.

General Description

Original house: 2,525 SF
TCFM Addition: completed 1992-93, 5,450+- SF

The current building deterioration seems to be traceable to deviations from the building design and from normal wear-and-tear.  We have identified several distinct problems in the design or construction of the MH.

Mold in FIR apartment, bridge and meeting room:  Significant levels of mold have been detected, and especially in the ceiling and some walls of the FIR apartment.  In part this may be traceable to the fact that while three HVAC systems specified in the addition bid documents, only two were installed.  Poor installation of windows and the design of the roof cavity may also be contributing factors.

Design construction problems with the addition ceiling cavity: The ceiling cavity just under the roof membrane was initially filled entirely with blown-in fiberglass insulation.  Over time this settled and compacted until it had fallen below a length of sprinkler piping.  On Jan. 26, 2008, this pipe burst, and the outcome of that explosion is what motivated us to investigate the ceiling and walls of the addition.  We have initiated an insurance claim to cover damage from this failure.

Leaking of the addition membrane roof: Neither the burst pipe nor condensation in the ceiling cavity can be blamed for all of the moisture in the addition roof and walls of the northwest corner of the MH.  The membrane roof has been compromised.  Whether from holes or from condensation, there may be considerable rot and softening of the roof decking, according to Roof Spec and Inspec, one of whom will be contracted to evaluate the damage and propose solutions.  By the same token, the exterior walls – stucco and cedar siding clad stick framed – have also been compromised.

Window deterioration:  Windows that were installed in the stucco walls of the addition also show signs of water penetration, encouraging condensation at the sills.  This is due to incorrect installation.  Some of these may be retrofitted to correct the problem, while others may need to be replaced according to a Marvin Windows agent that looked at the damaged windows.  The windows are now out of warranty.

Dampness and condensation in the basement level: This has been a problem for many years, evident in the presence of mold and a high level of humidity.  A dehumidifier runs continually, and the carpet was replaced in the basement fellowship room in 2004, due to complaints from sensitive users of the space.  Even so, the complaints have never entirely ceased from those with sensitivities to mold and allergens.  The addition bid documents called for an air conditioning unit in the addition basement, which would have reduced the air humidity.  This was never installed, and no other long-term strategies were employed to lower basement humidity.

At this point the joint MH Committee and Trustees recommends at least the following work on the MH, in order of importance:

?    (Phase I) Demolition of contaminated materials and mold abatement
?    (Phase I) Reconstruction, sealing, patching or covering of exterior envelope (exterior walls, window, and roof) as to stop further moisture and thermal infiltration
?    (Phase I) New windows or window retrofits in the FIR apartment, the bridge and library
?    (Phase I) Reconstruction of interior floor framing and decking contaminated by mold
?    (Phase II) New heating and air conditioning system in the FIR apartment and ventilation of roof cavity
?    (Phase II) Reconstruction of any interior finishes necessary for use of Meeting and Fellowship rooms
?    (Phase II) Reconstruction of any interior finishes on any ancillary spaces in the MH including the library, bathrooms and non-critical entry areas
?    (Phase I) Permanent roof membrane and insulation
?    (Phase II) Updating of furnace
?    (Phase II) HVAC or other air quality upgrades to the basement
?    (Phase II) Earth re-grading, especially outside Fellowship room

Where possible the work should be staged as to limit disruption of TCFM operations and coordinate with weather, while also following procedures for maintaining construction indoor environmental quality.  The project is likely to require phasing in order to track with available capital budgets.

The joint MH Committee/ Trustees recommends investigation of the following add/alternates:
?    Install in-floor heating and cooling in basement floor
?    Roof redesign may be a part of phase I or phase II
?    Upgrade floor finishes in fellowship room or elsewhere in basement
?    Upgrade fixtures for water conservation, including toilets, sink faucets, and shower
?    Motion sensors on lights

Scope of Services

The scope of phase I work includes the following:
?    Building damage assessment
?    Develop a strategy and design of mold abatement, demolition work and reconstruction of exterior walls, some roof elements, and critical floor/ceiling elements.
?    Facilitate abatement, demolition and reconstruction.

Architectural services will cover the remaining phases of the project—that is, all phase II activities—beginning with predesign.  In conjunction with the joint committee of the MH Committee and the Trustees, the architect will develop a predesign concept to define the renovation – including program confirmation and conceptual diagrams – in order to communicate with TCFM at large.  In addition, the architect will work with the joint committee to schedule for completion of documents and start of and phasing of construction.  The approach for determining the final scope of services for the project will include TCFM participation with presentations and discussions.

Upon completion of the predesign work, the joint committee will direct the architect to proceed with Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding and Contract Administration through to commissioning and final completion.  In addition, cost estimates will be provided at completion of Design Development and at 50% of Construction Documents.  Interior design and services will be a component of basic architectural services.  The architect will be expected to provide access to and assistance with data entry for AIA architect and construction contractor contract documents.  The architect will be responsible for structural and systems assessments not done by TCFM.

The initial phase for the MH renovation involves the evaluation of existing conditions, suggestions and ideas for building renovations and systems upgrades to meet TCFM needs within project, budget and schedule requirements.  Further structural, mechanical and electrical investigations and evaluations of TCFM’s existing structure and systems may be required.

The architect will not be responsible for registering the project with the USGBC, but he or she will be responsible for designing the renovation and managing construction such that the project meets the requirements for a certified building per LEED Existing Buildings 2009.  The architect will need to communicate green design strategies and compliance to TCFM.

Presentations to the building committee by the architects are necessary for TCFM approval of Schematic Design.  The architects will also assist with any government review processes that are required throughout the course of the project.  The principal architect will participate in this open process, attending TCFM business meetings and joint committee meetings.

Fee Proposal

Fees should be presented for the preliminary scope as outlined under “General Description” and “Scope of Services.”
Additional Fees
Please provide a schedule

Form and Contents of Proposal

Proposal Form: Provide four (4) bound copies of your proposal plus one (1) copy clipped together to aid document reproduction.

Proposal Contents:
?    Scope of Services – Describe how services will be provided, including a detailed listing and description of tasks and deliverables.
?    Experience and Capacity – Describe background and experience of the firm demonstrating ability to provide required services.
?    References – List references from contracts similar in size and scope and other relevant projects.
?    Personnel – Identify involved professionals with resumes and specific application experience including consultants.
?    Cost – Indicate proposed cost of services, including budget determination and a schedule that details estimated additional services – with a not-to-exceed hourly fee – and reimbursable expenses.
?    RFP Submittal – Write the title of the RFP on the front of the envelope.  Send five (5) copies of the proposal to:
Elizabeth Barnard
1013 Thorn Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106

Proposals should be received by October 13, 2008


Architects visited the MH on Sept 2, 2008 at 7pm.  If you were unable to attend at this time, other arrangements may be made for you to see the MH.  Please contact Jeremy McAdams to RSVP.


You may contact the following with questions about the MH or the walk-through: Jeremy McAdams, 612.205.8599,
Mike Cregan, 651.295.2358,

Evaluation Criteria

?    Quality, thoroughness and clarity of proposal as pertinent to the project description
?    Responsibilities of key individuals on this project and availability
?    Qualifications and experience of key professionals, particularly related to church projects, community center facilities, mold abatement and renovations
?    Knowledge of sustainable architecture principles, and qualifications and experience of key professionals in sustainable architecture practices
?    Comfort and experience with working with a client that values participatory decision-making process
?    Racial, gender and cultural diversity in composition of key individuals
?    Cost of services proposed


Architect Selection
?    TCFM walk-through                             Sept 2, 2008
?    Architects to receive Envelope Assessment (Inspec)            late September
?    Proposals due (postmarked)                        Oct 13, 2008
?    Committee review of Proposals                    Oct  20, 2008
?    Firms notified of selection decision                    Oct 24, 2008
?    Contract negotiations with selected firm                Oct 27, 2008
?    Project Start (Design Team mtgs and TCFM participation Phase)    Nov 3, 2008

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