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JP Cullen’s preconstruction process drives value and results in accurate budgets. We lead the process, pushing, challenging, and guiding the team to make decisions and hold to its commitments. We use lean tools like Big Room, Storyboarding, Pull Planning, and High Performing Teams to drive creativity.

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Lean Design & Preconstruction

Preconstruction is the most critical phase of any project. This is where the team can influence the building form and functionality, the cost of initial construction and long-term maintenance, and the schedule. The four main tenants of our program include:

  • Communication. We build a team with communication as the core value. Our culture should be one where people are excited and passionate about sharing ideas and information as we work towards achieving the project goals.
  • Transparency. This goes hand-in-hand with communication but takes it one step further. The team needs to behave and communicate very transparently to avoid silos of important information.
  • Reliability. As the customer, you need confidence in the information we provide. Specifically, accurate budgeting, a realistic and ambitious schedule and consistent feedback on cost-effective construction methods and details.
  • Value. The team will define what value means to the project and use that as our measuring stick for all decisions we make on the project. Value does not always mean low cost – it is based on your vision for the future and what is important to you.

We use Target Value Design and cost modeling to more accurately track project cost, better manage this, and support decision-making focusing on advantage and value. Early integration and use of target value design tools and techniques throughout the process allows our team to monitor cost and value continuously as planning and design is further developed. Simultaneously, our team tracks cost, scope, and additional value-added considerations. We facilitate this process so the integrated lean project delivery team can make decisions that maximize project value. Target value design and value-added tracking are more innovative and collaborative ways to manage a project budget than traditional project cost estimating and value engineering.

What Makes Preconstruction Different?

Hard Bid Market Experience

We have a 42.3% success rate in the hard bid market, compared to the industry standard of 11%, where owners award projects to the contractor with the lowest cost. What does this mean for you? We know what it takes to be the low-cost provider while still delivering on quality, safety, and schedule.

Collaborative Storyboarding Sessions

These weekly meetings get the entire team in one room to coordinate information, brainstorm, and hold each other accountable to commitments. This is so critical because when decisions are made early in the design process, they are cheap – basically free. But if a decision is made later in the process, it then has a time and cost impact. Another added value from these meetings – it creates a partnership among the entire project team that carries on through construction.

Self-Performing Contractor

We have in-house experts that are builders – they know how to evaluate constructability, the sequencing of the work and how it goes into place, which allows us to give you more accurate numbers and ensures the approach we priced is the most efficient and effective way to complete the work in the field.

Our Projects
Josh Pearson
Vice President of Preconstruction
Josh Pearson
Josh Pearson
Vice President of Preconstruction

In-House Experts

Our in-house experts, led by Josh Pearson, have a keen understanding of the importance of a well-designed plan for both engaging and educating stakeholders throughout the entire life of the project – from the day we are hired and beyond the completion of construction. We will ensure you have a strategic plan and assist you in the planning and execution of preconstruction projects.

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    Preconstruction in Practice

    JP Cullen was part of the conceptual phase of the preconstruction process for a new 27,500 sqft production facility providing the client with constructability guidance. With JP Cullen hiring and managing the Architect, the Architect was kept within the pre-determined budget and scope of work. Both the Architect and JP Cullen were able to collaborate with the Client to form the perfect building design, ensuring seamless progression during design and construction.

    Preconstruction services gave the Client the chance to fully understand the cost of the project and its design implications. With the presentation of multiple budgets and different accurate estimate comparisons, the Client had a cushion added to their decision-making process. The preconstruction services, spanning approximately a year, gave the Client ample time to calculate and choose their best options, in their own timing as well as stay in their budget.

    Baker Tilly Office HQ

    Preconstruction Case Study



    square feet


    under budget at completion


    story building


    square feet of undergound parking

    One of the largest certified public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S. had an expiring office lease, prompting a more desirable location for their Wisconsin headquarters. As with any project, the budget was of particular importance. We were able to deliver on this, with the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the contract coming in under budget by 3.7%. Three factors contributed to the cost savings:

    • Engaging MEPF contractors early to provide input on value engineering options
    • Researching and finding alternative options for items that were too costly or hard to find
    • Maintaining a wish list log to ensure new ideas were aligned with the project intent

    It’s one thing to say that it came under budget, but another to say that we found the right cost-saving opportunities that aligned with the customer’s goals, giving them the best return on investment.

    By Josh Pearson |
    Over the last year, words like ‘Inflation’ and ‘Supply Chain’ have become common in many conversations across the country – at the gas pumps, the grocery stores, and especially at the construction jobsite.  While these topics may not be pleasant, the good news is that we are having these conversations.  If you are planning or managing a construction project, talking...