Photo courtesy of the City of Palo Alto/Mitchell Park Library Library project in Palo Alto tried for transparency by posting progress reports, change orders and city council webcasts. Related Links: Mitchell Park Library project website Project live webcam feed The city of Palo Alto, Calif., thought it was getting a bargain on a new library when it authorized a construction contract whose low bid came in $8 million below the estimated cost of $32 million. Now the savings are disappearing into $1.7 million in change orders, a year of delay and possible litigation at the project's end.The Mitchell Park Library
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.