While there’s no fixed formula for quality of life, a comfortable home is a key component of the equation. Thanks in part to MSLLC’s owner’s representative services on behalf of the Knox County Development Corporation (KCDC), the elderly and disabled residents of the Guy B. Love Towers housing community are now seeing a vast improvement in their quality of life, including new appliances, flooring, lighting, and climate control. Residents are also able to enjoy relaxing encounters with nature in the newly landscaped courtyard, butterfly garden, and community garden. 

“The renovation of Love Towers addresses the overall well-being of our residents,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “From energy-efficient lighting and appliances to outdoor areas to socialize and interact with nature, the residents will be better connected to each other and the community. The improvements to each unit will also boost everyday quality of life for our residents.” 

KCDC trusted MSLLC with the responsibility of owner representation services.  MSLLC also designed a construction plan in accordance with regulatory requirements and provided total project management and oversight to ensure the satisfactory completion of all work. 

‘Satisfactory completion’ is just the starting point – MSLLC added value beyond the scope of work by providing substantial savings to the client in terms of both cost and time.  

MSLLC Project Manager/Senior Cost Engineer Shane Nocus described a situation where the contractor found an existing flush-valve condition issue. The preconstruction condition of the flush-valves was questioned, resulting in the need for MSLLC to coordinate walkthroughs for each phase of the renovation to assess existing conditions. Once the problem was defined, MSLLC was able to facilitate a meeting between the owner and contractor and help negotiate an agreement to proactively replace all remaining flush valves as a 50% cost reduction to the initial claim. This achieved a savings of over $20,000 to the Owner and greatly improved the contractor’s productivity. 

Mindful of the adage that ‘time is money’, MSLLC implemented strategies to keep progress moving and save the owner time by establishing weekly executive meetings to brief KCDC on progress and come to key decisions, thereby saving over 4 hours per week. Nocus highlighted the importance of clear communication to ensure actions in the best interest of the owner. For example, KCDC originally planned to self-furnish and install all appliances in units. However, once the project started, it was determined the resources were not available to furnish and install all appliances. MSLLC worked with the contractor to negotiate a fair price for installation. This proactive work by MSLLC allowed the project to progress in a timely fashion without taxing KCDC’s resources. 

While it’s always gratifying to have a client delighted by project success accompanied by cost and time savings, this project had a special resonance with one of the core values at MSLLC: Servant’s heart. MSLLC takes pride in serving the communities we live in. As MSLLC Associate Engineer on the KCDC project Nathaniel Sexton put it, one of the best parts of working on the project was “knowing that what you’re doing is making a difference for people who don’t have much choice where they live – the improvements to the building are like night and day and will make their lives better.”