the M-factor
published by McKay/Moore Construction Cost Control Consultants (WBE/DBE)

Editor's Note:

Happy 6th Anniversary!

By Pat Moore

Since Bruce McKay and I founded the McKay/Moore Partnership in early 1996, McKay/Moore has provided both cost estimating and administrative services to dozens of firms and individuals, primarily in the architectural and construction industries. As the firm celebrates its sixth year in business, we look forward to continuing to serve this community.

Below is our recurring Featured Client column, which in this issue highlights the work of one of our "Remote Secretary" clients. Sullivan Builders, like McKay/Moore, is a small Ballard-area firm. Over the last year and a half, we have developed customized spreadsheets to keep track of hours, tasks, payments and invoices; we have created customized proposals, contracts and fee agreements, and recently assisted in production of a new marketing brochure. Some images from that brochure appear here.

This issue's Featured Client:


License # SULLIB-026B1
9030 15th Ave. NW Seattle, WA 98117
Pager (206) 680-1055      Cellular (206) 465-7996      Business (206) 783-1470

Sam Sullivan and his professional builders consider themselves to be "artists, using concrete, wood and steel...each job being its own form of lasting art". Their clients are almost exclusively of a professional nature, sometimes unsure of how to clearly define their dreams, yet who want to be extensively involved and maintain the flexibility to change their path. Sullivan Builders prefers smaller, complex projects. On a foundation of many years of experience, Sam, founder and principal of Sullivan Builders, states, "We have perfected an extensive combination of skills, primarily complex framing, millwork, tile, laminate, linoleum, fixtures and appliances. This allows our clients to avoid most of the stand-and-wait for the qualified craftsman. We are able to move through an addition, a bathroom or kitchen in less than one-half the normal time to completion."

Some of Sullivan Builders' work was featured in the October 9, 1994, issue of Pacific Magazine (see cover shot below).

The ceiling shown on the cover [bottom left photo] contains 28 lights, most of them hidden. The compound circles were built of wood products, template fabricated for the tapers. "Radius walls [top right] are often extremely expensive and filled with defects, yet the process we developed of using three layers of 12" x 1/8" fiberboard with extensive stapling and gluing over studs 4" on center provides a wall virtually perfect, yet extremely stable and strong. The radius stairway shown above [bottom right] was built over a stairway that required a most unusual structure to provide 100% stable support for the extremely expensive stone." - Sam Sullivan, Owner, Sullivan Builders

Construction Terms:

Sources: Encyclopedia of Construction Terms by James T. Frane, Craftsman Book Company, 1994; R & R Hardwood, Inc. website:; American Midwest Stair website:
This month's topic: Stairs
For more terms, visit the above-referenced websites.

Welcome to recent new McKay/Moore estimating services clients:

Please visit their websites for more information on these firms

Recently completed estimating projects:

Latest Remote Secretary projects:

Consultant profile:

In previous issues of this newsletter, we have introduced various estimating consultants to you. In this issue, we would like to familiarize you with John Langer, who has worked on several recent projects, primarily in the area of estimating mechanical and electrical systems. Through McKay/Moore's affiliation with Angeline, we have had available to us many talented and experienced mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers, who have provided us with invaluable backup on many of our projects over the years. In recent months, McKay/Moore has developed a working relationship with John Langer, who has more than thirty-two years of professional experience with an emphasis on engineering, estimating and project management.

For most of his career, John has been involved with the mechanical, process equipment, and electrical portions of projects, from estimating and planning through managing the construction phase to startup and commissioning. John has been a self-employed Construction Consultant since December 1991. As such, he provides continuing project management, estimating and scheduling services to several small contracting and A/E firms in the Western United States. He has also been retained by a large aerospace firm to manage change order negotiations for a $2.6 billion expansion program and has provided cost estimating services to the State of Washington, Department of Capitol Facilities to prepare earthquake assessment costs for submission to FEMA for damages to the Capitol Campus.

As a project and construction manager, he has had extensive experience working on facility renovation projects, including offshore production facilities from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico. He has completed renovation work for the US Navy in the Caribbean and at Bremerton, Washington and has also been involved with the planning, cost estimating and project management for facility renovations for several school districts and private industry. Most of these projects had intensive mechanical, process and electrical systems as a key part of the renovations.

John is familiar with the LEEDS* program and has been involved with waste reduction programs while a project manager with Lease Crutcher Lewis and Bechtel Corporation. Because his function on a project typically begins after design has been completed, his focus has been on recycling jobsite materials and segregating waste products to maximize recycling and/or reuse. Recently, he completed the mechanical cost estimate for the National Fisheries Laboratory renovation in Hawaii and was on the evaluation team for alternative and sustainable methods for cooling and irrigating the facility. He attended the University of Washington, majoring in Civil Engineering; he also later received a certificate of completion from the Executive Management Program (1989-1990) at the University of Washington. He has completed Value Engineering training modules I & II and is working on his CVS certification from the Society of Value Engineers of which he is a member and chapter officer. He is currently a member of the PMI (Project Management Institute) and an advisory board member of the Project Management Masters Program at City U. He has also instructed classes in principles of Project Management to numerous entities including the FAA.

John has worked with McKay/Moore on both Design Development and Construction Documents phases of the Skagit Valley Kidney Center project. He is scheduled to with us on future phases of the Malakal Marina in Palau, including a Welcome Center and Hotel. As well, he prepared the mechanical and electrical portions of McKay/Moore's recent CD estimate for the Nolan Center (visitor center and museum) in Wrangell, Alaska.

* The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

The LEED Green Building Rating SystemTM is a priority program of the US Green Building Council. It is a building rating system designed to evaluate environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over a building's life cycle. See the U.S. Green Building Council website for a more complete overview of the LEEDS program.

Related information: Visit to read about Built Green, a sustainable building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. This program assists Puget Sound area builders construct quality homes utilizing environmentally sensitive building practices and materials.