Innovating Waste and Climate Harm out of the Built Environment

Escalating costs in the built environment are preventing the ingenuity, advancements and investments that are needed to create change. Over the past five years, construction inflation has risen sharply— roughly three times the general inflation rate. Annually, billions are needlessly spent on inefficiencies in designing and building, as well in operations, utility expenses and maintenance.

These wasted costs are culminating in an affordability crisis that is unnecessary, unacceptable and limits the investment needed to balance the natural and built environment. It also exacerbates the equity crisis that impacts historically marginalized communities who would greatly benefit from cost-effective and high-performing buildings.

The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing supply chain weaknesses and vulnerabilities with devastating effects across the industry. Although disruption has been frustrating as materials and labor are more expensive and harder to come by, we believe this presents a unique opportunity to reinvent and rebuild the supply chain to provide resiliency, efficiencies and most importantly, cost and schedule savings for our clients.

McKinstry stands accountable to drive vertical and horizontal integration, reduce costs, increase efficiencies and deliver more value to our clients. We are at the forefront of innovation, tackling the waste that plagues the build environment and charting the course for an equitable, zero-carbon future.

Waste Not, Want Not

The sources of project waste are often opaque, multi-faceted and prone to compounding negative impacts across each phase of the project. Multiple markups to OEM materials, labor costs, project coordination costs, schedule slippage, sequencing fallout, rework, lack of cross-pollination and warehousing/delivery logistics can often trace their source to multiple stakeholders. This leads to immense difficulty identifying the source of common issues and taking meaningful action to address them.

McKinstry helps building owners and tenants create flexible spaces to attract and retain the best talent at the lowest cost. We achieve this through optimizing our supply chain, eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies in every step of the project process and developing manufacturing practices to increase productivity, reduce carbon emissions and create a more equitable built environment.

Optimizing Vertically and Horizontally

The construction industry is one of the least digitized industries in the world. We are proactively changing this while driving down construction costs. In the design phase, we are enabling software that automates and autocorrects select standardized design and detailing processes to optimize construction and operating costs. Then we improve automation from engineering into procurement and manufacturing by using data and proven manufacturing systems to manage standard assemblies and automate shop-built components.

McKinstry’s centralized supply chain and purchasing team monitor commodity and material pricing trends while leveraging our regional buying power to strategically purchase when most financially advantageous. In addition, we bundle material purchases with other projects when available to qualify for lower-cost, bulk pricing. This directly lowers costs associated with materials, commodities and overordering, while positioning the project for responsible resource management. McKinstry optimizes purchase timing to further enable our capacity to store and deliver materials and assemblies locally and offer just-in-time delivery on the last leg of the journey.

A Bona Fide, Unified Supply Chain

Productivity and efficiency gains are only as good as the least advanced contractor. By integrating start-to-end lifecycle services under one roof, we hyper-analyze economic, market and operational factors to optimize efficiency across the board. In addition, we have developed a myriad of products, services and operational optimization and integration strategies to attack inefficiencies and waste across all points of project delivery. This eliminates redundant markups, productivity losses or project slippages, often providing net-savings of time and money to our clients.

McKinstry is the lowest total cost, highest value supply chain solution for our clients. We have created strategies that maximize our purchasing power, drive out process waste, address climate impacts and establish McKinstry as a supply chain innovator among clients, competitors and industry partners.

Reinventing What’s Possible

Overcast Innovations is a McKinstry-owned subsidiary that liberates construction projects from productivity traps and systemic waste. The company’s products, Clouds and Splines, eliminate siloed design and installation practices, improve onsite field coordination and lower labor costs while enhancing overall aesthetic and operational quality. They do this through defragmenting the design process, collapsing the procurement supply chain and streamlining installation through a more efficient and organized approach that reduces costs and increases onsite efficiency. In turn, this helps owners, architects and contractors to deliver solutions with measurable and predictable outcomes for the end-user and ultimately create better user experiences.

Clouds integrate mechanical HVAC, lighting, audiovisual, sensors, distributed antenna systems, smoke detectors and other above-ceiling equipment into factory-manufactured, plug-and-play architectural appliances. The Cloud appliances are then connected into a Spline, a manufactured, multi-trade utility raceway.

Smart Starts with Building Technologies

As buildings become more complex, the design and implementation of building systems has similarly grown. New technologies have further complicated matters and have led to the exponential growth of sensors, cables and controller deployment. Decisions made during the early design and construction of a building can create cost multipliers over the entire project and into operations.

Consolidating all low voltage and end-user systems into a single design-build scope enables smarter building design at lower cost, with less waste and with provisions for future expandability. This simplifies and streamlines owner and developer responsibilities, subscriptions and service contracts through scope unification.

To position buildings as flexible, smart spaces, technology implementation must be guided by smart building experts who can rigorously evaluate alternatives and deploy systems that minimize cost and maximize up-time. McKinstry is the only partner who can provide full-service electrical offerings, technology integration and vendor-neutrality under one roof.

Manufacturing New Mindsets

McKinstry continuously seeks new ways to drive waste out of the construction process and generate better financial outcomes. We employ a manufacturing mindset starting in design and extending throughout construction and building transition. Our manufacturing and prefabrication principles are founded in socio-technical alignment to overlay our values into our manufacturing and logistics practices. We consider the relationship between equipment, material and people to eliminate waste, unevenness and overburden. This in turn increases quality, reduces waste, shortens lead time and reduces owner cost.

We deliberately overlap and sequence design to accommodate growing lead times, order material and equipment earlier, or explore creative alternatives and material options when initial selections are unavailable. In addition, we enhance the flow of work including documents and data through the multi-trade design, build, operate and maintain process to provide immediate and long-term savings to our clients while minimizing climate impacts due to waste.

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