Meeting Minutes and Presentation – May 13, 2015

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: May 13, 2015
Chapter Meeting

Date: May 13, 2015
Location: Benny’s Pizza Café, 4219 NE St. Johns Rd, Vancouver, WA 98661
Chapter Meeting Attendees:

Don Owings (Board Member-at-Large) HDR
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
Daniel Teran McKay Sposito
Lori Buffington HDR
Thomasa W. Hume WSDOT
Samih Shibayeh WSDOT
Dennis Van Kirk VK Tech Services

Chapter Meeting (6:00 – 8:00 pm)


See list of attendees above. Secretary Teresa Platin presided over the meeting. We welcomed two new participants to the Chapter Meeting (Daniel Teran and Dennis Van Kirk).

Board Election Results

A regular election was run between the April and May Chapter Meetings, with the following outcome:

  • • Don Owings was elected to a new 3-year term on the Board (he was elected last fall to complete the final months of a departing Board Member’s term).
  • • Steven Paget was elected to the Board for a 3-year term, replacing Mark Gabel who had also stepped in to complete the final months of a departing Board Member’s term last fall.

The Board appreciates the other candidates who were nominated and agreed to run in this election. They, and the write-in-candidate, are encouraged to run again during our next election.

By electronic voting after the election but prior to this Chapter Meeting, the current Board appointed the following Board positions to the newly elected members:

  • • Board Member, Steve Paget
  • • Board Member-at-Large, Don Owings

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer was unable to attend the May meeting, but he passed the Treasurer’s Report on to the Board prior to the gathering. Don Owings shared the report, noting that we have $6,846.84 in the Cascadia Chapter SAVE Account. Don pointed out that SAVE International holds those funds since we voted at the beginning of the 2014/2015 program year to be a division of the National organization. As the holder of the funds, Save International receives the interest generated by the money.

Presentation: Reducing Project Development Time

SAVE May 2015 Chapter Meeting Presentation

Don Owings shared an overview and the results of a 2013 VE Study that he conducted for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 4 Project Development and Environment (PD&E) processes and practice. The District was interested in reducing the amount of time it took to develop and construct transportation capacity improvement projects and asked HDR Engineering, Inc. to facilitate a Value Engineering Study to review their methodology and suggest improvements. Using a phased approach and a series of questionnaires for each discipline with a role in the process, Don explained, his team was able to examine the existing process and identify underlying concerns. His team identified 149 issues to consider and generated 575 ideas to provide value. The ideas were evaluated, resulting in 15 developed recommendations and 13 noted “design considerations”. FDOT implemented all 15 recommendations.
Don’s presentation is posted along with these notes for those interested in viewing.


Meeting Minutes and Presentation April 8, 2015

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: April 8, 2015
Board and Chapter Meeting

Date: April 8, 2015
Location: Vince’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Renton Washington
Board Meeting Attendees:
Blane Long (Board President) HDR
Steven W. Thompson (Board VP) The Boeing Company
John Langer, (Board Treasurer) John Langer Consulting
Teresa Platin (Board Secretary) HDR
Michael Schneider (Board Member) Commonwealth Development
Additional Attendees for Chapter Meeting:
Ann Jamison HNTB
Eric Trimble Value Management Strategies
Tomi Hume WSDOT

Board Meeting (5:10 – 6:00 pm)

See list of Board Meeting participants above.

New Technical Equipment

Following up on our conversation from previous months, John Langer, purchased audio/visual (AV) equipment for use during Board events. John noted that he has only a raincheck for the new projector (at a considerable savings) – the new projector still isn’t in. The Board thanked John for making the purchases for the Chapter.
It was agreed that the Secretary is the repository for all of the equipment (laptop computer, web cam, projector, and screen). Steven offered to help transport equipment if needed, and it was agreed that Board members can make arrangements to get the equipment from Teresa before a meeting if she is unable to attend, or there are other circumstances making this desirable.
Between the April Meeting and the first meeting of the new Board Year in September, the Board agreed to learn how to use the webcam and to be ready to beta-test it in September. The laptop has Windows 8.1 and the home/student version of Microsoft Office. That should be sufficient to run the webcam.
Steven agreed to draft a policy for the use of the equipment before the September Meeting. If Teresa has notes from previous discussion about the equipment policy, she will e-mail them to Steven. One of the equipment issues we discussed during this (April) Board Meeting related to the use of the equipment outside of Chapter meetings. AV Equipment is for SAVE and SAVE-type presentations. Members may use this equipment only to promote the profession, not for personal or business use. There should be a limit on how many days a member may “check-out” the equipment.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer reported that after the equipment purchases, the Cascadia Chapter treasury is $6,375. The $600 reimbursement for local members arrived from National.

The new method of making purchases and asking National for reimbursement appears to be working; however, National reimburses our state chapter quarterly, but our webmaster (Two Rebels) has been sending monthly invoices.

Web Site

We are pleased with the work Two Rebels is doing for us with the website. Network Solutions is the name of the site provider we used in the past. If we wish to continue having Network Solutions host the site, we will need to pay the $499 invoice (for 5 more years) in mid-May. The Board discussed having Two Rebels host, and decided we should ask them for a proposal to host our website. John made a motion to request a website hosting proposal from Two Rebels, and Teresa seconded it.

SAVE Summit

Several Cascadia Chapter members and at least 3 of the Board Members are planning to attend the SAVE Value Summit in San Diego (June 7th – 9th). Blane, Teresa, and Steven agreed to serve as delegates if there is a vote at the National meeting. Teresa will send out a query to the Chapter membership to see how many plan to go to the Summit. If possible, we will convene the June Chapter Meeting on the grounds of the Summit. A 1-hour meeting (pre-breakfast or post-day of presentations) will be planned.

There were no essay submittals for the Cascadia Chapter’s offer to pay dues to attend the conference. This contest was open to engineering students and Chapter members with an AVS certification. With no applicants, the money was not awarded and remains in the treasury for other uses.

The group discussed whether we want to sponsor anything at the Value Summit. We did this when the annual meeting was held in Portland (within our Chapter Boundaries); however, the group did not make a motion to sponsor anything at the San Diego Summit. There was some interest in sponsoring something more local, such as the following ideas:
• WSDOT recently received a grant to teach a Mod II class. Perhaps we could identify a Mod II class in Portland or elsewhere and pay for some of    the attendance cost. 3 days of training = 24 hours (could be approximately $5k in regular labor hours for attendee).
• Mod I (5 days) and Mod II (3 days) are hard to get started because it is such a large time commitment, but if we were to provide a discount or offset some costs, that might be an incentive.
• Defray some of the Membership cost to be part of SAVE, Int. Not sure how that would work, because we get a credit back from SAVE for each member.
• A 1-day training topic: VE; Lean; Cost-Risk Assessment. Can sometimes be hard to do the advertising and get people to show up.
• Team with other groups to sponsor something of interest.

The Board will discuss this again at future meetings, and it was suggested that we review Steven’s bulleted list of potential Chapter improvements.

Nominations for Board Positions

Both Don Owings and Mark Gabel were elected last fall to complete the terms of Board members who departed before their terms concluded this spring. Teresa sent out a call for nominations and reported that she had received 4 or 5 nominations for the 2 positions. She will confirm the nominee’s interest and requests short biographies from them, and then she will create a new Survey Monkey for the election. The survey will be launched shortly, with the voting closing on the Friday before our May meeting. After the election results are determined and shared with the Board, the Board will assign the officer positions, with the following in mind:
• Board Terms are for 3 years.
• Board Positions are for 1 year.
• There is no term limit. (Steven will verify this last statement and see if after 2 consecutive terms an officer must take a term off. If so, we will discuss the implications of this rule).
• The Member-at-Large position is for someone outside of the Puget Sound/Everett to Olympia corridor.

Preparation for Next Board Year

A week or two before the September 9, 2015 Chapter Meeting, the Board agreed to get together one evening or on a Saturday afternoon to prepare for the new Board Year. Among others, topics may include the following:
• What benefit does being a member of SAVE bring (points for certification, knowledge sharing, networking, etc.)?
• What symposiums and other professional societies should we as a Chapter and as individual members get involved in? Submit presentations? (CRAB annual conference, APWA conference, TIB, manufacturing [Steve to look into options])
• Are there any conferences in our region that would be good opportunities for sponsorship, presenters, booths?
• What other locations in the Cascadia Chapter boundaries might we hold dinner meetings? Dan Owings, Ashley Carson (VMS), Rob Stewart (VMS), and Samih Shilbayeh WSDOT might have ideas about Vancouver, WA/Portland area. Tomi Hume and Blane Long might have Olympia suggestions.
• How do we encourage more attendance at the Holiday event? Clients, etc.?

Chapter Meeting (6:20 – 6:45 pm)


See list of participants, in addition to the Board Meeting participants, above.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer John Langer reported that the Cascadia Chapter account balance was $6,375. We discussed the following ideas to promote VE related activities locally using some of this money.
• Mod I, II, deferred cost
• Help offset some of the costs for SAVE Value Summit
• Pay to present at other societies/conferences

No decisions were reached. The Board was in favor of discussing Chapter-funded ways to promote VE again at future meetings.

Upcoming SAVE Value Summit, Other Meetings/Presentations, and Awards

Teresa, Steve, Blane (and possibly other Board Members) will be attending the Value Summit in June, and will represent the Chapter as delegates. Ann Jamison, Rahul Nagalkar, and Rob Stewart will be attending. Each will be a presenter. Other Chapter Members are also likely to attend.

Who will be submitting a paper and/or presenting at the AASHTO Conference in Washington D.C. this fall? Tomi is submitting a paper, and Ken Smith is co-authoring a paper with WSDOT. It would be good to post a note about this on the Chapter website. Teresa to contact Blane or Tomi to get information.

We may want to have the SAVE Summit presenters share what they are planning to talk about at our May Vancouver meeting as practice. Eric Trimble offered to see if VMS presenter(s) would like to do this.

There will be a SAVE Canada Meeting in November or December. The group wasn’t sure where it would be held, but at least one person offered the opinion that it would be good to attend if relatively close.

Ann Jamison shared the fact that HNTB submitted two award nominations to AASHTO: Sound Transit, Lynnwood Link Concept Design VE; Sound Transit VE Program. HNTB also submitted a SAVE award nomination for the latter.


Teresa noted that the Cascadia Chapter would be holding a brief Chapter Meeting at the Value Summit in San Diego (details to follow).

The group was asked if we should continue the Holiday Party tradition in December/January. Those at the meeting who had attended the January 2015 event agreed that it was a good get together that should be continued. We’d like to see more people attend, though. People should be encouraged to bring clients. The Board agreed to discuss this again when we get together as a Board in August.

Future meeting sites for the 2015/2016 Board Year might include the following: Vince’s (this April Meeting location), something by the airport, Tacoma, Renton/Southcenter, South Sound (Lacey), Portland/Vancouver again in the spring.

Presentation (6:45 – approximately 8:00 pm)

HDR CRA Presentation

Cost Risk Assessment – Building Success and Avoiding Surprises, by Blane Long, CVS®, CCT of HDR in Olympia

Blane’s presentation began with the observation that Cost Risk Assessments are vital risk management. All projects should have them. Base cost review is one of the most important tasks, but schedule review may be even more important, as delay can be the biggest cost to a project. Blane continued to talk about the important decision support of Cost Risk Assessment, allowing clients to make good, informed decisions. He reviewed specific tools and techniques.


Chapter Meeting Minutes from November 2014

SAVE Cascadia Chapter 2014/2015 Board Year: November 2014 Meeting Minutes

Date: November 12, 2014
Location: Best Western Executive Hotel, Seattle, WA
Chapter Meeting Attendees: Steve Thompson (BoardVP) Boeing
Mark Gabel (BoardMember) WSDOT
Michael Schneider (Board Member) Commonwealth Development
Tricia Butler Boeing
Thomasa Hume WSDOT
Doug Smith Meng Analysis
Eric Meng Meng Analysis
Steven Paget Sazan Group
Bill Hickey Jacobs Engineering
Marlo Stebner Boeing
Joel Davis Meng Analysis


Chapter Meeting Discussion

  1. In the absence of President Blane Long, Vice President Steven Thompson chaired the meeting.
  2. The new Board elected in October was reviewed for the group:
  • President – Blane Long (2 years remaining on term)
  • Vice President – Steven Thompson (3 years remaining on term)
  • Treasurer – John Langer (2 years remaining on term)
  • Secretary – Teresa Platin (3 years remaining on term)
  • Board Member at-Large – Don Owings (1 year remain on term)
  • Board Member – Michael Schneider (2 years remaining on term)
  • Board Member – Mark Gabel (1 year remaining on term)

[It should be noted that Board terms are 3 years in duration, and they are staggered to allow for continuity on the Board. The Board Member at-Large position and the second Board Member position are both term completions in cases where an existing Board Member stepped down, hence the 1-year duration.]

  1. The Board is planning a holiday gathering with complimentary meals; however, the restaurant is yet to be determined.
  2. Steve Paget summarized the Cascadia Chapter Board’s vote to have the Chapter become a Department of SAVE, International, rather than remain an independent chapter.
  3. Steven Thompson brought up the topic of what we provide to our members: learning opportunities, social interaction, networking, etc. The discussion included organizational history, sustainability, life cycle cost analysis, collaboration with other professional societies and trade associations, professional development requirements (points for recertification). The limiting condition for engagement seems to be availability of time for a commitment. We need to figure out what would be of value to encourage participation. Noted that Michigan Chapter does tours. One thought was to perform a VE study on the Cascadia Chapter. Have an idea? Send it to the Board c/o



Steven Thompson presented several topics.

What is Boeing’s VE program? He discussed the history of value based programs that led to value engineering practice integrated into the Lean+ Program, called the Design Build Roadmap. VE is imbedded, not a separate program.

Question … Does Boeing need to learn and employ value engineering more visibly, or does VE need to learn what works better in the Design Build Roadmap?

“The only way to grow your business is to cooperate” – unknown.


Special thanks to Past Secretary Michael Schneider for taking notes at this meeting in current Secretary Teresa Platin’s absence. Teresa transcribed the notes for posting.

Board Minutes and Chapter Meeting Minutes from May 2014

Attendees of 5/14/14 Meeting:
Michael Schneider
John Langer
Steven Thompson
Anna Bremmer
Teresa Platin
Steven Paget (Board Meeting only)

Michael called the meeting to order.

Board discussion included the status of nominations for new officers and board members. Anna will work with Rahul and Teresa. We are late but our goal will be to complete the process by September. An email will be prepared by Anna soliciting members interested in serving. This will be followed by balloting and election using Survey Monkey or equivalent.

John reported that he and Michael are signatories on our US Bank account for Chapter finances.

John reported our bank balance at $7,910.03.

At the Chapter meeting, nominating and Officer/Board positions were further discussed.

The next meeting will be at the SAVE Conference. Anna is coordinating the meeting.


A Value Proposition – Accessibility is Sustainable

Let’s face it. The bottom line is that at best we are all only temporarily able-bodied. Injury, age, and other conditions render us disabled for at least some time in our lives. Designing for accessibility equips us to be able to function at all times and creates the opportunity to live in the same place for most of our lives – one measure of sustainability.

The presentation focused on accessibility issues in the built environment and how national and local regulations are designed to ensure access for all without discrimination due to disability. Discussion included the concept of “Universal Design” which refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.

The presenter was Michael B. Schneider, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP who is a Senior Consultant with Endelman & Associates, PLLC, an ADA and FHA Compliance consulting enterprise serving clients on projects throughout the country with design phase evaluations and construction phase surveys for compliance with accessibility regulations. Clients for whom he has provided consulting services include AvalonBay, Equity Residential, Holland Partners, Inland Construction, Wood Partners, Mill Creek Residential Trust, CE John, Fore Property, GGLO, Hewitt, KGA Architects, GBD Architects, REI, Marriott, Sheraton, and BlackRock. He is also the founding Principal of Commonwealth Development, a design, construction, and real estate development advisory providing consulting services including value engineering, constructibility reviews, property condition assessments, and sustainability consulting.

TheValueProposition-PracticalFHA-ADA-CodeAccessibility-Pt1Presentation PDFs are attached.

Chapter Meeting Minutes from April 2014

Attendees of 4/9/14 Meeting:
Michael Schneider
John Langer
Marlo Stebner
Steven Thompson
Josh Metcalf (Presenter)
Blane Long
Ken Smith
Anna Bremmer
Steven Paget

Blane called the meeting to order.

John reported our bank balance at $7,246.06.

Michael recommended that meetings be held in Seattle for the time being. The Southcenter meeting has a $400 minimum and will not be used. If another good value for the South Sound is identified, it will be considered.

Anna reported that the nominating committee work is underway.

SAVE Conference delegates were selected: Anna Bremmer, Laurie Dennis, and Steven Paget.

The next meeting will be May 14, 2014. The Board will meet before the Chapter meeting. Michael will provide a presentation on Accessibility as a Value Improvement.

Josh Metcalf, PE, AVS was our presenter. Josh has designed, constructed, and managed the delivery of public and privately funded transportation projects including highway/interstate, freight and passenger rail, and port terminal infrastructure projects. He is currently the Washington Freight and Rail Section Manager for HDR.

Josh’s topic was the Point Defiance Bypass – Track and Signal Improvements Project. The Point Defiance Bypass project will reroute Amtrak’s Cascades service from the BNSF main line track around Point Defiance to the Sound Transit Lakeview line from Nisqually to Tacoma, Washington. The purpose of the project is to reduce travel time and improve operational reliability. The work will include the design of track improvements, new track construction, improvements to existing at-grade crossings, railroad bridge inspection and load ratings, railroad and traffic signal improvements, and other civil infrastructure related to the track and signal improvements.

Presentation PDFs are attached.