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Power plant renovation saves university millions in energy costs

In early 2016, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) engaged a design-build firm to design and install a 9.8-kilowatt combined heating and power turbine capable of providing nearly all of the electrical power and steam heat on its main campus in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Before moving forward, EMU engaged Plante Moran Realpoint (PMR), formerly Plante Moran Cresa, as its owner’s representative to review the contract’s business terms and support EMU staff members as they managed the project through design and construction. An experienced owner’s rep offers internal staff the necessary expertise and resources to lay a solid foundation for the project and see it through to a successful completion.

Plante Moran Realpoint first reviewed the scope of work included in the design-build firm’s proposed contract for turnkey construction on the power plant. Our team facilitated an in-depth review of the engagement’s business terms to solidify key project conditions, processes, and responsibilities before the project’s preferred kick-off date. Aligning the project work and payment schedules, introducing incentives for on-time delivery, and firming up the terms and conditions were a few of the recommendations we offered to present value for EMU.

With the improved contract executed, our team assisted EMU in overseeing the project schedule and budget as the design-build firm abated the existing power plant, removed the existing boilers, and modified the existing building to accommodate a new turbine and boiler.

Our advocacy and expertise during the engagement’s negotiation phase helped EMU conclude the contract negotiation with fair and reasonable terms both parties could agree with. As we worked with EMU staff to oversee the construction, we facilitated a team effort to successfully complete the heating and power plant renovation in January 2018. The new plant is expected to significantly reduce EMU’s energy costs and carbon footprint.

Plante Moran Realpoint is happy to be able to add value at every phase of a project’s life cycle. 

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