Talking to Joe Ferolito: New VP of Planning and Cost Engineering
Joe has been with Tocci for fifteen years moving up the ranks from Estimator in 1992 to his current key position.
I sat down to chat with him recently.
Interviewer: Congratulations! Are you excited?
Joe: Definitely! This new position affords me the opportunity to take an active role in transitioning Tocci’s Estimating function to a modern, client-responsive Planning and Cost Engineering function.
Interviewer: Is there really a big difference between estimating and cost engineering?
Joe: We are using Building Information Modeling on most projects. BIM is a process that starts when we create a construction-oriented virtual model of a building at any point in the development process. The model evolves in 3D (space), 4D (time), and 5D (cost) on our PCs throughout Tocci’s involvement period. When an owner decides to swap out vinyl-clad windows for an energy-efficient alternate or when an architect reconsiders a massing scenario we can update the model and immediately assess the design, cost, and time impacts. We work together, looking at one common object, to troubleshoot issues and keep the project in the realm of possibility. Our systems are infused with real market data gathered through our daily work and partnerships with vendors and subcontractors. The cost and project impact analysis figures are as close to real as you can get. The process is precise; it is engineered.
Interviewer: Looks like you escaped being an Estimator just in time…before they go extinct!
Joe: Estimators are a much-needed asset here at Tocci although their titling has changed to Cost Engineers-more reflective of the precision service we now offer. We have specialty Virtual Construction Planners-MEP specialists, design specialists, and civil engineering specialists who work on building the virtual model in trade-specific and whole views. But the Cost Engineers take our internal analysis outside to our subcontractors and work with them to wring out the best approach, cost, and material recommendations, manage the bid process and negotiate final contracts.
Interviewer: Your promotion comes on the heels of your fifteenth anniversary at Tocci. I take it you enjoy the firm and feel satisfied with your work at Tocci.
Joe: I had been in the workforce for seven years when I joined Tocci. The thing I like about working here, why I’m still here…is that my horizons are broadened every day. The culture entrusts me to manage my own responsibilities using my own particular talents. I have a certain amount of freedom. The project approach isn’t a canned methodology here. Each project is different and is handled accordingly. I determine the balance between design, budget, and practicality as it relates to the sensibilities and needs of the owner and architect. I enjoy having contact with the owners, designers, and subcontractors and coming up with solutions to construct the best possible building.
Interviewer: How are you celebrating your promotion?
Joe: Want to go golfing?
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