We help clients build smarter buildings from the ground up, and the inside out.
Fulcrum provides all-inclusive solutions to meet the demands of today’s large-scale building projects. Our work is backed by a multifaceted team of engineering, design, construction, and project management specialists. With Fulcrum at your side, you have a strategic partner that puts your interests first.
We provide the services necessary to manage and develop sustainable, high-performance buildings. For more detail, view our specific services below:
Fulcrum’s commissioning services ensure that a facility’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are performing at the requisite level, and can be operated and maintained in full accordance with the owner’s needs and design intent. Fulcrum’s ability to “speak the languages” of the designer, contractor and operating engineers, combined with our proven track record of tuning world class facilities, makes Fulcrum an invaluable partner ensuring that systems operate properly, reliably and efficiently.
System commissioning is the optimal way of ensuring that new construction projects or system retrofits fulfill the owner’s operational requirements and are smoothly transitioned from the construction team to the operations team. From the outset, Fulcrum’s commissioning agents foster a spirit of collaboration among all parties, providing technical guidance that is integral to all phases of a project’s implementation. Significant experience as operating, design and commissioning engineers has provided the Fulcrum team with the skills necessary to develop real solutions to technical challenges, not just documentation of the issues identified.
Beginning in the design phase, Fulcrum reviews all aspects of the design team’s documentation providing cost-effective strategies that are also operationally compatible. This early review process helps to identify potential design problems and related solutions in advance of contract buy-out and construction. This early review also helps to reduce unnecessary capital expenditures as well as some of the last minute decisions that inevitably arise complicating the construction phase of a project.
Throughout the construction process, Fulcrum’s commissioning team undertakes focused quality assurance inspections of all systems. Upon finalization of systems installation, Fulcrum initiates dynamic performance testing of the project’s primary components to assure complete adherence to the specified operating requirements. Fulcrum offers technical guidance to address any deficiencies identified during performance testing so that system problems can be rectified prior to turnover.
System Commissioning services also include complete documentation of testing results and any remediation steps undertaken to correct deficiencies in equipment/system performance. This documentation and remediation allows for turnover and training of staff, properly transitioning the project from the construction team to the owner’s team.
By never losing sight of our primary role as an owner’s advocate, Fulcrum is able to provide commissioning services that result in a project which performs as designed, and where all project stakeholders’ interests have been appropriately integrated.
Retro-commissioning seeks to improve the functionality of existing facilities and systems through application of the Fulcrum commissioning process. System inspections, functional testing and energy consumption analyses performed by the Fulcrum retro-commissioning team identify problems that have evolved over a building’s life cycle, including equipment that was not properly installed or is not functioning as required. Fulcrum’s retro commissioning approach results in a cost effective investment strategy for correcting the most critical problems, including deferred maintenance needs, as well as energy consumption reduction opportunities.
Ultimately, retro-commissioning achieves the same goal as systems commissioning ensuring that a building is operating efficiently in accordance with the owner’s operational requirements while also being capable of being maintained by facilities staff.
Fulcrum provides selected construction services including capital program management, construction management, MEP design build and specialized support to assist an owner in the design, development and execution of a capital project or program.
Whether a signature construction initiative, a comprehensive energy management program or a one stop design/build need, Fulcrum has the experience and resources to effectively and efficiently manage a mission critical capital investment.
Capital Program Management
Capital Program Management provides our clients with comprehensive oversight of a single project, or a variety of capital initiatives. We help identify and prioritize projects to achieve maximum benefit, developing realistic budgets and establishing accurate time lines for a project’s development and implementation. We assist clients in maintaining a ‘big picture view” of their overall capital investment plan by devising integrated strategies to utilize existing campus infrastructure and planned capital expenditures effectively. Rather than assume that a client’s only solution is to open their institutional wallet, we will work creatively to identify opportunities that will limit new funding requirements.
We will always seek ways to leverage planned projects/investments so that they can service other campus needs which may be unidentified or lack prioritization among an institution’s many competing needs. A new project could potentially serve as the source of funding or energy infrastructure to alleviate an adjacent facility’s long-standing cooling or heating issues. An existing building could be the source of utility services to support a new project at a modest incremental cost that would eliminate the need for mechanical space in the new project and reduce the capital costs of the new project.
We will purposely expand our vision beyond the project(s) at hand in order to ensure that we are not missing what often times are significant opportunities to leverage a client’s scarce resources. We develop capital project processes that provide consistency from project to project thereby establishing a unified approach to the challenges posed by any capital investment.
A Capital project does not manage itself. Regardless of the size of the project, the project’s concept development, design evolution, implementation and turnover requires a single point of leadership to coordinate and manage the service providers and users that have a critical stake in a project’s successful outcome. Whether it is supplementing an already stretched in-house management team, overseeing a multiple year capital program or providing the leadership needed for a single project, FULCRUM provides that guidance making certain that the project vision is realized.
FULCRUM’s Project Managers have extensive experience in the construction and design fields, and all share a common passion-commitment to provide unparalleled service from project inception thru occupancy. Fulcrum’s expertise, particularly in the areas of energy and operations and complex building types, provides an owner with confidence that a project will receive the operational technical scrutiny it needs during the design phase and the requisite quality control in the field during construction. This operational perspective is a unique attribute of Fulcrum’s comprehensive program management services
Fulcrum’s Construction Management service moves our Capital Program Management capabilities to another level. As Construction Manager, Fulcrum’s seasoned team assumes responsibility for the management of the contractors and sub-contractors needed to implement a capital project. This level of responsibility and project leadership enables Fulcrum to ensure greater control over the quality and final performance of a capital investment. Fulcrum’s technical team fosters an acute awareness of how proper systems and construction process coordination contribute to project success.
Successfully managing the myriad details associated with a construction project requires a combination of solid construction knowledge, technical experience, management expertise, effective communication skills and financial acumen.
Fulcrum has developed time-tested Construction Management tools and protocols to help lead a construction project to successful conclusion. Fulcrum’s construction managers provide clients with the advocacy needed to protect their interests and to ensure that all construction team members are pointed in the same direction and share a common objective.
While Fulcrum has the ability and experience to manage construction trades ‘in the trenches,’ we also have the skills and sensitivities to communicating with the client’s leadership team up to and including Board-level presentations. We are very adept at switching from a tactical to a strategic mindset to ensure that all aspects of a project are considered and communicated to the appropriate parties.
Fulcrum’s Construction Management services are an outgrowth of our Capital Program Management experiences. We approach construction management as a project partner rather than as a builder of a bid package. This allows us to maximize the return on an investment, ensuring that the highest quality materials are utilized and that the project meets expectations-budget, schedule and user satisfaction.
Our MEP Design-Build team builds upon Fulcrum's Capital Program and Construction Management capabilities. Working with a select group of high-quality design engineering firms, Fulcrum provides clients with a true 'one-stop' shop of comprehensive building systems design and construction oversight services.
Fulcrum's growth in this area has been fueled by the energy services and commissioning services it provides to its clients. With this service, Fulcrum's technical expertise is focused on providing our clients with a single voice directed at developing creative building solutions and overseeing their successful implementation.
A simple change-out of a chiller or boiler is viewed by Fulcrum as an opportunity to look beyond the obvious and search for ways to leverage this investment to take advantage of previously unidentified benefits. Fulcrum thoroughly assesses the proposed measure/project, develops the guiding mechanical concept, and clearly identifies associated operational and energy benefits. Fulcrum provides the design team with the specifications needed to develop comprehensive bid packages used to solicit pre-qualified installation contractors and assumes responsibility as Construction Manager to ensure that the design concept is constructed, commissioned and turned over on time and on budget.
Fulcrum's ownership of both the Design and Construction components of the project development process allows us to demonstrate the ability of a client to benefit from all three legs of the project 'stool'; Schedule / Cost / Quality. The common misconception is that you can only enjoy two of the three. We strive to provide the balance needed so that the client does not feel that they have to make choices that will comprise the ultimate project.
For example, the pressure to approve long lead items can often times lead to decisions that are forced by schedule, but can have long-term operating and cost impacts well after any identified or perceived schedule slippage have passed. Fulcrum’s approach to facilitate decisions related to long-lead items will require the proper vetting of those decisions, ensure that the items meet the operational criteria established during the design phase and do not simply satisfy the apparent Schedule concerns to the detriment of the Cost or Quality components of the project. We strongly believe that smart decisions can trump false urgency.
Fulcrum’s project-tested experience, our acute awareness of project and process dynamics and our ability coordinate the many disparate entities involved in complicated projects have repeatedly demonstrated that clients can receive the projects that they envisioned.
As a result of Fulcrum's Construction Services experience, we've identified several distinct service "gaps" and have responded by offering selected specialized support services to assist clients given resource and time constraints.
Each of these specialized services is derived from Fulcrum’s role to ensure that projects are technically and financially viable at the outset. Concise project definition, scope alignment, performance criteria and budget reconciliation are the key project elements that help shape these services. While embedded in any capital project that Fulcrum manages, these specialized services are offered to clients that either find themselves searching for a solution to an existing challenge, or looking to avoid problems during the planning stages of a project.
Examples of the focused services include:
Detailed Mechanical Systems Design Reviews – Fulcrum can challenge and/or identify the appropriate mechanical design strategies at the earliest possible point in a project’s development. Formal reviews ensure that systems are ‘right-sized,’ and alternative approaches are fully vetted, identifying significant savings and avoiding some of the adverse impacts surrounding conventional ‘value engineering’ exercises.
Bid Leveling – As competitive bid proposals are being considered by an Owner, Fulcrum’s bid leveling process ensures that bidders have included all scope items necessary to complete the work in their proposals, and that bids are properly classified for an 'apples-to-apples' comparison. Any scope or budget gaps are clearly identified providing an owner with the knowledge necessary to make critical long-term financial decisions.
Financial Analysis – Fulcrum’s work with a variety of clients, building types and systems provides us with an understanding of key project data. These data assist in benchmarking a project’s budget against similar projects, or to compare a breakout of system costs to known actual costs based upon recent project experiences. This information provides an owner with a ‘reality check’ in a project’s evolution so that critical decisions are made based on the best available facts.
Fulcrum develops innovative, comprehensive energy solutions to meet the unique operational and mission-driven needs of our clients. Whether measuring building energy consumption, optimizing usage, developing on-site co-generation power or performance contracting, Fulcrum’s solutions result in the high-performance facility that an owner expects and deserves.
FULCRUM’S ENERGY PRINCIPLES
Our operational perspective ensures that savings can be achieved through the practical, efficient utilization of limited resources - both human and financial. Simple paybacks of less than 4 years are common for energy conservation measures identified and implemented.
Fulcrum's energy saving success is grounded in hands‐on, field‐driven, operations‐based principles that reflect 'real world' conditions ensuring ongoing results long after an energy savings program is implemented.
Utilize alternative energy systems before alternative energy sources
Develop innovative approaches to achieve documented results rather than investing in new and unproven technologies
Avoid technologies marketed as ‘green’ which in application will leave one ‘black and blue’.
Underscore that value engineering often results in increased annual costs in the operating budget
Acknowledge that accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions
Documented energy reductions and savings in excess of $1 Billion
Cost savings that generate paybacks of less than 4 years
Typical carbon footprint reductions exceed 40% through the use of proven rather than emerging technologies
Improved systems performance that result in enhanced environments
Fulcrum has proven success in the development and implementation of strategic utility master plans designed to provide a technical and financial blue print to guide an institution as it invests in its utility infrastructure over time.
Given our history managing and operating central heating and chilled water plants, as well as large cogeneration systems, we bring a unique perspective to the challenge of upgrading complex systems with limited resources. We work with building owners and operators to develop plans that result in:
Significant energy cost and consumption savings
Improved building environments and user comfort
Cost-effective use of capital resources
Major reductions in carbon footprint
Phase out of deferred maintenance
Our experience designing and implementing utility master plans has been applied across a variety of complex institutional setting. A number of these plans have resulted in demonstrated consumption reductions of 60% or more. We capitalize on previous initiatives while acknowledging existing conditions and financial constraints as we develop an investment strategy for the short and long term - a strategy that is financially, programmatically and operationally sound. We leverage major infrastructure investments so that connected facilities benefit from lower operating costs, improved building environments and phasing out of deferred maintenance problems.
Fulcrum conducts energy audits and oversees the implementation of energy conservation measures (ECMs) identified. Our portfolio of audit work covers more than 20 million square feet and a variety of building sizes and campuses.
Our audits provide clients with energy plans that are based on proven technologies, strong financial analysis and operational sustainability.
Each energy audit begins with the gathering of available energy/utility data and detailed analysis to ensure validity. Fulcrum utilizes feasibility studies, system operation cost simulations and facility energy assessments to develop a comprehensive energy profile of a facility. These analyses result in a comprehensive cost and consumption reduction strategy based on usage profiles against which future savings are benchmarked. Fulcrum also undertakes a detailed analysis of operational practices to maximize a client’s initial capital investment and annual savings.
Key elements of Fulcrum’s energy audit process include:
Reviews of key MEP systems basis of design and engineering diagrams
Review of sequences of operations and plant protocols
Interviews of operators and staff to understand system characteristics
Analysis of energy consumption and cost trends
Identification of energy intensive buildings, systems and components
Comparison of energy cost and consumption patterns with similar facilities
In most engagements, Fulcrum is retained to oversee the implementation of the ECM’s identified in the audit working collaboratively with operating staff to reduce energy consumption and costs.
For clients desiring both a single point of responsibility and financial accountability to maximize their investment in energy-related projects, Fulcrum can provide that service through energy performance contracting.
The fundamentals of this service are similar to the way in which Fulcrum provides its MEP Design/Build engagements. We begin with a detailed technical and financial analysis of the potential energy savings opportunities which exist in a single building or across a multi-building campus. The analysis prioritizes projects by assessing projected investment cost as well as energy cost and consumption savings. In addition Fulcrum identifies the ways in which proposed projects address other critical client issues such as integration with future capital initiatives or phasing out of deferred maintenance.
Once the energy project(s) are selected and approved, Fulcrum provides complete licensed design services through one of our longstanding strategic partners. Fulcrum also manages the competitive bidding process to ensure best value to the client. Fulcrum then assumes the role of construction manager, holding the contracts for the selected contractors and ensuring compliance with both the intent and letter of the design documentation.
This control over the design and construction process is critical for ensuring that the underlying energy saving concepts and equipment specified are properly implemented and installed.
Fulcrum measures and reports energy performance based on actual results-energy consumption and cost reduction-rather than on theoretical formulas, in order to determine the success of the proposed energy program.
The extent of Fulcrum’s financial responsibility for guaranteeing energy savings is specifically tailored to each client’s preference for risk assignment and financial accountability.
Single source for project management and accountability
Broad range of approaches to energy audits and analyses
Licensed design package
Competitive bidding of required contractor services
Peak performance is essential for today’s high-performance buildings. Fulcrum assists building owners to achieve maximum building performance by providing specialized facility and technical support services. This support includes strategic facilities planning, staff training and operations technical support. Fulcrum has the operational and technical experience required to provide owners with this temporary expertise working collaboratively with in-house staff.
Whether it is due to an institution’s growing pains, a change in facilities leadership, limited staffing or training, or simply a building system that seems to defy correction, Fulcrum can provide the focused, technical support needed to help solve an owner’s most pressing facilities problems.
Strategic Planning Services
Fulcrum can provide a single building owner or manager of a large complex institution with a variety of technical and financial ‘roadmaps’ that can help guide decisions about future facility planning and capital investment.
These strategic roadmaps are developed following extensive on-site surveys, user interviews and in-depth analyses of a client’s programs and facilities. Each is supported by extensive data collection coupled with years of experience in this type of analysis. The result is a plan that provides a client with a clear set of findings and recommendations for consideration and action.
Examples of Fulcrum’s Strategic Planning initiatives include:
Facilities Needs Assessment
Campus Master Planning Support – Infrastructure Focus
Fulcrum’s clients have benefited from our operationally-based perspective along with our understanding of the need to make cost-effective use of limited resources - both human and financial.
Fulcrum has extensive experience with the development and delivery of building systems training that may be needed to refresh operators’ skill sets, to introduce new operating protocols or to teach proper operation of high-tech equipment.
While in-house staff are typically dedicated and knowledgeable, they may benefit from the support of Fulcrum’s expertise and collaboration; support which targets their strengths and communicates their needs.
Our training approach is ‘hands-on’, supplemented by a mix of visual and deliverable materials. Training sessions can be videotaped for use as continuing education for existing operations staff or to introduce new employees to best practices.
Training is tailored to the specific needs of a client or as the result of Fulcrum’s recommendation following an assessment of operational practices or introduction of new technology.
Examples of training that Fulcrum provides are:
Automated Controls Implementation & Monitoring
Central Chilled Water Systems Basics
Central Heating Systems Operations
Simplify Complex Engineering Drawings for Operator Daily Use
Standard Operating Procedure Development
Distributive Pumping Strategies
Fulcrum’s exposure to a wide variety of building systems technologies and equipment provides us with a unique ability to tailor a single training session or an extended training program to best meet a client’s needs.
Institutions and building owners face a myriad of facility-related challenges on a daily basis. The source of these problems can be a combination of operational, technical, staffing and/or financial issues.
Many of these problems are recurring and can be adequately addressed with an owner’s in-house staff. Others may be sufficiently unique or persistent and can thus benefit from a short-term infusion of technical expertise and experience that can quickly pinpoint the issues and identify solutions.
Our portfolio of Systems Commissioning, Mechanical Systems Design/Build and Energy Management services provides the source of our technical expertise and leadership that can be successfully applied to an institution’s short-term facility’s needs.
Fulcrum has specific experience with:
Central CHW plants
Central Heating Plants
High Voltage Distribution
We can apply this extensive experience to assist an institution by:
Delivering Short-Term Technical Expertise to Solve a Specific Facility Issue
Providing Temporary Services/Staffing to Bridge Operational Gaps
Assessing and Recommending Improvements to Operational Practices
Providing Start-Up Assistance: Central Heating Plant or a Single Building
Executing Complex Systems Diagnostics
Fulcrum has a long history of providing these specialized services collaboratively with an institution’s in-house staff – in no small part because we speak the same language. We leave them better trained and prepared to address future facility challenges.