Rebuilding Together is a national volunteer based organization, which works to address the needs of low-income homeowners. There are 865 chapters located in various cities and towns across all 50 states. Volunteers come together to paint, clean, fix roofs, fix framing, install windows, repair stairs and ramps, and do yard clean up, amongst many other tasks. This ensures that the homeowners can live independently in a safe environment. Nationally, Rebuilding Together completes about 10,000 projects a year.

Peterson Consulting President Tom Peterson has volunteered with theGreater Burlington chapter for over 20 years and served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. This chapter has completed dozens of projects since they were first organized in 1995. Rebuilding Together completes these projects in a single day, at no charge to the residents, with the help of local businesses and volunteers.

Last September, PCI joined Rebuilding Together for a day of service, and helped remove an aging asphalt shingle roof for a homeowner in Essex, Vermont. In the midst of the pandemic, this day of service was a wonderful opportunity to come together as a team, meet some amazing people, and give back to our community.

Rebuilding Together hosts Project Days in the spring and fall, and although the spring date has passed for 2021, we are looking forward to joining the fall Project day. We encourage anyone reading this to join us this fall! The date for the fall is set for September 25th. For more information and to sign-up to volunteer, check out the website for the Rebuilding Together Burlington Chapter.

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Capital projects can be complex endeavors. They require an immense amount of planning, strategizing, and coordinating from conception to closeout. (And take note: Capital projects are NOT the same as Capital Campaigns. More on that in future blog posts.)

The first stage of a capital project is referred to as pre-construction and this is where the foundation of a successful project is laid. At the beginning of the pre-construction stage, the Owner assembles a team of project managers, architects, engineers, and in some cases a construction manager. This is the team that will work together to bring your project from concept to completion. As Project Managers we may be a little biased, but we believe the Owner’s Project Manager should be engaged as early as possible in the process.

In short, the role of the Project Manager is to advance your capital project while allowing your staff to focus on your organization’s core mission. In the very early stages your Project Manager can help your organization build a preliminary project schedule and help you assemble a design team that is a good match for your project. Then, as your project team develops they can help you determine the best Project Delivery Method (PDM) for your project. (PDMs will be the subject of an upcoming blog post.)

Other activities that take place during pre-construction can include (but not limited to):

  • Design charrettes with stakeholders

  • Determining permitting requirements and submitting permit applications

  • Establishing a project schedule

  • Design, including Conceptual, Schematic, Design Development, and Construction Documents

  • Producing detailed budget estimates at strategic points along the design path

  • Providing continuous updates to stakeholders

Depending on the scope and scale of your capital project, the pre-construction stage can take months, and, in some cases, years. That may sound daunting, but the time, effort, and focus that is applied during the pre-construction stage will go a long way to ensuring your project is successful.

Follow along with our “Stages of a Capital Project” blog series on our website at

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For any organization, a capital project reflects a belief in the future of that organization, and the desire to address its ever-changing needs. Investments of this scale always bring challenges, including clearly identifying the need, allocating resources, and assembling a project team - all before an architect draws a line or a single shovel of dirt is turned over.

Before pursuing a capital project it is important to consider all the components involved. Why is this project necessary? What are the goals of this project? Is funding in place for this project? What is the scope and cost of this project? How long will it take to complete?

Sometimes the project need is clear, other times it is more elusive with multiple approaches possible or diverse interests to manage and fulfill. The first step for the Owner, often in collaboration with consultants, is to establish the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR). After that, it is essential to establish the budget, and then reconcile the OPRs with the budget. This is the beginning of the first stage of a capital project, often broadly referred to as pre-construction.

Once the OPRs are clearly established, the Owner is ready to proceed with building out the project team to take the next steps in bringing the project to fruition.

Follow along with our blog series, “Stages of a Capital Project” starting with the first phase, pre-construction on our website at In this series we will break capital projects up into the three primary phases: pre-construction, construction, and project close out. Pre-construction is an extremely vital phase to ensure that all of the proper planning is in place before construction begins.

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