Several Areas of School Construction Most Impacted by Today’s Market Conditions

August 2022

ICI has bid more than $80 million in new schools, renovations and expansions over the last 8 months spread across several Illinois school districts. Our K-12 team understands today’s market conditions, material impacts, and that COVID continues to make random and sudden impacts to the construction market.

Here are several areas of school construction most significantly impacted:

HVAC Equipment

HVAC Equipment seems to be plagued by sudden supply chain disruptions. HVAC design needs to be given a high priority with flexibility built into the system to allow for early purchase. Storage facilities should be required with the bid to contain the equipment until construction is set to begin. ICI recommends that equipment orders are placed early for new buildings. Equipment to be replaced should not be removed until the new equipment arrives.


HVAC Manufacturer Warranty

The standard manufacturer warranty starts upon equipment arrival. Bid requirements need to clearly state that manufacturer warranty will begin at completion of the installation of the system. The Owner will need to project that date with any pre-purchase bid.


Cooperative Purchasing

The current market conditions have led ICI to explore cooperative purchasing for HVAC equipment. ICI can proactively manage supply chains and save time by separating HVAC equipment from the bid earlier in the design process. The cooperative purchasing source subsequently has more responsibility for installation and procurement.


Roof Insulation

Roof insulation continues to be a potential delivery issue. ICI bids roofing 6-8 months in advance and requires storage of material as a bid requirement from the trade. Districts should work with their construction manager to plan accordingly. Roofing insulation can be safely stored if defined in the bid.



Glass has seen some market delay impacts with operable windows. Renovations require these elements be designed and released early. New construction schools with a schedule of 8 months or more should not be impacted. Exterior storefront has not seen significant disruption.


Case Study: Implementing Schedule-Saving Solutions

ICI is completing a 10,000 square foot addition with an accelerated schedule in Prairie Grove District CSD 46. The project was awarded under budget in January 2022 and is set for turnover in August 2022. The primary challenge has been the rooftop unit delivery. Despite an early release, our team was notified of equipment delivery delays that would prevent the new RTU from being delivered and installed prior to the start of the school year. As a solution, our team is implementing temporary HVAC to start the school year. The project is an example of the HVAC design being adjusted to synchronize with the available time for construction.

It is critical that ICI be on board early in the process to begin time and design intent discussions.



Terry Fielden, Vice President / Director of K-12 Education

Terry has over 35 years of experience in school construction completing more than $800 million in construction volume. He is a retired board member in Naperville CUSD 203 where he served three terms. He also served 9 years as the Resolutions Chair for the IASB DuPage Division and is Past Chair of the Service Associate Advisory Committee (SAAC) for Illinois ASBO. Terry brings a unique blend of vast K-12 construction experience, varied leadership roles and he possesses a solid understanding of school board service.