PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The contractor performs a wide range of expert-level professional interior design functions that support construction, repair, and renovation projects at diplomatic posts overseas. In furtherance of these responsibilities, the contractor performs tasks and assignments that typically include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Serves as senior expert in interior design and space planning for the Department's facilities worldwide. Leads design of interior environments within facilities that promote the Department's mission of diplomatic interaction with host nations and support the intelligence, military, law enforcement and economic interests of a diverse tenant agency population.
- Acts as an advisor to commissioned architects and as a technical coordinator for interior design aspects of projects between the Department and the posts; reviews preliminary designs for program conformity, technical sufficiency, and general suitability; participates in guidance of design to acceptable solution of problem areas and recommends approval or modification necessary to obtain desired results;
general suitability; participates in guidance of design to acceptable solution of problem areas and
recommends approval or modification necessary to obtain desired results;
- Coordinates with other offices such as architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications requirements of projects; reviews working drawings for conformity with good construction practices, use of materials, ease of maintenance, economy, and quality of appointments; oversees review of plans and specifications for fire protection, physical safety, and adherence with applicable building codes; and participates in Integrated Design Reviews
- Participates in the preparation of preliminary and final design of projects for which no contract architects are commissioned; prepares sketches illustrating possibilities for development of the work performed; and travels as required to inspect, consult, and negotiate when on-site knowledge of conditions is necessary;
- Participates in the analysis of bids and provides input into recommendations for award of construction projects; resolves problems submitted from the field and makes recommendations on change orders, time extensions, cost increases, and similar contractual matters; advises field supervisors (Project Directors), as necessary, on intent of drawings and specifications, substitutions, etc.; maintains comprehensive files on active projects from date of commissioning to completion of design and authorizes architectural design changes that become necessary during construction; and participates in post-occupancy evaluation as a member of an interdisciplinary review team;
- Develops guidelines and presentation formats for architectural firms being considered for specific construction projects; authors, in whole or in part, and periodically modifies the Bureau’s standard and design criteria and other criteria documents; and negotiates with host country officials on matters pertaining to design approvals, construction permits, and zoning changes;
- Remains abreast of the latest developments in architecture and interior design related disciplines by review of literature and by attending professional seminars, 'state of the art' symposiums and other training programs to ensure that the latest interior design technologies are incorporated in the project definition, documentation and execution. These include, but are not limited to, research in the containment of contaminants, homeland security, sustainable design, ergonomic technologies, ADA requirements, integrated building systems, fire and life safety codes, environmental studies, production/documentation techniques, electronic project management, CADD and imaging technology and furniture industry products and standards; technical conferences, professional society meetings, and discussions with industry representatives and other professionals; and evaluates new materials and designs with construction processes and techniques, discusses with project managers, and recommends adoption of
those that would provide a more economical solution while meeting the needs and requirements of the facility and the client;
- Advises on the implementation of programs relating to sustainability, ergonomics and ADA standards:
- Standards relate to complex functional work requirements, which include, but are not limited to space planning modules and functional diagrams for representational and functional residential and office spaces, planning criteria and identification of distribution requirements for delivery of power/data/communications/alarm systems; design elements and criteria related to the Mission security and safety of functional programs unique to Department of State facilities overseas.
- Designs interiors of representational residences (i.e., residences for ambassadors, deputy chiefs of mission, and other diplomats with substantive representational responsibilities), single and multi-unit staff housing facilities, common areas, swimming pools, and other recreational facilities. Designs specific areas promoting U.S. representation and public contact, secure conditions and communications. Influences new construction during all phases, applying user requirements and analysis of systems, materials and furnishings appropriate to the host country culture, environmental conditions, economy and workforce.
- Serves as interior design manager for major construction, renovation or lease projects and special studies of multi-disciplinary teams of professional and other highly skilled employees.
- Working other divisions in OBO, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the intelligence community, the contractor interacts with senior management and domestic tenant headquarters in the development, facilitation and coordination of programming documents and internal processes to acquire funding and project authorities. Directs and assists the Architectural/Engineering contractors or in- house team in the documentation and analysis of the project requirements. Organizes and guides the development of planning diagrams describing required adjacencies and stacking and blocking criteria as the basis for conceptual drawings.
- Establishes leadership, guidance and direction for integration of interior disciplines and design activities. Provides innovative and expert solutions when existing guidelines, codes or regulations are inadequate or do not sufficiently address problems encountered. Prepares or directs development of conceptual plans locating building core functions, personnel and support areas articulated as partitions, doors and openings, fixed elements, furnishings and equipment items.
- Prepares or guides development of material schedules and specification documents, elevations, millwork, detail, hardware, building specialties and furnishings requirements. Guides and evaluates distribution of mechanical and electrical systems, including lighting, power, data, and communication and coordinates the locations of fire safety, security and specialty devices. Directs the application, design, specification and installation of titling and directional signs for the facilities, coordinating across disciplines and multiple language requirements and security directives. Serves as lead consultant for interior design issues and influences decisions based on experience and expertise.
- Reviews materials to ensure compliance with user requirements, codes and technologies, and for compatibility with the host country environment. Serves as technical representative and liaison for interior planning, standards and review of submittals during construction. Resolves conflicts between user needs and design deficiencies or construction change orders.
- Performs liaison functions across interests of the project for the building interiors, including post personnel, internal disciplines, contractors and domestic headquarters representatives. Post personnel include, but are not limited to, the Ambassador and other political appointees as well as host country magistrates and dignitaries. Among the internal disciplines are the Project Architect/Technical Coordinator, and disciplines specializing in blast, seismic, bio-chemical, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire, sanitary, security and construction engineering as well as specialties covering aspects of computer technology and facilities management. Contractors parallel these disciplines. Domestic headquarters include individuals from every government agency and the military with interests overseas.
- Oversees, ensures and provides quality customer service and support to this diverse customer base through the assessment of customer's needs and satisfaction of customer expectations. Assures that requirements of customers and client agencies and administrative direction of agency senior management are integrated in project and task order execution, decides courses of action and assures proper coordination and integration of projects/task order efforts. Exerts expert judgment to evaluate changing conditions, unknown factors, host country conditions and shifting program demands dictated by the facilities mission requirements.
- Participates in special studies during the life of the project or related to the global workload. Acts as technical expert in issues relating to interior design, participates in value-engineering studies, serviceability reviews, and project commissioning and post occupancy evaluations. Interacts with leading national- level experts and authorities in the public and private sectors in conferences and workshops to identify new strategies, trends and technologies. Keeps abreast of changing and evolving ideas in the industry and shares with team and office staff.
- Serves as expert in the knowledge and research of a variety of highly technical interests, including master planning and feasibility studies, sustainable design, life-cycle cost analysis, universal design, e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) code application and fire-life safety criteria. Maintains and instructs in Federal acquisition and other regulations affecting the development of criteria, contracts and specifications, providing direction to the cadre of contractors involved in the project workload.
- Provides authoritative expertise and guidance to the Department's senior management, other service delivery team members, contractors, and designated customer Federal agencies on complex, unprecedented, and/or controversial interior architectural and design problems, industry initiatives and technologies, design guidelines, codes, regulations and policies. Maintains mastery of technical terminology, premise and calculations related to the industry, e.g., durability, fire and smoke contribution, ergonomics, etc.
- Assists in the maintenance of the resource library. Develops the required specifications for bid and/or procurement. Maintains and shares proficiencies in knowledge of industry standards, products and practices. Prepares technical findings to justify sole source and other procurement strategies.
- Responsible for the preparation and presentation of a variety of written, oral and graphic reports on diverse subjects. Writes and speaks dearly on complex issues with excellent knowledge and skills in the use of a variety of software programs to enhance supporting graphic presentations.
- Works with Program Management on shipping and installation of furnishings and coordinates with the Construction and Commissioning Division to confirm construction schedules, changes in project requirements, site conditions and commissioning agenda.
- Serving as the Subject Matter Expert (SME), advises the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) on services and deliverables of Architectural/Engineering and other related contractors for interior design services and serves as Code Official on the design and construction of government facilities, ensuring that facilities are safe, secure, and fully functional, and adjusting discrepancies in interpretations of the Code and serving as an SME on such issues - in performing these functions, the contractor:
- Prepares and monitors contracts and budgets to support the interior design program and project implementation. Advises when services should be out-sourced due to limited internal resources. Composes the technical requirements for the Request for;
- Prepares FF&E cost estimates for budget analysis, negotiation and award of contracts and purchase orders for commodities and other services.
Oversees the preparation of final installation drawings and project record books. Directs the project turnover to the end user and oversees the required training, inventorying of parts and project close out.
- Establishes priorities and deadlines and reviews work to ensure adherence to program policies and priorities;
- Develops Statements of Work (SOWs) describing project requirements;
- Provides input to establish Independent Government Estimates (IGEs) for Architectural/Engineering (A/E) services;
- Reviews test and other certification requirements;
- Performs quality assurance on contractor work;
KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE SHALL INCLUDE:
- As senior expert on interior design, space planning and project management, the incumbent need receive only the broadest of administrative direction from the Division Chief. Incumbent is responsible for planning and scheduling work, making decisions on program matters and independently carrying out assignments with review typically limited only to results achieved. Recommendations affecting the scope of programs and program objectives are limited to such broad considerations as funding, staff availability and overall OBO priorities.
- Guidelines typically include agency policies and precedents and accepted interior design and space planning principles and practices that provide only general outlines and guidance. In addition to recognized industry codes and standards there are OBO policies and procedures, Design Guidelines, space and signage standards, Office of Diplomatic Security policies and procedures, the Foreign Affairs Manual, Federal Accessibility Standards and Federal Acquisition Regulations. These documents may be inadequate in covering complex, controversial, new or unusual problems, transactions, or negotiations; or may conflict with each other, new, or with existing guidance. The incumbent must use initiative and ingenuity to craft solutions and deviate from accepted practices, reconcile or balance conflicting space needs or uses of facilities, or to comply with various regulatory requirements. The incumbent often must devise innovative approaches, methods and techniques to develop strategies, negotiate issues or to convince others to adopt new or emerging trends. The incumbent leads others in the application of innovative approaches and must convince other professionals and high-level agency officials of the value of the approaches proposed.
- The contractor manages, directs and supervises multiple concurrent projects ranging in size from small to large office and residential facilities. These typically involve the expenditure of millions of dollars over multi-year periods. Major projects require long-term comprehensive planning, analysis and evaluation of unique and often conflicting combinations of issues, characteristics and alternatives. Major projects require approval of higher management, host country officials and Congress and are often politically sensitive or highly controversial. All projects have unusual combinations of diverse characteristics. The work requires extensive expert knowledge of the principles of interior design and space planning. It requires extensive analysis and skill in financial management, program planning and management, and authoritative knowledge of numerous initiatives and trends in interior design and space planning. Supervises and coordinates work activities with employees from multiple professional disciplines. Work typically requires extensive coordination with organizations both within and outside government. Dollar values of projects managed are substantial, diverse and often difficult, with special, multiple or conflicting requirements.
Scope and Effect
- The work directly and significantly impacts the Mission's effectiveness in the host county at the highest levels of diplomacy. Incumbent's work has a significant impact on the successful achievement of objectives of various offices and multiple agencies. Projects are typically considered among the most important due to their scope, program implications, political sensitivity or potential risk to the Government. The size and dollar value of procurements typically are of great importance to the industry since they may impact on serviceability of manufacturers involved or they may impact on continued economic growth with a particular industry. Decisions and recommendations influence future policies and procedures in U.S. Government space planning/interior design and established precedents. The quality of the incumbent's work, accomplishment of projects, resolution of critical or unusual problems, and the expert advice given to customers are substantial factors in the success or failure of the assigned project team. This in turn directly influences the ability of the Department's and other tenant agencies to effectively perform their programs or missions.
- There are frequent and recurring contacts with senior diplomatic officials of the Department through the Under Secretary and Ambassadorial levels, notably within the Regional and Consular Affairs, Executive Bureaus, Diplomatic Security and International Organization Affairs, as well as, with officials of supplier firms through the CEO level, senior diplomatic service officials, Deputy Chiefs of Mission, Administrative Counselors, and Consuls General. Coordinates project elements and work schedules across a variety of vendors, suppliers, field office and installation personnel. Persons contacted include individuals or groups outside the Department on matters for which there are not routine working relationships.
Purpose of Contacts
- Contacts provide expert guidance and coordination of multi-disciplined project teams. They justify, defend, or negotiate in representing the project team, to resolve complex issues/problems, to obtain commitments to courses of action, or to gain compliance with agency policies and regulations. Contacts identify suitable materials for interior design and negotiate prices and delivery schedules. They exchange information which will improve the responsiveness of the in- house design program to meet the needs of embassy facilities and include functional/mission requirements, coordination of technical elements, conformance with security and life-safety issues, and, industry practices, technology and innovations. Interagency meetings and conferences are necessary to present, promote and defend Department and OBO views on interior design policies and practices.
- The work takes place both domestically and overseas. Work within the U.S. is primarily sedentary and but requires extended hours in the performance of detailed design, reviews and in the preparation of plans, drawings, presentation materials and detailed reports. Travel by air to overseas destinations will generally entail no less than 6 hours travel time and may exceed 35 hours, with multiple changes in airlines and terminals. Meetings are often scheduled to occur upon arrival at post. Some assignments are at high threat posts requiring extraordinary security and risk assessment on a personal level. Some assignments may involve posts with physical devastation due to natural disasters or terrorist activities. Environmental conditions overseas are often extreme, and exposure to poor sanitation and the accompanying health risks are not uncommon. Duties are undertaken as required to complete work.
- The work is accomplished primarily in an open plan office setting. Air travel follows federal travel regulations. Travel routinely involves crossing a number of time zones with the ability to function immediately upon arrival and throughout the TDY status. While working on-site in facilities under construction or renovation, exposure to dirt, dust, and chemicals is to be anticipated and protection from these elements, for the most part, is the responsibility of the incumbent