Planning Our Work Using VDC
June 10, 2016, 12:39 pmDo you have trouble picturing how your construction partner plans to protect your existing environment during a renovation project? We understand that not everyone comprehends information in the same way. That is one of many benefits from incorporating Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) into our construction pre-planning process. VDC uses 3D modeling to optimize project planning. It allows our team to visualize, analyze, plan and manage complex projects. It also helps us visually share our plan with clients. For example, we recently renovated a data center that remained operational throughout construction. To avoid interrupting business operations, we divided the project into six phases. As we worked through each phase, we erected temporary partitions to separate our work zones from office personnel. The video below helped our client visualize how we planned to protect their data center during construction activities. The client then used this same video to relay the plan to their employees. Communication is paramount no matter the business or the project. It is equally vital during a construction project. VDC is helping us take that communication to a new level.
Preparing Owners for Data Center Construction
May 24, 2016, 9:48 amShook Construction’s Chris Halapy and Steve Seal presented at last week’s Mission Critical Facilities & Technology Conference in northeast Ohio. Their session titled “Construction in the Data Center: How to Prepare” walked owners through what to expect when contractors begin work in an active data center, along with policies and procedures to implement throughout construction. An estimated 40 individuals learned about effective pre-project planning, risk management tools and strategies, temporary operations and much more! Mission critical facilities include data center, telecommunications buildings and call centers. Shook Construction first got involved in the mission critical arena 16 years ago while working with AT&T (formerly SBC Communications). Since then, our team has performed construction services for numerous mission critical clients with work in place totaling nearly $500 million. Most of these clients have relied us on time and time again to help them with their construction needs. The priorities on any given project are quality, timeliness and fiscal responsibility. However, managing a mission critical facility project is further complicated by the need to keep the facility fully operational throughout construction. Developing a method of procedures (MOP) is crucial for any type of work in an active data center. This MOP addresses issues such as dust protection, negative air pressure, vibration and moisture minimization, as well as maintenance window work. To develop a uniform and consistent process for addressing these challenges, Shook Construction created a Standard Network Awareness Training (NAT) program. Every worker must complete this program before setting foot onto one of our mission critical job sites. One of our major clients adopted this training globally and it’s now responsible for training more than 13,000 contractors each year. These are only a few brief examples of the types of items Shook Construction considers on every one of our projects. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Cleveland Office Lands Two Education Projects
April 25, 2016, 8:08 amWe are one of the most active PK-12 builders in the state. This month, we celebrate two new education projects in northeast Ohio! Lorain County Joint Vocational School This $2.5 million project includes:
- renovating three laboratories to meet the curriculum needs of the Connections Academy
- relocating the Business Academy to the 2nd floor and renovating that 15,000 SF space
- improving various technology and fire alarm systems
- two-story classroom wing
- dedicated auditorium
- competition gym with a second-floor running track
- auxiliary gym
Equipment Warranties: Do You Know What You’re Getting?
April 20, 2016, 10:38 amPicture this: You recently completed construction of your brand new facility. Contractors have vacated the site. The equipment manufacturer performs its annual service inspection and discovers “wear and tear” items that are not covered under the existing warranty. To top it off, the manufacturer claims that these items should not be wearing out so early in their life cycle and you are stuck with the bill to replace these parts. Sound familiar? How can you make sure this doesn’t happen? 4 WAYS YOUR CONSTRUCTION PARTNER CAN HELP
1: Make sure your construction partner completes a Certification of Warranty Commencement FormThis form details each new piece of equipment along with its respective warranty start dates and its warranty duration. This information should be provided to you for every warranty item on the project, in a well-organized format so that you can clearly review and understand what is or is not covered.
2: Ensure your construction partner verifies you are getting the right warranty specific to your needsThis “begin with the end” mentality will minimize a lot of heartache later on. Warranties are not a “one size fits all” concept. As such, your construction partner will review the warranties for each piece of equipment to verify they will satisfy your needs in the long run.
3: Request that your construction partner performs an 11-month walk-thruDon’t let your construction partner wash its hands of your project once the construction trailers are gone. Ensure they plan a walk-thru of your facility with your staff and all appropriate subcontractors to make sure everything is working properly. If something isn’t right, they can get it addressed before the warranty period expires.
4: Ask (before you hire) if your construction partner will be available beyond not only the project end-date, but also the warranty periodDue diligence in purchasing the best equipment, guaranteeing the best warranty and ensuring the building was working properly prior to the warranty expiration date doesn’t ensure issues won’t arise. Things happen; it’s life. A stand-up construction firm will continue to look after your best interests well beyond the warranty period. An even better construction firm will take ownership of the issues and personally ensure they are fixed.
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Supporting Something Bigger Than Ourselves
March 30, 2016, 8:16 amImagine being a part of something amazing… Something bigger than first glances. Shook Construction loves sponsoring the teams for which our kids play. One such team is the Shook Construction Junior Baseball Team in Troy, Ohio. On the surface, it is “just” the team that Staff Accountant Nicole Seger’s husband coaches. It is “just” the team on which her son plays, along with Lead Estimator Steve Bornhorst’s grandson. But dig deeper and we find an amazing story of a young boy named Bryson Brock. Last March, 8-year-old Bryson was burned severely in a backyard fire. So much so, he was given only a 13% chance to live. THIRTEEN PERCENT! Nurses said he was the biggest burn victim they had ever seen. He spent five months in the hospital, hooked up to every machine imaginable. Every tube was pumping everything possible into his precious little body. He underwent multiple surgeries and intense therapy– and still has many more surgeries to endure in the years to come. Through this hardship, Bryson showed bravery, determination, fight and compassion. Now today… Bryson is living as any kid should live, thanks to many prayers and to the staff at Shriners Hospital for Children. Not only is he part of the Shook Construction Junior Baseball Team, but also he is jumping, climbing, riding bikes and playing basketball! These stories remind us that we are a part of something bigger and that above all else, family is something we should never take for granted. #teambryson #brysonstrong #beastmode #superherostatus
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90th Anniversary Kick-Off Party
February 17, 2016, 8:27 amWhat better way to kick off our 90th anniversary than a celebration with our very own employees! Every year, Shook Construction gathers our employees to celebrate the successes of the past year and to create excitement for the years to come. Of course, this year is special because we are celebrating 90 years in business. We took advantage of having most everyone under the same roof by kicking off our yearlong celebration. This allowed us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our humble beginnings and to remember why we do what we do. Welcoming the attendees in the lobby was a memorabilia display exhibiting some of Shook’s artifacts and an awards table highlighting our most recent achievements, as well as a commemorative quilt designed and crafted by one of our own employees. We kicked off the meeting with a 90-year documentary highlighting our humble beginnings when Charles H. Shook first started the company, along with the trials and successes that make us who we are today. The rest of the day included presentations from each of our market channels and departments, which celebrated the successes of the prior year, shared lessons learned and new technologies being tested and encouraged more efficient techniques to implement in the field. A few of the highlights included:
- Our Canton Water Reclamation Facility project team shared their experience in using Bluebeam in the field to streamline communication and the sharing of updated files.
- President Bill Whistler encouraged the use of our new pocket Quality Assurance Daily Checklist handbooks to improve overall construction quality in the field.
- Director of Safety and Risk Management Joe Reich distributed safety awards to 38 project teams for achieving zero injuries or illnesses in 2015 on their project sites.
- Our Raleigh office celebrated the completion of its first project since we launched that office in 2012.
- Every market in which we work applauded our successes with repeat clients and welcomed many new clients.
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A Kid’s Perspective: Starting in a Newly Constructed School
February 1, 2016, 2:03 pmShook Touchstone just completed the construction of a new 119,682 SF elementary school in northwest Ohio. While we are extremely proud of our work on the new Napoleon PK-8 school, we always must remember that the true significance is not the facility we built; it is the future generations of students who will benefit from studying and growing in improved learning environments. We thought “who better to evaluate the new school than the students themselves?” Meet Ryan and Nathan Lawinsky, 4th and 6th grade students, respectively. They have spent almost three weeks in their new school and already are enjoying the improved features. They were excited to share with us their experience. Shook: Tell me about some of the things you like about your new school building. RL: The new gym; it’s so big! NL: The new band room. There’s more space and there’s padding on the walls so it’s not as noisy. Shook: What new features make it easier to learn? RL: New classrooms are bigger; easier to move around. NL: New touch boards; they’re not as complicated Shook: What don’t you miss about the old school building? RL: They didn’t have A/C! NL: There was a weird smell in the old building. The new school smells fresh. Shook: How did you feel on your first day of class in the new building? RL and NL: Excited and nervous! Mom Lawinsky: The District held an open house/tour before classes started, which helped the kids find their respective classes on the first day. It also helped that each grade has different “line” of paw prints on the floor; so if a student gets lost, they simply need to follow their colored path. Shook: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? RL and NL: The new school has lots of bright and cheery colors, which makes it more fun. There are more computers, so we don’t have to wait for one to become available. As one of the largest PK-12 builders in the state, we are constantly looking for ways to learn, improve our craft and provide more value to our clients. According to Ryan and Nathan, the new Napoleon Elementary School was a job well-done!
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Wright State’s Nutter Center Celebrates 25 Years
December 28, 2015, 3:10 pmThis month, Wright State University celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Erwin J. Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio. Why is this particularly important to Shook Construction? It is one of our most notable construction projects! The 260,000 square foot, multi-use facility includes flexible seating capacity ranging from 2,200 seats to 13,000 seats. We built this project from the top down, installing the structural steel before constructing the concourses and seating. Main project elements included:
- 63-acre site
- 23,000 cubic yards of excavation
- 700 tons re-steel
- 14,700 cubic yards of concrete
- 2,500 tons of structural steel
Indiana Safety Award Streak
December 8, 2015, 2:37 pmFor the 5th year in a row, Shook received the Gold Summit Safety Award from the Indiana Construction Association (ICA) in the category of highway, heavy & utility prime contractor with less than 100,000 hours. The ICA stated that we received this honor because we integrate safety core business practices in our estimating and delivery systems, as well as our real-time driver safety monitoring program. This award is significant in the construction industry and especially to our organization because it recognizes how well our jobsite personnel understand and apply our corporate safety program standards—all based on confidential surveys given to jobsite personnel. Our employees must indicate Shook’s safety program is best in class in order for the ICA to honor our efforts. The award once again confirms that our corporate management leads the safety efforts; and those efforts permeate into each of our field activities. We emphasize that every task should be performed safely–no matter how large or small that task is. Our company culture has created an environment where our employees can come to work knowing their ability to go home in the same condition is a way of life–not just a wish. Shook lives the culture that “Safely is the only way to work”!
Integrated Teams Boost Success on Construction Projects
September 9, 2015, 8:14 amConstruction savvy owners have increased their demand for turn-key services and a greater level of detailed information far earlier in the project planning process. This has led designers and contractors to increase their focus on collaboration in order to provide not only planning and design services, but also budgeting and constructability support that help guide and define the design. Given this new dynamic, there are elements of which owners should be aware when hiring design and construction partners for a project. The best partnerships are intentional. Because of the complexity of planning, budgeting and executing the design and construction of many types of projects, leading owners are increasingly looking for integrated design and construction teams to deliver a turn-key service. Designers and contractors strategically align to respond to these opportunities. The most successful partnerships (and projects) are those composed of firms that have identified each other as a cultural fit and are intentionally looking for opportunities to work together. As an example, several years ago Shook Construction identified a design firm whose resume rivaled our own. By identifying and intentionally building a relationship with a firm who shared our capabilities and culture, we built a partnership whose people work well together and deliver great value for our clients. The delivery method doesn’t matter. IPD, CMR, GC, D-B. You can play acronym Bingo with the number and varieties of delivery methods that exist in the market. What is important is that delivery strategy prevents the early engagement of a turnkey team. Owners will find that intelligent design and construction firms are willing to provide upfront support and counsel, regardless of the preferred contractual method, because it is the best opportunity to learn and understand the client’s business. This enables them to show maximum value during the selection phase of the project and win the customer’s business. Shook Construction is willing to provide such initial support for little or no compensation because we have found time and again that our willingness to get involved early and provide value increases the likelihood of the project moving forward, which enhances the opportunity that we will be able to do the work. Master planning and conceptual estimating are the new normal. On the design side, owners aren’t looking just for architectural or engineering services; they also want to understand how the new or upgraded facility fits today’s business needs and how it can accommodate future growth. Designers must be capable of providing this long-term planning support as a baseline service offering. From a construction stand-point, the ability to provide real-market feedback on both the price and schedule is an invaluable planning tool for the owner’s financial forecasting. To provide this support with the little information available at the master plan phase, contractors must become more sophisticated at conceptual estimating, providing detailed cost data by filling in the blanks of the design and making educated assumptions about the project. The construction industry continues to evolve as owners require increasingly more in-depth planning and data to inform their near- and long-term facility’s needs. Hiring companies that can understand the key points discussed above and can embrace this new normal will provide the best service and solutions.