March 2019

Maximize Project Collaboration Using the Design-Build Delivery Method

2019-03-19T08:12:19-04:00March 19th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Design-build has grown in popularity the last few years since Ohio legislation made it available to public entities. It certainly has its advantages by giving the owner one single point of contact throughout the entire project, as well as providing opportunities for cost and schedule savings. We discussed these particular benefits in a previous blog post here.

Now that the new water treatment plant is complete for the Village of Yellow Springs in Ohio, we would like to share some specific examples of how design-build maximizes project collaboration.

Water Resources Construction

During Design and Preconstruction

Under the design-build umbrella, the construction and design firms work together with the owner to maximize the project budget.  Constructability and schedule issues are identified during design and value-added solutions then can be incorporated. 

In this case, we continually analyzed various design approaches to ultimately arrive at the most efficient concept ensuring the project stayed within the Village’s borrowing ceiling. One of those enhancements included relocating the new building to minimize yard piping and electrical wiring.

During Construction

Another advantage of design-build is that the owner has a single point of contact.  When design problems arise, the owner is not positioned between the designer and contractor, along with the possibility of added project costs.  Design-build usually involves a Gross Maximum Price (GMP) for which the project will be both designed and constructed. In addition, a contingency is used for unanticipated costs and any savings often are shared between the owner and design-builder.  This results in a project cost profile that decreases as a function of time, unlike traditional design-bid-build where cost increases with time.

Additionally, we collaborated with the designer to develop a 3D construction sequencing model, specifically as it relates to the concrete pours. This allowed us to not only visualize the placement of the concrete, but how the timing may affect other areas of the project. The 3D model also allowed the client to visualize the interior of the process building and confirm that the design provided ease of operations and maintenance. 

To learn more, we invite you to attend our conference session on April 11th as part of the Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Shook Construction proudly partnered with designer Jones & Henry. The team also included D.A.G. Construction, Chapel Electric and Dmytryka Jacobs Engineers.

Using Technology to Improve Project Performance

2019-03-07T07:50:53-05:00March 6th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Shook continuously searches for ways to dramatically improve our performance. As the industry evolves, it is increasingly apparent how essential technology is. Not only does it save us time and money, but also it attracts new talent and customers. Recently, we introduced the enhanced technology processes, which have tremendously benefited our projects.

DRONE TECHNOLOGY

James Hillegas, a project engineer at Shook, has been an avid drone pilot for years. When he became aware of the opportunity to use them onsite, he was ready to help.

Mapping Existing Site Work  

At the Community Tissue Services project in Kettering, Ohio, James used drones to gather sitework images which he then shared with Project Manager Matt Wendel. The data collected assisted Matt in narrowing in on the site work estimations, which in turn freed up funds to reallocate to other project needs.

Bringing the Project to Life: Augmented Reality 

Hillegas also used a drone to gather photos of the existing facility, which then were used to create a model of the new building. This model allowed the owner to visualize how their new building would look when completed. “Augmented reality helps the owner better understand the project,” Hillegas said.

Source: John Poe Architects

Ensuring Safety

On the Summa West Tower project in Akron, Ohio, a drone helped us proactively prepare for the possibility of an emergency. As the project progressed, James flew the drone to collect updated site photos. These images were sent to the fire department to communicate where access points were in the event of an emergency.

PLANGRID TECHNOLOGY

Improving Onsite Efficiency  

Source: firstround.com

Another device introduced on the Summa project was PlanGrid, a cloud-based program that grants users mobile access to project information, including document drawings. PlanGrid has been incredibly helpful with organization and timeliness. All the project drawings were accessible in the program, which kept the project team from wasting time flipping through pages of drawings.

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland shared the benefits of using it, stating, “Having all the drawings on the same system has saved us a considerable amount of time.”

Holding Subcontractors Accountable

PlanGrid alleviated some of the stress during closeout procedures. Shook asked their subcontractors to use the program to track and report the overall schedule. This helped keep everyone accountable. The team would open PlanGrid to check the floor plans and, based on the information, assign tasks to certain people. Rachel found this to be one of the greatest benefits of the program.

Technology is improving our productivity and enhancing our ability to communicate. From saving time to solving problems proactively, these tools have drastically changed the way we perform our work.

July 2018

Construction Around an Occupied Facility

2018-07-23T14:15:19-04:00July 23rd, 2018|Case Study, Client Service, Thought Leadership|

Many of our projects involve working in, around, above, or below occupied facilities. This scenario involves not only creative techniques to tie in to the existing building, but also increased communication with your staff to coordinate construction activity around critical—and unplanned—operations.
 
Construction Above and Next to Occupied Facility
One such project was the addition and renovation of St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, which involved the following general scope items:
 
  • Two-story addition above existing surgery suites
  • Six-story, 184,000 SF tower addition above the existing lobby and surgery suites
  • Various renovations to the existing structure
Because of the construction above the existing surgery units, extra coordination with the surgeons dictated when we needed to halt our work for a planned—or unplanned—surgery. Below are some specific obstacles to overcome.
 

Reinforcing Columns

One of those obstacles was presented by the existing OR’s steel columns, which were designed to accommodate a one-story addition; however, this project added two stories. Our team developed a plan to reinforce the steel columns without any interruptions to the surgery schedules. To accomplish this, our team built a plan to–over the course of eight weekends–systematically tackle the steel columns, two or three per weekend.
 
  • Friday night: tear out the drywall.
  • Saturday morning: weld stiffening plates and angles to the columns.
  • Saturday night: fireproof the columns.
  • Sunday: patch up the drywall, paint and clean up.
The team would begin work after the last surgery Friday night and leave the operating room spotless by Sunday night, showing no signs of our presence.
 

Maintaining Existing Roof during Construction

The existing OR roof needed to remain in place during the two-story vertical expansion.  Over a three-week period, our project team built temporary roof curbs over each column that needed to expand vertically.  This allowed us the flexibility to open up the roof when the weather cooperated, remove the curb cap and make the appropriate structural connections.  The roof then was temporarily flashed back around the added columns.  After the vertical expansion was built and dried-in, the existing OR floor roof was then removed to make way for the interior build-out of the NICU floor (1st story of the two-story addition).
 
As the finishing work of the two floors commenced, our project team continued to coordinate work around the surgery schedules because the finished project did not allow as much insulation above the OR to minimize noise and vibration from certain construction activity (i.e., rolling around drywall on carts). At times, it was necessary to cease construction immediately to accommodate planned/unplanned surgeries.
 

Connecting the Old to the New 

Connecting all floors horizontally to the existing building also provided several challenges.  One was keeping the building dry. To address this, we left the existing façade intact and only opened it up at each beam connection. Once the building was dried-in, we then demolished the existing exterior walls/façade.  Another challenge was matching existing elevations at the floor level without removing the whole façade.  Strategically located as-built elevations were taken to allow us to build the new structure and make field modifications prior to removing the façade.
 
Despite these impediments, we persevered. With our core value of being reliable in mind, we found new ways to accomplish these tasks and stayed true to our promise of finishing on time, even if it meant working overtime and on weekends. At the end of it all, we were proud of our determination and what we had created with all the cards stacked against us.    
 

September 2017

Diamond Wire Sawing Process of Twin 108″ Concrete Pipes

2017-08-22T10:35:59-04:00September 1st, 2017|Client Service, Project News, Thought Leadership|

As part of the Easterly treatment facility project on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio, our project team built six 110-foot diameter by 18-foot deep settling tanks. The discharge from these new tanks (as well as four existing tanks) were connected to a NEW concrete junction chamber via 2500 lineal feet of 36-inch through 84-inch diameter Flowtite® fiberglass underground pipe.

This new junction chamber was constructed around two temporarily supported 108-inch diameter concrete pipes. These pipes have carried the treated discharge from the existing plant to Lake Erie since 1931.

Once the new facilities were complete, the challenge was tying the new facilities to the old discharge. To accomplish this, the project team removed 11 feet of pipe from each of those two 108-inch diameter, 10.5-inch thick concrete pipes.  

NEORSD 108" Twin Pipes

To ensure this process did not interrupt the existing flow to the lake, the project team engaged DOT Diamond Core Drilling who suggested a diamond wire sawing system to make two cuts in each of the two pipes.

To accomplish this feat, the project team first installed temporary pipe supports and made preparations for hoisting and handling both pipes while the chamber was still dry. DOT then began the diamond wire sawing process, aided by external cooling water. When the first in-service pipe’s circumference was penetrated, the plant flow began to flood the chamber. The remaining sawing process was completed without any personnel having to enter the chamber. The resulting cuts totaled 1,620 lineal inches of reinforced concrete.

Diamond Saw Cutting Process

Once cut, General Crane Rental used a 130-ton capacity crane to hoist out the two 11-foot cut pieces, each weighing about 37,000 pounds.

Making this effort even more impressive is that the pipe removal and subsequent joining of the old and new flow systems were completed during 15-degree temperature and blustery winds in mid-December.

Despite the frigid weather and the difficulty of this task, the entire operation took only two 12-hour days to complete.

Project Overview

This process was part of the larger $74.3 million project which began in September 2013. The overall purpose was to increase the capacity of the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant from 140 million gallons per day to 400 million gallons per day, which will help the environment.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) contracted the Shook Walbridge Joint Venture to complete these improvements, which were designed by MWH Global and Brown & Caldwell. The design called for the installation of 26 new pumps, piping, automated valves and meters, as well as adding chemical storage, distribution, metering, instrumentation and process equipment to more effectively enhance the treatment process. To accomplish this, the Shook Walbridge team selectively removed, rerouted and replaced interior and underground piping, existing structures, and equipment.

The multi-phase project took four years to complete.

March 2017

Our Core Values: Quality

2017-03-27T12:44:09-04:00March 27th, 2017|Client Service, Core Values, Thought Leadership|

Quality: core values

We operate by a core set of nine values. This month, we focus on quality.

Quality equals building excellence. Our goal is to ensure our clients are receiving the construction project they expect for the dollars they are investing. Why do we do this? First, it is the right thing to do. Second, we cannot be a successful company by offering sub-par quality. We are proud of our “reputation built on performance”—and performance begins with quality.

It is important to us to establish the standard and measure quality from the beginning of a project rather than simply evaluating quality at the end of a project. What processes do we have in place to ensure that every project is a quality one? Here are just a few:

3D Modeling

We create a detailed model that shows the work in place, which helps trade contractors visualize their scope of work. We also use the model to coordinate building elements and to plan the project’s sequencing and durations.

Quality: BIM Images

Mock-Ups and First-in-Place Inspections

Particularly for projects that contain repetitive spaces (such as hospital patient rooms), we use a first-in-place inspection process. This involves the inspection of the first piece of work put in place to verify quality. This install then becomes the quality standard for the balance of the project.  This process can include mock-ups of a specific area, which our team reviews for quality (and our owners review for aesthetics and functionality).

Weekly Progress Meetings

We hold weekly job coordination meetings with subcontractors, trades and material suppliers during which we review schedule, coordination of work, quality of work and safety/security requirements.

Quality Control Checklist

Each of our field personnel carry a pocket-sized quality control checklist, which breaks down standards of work by division. This provides us a portable tool to review the quality of work with each of our subcontractors.

Ongoing Punch Lists

We do not believe in waiting until the end of the project to develop a punch list. We create an ongoing punch list at the beginning of a project so that our subcontractors can correct deficiencies in a timely manner. We review this punch list at our weekly progress meetings. We also encourage our owners and design partners to participate in developing the punch list items. This helps our subcontractors understand the expectations early on in the project and facilitates prompt close-out of the job.

October 2016

Using 3D Animation to Help Summa Health Visualize Project

2016-10-31T08:20:04-04:00October 31st, 2016|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Summa Health 3D Animation

Summa Health is embarking on a journey to build a new bed tower at Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Shook Construction has joined forces with Donley’s to provide construction management services for this $152 million project.

During the interview process, the Donley’s – Shook team set out to not only help Summa Health see their project come to life, but also help them understand the construction process along with how our team would approach their project. To accomplish this, our team developed a 3D model of the project and the construction sequencing (as shown below).


* Note: this is only a short snippet of the full model

Using this model, the Donley’s – Shook team was able to explain visually the major milestones in construction, along with what some of the logistic challenges might be.

Beyond the interview, this model will help with so much more than simply visualizing the project:

  • Engage in a more collaborative working environment allowing for higher quality of work
  • Identify conflicts/issues earlier in the project through clash detection, which ultimately leads to greater productivity in the field
  • Improved communication and project coordination by utilizing a 3-D logistics plan
  • Better design and spatial coordination where the design is completed with fabrication in mind
  • Minimize, reduce or eliminate waste
  • Increase productivity through prefabrication on or off-site
  • Improved constructability reviews, schedules, quantity takeoffs cost estimating and scheduling

Project Scope

The new six-story, 331,000 SF west bed tower will serve as the hospital’s new main entrance and will house two 36-bed medical/surgical units with all private rooms, a breast center, eight new operating rooms, 65 same-day surgery rooms and a women’s health center that includes a 36-bed post-partum unit.

The project also includes the renovation of 64,000 square feet of the existing hospital. These renovations will focus on the ground floor imaging department and first floor surgery, as well as create private inpatient rooms within the existing patient floors.

Construction will begin in early 2017 with substantial completion in the spring of 2019. The architect on the project is a partnership between Akron-based Hasenstab Architects and Cleveland-based Perspectus Architecture.

 

September 2016

Groundbreaking of New Design-Build Water Treatment Plant

2016-09-30T13:24:15-04:00September 30th, 2016|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Yellow Springs WTP Rendering

Shook Construction is making history as the Village of Yellow Springs broke ground on its new water treatment plant. What is unique about this project is that it will be constructed under the design-build project delivery method. It is the first of its kind for Shook within its water resources market channel, and it is the first brand new design-build water treatment plant in the State of Ohio.

Ohio legislation made the design-build delivery model available to public entities just a few years ago. Since then, eight other public agencies have broken ground on their water/wastewater treatment plant-related projects, making the Village of Yellow Springs #9. Not only that, but the Village’s project is the 2nd largest design-build water/wastewater project in the state.

What makes the design-build project delivery beneficial to public entities? Here are a couple reasons:

Single Point of Responsibility

Unlike the design-bid-build process where the owner is responsible for hiring a designer and contractor and then is responsible for serving as the liaison between the two, now the owner can hire one firm who manages both the design and construction. This in turn fosters heightened collaboration among team members, which ultimately sets the stage for a successful construction project.

Cost Savings

In the design-bid-build process, design changes late in the process (particularly after construction has started) are extremely costly to the owner. Having the construction team at the table early on under the design-build model means scope decisions can be made earlier in the process. In addition, the design and construction teams work together to ensure the project is designed to budget.

Time Savings

Under the design-build model, the design and construction phases can overlap, allowing construction to begin while the design is still underway. This helps expedite the overall project schedule, as well as reduces costs and makes a new facility available to the owner earlier.

The Village of Yellow Springs recognized these advantages when it chose to build its water plant under the design-build model. Karen Wintrow, president of Council for the Village, shared that they selected design-build as a way to be more involved in the design process, as well as to have more control over the budget.

Shook Construction is proud to partner with designer Jones & Henry. Also on the team is D.A.G. Construction, Chapel Electric and Dmytryka Jacobs Engineers.

The $7.2 million project will be complete in late 2017.

June 2016

Planning Our Work Using VDC

2016-06-10T12:39:39-04:00June 10th, 2016|Client Service, Thought Leadership|

Do 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.

May 2016

Preparing Owners for Data Center Construction

2016-10-05T10:08:53-04:00May 24th, 2016|Presentations, Thought Leadership|

Data Center Construction

Shook 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 info@shook.buzzwad.com!

April 2016

Equipment Warranties: Do You Know What You’re Getting?

2016-04-25T07:58:42-04:00April 20th, 2016|Client Service, Thought Leadership|

Gears PhotoPicture 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 Form

This 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 needs

This “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-thru

Don’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 period

Due 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.