March 2019

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.    
 

January 2018

Leadership Changes in our Building Markets

2018-01-05T08:16:48-05:00January 5th, 2018|Corporate Events|

Shook Construction institutes several leadership transitions as the company grows within its building construction group (education, healthcare, industrial, and mission critical). The company’s organizational structure has been retooled to provide more opportunity for employee growth.

The company’s business segment structure will remain the same with the following new individuals leading each effort:

Huelsman, Freitag, Knueve, Schmidlin

  • With 13 years of experience, Matt Huelsman has transitioned to vice president of education. Matt has been instrumental in the growth of our education business segment while managing the construction of the new Kleptz Early Learning Center and new high school at Northmont City Schools, along with currently building the new PK-12 facility for Northridge Local Schools.
  • Chris Freitag will step up as vice president of healthcare. Chris is an 18-year veteran of Shook Construction, having led the construction of the new Atrium Medical Center, the southeast tower addition at Miami Valley Hospital, and the new bed tower addition at Miami Valley Hospital South.
  • Serving as the new vice president of industrial is Tim Knueve, who began his career at Shook 20 years ago. Tim has led our construction efforts at Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Reiter Dairy, and many others.
  • Mike Schmidlin, a 40-year veteran of Shook, will continue to lead our mission critical business segment as vice president. Mike has been vital to the growth of this business segment, having led efforts at Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, Macy’s, Bridgestone, and many more.

In addition to the above personnel changes, Shook has added a regional focus on its operations by assigning personnel to enhance specific local operations.

Halapy, Goetz, Hayes, Peabody

  • Chris Halapy will remain in his executive vice president role, but now will focus specifically on Northeast Ohio. To focus on the company’s efforts within the Midwest, Andy Goetz will step up into the executive vice president role in the Miami Valley. Both of these roles will support the company’s education, healthcare, industrial and mission critical (data center) business segment leaders in completing work under contract and growing market share within their respective regions.
  • To support the individual business segments and provide regional leadership, the company has created a regional director role. Ryan Hayes, a 10-year veteran of Shook, will fill this role in Indiana. In this role, Ryan will oversee safety, sales, project execution, client/partner relationships, and talent management.
  • To further increase our focus in Indiana, Chuck Peabody will transition out of his operations role into business development and preconstruction under the title of vice president of business development. Both he and Ryan Hayes will become a powerful team enabling us to use future growth within the Indiana market as a means of enhancing our overall company growth. With 43 years of experience, Chuck has worked at Shook for over 30 years.

“Once again, we continue to build from within, leveraging the incredible talent already residing within our company,” shares President and CEO Bill Whistler. “This approach has been key to 91 years of continuity and it allows us to stay focused on providing outstanding value to our clients while growing as a company.”