The ultimate success of the more than $2.058 billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project in Los Angeles hinges on much more than just the project team’s ability to bore tunnels, dig ditches, place rails and build station platforms.
“All eyes are on this project,” says Erich Engler, business manager for Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors, the joint venture awarded the design/build contract for the project. The team consists of Walsh Construction Co., J.F. Shea Construction Inc., HNTB Corp., L.K. Comstock National Transit Inc., ARUP and the LA Urban League.
“We’re constantly giving both local and national officials updates on the project and our hiring efforts,” Engler adds. “This is a big deal, and we realize that. We’re very sensitive to the community and how they’re impacted by what we’re doing, and can’t overstate the importance of communication.”
For Dawson Co., it is essential for its clients and its own associates to have a good experience with the company. “We see ourselves as customers,” President and CEO Ric Serafin says. “We want them [all] to have a platinum experience doing business with us.”
Based in Pomona, Calif., Dawson Co. represents manufacturers and distributes residential, commercial and industrial plumbing, heating and cooling equipment. Richard S. Dawson founded the company in 1948, basing it on his own principles of honesty, integrity and professionalism.
Today, Dawson Co. serves clients in Southern California with pump, heat transfer, steam and ancillary products. Along with its warehouse in Pomona, it has a stocking sales branch in San Diego and a satellite office in the Santa Barbara region.
When we talk about roadblocks on a construction project, it’s usually in the figurative sense. Permitting issues and lack of labor, for instance, are common challenges that can delay a project. But in the case of Acadia on the Charles, a new multifamily project being developed by real estate investment firm Hines, there were physical on-site infrastructures literally blocking the project’s construction – namely an access road and a small water treatment operation.
Hines contracted Cambridge, Mass.-based Callahan Inc. last year to build the 200-unit complex located on a four-acre site in Waltham, Mass. Callahan began the project May 8, 2013, and is past the halfway mark of its 24-month schedule. Although Callahan started off with a nearly blank slate, Project Manager Patrick Riordan explains that the access road and the small water treatment facility did take extra consideration. Instead of the usual demolition that occurs in construction, however, Callahan Construction had to work around both obstacles and relocate them on site.
For 50 years, Brasfield & Gorrie L.L.C. has stayed successful by treating its people well, President and CEO Jim Gorrie says. “Our company has been structured ... to attract top talent and give them a chance to grow,” he says.
Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie’s services not only include general contracting, but also construction management, design/build and preconstruction services. The firm began operations in 1964 following the acquisition of the Thomas C. Brasfield Co.
Gorrie’s father, Miller Gorrie, purchased the firm’s construction assets and changed its name to Brasfield & Gorrie three years later. In the beginning, the company focused on small commercial and remodeling projects. As the company continued to grow, it expanded its focus to larger commercial, institutional, healthcare and industrial projects.
AIM Global Logistics thrives by providing diverse transportation and logistics solutions. “We can move anything from point A to point B, whether via truck, ocean, air or rail,” says Angelica Garcia-Dunn, president, founder and CEO. AIM ships anything weighing from a pound to more than 1 million pounds and everything in between, Garcia-Dunn says.
AIM has moved 10 oil rigs from Texas, Oklahoma, California and the Rocky Mountains region to Mexico in the past five months. It handles all aspects of these massive projects, including obtaining the proper cranes, trucks and ships. AIM also ensures all proper permits are obtained by working closely with customs officials.
West Construction Services is a story of evolution. Brothers Kyle and Brent Westberg started the company in 1995, using Kyle’s architectural degree and Brent’s mechanical engineering degree as the foundation for their business. The brothers are also partners in the firm TDG Architects that they run along with another partner and TDG President Brian Gill. Boasting the talents of the architectural firm allows West Construction Services the opportunity to offer design/build services ranging from mixed-use developments to commercial, multifamily and residential construction projects.
With medical technology becoming ever more complex, building the structure for a hospital is just the beginning. Numerous mechanical, communication and medical systems must be included. Just installing the utilities in the headwall behind a patient’s bed can be a time-consuming process.
When Turner Construction bid to build Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C., its bid included savings from prefabricating not only the headwalls but also prefabricating all the piping, ductwork and mechanical systems that are installed above corridor ceilings.
“We decided – instead of waiting until the concrete structure was up so we could go in and start installing systems – to build frames that are 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and about 3.5 feet high,” Project Executive Joe Kranz explains. “We are putting all of the ductwork, piping and conduit in those frames and building them in advance in shop space provided by our mechanical subcontractor, W.E. Bowers. When the concrete structure is up, we’ll just bring these prefabricated racks full of ductwork, piping and conduits in 20-foot sections. Then we connect the duct, piping and conduits together to form a full system.”
It’s not unusual for the Metro Phoenix area to have 20 acres of land under development at one time, but it is unusual for it to occur all in one spot. The Marina Heights project, in Tempe, Ariz., has gained considerable recognition for being the single-largest office development deal in Arizona history. Across these 20 acres will sit five buildings ranging in size from six to 17 stories with 38,000- to 42,000-square-foot floor plates.
Mike Davis, CEO and director of design at DAVIS architectural firm, says the project’s immensity has been impossible to ignore, especially following a construction slowdown of recent years. “It’s been a bit soft here for a long time with the six-year-plus Great Recession,” Davis says. “In a lot of ways it’s been hugely challenging and Phoenix has always had bit of a disproportionate construction industry vis-a-vis other major U.S. cities such as Chicago, San Francisco or Philadelphia. Those cities may enjoy 7 percent of their economies based on construction compared to Phoenix where it makes up 12 to 13 percent of the economy. So to have this project, where there will be thousands of construction workers on site, is a big deal.”