Andersen Construction – Kinects

Andersen Construction picAndersen Construction is on track to finish the Kinects project in 2017.

By Alan Dorich

Seattle has long been the largest city in the state of Washington, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Andersen Construction is now at work on Kinects, a project that will connect the city’s South Lake Union neighborhood with the downtown area, Project Manager Yates Osborn says.

“[Kinects will fill] a gap in the Seattle landscape,” he says, noting that the project consists of a 41-story apartment tower. Andersen Construction serves as the general contractor on the $110 million project for developer Security Properties.

When finished, Kinects will feature 357 high-end living units that range from studio apartments to two-bedroom penthouses that span approximately 1,700 square feet. “That’s what people seem to want these days,” Osborn observes.

Kinects also will be set apart by features such as an indoor pool on its top floor “enclosed with full-height vision glass on three sides,” he says. The tower also will have outdoor terraces on its sixth and 41st floors.

“The terrace and amenity areas are common spaces for all residents,” Osborn says, noting that the luxury/high-end spaces have indoor and outdoor social gathering options. The indoor options include a theater, a gaming room and fitness/workout room, while the outdoor spaces include landscaped areas, seating areas, incredible views and a decorative trellis.

Good Neighbors

Andersen Construction started on the Kinects project in February 2015 and will have it finished by August 2017, Osborn says. As it has built the tower, the company has coped with working in Seattle’s downtown core, which has given it a tight project site.

“As far as trucking and staging goes, that’s a challenge,” he admits. “There’s minimal ability or space to ... lay down [material and equipment]. All deliveries have to be specially coordinated and are ‘just in time.’” Andersen Construction box

The company also has to take into consideration the locals in the area, who live in neighboring apartments and work in office buildings. Like any construction project, “Construction by default is dirty, loud and you’ve got to be a good neighbor to everyone living in that area. We do that as a rule in any case – but with such a confined and tight location, it makes it even more challenging,” Osborn says.

The nature of the project, market conditions and site also required Andersen Construction to be careful when choosing subcontractors. “We fought pretty hard to work with a select group of subs that we trust and [that] can perform in an environment like this,” he says.

Andersen Construction needed subs who were “professional, qualified and have the manpower to meet commitments,” Osborn says, noting that he has been very pleased so far. “We’ve been really honored with the subcontractors we’ve got on site.”

Andersen Construction also has minimized accidents during the project. In addition to employing a full-time safety manager, “We’ve got a long history of being leaders in safety,” he says. “It’s just a culture thing from the top down in terms of what is expected and enforced at Andersen.”

He notes that the company requires daily pre-planning, task review and job hazard analysis from all trades. “Understanding the risks of activities and planning for them in advance of the work occurring is a large component in keeping people and job sites safe,” Osborn says.

Growing Smart

Based in Portland, Ore., Andersen Construction started operations more than 65 years ago. Today, the company is still family owned, with David Andersen as its CEO and chairman and his son Joel Andersen as its president.

Osborn, a 12-year veteran of the company, credits Andersen Construction’s success to its ability to form long-term relationships. “That’s been the mainstay,” he says, noting that the company has offices in Seattle; Boise, Idaho; Portland and Eugene, Ore.

“It’s a great company,” he says, noting that Andersen Construction is family oriented. “They take care of their people. They’ve got a long history of having employees that are incredibly long-term. They actually really care about what we do and how we live our lives.”

He adds that the company opened its office in Seattle seven years ago and has operated with the same model that made it a success in Portland. “We’re working with a lot of the same client base, and in the same markets,” Osborn says.

“We’re still kind of a new face in Seattle,” he admits, but notes that the company has certainly benefited from the Andersen name recognition. “We’re kind of emerging and no doubt we’ve taken a few jobs from some other local contractors.

“We’ve done well in the recent down market and very, very well in the up-and-coming market,” he says, noting that the company has more work ahead with Security Properties. “We’re also just finishing a job with [them] in Portland, [and] we’ve got one that just started in Portland.”

Osborn sees a strong future for Andersen Construction, particularly with the Seattle market being so busy. “We’re going to continue to grow with that,” he says, but notes that the company will expand carefully.

“We’re going to grow smart and not take work we can’t manage,” he asserts. “We’re not going to just grow for the sake of growing.”

Green Steps

The Kinects project is aiming for LEED Silver certification, Andresen Construction Project Manager Yates Osborn says. This has resulted in the project team using locally sourced materials, separating and sorting waste, and implementing bike-parking areas.

The building also will integrate high-efficiency insulation, Osborn says. “[We’ve followed the] thermal requirements that the state of Washington [requires],” he says.

This reflects the company’s specialties, which include sustainable building design and construction. “The LEED standards and rating systems provide a very systematic and prescriptive path for the designer and builder to follow in order to achieve a green building,” Andersen Construction says.

“However, Andersen is committed to taking the next step in truly understanding and implementing sustainability,” it says, noting that it is a founding member of The Oregon Natural Step Network, an international group of organizations that operate with the goal of moving towards a sustainable society.

“The Natural Step views sustainability from a holistic perspective where modern technology, human society and the Earth are a single system that must operate in balance with each other,” the company says. “The systems analysis approach of the Natural Step provides a reasonable and logical formula to quantify the actions and steps needed implement sustainable design and construction practices.”

This process, Andersen Construction says, allows for sustainability goals to be set at the start of the project. “[We are] taking the fundamental tenets of the Natural Step and applying them to the construction process,” it says.

“It is our intention to take the LEED standards for design and construction to the next level of sustainability,” the company continues. “We foresee using a practical and feasible manner to bridge the gap between where green building is today and the vision of the Natural Step for a sustainable society.”

Working Together

Andersen Construction’s offerings also include startup and commissioning services. “At the start of the project, Andersen’s in-house [mechanical, electrical and plumbing] MEP staff will join the planning for the eventual start-up and commissioning of the MEP systems,” the company says.

“They will work with Andersen’s onsite team to review the specifications for each piece of equipment and develop complete task lists that establish start-up procedures for each component,” it continues. “The tasks will be committed to a startup schedule which will be included in sub and supplier contracts, and used weekly.

“Long before the appointed day that the project is turned over, Andersen will have tested and proven all systems operate correctly, building staff are trained to operate the systems, and that all O&M manuals and as-builts are in-hand,” Andersen Construction says. 

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