CCR Jan 21

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CONSTRUCTION AND THE PANDEMIC: 4 LESSONS LEARNED ON TODAY’S JOBSITE

January 2021 • www.ccr-mag.com

King of the road

The Automobile Club of Southern California’s historical ride drives on

Official magazine of

Jason Sweeney, Supervisor of Facilities Planning and Construction, Automobile Club of Southern California

Also inside:

Exclusive Inside: Reframing rituals in the hotel industry Construction and the Pandemic Building better museum buildings and experiences



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CIRCLE NO. 1


Vol. 20, No. 1 | January 2021

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88

Jason Sweeney with the 1926 Ford Model T pickup restored to resemble an Auto Club Broken Glass Car.

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FEATURES 28 King of the road The Automobile Club of Southern California’s historical ride drives on

46 The bounce back A look at recovery projections for key construction segments

88 Back to school Residence hall design trends in the age of COVID-19

38 Construction and the Pandemic Four lessons learned on completing small and mid-size projects

52 Revelations ComReal®’s John Lonardo, CCIM on what to expect of commercial construction during and post-pandemic

96 The art of the touchpoint Reframing rituals in the hotel industry

42 In the zone Why prefabrication construction is more common than you think

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78 Walking through history Building better museum buildings and experiences

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Vol. 20, No. 1 | January 2021 DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note 12 Industry News 74 Women in Construction 115 The Cannabis Operations 132 Commercial Construction & Renovation Data 134 Ad Index 136 Publisher’s Note

SPECIAL SECTIONS

Federal Construction 57 Iron clad and ready The new FBI Central Records Complex is a state-of-the-art vision of technology

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Commercial Kitchens 67 Burgers. Fries. And Tech. Commercial kitchen service firm helps tackle diagnostic technology challenge Commercial Construction in Healthcare 107 Delivering the goods How Dacon helped healthcare laundry service provider Unitex enhance its green practices Craft Brand and Marketing 125 They’ve got the look How Indeed Brewing Co. continues to grow beyond its Minneapolis roots

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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EDITOR’S NOTE

EDITOR’S NOTE

by Michael J. Pallerino

We got this

R

emember that time before the pandemic. Go ahead, I will give you a few minutes, it took me longer than that to gather my thoughts while writing this column. Remember when you never gave a second thought to staying in a room where hundreds (if not more) had stayed in. The lamps. The TV remote. The bathroom. The bed.

interactions and workplace protocols—all designed to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations brought on by COVID-19. The program works to redefine hotel industry norms, behaviors and standards. It even created a Safe Stay Advisory Council from across the industry that is working with public health experts, scientists and medical leaders to develop a series of best practices for the industry. In case you missed those guidelines, they include: > Enhanced cleaning standards throughout the hotel, including guest rooms, meeting spaces, common areas and back-ofhouse spaces > Superior cleaning products with a greater concentration of bacteria-killing ingredients, in accordance with CDC guidelines > Social distancing practices and reducing person-to-person contact > Increased transparency throughout the guest journey

Listen, we are in the business. In that time before the pandemic (again, take a few minutes), everyone associated with the hospitality business gave 1,000% to make sure everything was how and where you wanted it to be before you ever stepped into the lobby. Today, as the pandemic continues to circulate in and around everything we do, people are starting to do some of those things we used to think about doing. Now they are working 2,000%. They are striving to make the environment you

(and your family), their employees and everyone associated with dealing them safe. Organizations like the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) have provided guidelines for hotels to follow—protocols that put an extra emphasis on cleanliness and safety. Every hospitality brand is working hard to instill the confidence it will take to make each of us feel safe again. AHLA’s “Safe Stay” initiative (www.ahla.com/SafeStay) focuses on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social

I don't know about you, but I am ready to get back on the road again—ready to do the things we as an industry not only have to do, but love to do. We are looking forward to bringing our CCR family together again—safely—to network, learn and enjoy the little things that the pandemic took away from us. For now, we remain resilient. As they say, "We got this." See you on down the road. CCR

Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation. You can reach him at 678.513.2397 or via email at mikep@ccr-mag.com.

We want to hear from you At Commercial Construction & Renovation, we’re always looking to showcase the best of what our industry is doing. If you have a project profile or a fresh perspective on how to keep our industry positively moving forward, shoot me an email at mikep@ccr-mag.com. We’d love to take a look.

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EDITORIAL EDITOR: Michael J. Pallerino 678.513.2397 • mikep@ccr-mag.com SENIOR ART DIRECTOR/AD PRODUCTION MANAGER: Brent Cashman 404.402.0125 • bocdesign@me.com CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Ron Treister rlt@communicatorsintl.com • 561-203-2981

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PUBLISHER/EDITOR David Corson • davidc@ccr-mag.com 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 SUMMIT DIRECTOR David Corson • davidc@ccr-mag.com 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 CCRP MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR: Kristen Corson • kristenc@ccr-people.com 770.990.7702 LIST RENTAL: Brian Clotworthy • bclotworthy@inforefinery.com 800.529.9020

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F&J PUBLICATIONS, LLC Commercial Construction & Renovation is published monthly by F&J Publications, LLC. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to Commercial Construction & Renovation are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Commercial Construction & Renovation is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles/content appearing in Commercial Construction & Renovation cannot be reproduced in any way without the specific permission of the publisher or editor.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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CCR EDITORIAL BOARD RETAILERS AARON ANCELLO TD Bank VP Regional Facilities Manager AVP New England DAVE CRAWFORD Vice President of Design & Construction Belk Inc. STEVE KOWAL VP Construction & Property Management Hibbett Sporting Goods

RESTAURANTS GREGG LOLLIS Sr. Director, Design Development Chick-fil-A DAVID SHOTWELL Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group ISYOL E. CABRERA Director Design & Construction Edibles DEMETRIA PETERSON Project Director, Design and Construction at HMSHost

BOB MEZA Senior Construction Project Manager Target

DAVID THOMPSON Construction Manager Scooter’s Coffee

JOHN MIOLOGOS Director, Store Standards Store Design and Planning Walgreens Company

ROB ADKINS, LEED AP CDP Project Manager, Construction Starbucks Coffee Company

JERRY SMITH Head of Construction Bluemercury LAURA GROSS Retail Facilities Manager American Signature Furniture ERRAN THOMAS ZINZER Senior Manager Real Estate Services, Construction & Design RON VOLSKE Construction Project Manager Orscheln Farm & Home DEDRICK KIRKEM Retail Facilities Consultant

HOSPITALITY JOHN COOPER Principal Executive Vice President at Stormont Hospitality Group LLC GARY RALL Vice President of Design and Development, Holiday Inn Club Vacations ROBERT RAUCH CEO RAR Hospitality Faculty Assoc., Arizona State University JOE THOMAS Vice President Engineering Loews Hotels RICK TAKACH Chairman Vesta Hospitality

HEALTHCARE CLINTON “BROOKS” HERMAN, PMP Senior Facilities Project Manager UTHealth Science Center at Houston

RESTAURANTS RON BIDINOST Vice President of Construction at Bubbakoo’s Burritos

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SAMUEL D. BUCKINGHAM, RS CMCA AMS President & Co-Founder Evergreen Financial Partners LLC PUNIT R. SHAH Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Group+ Part-Owner of Miami Marlins

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

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LU SACHARSKI Vice President of Operations and Project Management Interserv Hospitality

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MATT SCHIMENTI President Schimenti Construction JOHN STALLMAN Marketing Manager Lakeview Construction

DEVELOPMENT/PROJECT MANAGEMENT KAY BARRETT NCIDQ, CDP Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield MEGAN HAGGERTY Founder Legacy Capital Investment MIKE KRAUS Principal Kraus-Manning JOHN LAPINS Project Management Consultant, Greystar JIM SHEUCHENKO President Property Management Advisors LLC

NUNZIO DESANTIS, FAIA CEO & Founder of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects TOMMY LINSTROTH CEO at Green Badger, LLC JEFF ROARK Principal/Partner Little JEFFREY D. MAHLER Vice President L2M JIM STAPELTON Vice President Nelson FRED MARGULIES Director of Retail Architecture Onyx Creative STEVEN MCKAY Managing Principal, Global Design Leader at DLR Group

CHRIS VARNEY Principal, Executive Vice President EMG

BRIAN HAGEMEIER, P.E., LEED AP Practice Leader Federal/State/Housing, GPD Group

STEPHEN HEKMAN Executive VP Kingsmen Retail Services US

STEVEN R. OLSON, AIA President CESO, Inc.

KEN DEMSKE Vice President Jones Lang LaSalle BOB WITKEN Chief Operating Officer KCA Development MIKE KLEIN, AIA, NCARB Senior Architect Core States Group

ADA BRAD GASKINS Principal The McIntosh Group

ACADEMIA DR. MARK LEE LEVINE Professor Burns School/ Daniels College University of Denver


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INDUSTRY NEWS

NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS...

AroundtheIndustry RETAIL

Target Stores Building on the success of the small-format stores it has rolled out in city centers and on college campuses, Target plans to open about 30 such stores every year. One of the newest small-format sites is planned for Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, using a 30,000-square-foot location originally meant for a Lucky’s Market. Rite Aid Rite Aid debuted its “RxEvolution” brand refresh, which features a new logo and other steps designed to position it as a “whole health destination.” The extensive refresh includes a larger role for pharmacists, more emphasis on healthy product options, a revamped digital footprint and redesigned locations in some markets that Rite-Aid is calling its “Stores of the Future.” American Eagle/Aerie American Eagle Outfitters will focus on growing its Aerie brand of lingerie, activewear and swimwear, which the company says has the potential to hit $2 billion in revenue by 2023. The retailer will shutter up to 250 of its mostly mall-based namesake stores and grow Aerie from about 350 to as many as 600 stores over the next few years. Guitar Center Guitar Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization with a plan to keep its stores up and running while cutting about $800 million in debt. The company is the largest US retailer of musical instruments, with about 300 namesake stores and upward of 200 Music & Arts locations. Pet Supplies Plus Pet Supplies Plus will acquire about 40 former Pet Valu stores across the Northeast, with the goal of keeping a pet retailer in some communities and saving retail jobs. Kohl’s/Sephora Sephora will open shops inside 850 Kohl’s stores over the next few years as the beauty retailer’s current partnership with JC Penney winds down. The 10-year partnership gives Kohl’s a high-profile partner in its plan to triple beauty sales, and the planned 2,500-square-foot in-store shops will give Sephora a greater presence outside of malls.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

Gap Gap will shutter 220 namesake and 130 Banana Republic stores over the next few years, while opening up to 40 new Old Navy stores and about 100 Athleta locations. Dollar General Dollar General will open a 6,000-square-foot urban concept store in downtown Minneapolis in 2021. The DGX Minneapolis location will feature the retailer’s more upscale format, with grab-and-go food selections, pet products, groceries and toiletries. Thom Browne Luxury fashion retailer Thom Browne plans to add 15 locations in 2021. The retailer also has been investing in digital retail this year and a collaboration with Farfetch gave online sales a boost.

RESTAURANTS

Charleys Philly Steaks GOSH Enterprises wants to add more than 100 units through the end of next year across its three brands: Charleys Philly Steaks, Lennys Grill & Subs and BIBIBOP Asian Grill. Much of the growth will come from Charleys, which already has 50 out-of-mall units and is looking to double that tally. Torchy’s Tacos Torchy’s Tacos has completed a new fundraise, bringing in several new investment firms to its ownership group to fuel a rapid expansion that could more than double its unit count by 2024. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has signed a franchise agreement with shopping center developer RSolution Holdings to develop 50 new restaurants over the next several years across the Southeast. In-N-Out Burger In-N-Out Burger opened its first two restaurants in Colorado, creating a frenzy with fans waiting anywhere from nine to 12 hours to get their hands on the brand’s famous Double Double. Wingstop Wingstop is looking to grow from 200 to 3,000 international units as part of its bid to become a top 10 worldwide restaurant brand.


Papa John’s Papa John’s has unveiled a new 60,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Atlanta that will house about 200 employees working in a variety of departments, including human resources, menu innovation and marketing. The chain also will retain its offices in Louisville, Kentucky and London. Captain D’s Captain D’s will debut a new prototype, D’s Express, that will feature drive-thru and pickup options, but no dining room or outdoor seating. Franchisees will open the first Express unit in mid-2021 in the Atlanta market, and plans call for a second location at a later date. Schnucks Markets Schnuck Markets is nearly finished revamping two of its St. Louis-area stores, adding more self-checkout stations, a self-service coffee bar and expanded meat and seafood options, among other renovations designed for speed and convenience. One location also is being renamed Schnucks Downtown, shedding its former moniker of Culinaria, A Schnucks Market.

Residence Inn by Marriott First Hospitality has opened the 122-key Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus Airport. The property is the first extended stay hotel at John Glenn Columbus International Airport, which also acted as partner for the development together with Rockbridge Capital. Esme Miami Beach The boutique hotel Esmé Miami Beach is adding three new dining and drinking venues, and one of them is a rooftop bar. The 145-room hotel on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, which is scheduled to open in March 2021, also will open two other lounges serving food options with a Spanish flair. Braniff International The once trendsetting and long defunct Braniff International Airways will see new life in a project in its hometown of Dallas that includes a boutique hotel. The iconic airline joins TWA and Pan Am in a repurposing trend capitalizing on nostalgia for flying’s glamour days.

Saladworks/Kroger Fast-casual restaurant chain Saladworks opened its first location in a Kroger store in Cincinnati, launching a new partnership with the country’s largest grocery chain.

Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida has released images of its upcoming Swan Reserve hotel, set to debut in summer 2021. The 14-story hotel will include 349 rooms, a pool, a grab-and-go market, a restaurant and bar, a health club and a lobby lounge.

7-Eleven 7-Eleven has opened its second Dallas-area Evolution Store, a concept store designed to let shoppers test new innovations and products. The format, which also has been introduced in San Diego, New York and Washington, DC, features expanded self-serve food and beverage options, touch screens for ordering, and mobile and contactless payment options.

Hyatt Hotels A 350,000-square-foot building to house two Hyatt-branded hotels marks a first for the company. Satya has begun work on the project in the Texas Medical Center neighborhood of Houston, and the hotels could open in 2022.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Less than a year after introducing prototype stores geared for its growing digital business, Chipotle Mexican Grill has created a new format store fueled by the brand’s soaring digital business: Chipotle Digital Kitchen.

Hilton Garden Inn Work on the new Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia and Wave Garden Spa at Adventure Parc Snowdonia in Dolgarrog, Wales, UK, is on track to be completed in January. The 106-bedroom hotel will open to the public March 26 and feature a large indoor adventure site, an inland wave pool, climbing facilities and outdoor ziplines.

HOSPITALITY

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has transformed a downtown Dallas landmark into The Pittman Hotel, named for the building’s original architect, William Pittman. The 1916 structure has been restored and updated with a new tower.

Marriott International Marriott International plans to open approximately 100 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region, with highlights including the debut of the Luxury Collection in Australia and the W brand in Japan. China will become the first country in the region to host all Marriott’s luxury brands with the spring arrival of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigo.

JANUARY 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

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INDUSTRY NEWS

NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS...

It’s a tech world after all T How innovation continues to drive the restaurant sector

his past year has been unprecedented for a number of reasons, thanks to a raging pandemic and the continual spate of technology driving opportunities. Driven in large part by competitive threats and significant changes in consumer shopping patterns, we are witnessing the early stages of a fundamental transformation of the role of brick and mortar stores. According to Rakuten Ready’s “2020 Key Trends” report,

the next great innovations from merchants over the next 10 years will be characterized by a notion it calls “bytes driving bricks,” where strategic brick and mortar transformation will be made with digital innovation and customer experiences as the primary catalysts. Take the digital revolution pacing new formats like Taco Bell’s “Go Mobile” design and other quickserve chains. In addition, “Burger King of Tomorrow” concept similarly imagines smaller

restaurants, more drive-thru lanes and increased implementation of technology. Both new formats are intended to push customers to order their food ahead of time and keep drive-thru lines short. Also, last year, Chipotlanes introduced the mobile-only drive-thru lanes, “Chipotlanes.” Arising out of the omnipresence of mobile technology and to satisfy the rise in consumer expectations of a faster, more seamless order for pickup experience, this year should be one to remember for restaurant design and concepting.

Why curbside and in-store pickup must be a priority A look at activities consumers tried for the first time during the COVID-19 shutdown: Used curbside or contactless pickup for an online order Used curbside or contactless pickup for an online order Bought essential items (groceries, toilet paper, etc.) online Bought nonessential items (clothing, beauty products, etc.) online Used in-store pickup for an online order Used a new delivery vendor (ex: Instacart, Postmates, Grubhub, etc.) Ordered from a new app None of these Used my mobile phone to pay for items in a brick and mortar store (ex: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, etc.) I bought essential items in a brick-and-mortar store that I hadn’t shopped in before I bought nonessential items from a brick-and-mortar store that I hadn’t shopped in before Used video chat to speak with a store associate Other (please specify)

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


They said it “I think there is a really big opportunity as retailers and brands are opening [stores] in more of these community centers to build lasting relationships with customers.” — Rebekah Kondrat, founder of consultancy Kondrat Retail, on retailers like Macy’s, Sephora, Foot Locker that are planning off-mall footprints

“While I had a good career at Lidl, I also wanted a more entrepreneurial role. So when Save A Lot was purchased, I was offered the chance to lead it, and I really didn’t hesitate to say ‘yes.’ It’s a discount grocer of scale. There aren’t too many of those in the world, outside Lidl or its competitor. Aldi. And there was lots to do here.”

We know these communities. These are some of our business partners, and in some instances, they may even be a small supplier to Starbucks. And so when you think about that, and you can’t help but have empathy for them, you want them to thrive as well, but also we understand what they’re going through.

— Save A Lot President & CEO Kenneth McGrath on why he took on the grocer’s turnaround challenge

— Starbucks COO Roz Brewer on the emphasis behind the brand’s $100 million pledge to help small businesses and Black communities

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JANUARY 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

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INDUSTRY NEWS

NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS...

Put ‘em on your list 5 things that can go wrong in a rollout

B

usinesses constantly are evolving; innovating and tweaking products, expanding or consolidating facilities, and introducing new store concepts. None of these strategies can happen without performing a rollout. Defined as similar or like project scope implemented across multiple locations in a specified amount of time, rollouts are crucial to achieving those objectives while maintaining desired brand image and quality.

By Michelle Egan larger providers can often move faster and will likely have less change orders over time whereas GCs may generate more, which can be collectively expensive and may quickly bring the project over budget. No. 4: Proactive and transparent communication — You should not have to chase down a partner for project status information. Ask about their processes for communicating proactively. Look for centralized account management structures versus distributed ones to streamline communications through a single point of contact. Develop KPIs together and break them down—deadlines, timelines, key milestones, etc. How will they meet each one? How will they keep you informed on progress? Make sure they offer a smooth and transparent way to report back to you regularly as well as on-demand should you need it.

When performing any construction project, there are obvious must-haves essential to that project’s success. These include access to the right skilled labor as well as the ability to complete rollouts on time and within budget. Numerous services providers promise such results on paper. But there are some additional, critical elements that may not be so top of mind and—when not readily available or executed properly— could cause a rollout to fail.

has been used to establish a solid track record of successful nationwide rollouts.

To set yourself up for the highest chance of success, do your due diligence and check these boxes when next vetting a rollout partner:

No. 2: Fast and on time — Just because the network of skilled contractors exists doesn’t mean they are managed well. Ask a potential partner how they approach each project. Explore whether a sense of urgency and desire to do right by clients is ingrained in their culture. Ask about their experience with creating efficiencies to meet aggressive timelines such as eliminating unnecessary tasks and centralizing project management. The goal is to confirm they are structured to move quickly and effectively.

No. 1: National reach — Many service providers are strong in one or only a few markets. Confirm that potential partners have validated networks of contractors, electricians and other workers with the skill sets necessary to complete your project’s specific requirements. And that their network

No. 3: Delivers on budget — Coming in on budget generally is a key performance indicator (KPI) for construction projects. Ask about the partner’s on-budget track record. How do they ensure this? General contractors (GCs) may come in with less expensive bids at the onset compared to larger providers. But

No. 5: Supporting Technologies — Many technical solutions exist today that can offer more holistic, simpler project oversight. Spend time researching whether they can integrate with your internal work order management system, are familiar with your system, or offer their own. Look for partners who deploy advanced technological resources such as 360-degree virtual surveys—which can be customized to collect useful information such as accurate site measurements and dynamic photos as well as generate AsBuilt drawings. Some service providers excel at integrating these solutions into their day-to-day tactics, making your job exponentially easier. Reviewing examples and budgets of executed rollouts is just the tip of the iceberg when interviewing partners. The truly successful projects occur when you take the time to dig deeper to clearly identify the strategies, techniques, and mindsets behind those examples.

Michelle Egan is Senior VP, Business Development & Sales Operations at Powerhouse. Her cross-function responsibilities include oversight of customer project transitions from the sales phase to the execution phase.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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INDUSTRY NEWS

NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS...

(Not) the same old haunts Report shows what people are avoiding due to pandemic

T

he data experts at Zenreach have taken an inside look at just who’s doing what (and what they are not) during the pandemic. According to its recent walk-through data report, here’s a snapshot of just how infrequently people are visiting their old haunts during COVID compared to just before it started.

Restaurants In January 2020, there were 2.4 million visits to restaurants among participating locations. That number in December 2020 was just 706,000. Nightclubs and bars are faring just as badly with visits down nearly 75% from pre-COVID levels.

Hotels Visits are down roughly two thirds, while visits to bowling alleys are down nearly 75%.

Retail Retail establishments are faring a bit better, as they are only down 1/3 from pre-COVID levels.

The numbers game

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The percent of foot traffic at malls in October 2019, according to data from Placer.ai, marking the best reading since February. That number worsened in November before rebounding in December, when foot traffic was off 32.4% on a year-over-year basis.

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The percentage that drive-thru lanes have increased around the country during the pandemic, according to data from Revenue Management Solutions. Before the pandemic, drive-thrus generated 65% of quickserve orders.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

1.6

The number, in billions, that a new transportation plan will pump into the Nashville, Tennessee Infrastructure, including expanded bus service. City officials sought extensive input for the plan, which would introduce improvement within a half-mile of more than 90% of residents and workplaces.


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INDUSTRY NEWS

PERSPECTIVE

Deep reflections How COVID complicated the jobsite

A

s the world navigates COVID-19, workers around the country are adapting to numerous new policies and procedures on the jobsite to maintain a safe environment. But how are these new standards impacting our productivity long-term?

New Horizons Foundation, a member foundation and the premier research arm of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), created the New Horizons Foundation COVID-19 Task Force to pursue the answer. New Horizons paralleled research efforts with Electri, the research arm of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), to leverage strength in numbers. The resulting report quantifies the negative impacts of a pandemic on construction productivity and the associated lost time in mitigation. Keeping members safe on the job was just as important as advising contractors on how to recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19 and maintain a healthy balance sheet.

More than just a hard hat

Walking onto a working jobsite looks much different now than it did pre-pandemic. Many workers are becoming accustomed to mandatory temperature checks, medical screenings upon arrival, constant disinfection of tools and equipment, personal protective equipment management, frequent handwashing and socially distant lunch hours. Additional administrative paperwork and safety training sessions also have become common practices on the jobsite. There are two things these COVID-19 mitigation requirements have in common. First, they keep workers safe. Second, they take time. How much time? About 8.7% of total working hours. This translates to 85-plus minutes of lost productivity per day, per employee, or more than seven hours a week.

By Tom Martin & Guy Gast > 32% of this lost time is spent cleaning and disinfecting equipment > 26% is spent on safety and training procedures > 24% is spent on enforced distancing and access rules > 18% is spent on administration work

More than mitigation

Beyond the safety-related protocols that drive the mitigation expense, contractors are losing time in direct labor production. Social distancing, staggered starts and new work methods (like extra scissor lifts and reduced crew mobility due to physical distance policies) all consume productive labor hours. This, coupled with additional costs and resources needed to sufficiently supply personal protective equipment to comply with safety requirements, has taken its toll on finances across the industry. By comparing productivity pre- and post-pandemic, the report indicated an overall 9.2% average productivity impact for sheet metal, HVAC and mechanical contractors. When added to the 8.7% lost productivity, that’s a combined productivity impact of 17.9%. For specialty contractors, a loss of 10% labor productivity often results in a 100% loss in project profitability. This means contractors are losing an average of over 7% on projects, posing a very real threat to the success of a business.

The battle against productivity loss

The financial impact of productivity losses can take three to six months to show up in project financial forecasts and even longer to show up on the balance sheet. Because of this, it is essential that contractors are informed about implications from the pandemic. Constantly checking to ensure labor productivity goals are met and monitoring the time and money spent on mitigation will allow contractors to identify the negative impacts early. Customers

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INDUSTRY NEWS

PERSPECTIVE deserve and need timely notice of a possible impact on their bottom line. Quantifying the pandemic impact in the research was an important first step to helping contractors manage projects and finances moving forward. This is the new normal for productivity on the production and installation side of the commercial construction industry. Companies will be expected to account for mitigation expenses in conversations with customers. More important, customers will expect future bids to reflect anticipated costs—and we can expect discussions on recovery of lost production and COVID-19 risk will be more difficult. For example, the cost for COVID-19-related personal protective equipment at The Waldinger Corporation has

risen by $0.20 per man hour and that must be reflected in bids. Contractors can estimate ranges of potential impacts of COVID-19-related mitigation and production losses with the help of the Pandemic Change Order Calculator, a tool created in tandem with this study.

An optimistic outlook

Until now, no data-centric resource existed to quantify the financial impacts of a pandemic on construction productivity. Our study harvested data from a wide assortment of companies, geographies and project types, totaling over 20,000 labor hours, to address both mitigation procedures and productivity to give contractors the tools they need to succeed when meeting with customers.

Beyond the safetyrelated protocols that drive the mitigation expense, contractors are losing time in direct labor production. Fortunately, workers now are developing confidence in the workplace again. In the last month of the study, the data improved with a slight decrease in the percent of total required weekly mitigation hours. In other words, COVID-19-related safety procedures that once seemed foreign are becoming routine and streamlined, thus reducing the productivity impact. In some sense, we hope this data reflects confidence that contractors are doing all they can to keep workers safe. We are hopeful for how this report can be used for future planning as we continue to prioritize our members’ health and safety and navigate this new reality. CCR Tom Martin is Chair of the New Horizons Foundation COVID-19 Productivity Task Force and president of T.H. Martin Inc., a full-service mechanical contractor in Cleveland. Guy Gast is Chair of the New Horizons Foundation and a member of its COVID-19 Productivity Task Force. He also is President of The Waldinger Corporation – Iowa Division, a full-service mechanical, electrical and sheet metal contractor for commercial, institutional and industrial facilities in Des Moines.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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INDUSTRY NEWS

PERSPECTIVE

The Lost Art of Scheduling Why every contractor aspires to the premise (and where it breaks down)

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s our world has evolved, we have learned new skills and abandoned others. In centuries past, our ancestors likely knew how to trap their own food, make their own soap and sew their own clothes. While those skills still exist today in some form or another, fewer people know how to do them. And even fewer know how to do them well. One day, maybe not far into the future, those skills will be completely lost, either because they are no longer necessary or because the tradespeople will have left this world without passing along their knowledge. When it comes to commercial construction, schedules that are both accurate and detailed are critical to successfully completing a project. Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP) realizes that scheduling is a skill that has been lost in our industry, and we’re taking steps to ensure the art of scheduling does not disappear forever.

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Magic words: On-schedule and on-budget

For construction projects, bragging rights go to those who can claim they have completed a project on schedule and on budget. It is a goal every general contractor aspires to, but one that’s easier said than done. Schedules provide a path to successful project completion. Without a schedule, those involved in the project have no roadmap to guide them to their destination. A schedule is a tool that can be used to keep

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

By Bob Lemke

a project on track and on budget, as well as get a project back on track when and if problems arise (and they always do). Schedules also provide transparency into the process and the work required to accomplish specific tasks and to complete the entire project. Without a schedule, everyone involved in the project is operating in a vacuum—aware only of the role they play—and lacking a greater understanding of the bigger picture. Finally, schedules act as a communication tool, keeping all stakeholders in the loop, on the same page, and working toward the same goals. They also ensure accountability when they clearly detail who is responsible for what tasks. And, perhaps most important, they establish trust between client and contractor.


CIRCLE NO. 14


INDUSTRY NEWS

PERSPECTIVE All schedules are not created equal

the only way to truly visualize a project’s critical path. A scheduler like this sees a construction project like a line of dominos, standing them up from Point A to Point B to ensure that when the first domino falls, the rest will follow. If they don’t, the scheduler can stand back, pinpoint what went wrong, and pivot accordingly.

Scheduling is difficult. Those who excel at scheduling know it requires more than just plugging numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Project or Smartsheet. The best schedules outline critical path tasks, a sequence of events and/or tasks that are linked together and represent the project timeline from start to finish. A well-developed schedule also details other tasks that must be accomplished by certain dates (milestones) and specifies the sequence of events (sequencing). All too often, the quality of the schedule is not apparent until milestones are missed, regular tasks prevent the completion of critical path tasks, and sequences are disrupted.

Reclaiming the art of scheduling

To reclaim the art of scheduling, we need to understand that it is a proven and strategic tool that helps general contractors create solid plans for their clients. An ineffective schedule lacks detail, sets unreasonable milestones, miscalculates production rates, and ignores critical path tasks and other tasks. The consequences of an inaccurate schedule can be significant. In essence, relationships are at risk when a general contractor cannot deliver a project by a predetermined deadline and within budget. However, what’s even more important—and what we should be focusing on— is what we stand to gain from an effective schedule. When a project stays and finishes on schedule, everybody on the project team benefits, both financially and operationally.

An industry-wide problem

Historically, schedules were developed by general contractors with their boots on the ground. Why? Because they knew the

production rates and had the historical data necessary to run schedule-driven projects. But as the industry changed and general contractors focused more on managing subcontractors, scheduling took a back seat. Today, ineffective scheduling is an industry-wide problem. General contractors often focus too much on cost reports rather than data borne from years of field experience. Industry players have tried to correct courses with in-house schedulers who produce all the project schedules without ever visiting the work site. Yet, this has not solved the problem. It just results in projects being delayed by bad information, which in turn makes it nearly impossible to get back on track. The industry needs schedulers who have both a 30,000-foot view and their feet firmly planted on the rebar, because that’s

On a construction site, a surprise is never a good thing. And more often than not, it results in a financial loss for all parties. That’s why owners hire general contractors for predictability as much as they do to build a structurally sound building. To make delayed projects the exception rather than the rule, general contractors need to rethink scheduling. AP has, and it has gone a long way in setting us apart and pleasing our clients. We have a dedicated scheduling expert who—instead of producing all project schedules—trains our on-site project managers and superintendents to build schedules with the right logic, sequence, and critical path methods. This expert also works alongside our on-site teams to provide ongoing quality control and schedule analysis. It is an approach that ensures the schedule remains on track throughout the course of a project. To reclaim the art of scheduling, we need to understand that it is a proven and strategic tool that helps general contractors create solid plans for their clients. However, as we all know, the unexpected should always be expected. This is where the true art of scheduling really shines. By working a plan with good information, culled directly from the construction site, we can more easily overcome the unexpected. The result? Subcontractors will choose to work with you over other general contractors because they know the schedule will hold. Satisfied clients will spread the word, new business will come your way, and the art of scheduling will be preserved for the next generation. CCR

Bob Lemke is VP of Operations for Adolfson and Peterson (AP), a family-owned company that is consistently ranked among the top construction managers and general contractors in the nation, while maintaining one of the safest records in the industry. He is responsible for strategic planning, risk management and operational decisions, as well as ensuring the satisfaction of all project stakeholders and confirming success at every phase of AP’s projects.

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King of the road The Automobile Club of Southern California’s historical ride drives on Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

I

n the Auto Club’s Corporate Archives, you will find a rich set of documentation on the Automobile Club of Southern California’s

transportation history. The definitive collection paints a fascinating picture of the iconic Los Angeles area from 1892 to present day.

If you were a history buff taking stock of the archives, you would not be disappointed. The private collection includes a selection of more than 5,000 historic strip maps illustrating the development of major Southern California routes; 40,000-plus photographs from the general photograph collection depicting buildings, businesses, streets and points of interest; and 650 photographs from engineering notebooks that features searchable transcriptions of the engineers’ notes documenting the conditions of streets, highways, bridges, railroads, and more.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


JANUARY 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

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KING OF THE ROAD Founded in 1900, the Automobile Club of Southern California and its archive provide a distinctive picture of life in the region during the 20th Century—documents and pictorial materials that not only define the Club’s history, but LA’s local and regional architecture, infrastructure, public policy, and cultural and recreational history. As an interesting historical note, the club began to participate in deliberations about transportation policy in 1909. The activities include independent provision of planning studies as well as commentary on public policies, programs and proposals. In 1922, the club produced the first comprehensive traffic survey of Los Angeles. In 1937, it’s engineers wrote the first detailed proposal for a region-wide freeway system (yes, that freeway system). The working files for these projects provide a rich source of materials in the region. The Auto Club’s historic headquarters in Los Angeles aptly defines the organization’s evolution. It once housed a printing shop, branch office, cartography and photo studio as well as a fleet garage, highway engineering, publications and administrative offices. The Spanish Revival structure has been updated over the years to contain, among others, the archives, call center, automotive research center, insurance claims and ClubLabs, the digital business group.

Cafeteria in the administrative offices.

Providing functional and contemporary workspace goes beyond the obvious technological and ergonomic tools employees need to effectively do their jobs. We have to think about work-life balance in order to attract and retain the talent we normally associate with the Auto Club. To get an inside peek at the club, we sat down with Jason Sweeney, Supervisor of Facilities Planning and Construction for the AAA Club of Southern California.

Give us a snapshot of the brand?

Cafeteria in the administrative offices.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest member of the AAA federation of motor clubs, has been serving Southern California since 1900. Today, its members benefit from its roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club’s website at www.AAA.com and on the AAA mobile app.


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KING OF THE ROAD What type of consumers are you targeting?

We have multi-generational members— products and services that appeal to all ages. Our goal is to create members for life. We are with you when you need driver’s training; we are here to assist you with your first flat; and we are there to help you book your once in a lifetime honeymoon. “We’re always with you.”

Is there a location that really shows how the brand interacts with the community and your customers?

1st floor looking toward the rotunda.

Touring bureau.

relevant for all these years by providing traditional in-person service in the branch part of the building. In another portion of the facility, we recently renovated a portion of the building to house our technology and design division called Club Labs. This business unit is responsible for interacting with members through the organization’s website and social media accounts. Upstairs there is a member service call center. So, steps away from each one another, under the same roof, this nearly 100-year old structure provides members with three methods of interaction with the Auto Club.

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ClubLabs, headquarters.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

1st floor of headquarters.

Archive Images Courtesy Auto Club of Southern California Archives.

One of my favorite locations is our historic Los Angeles Headquarters facility, the original three-story Spanish Colonial Revival office building that was opened in January 1923. It provides a glimpse of the rich tradition that has kept the brand


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KING OF THE ROAD Take us through your construction and design strategy.

Our employees are the greatest asset to the organization. They respond to emergency roadside service calls and assist with DMV services. They are trusted with members’ dream vacation travels. They are the reason our members renew their membership each year. In our design strategy, we seek to support and accommodate the needs of our employees. We still value member interaction and providing great customer service while looking for ways to accommodate changing consumer needs. Whether it is an administrative facility that houses a critical call center operation or our retail locations that services our members, we aim to provide our employees the tools to serve our members when they need us.

Can you add some detail on how you help provide your employees with the tools they need?

Providing functional and contemporary workspace goes beyond the obvious technological and ergonomic tools employees need to effectively do their jobs. We have to think about work-life balance in order to attract and retain the talent we normally associate with the Auto Club. For example, we try to accommodate them with convenient, attractive and comfortable locations where they can grab a bite and enjoy some down-time. At our regional headquarters facility in Coppell, Texas, we built “social club” areas with couches, television sets, foosball and shuffleboard game sets near the grab-and-go food centers. We located these conveniently throughout the campus to facilitate the break time for the employees. At all of our locations, we have added call centers— comfortable quiet rooms where employees can take a moment to collect their thoughts and rest. Similarly, we place huddle tables throughout the workspace where staff may have impromptu meetings and collaboration sessions . We recently renovated our cafeteria facility at our Administrative Office complex in Costa Mesa. This cafeteria is equipped to service over 2,000 employees per day, with a variety of indoor and outdoor seating styles—bars for people eating on the run, traditional tables and even booths for people who want to have lunch meetings.

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ClubLabs.

Our employees are the greatest asset to the organization. They are the reason our members renew their membership each year.

Historic Auto Club sign display, administrative offices.

Cafeteria in the administrative offices.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

Atrium, administrative offices.


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KING OF THE ROAD The kitchen was re-designed to be more functional and adaptable to changing food tastes. Employees can actually see their food being prepared fresh to order. We also built a separate beverage bar with baristas serving custom coffee, tea and juice orders so staff can conveniently get their favorite specialty drink. We added a few game tables and remodeled the adjacent outdoor dining areas to better accommodate different sized groups.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

Today, it is the single largest member of the AAA federation, serving more than 7.5 million members in Southern California and more than 16 million members throughout its enterprise across 21 states.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Not many brands have the heritage of the Auto Club. We believe many of our products and services provide members with peace of mind. We are essentially your companion in all life’s travels. CCR

ClubLabs.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Jason Sweeney, Supervisor of Facilities Planning and Construction, Automobile Club of Southern California

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Getting to see a project take shape from the initial concept through execution. Working closely with our executive leadership

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to assist with our strategic planning. Then, having the ability to execute with our team of construction professionals and valued vendors, which allows us to be successful in a diverse portfolio of projects. Our projects can vary between mission critical, retail or administrative improvements. We must assemble the right team that makes the project successful.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

What was the best advice you ever received? “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.” — Lou Holtz What’s the best thing a client ever said to you? At the end of any project, client satisfaction is critical. A successful construction project can be viewed negatively without a successful handoff to operations. Best thing a client

has ever said is nothing. That means we have done our job and allowed the operations team to seamlessly get back to work to do what they do best. How do you like to spend your down time? Enjoy spending time with my wife (Ashley) and kids (Payton, Dawson, Rae). Usually you will find us on our boat in the summer and on the football fields in the fall.


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Construction and the Pandemic Four lessons learned on completing small- and mid-size projects By Joshua Zinder & Mark A. Sullivan

A

djusting to the new normal has created ripple effects for construction teams beyond social distancing and face masks. With projects ongoing from before the start of stay-at-home and lockdown orders, our firm has seen timelines expand, sequencing

changes, developer unease—and even outright defiance—as the evolving crisis has revealed the places where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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CONSTRUCTION AND THE PANDEMIC As construction is set to “re-open” statewide in New Jersey, project stakeholders need to apply sensible strategies for keeping contractors and subtrade teams healthy, safe and productive. And as the medical community warns of other waves for the pandemic, it is important for architects and GCs to be ready to adjust to possible lockdown orders down the road. The following four lessons from recent experiences on completing (or not) ongoing projects are presented as a guide for project teams going forward during times of uncertainty.

construction companies themselves will shoulder most of the responsibility. They are already expected to submit COVID plans, and enforce them.

Lesson 2: Everything will take longer, so plan accordingly

Social distancing and state orders for essential construction work caused timelines to swell from days to weeks, or even months, as we learned from the lockdown order’s impact on a ten-unit multifamily adaptive reuse project. Trades have to work in alternating shifts rather than simultaneously, with

Under normal circumstances, a site visit by the building inspector (or the client) will result in approvals for several advancements, but these days there’s usually just one component completed at a time. Lesson 1: Safety is a team effort

Compliance normally falls within the domain of the contractor, but these are times of heightened risk, in which public health is a collective responsibility. If a worker on site is not wearing their mask, the danger in looking the other way is not that worker’s alone—he could put other workers at risk, and their families. And as the weather gets warmer and masks become increasingly uncomfortable to wear while working, enforcing safety measures because mission critical. Large companies typically already do this because they have the resources. Smaller firms will have to consider how to monitor their crews as well as subtrades, strategically and cost-effectively, to enforce safety requirements. We can recall from early in our careers the strictly enforced safety protocols for many construction projects, including regular inspections by a safety superintendent. The level of policing needed to address both construction safety and public health concerns needs to rise to the occasion, and

exceptions for exterior crews who have more opportunities for social distance. Under normal circumstances, a site visit by the building inspector (or the client) will result in approvals for several advancements, but these days there’s usually just one component completed at a time. The result is an increased number of site visits, sometimes twice or three times as many as in the past. While frustrating, there is no way around it. Project teams that accept the cold hard facts of the new normal can try to find ways to innovate to reduce the timetables more than just marginally. Another silver lining is that additional site visits ensure construction is proceeding safely for our teams on the ground.

Lesson 3: Trade teams need to work individually.

Clients and project teams have had to adjust to trades working on a rotating schedule in order to enforce social distancing. This is an inconvenient reality and the main culprit for lagging timelines. Construction administrators should try to create optimized schedules by

staggering chunks of time throughout the day for trade teams to come in and out. Another possibility is to divide trade assignments by floor, which might allow drywall installation above while plumbing or electric gets installed below. Construction pros may land on innovations in scheduling and phasing that could be of value to non-lockdown projects in the future.

Lesson 4: Communication is more important than ever

The state lockdown order in New Jersey came down at an inopportune time for the renovation of a three-story, mid-19th-Century mixed-use building on Princeton’s main retail corridor. The project was in the middle of demolition, which had revealed serious issues: The roof of the stick-built semi-timber structure was in need of critical attention, possibly even in danger of collapse, and an existing steel beam on the first floor needed reinforcement. There was no way that we could stop work and walk away, especially since the roof condition was a threat to adjacent buildings with residents under stayat-home orders inside. To make it happen, we had to step up communications efforts across the project team, and especially with legal representation and government agencies overseeing both construction safety and public health. Some days seemed to be spent entirely on the phone or in virtual meetings. By staying in close contact with all stakeholders, we were able to arrange a suitable solution on a viable timetable. More than ever, teams need to communicate efficiently and swiftly. Construction teams should be proactive in how they adjust to the new normal. That means enforcing heightened safety measures around mask use, adjusting schedules to enable as much social distancing possible between workers, and keeping the communication lines more open than ever with their clients and designers. This way, whether there is a second wave or not, the construction industry can work its way towards thriving once more and be better off in the future for the lessons learned in such unprecedented times. CCR

Joshua Zinder, AIA, is managing partner, and Mark A. Sullivan, AIA, is partner at JZA+D, architecture and design firm in Princeton, New Jersey.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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In the zone

Why prefabrication construction is more common than you think By Leslie Kinson

I

ndustry news predicts that prefabrication in commercial construction will be the next big thing (it has been hovering around since 2016). With the onset of COVID-19, prefabrica-

tion’s huge growth in demand again has made headlines—and continues to do so.

Recent data from the Contractors Association of America continues to beat the drum for the power and promise of prefabrication construction, reporting that 23% of firms had taken steps to implement tools like offsite prefabrication to improve job site performance.

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The association’s research also shows that modular construction is expected to increase 6.5% annually by 2026. In addition, approximately 90% of firms report improved productivity, improved quality and increased schedule reliability using prefabrication

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

compared to traditional construction piece by piece on site. So if prefab construction is the way forward, why aren’t we seeing more of it? The truth is we are, it’s just not obvious. While there a handful of companies pioneering a fully modular approach and selling prefabricated systems such as Katerra, Fullstack Modular and Prescient, many other developers, design-build firms and general contractors actually are using prefabrication, panelization or modular construction on some or all of their projects. They just aren’t advertising it. In a recent conversation with more than a dozen project managers in Denver, the general consensus is that they are using everything from prefabricated decks and


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IN THE ZONE said he said his company used TRO for the majority of its wall sections.” “TRO?” “Yes, Truss Ruff Openings,” he thought they were called. These prefabricated assemblies all have their own terminology and are components of a structure carried out by a single trade on their part of the work. These parts can be manufactured off-site, but need differing degrees of additional on-site work to complete their integration into the rest of the structure.

elevator shafts, to trusses and walls, to entire pre-framed apartment sections and entire precast parking structures. One project manager said, “I think that most construction these days has a prefab component to it. We don’t advertise ourselves as a prefab or modular GC, however, we have been utilizing offsite production for as long as I can remember.” The fact that prefabrication is most often utilized for specific elements of the structure and is mixed with on-site construction means the commonality of it isn’t making the headlines.

Is prefabrication or modular construction inappropriate?

While it is easy to imagine a well-established building type such as a multifamily facility, hotel or healthcare facility applying the principles of repeatable manufacturing to their entire projects, many building types are unique and require design and construction specific to their individual facility. The “Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report” states that a whopping 92% of survey participants said that their project types are not applicable for prefabrication. The reason for such a high number could be attributed to a number of factors, including:

> Lack of knowledge and available data for manufacturers and owners to support decision making > Lack of adequate enablement of prefabrication and/or modular construction in design solutions presented by architects and engineers > A lack of good installation manuals that allow the workers on-site to correctly assemble the prefabricated components and integrate them into the rest of the structure > An incorrect perception of prefabrication or modular construction When asked if he was using any prefabricated components, one Denver project manager said, “You mean like framing that comes out as walls? Well, that’s not actually prefab as I tend to think of it. Prefab to me would be like a trailer or a modular home.” This brings us to the next reason: lack of universally acknowledged and understood definitions like modular, prefab, prebuilt, manufactured off-site, panelized, etc. You get the picture. And these are the larger, less specific terms all indicative of what the general public understands to be “prefabrication.” Asked if he used prefabricated components, another Denver project manager

They include things such as: > HVAC systems > Plumbing and electrical panels > Wall, floor and ceiling panels > Truss assemblies, elevator shafts and precast parking structures > Windows, doors and cabinets Rusty Williams, from Triumph Modular, says it is easy to see why people get confused: “Even industry publications seem to blur the distinction between terms.” In a recent blog post, he created a helpful diagram (see chart — Prefab: Off Construction) for his clients to help clarify the distinctions:

Prefabrication to shape the future

Katerra, Fullstack Modular and Prescient are all less than a decade old. In our traditionally slow-to-adapt construction industry, as the number of prefabrication manufacturers increases, the terminology will become more refined and better understood. The major hurdles, such as high upfront and transportation costs, less than perfect installation manuals and kinks in manufacturing technology will be overcome. As more large scale partnerships form, an increasing amount of data will become available to support the economic and environmental benefits of prefabrication in commercial construction. Turns out, the future is here after all. CCR

Leslie Kinson is Strategic Development Manager at Global Construction (globalconstructionco.com), has more than a decade of strategic planning and research experience.

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ONE SOURCE FOR POWERFUL, ON-SITE BRANDING Federal Heath has been working in the restaurant construction industry for over 20 years. Our top priority when working with our clients is to ensure that the project accurately reflects their vision. We pride ourselves on being able to implement fast-track projects with our on-site project managers, keeping projects on-time and within budget. Our team has experience with all aspects of restaurant construction, inside and out, and are knowledgeable of all of the regulations restaurants are required to meet. Learn more at federalheath.com/specialty-contracting CIRCLE NO. 23


The bounce back A look at recovery projections for key construction segments By Jay Denton

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mploying some of most in-demand occupations—such as construction and extraction roles—in 2020, the U.S. construction industry lost about 1.1 million jobs from

February to April, according to analysis from LaborIQ by ThinkWhy. The losses took hold as the industry faced worker safety, funding, material shortages and a failure to meet contracted project timelines.

As states began to reopen in last May and June, the construction industry began to make positive progress in recapturing its lost jobs. Through July, the industry had refilled 59% of the 1.1 million jobs it lost during the first two months of the pandemic. Though,

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with the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, progress has slowed. In July, only 20,000 construction jobs were filled, compared to 163,000 in June and 456,000 in May. Additionally, demand for new construction in certain industries will be impacted

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

significantly in the near term. Some real-estate sectors, like retail and accommodations, as well as projects dependent on local tax dollars, probably will lag behind other industries on the road to recovery due to the current disruption in demand and funding.

Reflecting on the state of construction pre-COVID

In 2020, prior to the current pandemic and resulting recession, the construction industry was poised to finally gain back the remaining jobs lost during the previous downturn. From its peak employment in 2006, to the depths reached in 2010, the construction industry lost more than 2.1 million jobs. By February 2020, the construction industry had its highest job count in 12.5 years (7.6 million jobs), regained all but 87,000 jobs lost during the previous downturn and was on track to be a top performer


CIRCLE NO. 24


THE BOUNCE BACK for 2020. In fact, construction and extraction occupations were predicted to see some of the highest wage gain, job gain, and job growth during 2020. The year was off to a strong start with 84,000 jobs added through the first two months of 2020, the second highest year-to-date total for February since 2007, until COVID-19 hit.

Industry impact and adjustments

The impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry was almost immediate. In midMarch, many municipal governments began to issue shelter-in-place orders and work that was deemed non-essential was shut down. While construction projects continued in some areas of the country, the work was delayed, as construction crews struggled with social distancing requirements and interruptions to their supply chains. Construction projects came to a near halt in April, as contractors and developers were unable to receive permits for new projects. Crews had to follow strict adherence to handwashing and physical distancing between workers. Most companies made do with smaller onsite crews, and electronic approvals replaced paperwork. Many firms worried about funding drying up, that changed on April 6, when the US government approved construction companies meeting either the 500-employee threshold or annual revenue ceiling to be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The disruption of global supply chains impacted all sectors. Common building materials such as steel from China, tiles from Italy and stone from Spain were delayed in reaching their destination. As COVID-19 impacted multiple industries, the need for increased cleanliness and social distancing, as well as the uncertainty of the long-term effects of the virus, affected the transportation of goods. This disruption also took place within the US, as virus prevention rules and shelter-in-place orders varied across locations.

Within a two-month span, the construction industry lost 14% of its jobs. Beginning in May and continuing through July, the industry rebounded significantly and is only down 5.8% from pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, an all-industry average in the US is closer to 9.1%. Some sectors within the overall industry have been even more resilient. In particular, residential construction is already back to 96.8% of its pre-COVID-19 level due to a surge in homebuilder confidence. Specialty trade contractors have also fared better, at 94.4% of the employment level from earlier this year. While still outperforming the national average for all industries, non-residential building construction (92.2%) and heavy and civil engineering construction (92.6%), which includes infrastructure such as highways and utilities, underperformed in the construction industry total.

Future gazing: Recovery outlook on the horizon

The biggest unknown to the recovery is COVID-19. Until a vaccine is widely available, the economic starts and stops will probably persist. In the meanwhile, as parts of the country are able to control the spread of the virus, the economy begins to improve. Though large coastal metros, like New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle, had borne the brunt of the virus, southern and western states are beginning to experience some of the slowdown as infections rise in those areas. These changes can be seen in the differences in the construction industry’s unemployment and job gain numbers across these regions. Residential construction has been in catchup mode after trending well below long-term averages for the past decade, and it has tailwinds for future demand, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. Single-family construction is catering to a large wave of Millennials, the oldest of which are approaching 40 years of age. Multifamily construction, building new properties that command above-average

rent levels due to the cost of construction, could benefit from continued job growth in key sectors that produce demand from class A rent levels, such as young professionals in technology and financial activities. Specialty trade contractors who work on both new and old properties across the industries will also benefit. Non-residential building construction will likely face more turbulence in the near term. The virus’s impact to the dining and accommodations industry will put a squeeze on future construction until demand is able to fully return. Retail, especially those other than grocery stores, has been transformed by a combination of technology and the pandemic, and its already uncertain future is even cloudier. Still, those industries are projected to recover most or all of their previous jobs based on LaborIQ by ThinkWhy’s forecast, but the road is much longer—likely from 2023 to 2026. Regaining occupancy in existing space will take precedence over new construction in many areas. One of the biggest changes in both construction and the economy overall is where people will choose to live. The exodus of people outside of expensive metros, like San Francisco and New York City, to smaller, more affordable metros may become a permanent move. As another plus, the smaller density of suburbs usually correlates with a decrease in the spread of COVID-19. As construction resumes, we may begin to see more projects focused on residential and commercial move away from densely populated metros, as developers try to capitalize on the migration to suburbs and smaller metros. The US construction industry will remain a vital part of our nation’s economic growth. LaborIQ by ThinkWhy currently projects the overall sector to regain all its lost jobs by late 2022, roughly a year faster than the national average. It will be one of the strongest industries leading us out of the pandemic. CCR

Jay Denton serves as Senior VP of Business Intelligence and CIO at ThinkWhy. In addition to leading the company’s business intelligence unit and product innovations, Denton’s focus is on sustaining a culture of thought leadership. His expertise in market analytics and media engagement are a cornerstone for the organization. Denton brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in SaaS organizations, including the role of senior vice president of analytics where his responsibilities included product creation, client consulting and predictive analytics.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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Revelations

ComReal®’s John Lonardo, CCIM on what to expect of commercial construction during and post-pandemic By Ron Treister

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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uring this past year, a huge percentage of American workers have moved either temporarily or permanently out of their company’s offices to conduct business from home. We all know why. Until a majority of Americans are vaccinated, the plight to normalcy will continue. The question remains on whether or not the at-home workforce can make a comeback to their old way of office life. Have the newfound benefits of working at home, combined with the potential savings corporations are experiencing make tomorrow’s office spaces different? To get a look at today’s commercial real estate brokerage market, we sat down with John Lonardo, CCIM, owner and Managing Broker of Miami-based ComReal® Commercial Real Estate.

Photo to the left courtesy of: Trimstone®; Photo to the right courtesy of: ComReal® Commercial Real Estate

CCR: What will happen to the office spaces that have been partially utilized during these pandemic-lined times? Lonardo: The pre-COVID trend relative to office space was basically to maximize the office footprint. For example, the standard of allocating 200 rentable square feet (RSF) per worker was reduced to 180, 160, 120 and, in some cases, sub-100 RSF. With people working from home, companies have the option of allocating smaller numbers of users to their existing space, thereby offering social distancing. The other side of that equation leaves lessees with surplus space. Users can reduce their footprint and operating costs and, in many cases, have been/will be subleasing all or sections of their respective spaces. CCR: Will office spaces be repurposed into, for example, multi-family units? Lonardo: The multi-family market has shown resilience during the COVID era. However, where corporations have decided not to renew large blocks of space in gateway cities, a great many of these building owners are looking at re-purposing these vacated blocks of space into multi-family or specialty uses. Clearly, there is a marketplace for savvy architectural designers to retrofit these spaces. We are hearing of many buildings undergoing adaptive re-use offerings in many of the major metro markets.

John Lonardo

One area that currently is a demand of tenants, especially due to these times, is air quality and ventilation.

for shorter terms and hold back on moving forward to commit to new space. Additionally, many larger firms are looking to the suburbs for relocation, noting shorter commutes, more economical lease rates, and quality of life issues. Nationally, there was net negative absorption in the office market during the third and fourth quarter of 2020.

CCR: Because you specialize in commercial real estate, how has your business fared? Lonardo: In particular, I have toiled 30-plus years in the South Florida commercial real estate market. Real Estate asset values preCovid had been increasing to peak levels. Our firm has watched historic commercial real estate investment cap rates in desired asset classes compress because of low interest rates, demand and flight to quality. As a result, we were able to sell these performing assets for owners with whom I personally had serviced at a noticeable premium. The capital gains were then reinvested via 1031 exchanges into corporately guaranteed net lease real estate. In plain English, we’ve been very lucky these past 12 months.

The Amtrust Building

CCR: Is there an indicator that office leases will continue once workers return within the next year? Lonardo: We don’t know the answer to that question right now. Will office building tenants renew leases? While many large companies, for the most part, have mandated their workers work from home, at this moment, they’re holding back from calling them in until the course of the pandemic becomes clearer. Therefore, they renew leases JANUARY 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

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REVELATIONS CCR: Give us an example of a recent successful transaction during these “different” times? Lonardo: Two of our long-term clients sold net leased industrial cold storage buildings totaling 240,000 square feet. The buildings were net leased to food distributors, a sector that became in high demand during the pandemic. The cost of land and construction for these specialized facilities have made this a desired investment asset class due to delivery trends in the food chain. We experienced multiple offers, and thus sold to institutional buyers with logistics portfolios. We believe this was a win-win transaction for all involved. The La Palma Building

CCR: What are some of the trends overall you’re seeing within the commercial construction marketplace? Lonardo: One area that currently is a demand of tenants, especially due to these times, is air quality and ventilation. Ultra-violet, light air purification is highly effective for schools, office buildings, nursing homes and healthcare. Industrial-rated, portable HEPA air filters also are in high demand. We think including all of the above in specific

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

CCR: The commercial construction arena depends on new and efficient building products. Are there any that stand out? Lonardo: There’s one that is a highly developed and tested commercial construction product for today’s building cladding projects. I have a long-time client who has been in the stone fabrication and manufacturing business for over 30 years. His company has developed a product called “Trimstone®,” a state-of-the art, lightweight stone paneling system composed of natural stone veneer securely bonded to high-strength, aviation-grade, aluminum honeycomb panels. The product allows clients to enjoy the beauty of natural stone without the weight, thickness, fragility and installation challenges that so often arise when stone materials are used as architectural elements. It offers a wide variety of applications, both commercial and residential. Because of the lightness, it can be used outdoors as a cladding system for the highest of structures. Yet due to its space-age, scientifically approved application process, even with Miami hurricane winds, it remains structurally sound resisting breakage. Ron Treister is Founder/President of Communicators International Inc., a marketing communications firm in Jupiter, Florida. For three decades, his firm has worked with major accounts in the commercial construction sector. He can be reached at rlt@ communicatorsintl.com.

CCR: Have you worked at home during the last year? Lonardo: Because of the advances in communications technology that are very helpful to the commercial real estate industry, we were able to work from home through August. Any required face-to-face meetings were carried out with the strictest mask and distancing protocols among our colleagues and vendors. I personally experienced no adverse effects. For exercise, I am a dedicated road cyclist and was able to keep up my regimen by adhering to the same expected protocols. CCR

Photo courtesy of: ComReal® Commercial Real Estate

CCR: Is this kind of success something that people in your field are currently enjoying? Or, is it just for the real estate, established diehards? Lonardo: Success in commercial real estate is highly dependent upon long-term relationships. Professional, personalized service generally results in long-term, repeat business. And, of course, if a company has the ability to adapt, it can succeed moving through the cyclical nature of this business. In other words, just like any other business, if one works hard, stays positive and does a lot of listening before responding, success usually can be expected. Even as we continue to go through this COVID debacle.

ways will become a major mandate moving forward, not just something for now. Even after the country is vaccinated at the highest levels, that doesn’t mean that airborne contaminants won’t still be transmitted via air ducts in multi-story buildings. That exposure to these has to be reduced everywhere. Additionally, signage implemented to mandate customers/guests wearing masks and keeping social distance has become part of the commercial building sector.


ES T

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CIRCLE NO. 28


JANUARY 2021

A L S O C O V E R I N G L O C A L , S TAT E & R E G I O N A L P R O J E C T S A N D FA C I L I T I E S

Iron clad and ready

Photography: Adrienne Fox, HGA

The new FBI Central Records Complex is a state of the art vision of technology

Bill Blanski, FAIA, LEED AP HGA Design Principal


Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

Iron clad and ready The new FBI Central Records Complex is a state of the art vision of technology

T

he Central Records Complex in Winchester, Virginia is as impressive as it is technologically sound and secure.

Streamlining the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) worldwide records management by consolidating records from 265 locations into a

Housing some 446 people and spanning roughly 256,000-square-feet, the venue is a state-of-the-art National Archives and Records Administration-compliant storage facility built to consolidate official records from the FBI’s 56 field offices and other locations worldwide. Designed around an innovative Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), the building has the capacity to store, retrieve and manage more than two billion documents. Operable 24/7, the Central Records Complex, which includes a visitor screening center, operation support and secure service areas, provides the technology and responsiveness to digitize records on-demand. The $141 million project is located approximately 90 minutes from Washington, DC. To get an inside look at the facility, which is aided by the assistance of 114 robots helping stow and retrieve material, we sat down with Bill Blanski, FAIA, LEED AP, Design Principal with HGA (www.hga.com). The national interdisciplinary design firm is a collective with more than 800 architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, researchers and strategists.

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Photography: Judy Davis, Architectural Photographer

single facility, the facility is a sight to behold.

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What were some of the more interesting aspects of the project? The most challenging?

Our chief task was to create a storage system for a vast collection of documents with demanding archival considerations and the capacity for fast and efficient induction and retrieval of documents, all within a relatively modest footprint. The archival nature of the collection requires careful protective measures for

fire protection and security without compromising document accessibility. The Central Records Complex ASRS employs a tight grid of fire-protected cells traversable by a fleet of 114 robots that can stow or retrieve material from any of the cells and deliver it to dedicated processing areas. But before these robots can run the place, all of those documents need to be delivered to the facility, transported from

the loading docks into the archive, and then sorted, cataloged, and stored within the ASRS system. The building design needed the logistical flexibility to facilitate both phases of this work without settling for a utilitarian warehouse atmosphere.

How does the design cater to what the facility managers were looking for?

Photography: Kate Wichlinski

Our client tasked us with designing a building that combines the fit and finishes of Class A office space with functionality to handle the organization of millions of vital documents. On a logistical level, this involved optimizing a refined office environment to manage delivery from a wide array of vehicles, with tasteful hallways sized to accommodate a forklift and employee amenity areas tucked within one of the most substantial and secure record storage systems in the world. Our design solution was a Double T concept, which placed large archive areas that are primarily navigated by robots in one quadrant of the facility and located the core of active employee spaces in other quadrants. Additionally, the building was designed to meet the requirements of the GSA’s stringent Design Excellence Program.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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Walk us through the design/construction process.

In the three and a half years from award kickoff to completion, HGA and its partners worked closely with the client to tailor the building to the very specific requirements of its users. We pushed to finalize the structural system within the first six months of the project, even before the design development phase was completed, to move forward with façade design and accelerate delivery of the early site and construction package. By the end of the design development phase, the core and shell design were finished, and the project was well underway. This design/ build model created a much more efficient process that saved the client time and money and allowed closer collaboration between designers and both the client and general contractor, so we were always on the same page.

While there are some private organizations with automated warehouses that incorporate the same ASRS system, this is the first government facility to use this efficient and sophisticated system for managing documents. The files are placed into plastic bins that are roughly the size of a large suitcase stacked 16 high within an aluminum grid. Robots negotiate the grid using X, Y and Z coordinates to locate desired bins and bring them out for perusal, reorganizing any bins displaced in the process. Over time, the system creates its own efficiency as the least requested documents migrate toward the bottom of the grid and the most-frequently accessed remain near the top. Since the entire process is machine managed, the archive area can be kept dark with a controlled climate, increasing the energy efficiency of the building.

In a world where consumers expect same day delivery of purchases and instantaneous communications, design and construction projects are similarly experiencing tremendous acceleration of timelines.

What’s the most compelling?

As an architect, the design elements never cease to thrill me. One of our big challenges from a design perspective was that the windowless archive area comprises nearly

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

Photography: Judy Davis, Architectural Photographer

What are some of the project’s state of the art features?


Engineering, which were committed to working closely with the Design/Build team in all phases of design and construction. The success of this partnership smoothed the path for problem solving and coordination to bring the project in on time and on budget and serves as a model for efficient public projects going forward.

How is the design fit for social distancing protocols?

The CRC was completed before COVID-19 became a concern, but its design is inherently well-suited to social distancing. The work demands of the processing stations already necessitate distance between personnel operating them. Since this is a secure government facility, screening stations and controlled access are already integrated into the design. 100,000 square feet of the facility and it is difficult to design a windowless façade that does not resemble a monolith. We devised a matrix for the exterior cladding with three different finishes and three different depths that add shadow and dimension to the walls. This architectural precast concrete is a key element that adds visual interest and pairs with the signature statement of the long blade wall that marks the building entry and relates it to the broader campus and garden. At the heart of the building is a doubleheight space that is framed in glass and flooded with natural light where interactions of the employees from throughout the facility come together. This central space connects the unoccupied archive area to 15 processing workstations where all of the human work of scanning, labeling, identifying and sorting takes place. Every document entering and exiting the archives will pass through this area.

Take us through your construction and design strategy.

but only if the various team members work well together. HGA was extremely fortunate to have a strong team for all aspects of the CRC project. That group included the Clark Construction Group, engineers from Cagley and Associates, Jensen Hughes, Christopher Consultants, MC Dean, and Southland Industries and the ASRS specialty robotics designers from Swisslog. Throughout the process, each brought a real sense of cooperation and shared responsibility to the endeavor. The team also benefited from an owner team, including GSA, FBI and Jacobs

Talk about sustainability.

Energy efficiency is written into every element of the design of the CRC. It was built to the LEED Gold standard and is one of the very first projects in the country to follow the SITES sustainability initiative. Our design incorporated systems to utilize storm water, resilient landscaping and ecologically responsible protocols for interface with all of the natural resource components of the project. The mechanical archive area of the building in particular was optimized for extremely efficient energy consumption, boosting the sustainability of the whole facility.

Recognized for excellence The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) awarded CRC with the following: > 2020 DBIA, National Merit Award — Federal/State/County/Municipal > 2020 DBIA Mid-Atlantic, Excellence in Design > 2020 DBIA Mid-Atlantic, Design-Build Award YouTube video: FBI Central Records Complex, Winchester, Virginia

The Design/Build model offers tremendous opportunities for collaboration and efficiency,

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Though we desperately miss the tabletop idea sessions in the design studio, the remote work ushered in by the pandemic has broadened our view of the available resources for a project and has led to remarkably integrated teamwork. Leveraging the available technology to bring in specialty resources from outside our region and add dexterity for team members will free us from many of the constraints that were simply part of our business before this year.

What’s the biggest issue related to the construction side of the business today?

In a world where consumers expect same day delivery of purchases and instantaneous communications, design and construction

One-on-One with... Bill Blanski, FAIA, LEED AP, Design Principal, HGA Describe a typical day. My workday is filled with leading my creative teams forward toward design solutions that are as wonderful and beautiful as we can make them. I enjoy opening doors and making a way forward for every member of my teams to know they are uniquely contributing to the goals we have

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set together. I’m surrounded by amazing talent.

What’s the best advice you ever received? Be patient and take your time; quality doesn’t happen overnight.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list? Designing the research and development center

for one of America’s best and oldest companies. I’m so proud to be on this project.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing an idea that I was able to participate in come to fruition—seeing our designs get built and be put to the uses they were intended for.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

How do you like to spend your down time? I enjoy committing metaphysical poetry to memory. Donne’s Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions from the 1600s, written while in sequestration in the pandemic in London, have been a beautiful place to rest my mind—especially during the season we are in.

projects are similarly experiencing tremendous acceleration of timelines. Clients are pushing for much more aggressive schedules and tighter timelines. We are also seeing remarkable deep cooperation across disciplines and harnessing technology to bring in experts and assets from around the world. Partners in the design and construction are coming on board earlier in the process, leading to a much more dynamic and collaborative atmosphere and more integrated project delivery.

What trends are you seeing?

We’re seeing a real commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency and an awareness of the environmental considerations for projects. Our clients are interested in being more involved in the process to ensure the design reflects their priorities and requirements. We see a willingness to consider solutions that look forward to future capabilities and productivity.

What’s the secret to creating a facility that fits in today’s construction build landscape?

Today’s market thrives on speed and dexterity. Harnessing collaborative design and streamlining processes to drive aggressive schedules will make design and construction firms more efficient and more competitive in the marketplace.

How do you see the construction marketplace shaping up in 2021?

We have been pleased to see the federal government moving forward with significant building projects throughout the pandemic, keeping people employed and moving development forward. Some other clients have paused momentum and are working to restore their funding streams so work can resume. We anticipate that the social distancing and PPE precautions will continue to be part of everyday life for some time, but do not expect these to significantly impact our work other than in seeing more virtual meetings and interactions. FC

Photography: Adrienne Fox, HGA

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead?


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Burger. Fries. And tech. Commercial kitchen service firm helps tackle diagnostic technology challenge

Bob Rogers Service Manager LDI Technical Services

A special supplement to:


Burger. Fries. And tech. Commercial kitchen service firm helps tackle diagnostic technology challenge By John Vastyan

A

fast-food restaurant in Calgary had an inoperable gas “clamshell” griddle, forcing them to close early

on a busy day. The manager who called the equipment service firm was panicked: The griddle had lost its flame and couldn’t be reignited. Their all-new commercial equipment wasn’t supposed to have problems like this.

Already, managers of the local Boardwalk Fries Burgers Shakes, an international franchise operation, had made frustrated emails to the manufacturer and sales rep who, in turn, reached out to Calgary, Alberta-based LDI Technical Services for help. The service firm responded quickly, sending a technician known for his ability to trouble-shoot. He soon found a vexing challenge: Everything checked out fine. The griddle was working at the moment. They shouldn’t have a problem. But while LDI’s Senior Technician Ryan Marr was still on site examining the mystery, the griddle failed again and couldn’t be reignited. He determined it was an intermittent building gas pressure issue of some sort.

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BURGER. FRIES. AND TECH.

COMMERCIAL KITCHENS

“Marr texted me, as it was an early evening, after-hours call,” says Service Manager Bob Rogers. The 30-person firm, which also has a shop in Edmonton, commissions and services commercial food service equipment. Marr was one of Rogers’ best technicians. An hour later, Marr detected a gas pressure issue. They discussed their options, settling on a plan for Marr to recommend that the restaurant’s managers call the gas utility immediately. Soon, a utility trouble-shooter was on the way, yet his research merely dug them deeper into the mystery— pressure within the facility was optimal. Unfortunately, that’s not what the restaurant’s managers wanted to hear. They were distressed to learn that two experts were mystified. Of course, they knew there was indeed a problem, and if it wasn’t solved they’d have no choice but to close the restaurant—again. So, this was bad news. After all, the griddle was their kitchen’s crown jewel: Burgers were their main offering. Eventually, Marr and the gas utility tech left for home. The next day, Rogers received an urgent call during the lunch rush hour: The griddle was down again. It was a very fortunate coincidence for the restaurant that, a few hours earlier, Rogers received a package sent from Export, Pennsylvania-based Dormont. It was a hand-held diagnostic device—the FloPro™MD—a tool that enables technicians and installers to perform gas equipment start-ups, commissioning and maintenance with accuracy. The device quickly diagnoses gas pressure and flow for gas-burning appliances while logging data via Bluetooth connectivity.

Worthwhile trade show visit

LDI had purchased one of the tools a few weeks earlier. Rogers sent three of his senior technicians to the NAFEM (North American Food Equipment Manufacturer’s ) expo show in Orlando. They texted him from the show floor to say they’d seen and learned about the device from some Dormont sales pros at the show. He placed an order. When the package arrived, Rogers immediately reviewed the materials and an online video, put it in his tool bag and told

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BURGER. FRIES. AND TECH.

COMMERCIAL KITCHENS

the dispatcher he and Marr would be at the restaurant that Marr visited the day before. “Rather than sending a tech with a new tool, I was eager to see it perform personally,” Rogers says. “Besides, the restaurant’s call for help—now involving a problem that spanned two days—had already become an unusual challenge. Sure enough, again: Nothing was immediately apparent with the restaurant’s griddle.” The device accurately provided gas pressure within, and outside the gas appliance, and flow available to the burners. With the device connected to the griddle, Rogers explained to the restaurant’s staff that he would leave it there to monitor gas pressure conditions continuously—hoping that this target and identify the inconsistencies that eluded them previously. “The tool’s capability to monitor conditions over time was invaluable,” Rogers says. “Soon, I was receiving intel on my phone via the tool’s app—something that

Smoking gun

we’d never had before. Every 60 seconds, the tool measured all conditions.” Rogers says there was no software to install, and everything worked just as promised. The diagnostics tool monitored gas pressure average, maximum and minimum. It also monitored gas flow within the appliance and—because the diagnostic device also was connected to the “suspect” gas line, he also received information about capacity (BTUs), based on pressure and flow.

Another advantage to the tool was that when Rogers received another call—with yet another problem to help solve, elsewhere, he could leave the tool to do its job. “Within three or four hours, it was apparent that the utility’s pressure was inconsistently inconsistent, so there was real value to the longer-term readings,” he says. “It was no surprise to me that the griddle wasn’t working.” Rogers returned to the restaurant that evening after receiving another urgent call—the griddle was down again. He wanted to check data that the tool had developed during its monitoring. It was revealing. “I had to explain to managers that the griddle was functioning properly when it had sufficient gas pressure. Yet, they did indeed have an issue with utility—outside pressures were fluctuating erratically. There was no question the problem inside was coming from a problem outside. I provided them with the reports—which in essence became the smoking gun.” Rogers says that, so armed, the restaurant’s managers were able to substantiate their claim to the utility. Fortunately, utility technicians were ordered to move swiftly to correct the problem. “We now have two of the devices here at the shop with three more ordered so that, whenever a tech goes out on a call to commission, service or troubleshoot gas appliances, one is ready for use.” CK

John Vastyan is president of Common Ground and a senior contributor for Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine.

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INDUSTRY

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION Laura Skellie

Moving with purpose Our conversation with JE Dunn Superintendent Laura Skellie

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L

ast October, Laura Skellie was elected president of the Coastal Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), a group where she previously served as a chapter and committee chair. It was another step forward for the 11-year industry veteran, who currently serves as Superintendent at JE Dunn Construction. Her diverse construction career includes roles as project engineer with a general contractor and an architectural designer at an architectural firm, both located in Birmingham. Active in community service, Skellie also donates her time via photography, running her neighborhood’s community page, organizing clothing drives and helping with historic renovations. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on what it takes for women to keep climbing the ladder and what the future holds post-pandemic.

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INDUSTRY

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION Give us a snapshot of the construction market today? What are you seeing out there?

Though some vertical market sectors were hit harder than others, generally speaking, construction is continuing on many of the projects that were underway ahead of the pandemic. Deemed an essential business for most of the US, the construction market has suffered some downsizing, but stands stronger today than most. Of course, our practices look somewhat different as we operate to protect our workers, flex to accommodate fluctuations in the labor force and monitor materials shortages.

construction industry. However, more firms are now embracing diversity and inclusion within the industry, and are developing programs to widely support the growth of females and minorities within their field of study.

in a prominently male-dominated field. Firms like JE Dunn are working tirelessly to break down any perceived barriers, and recruit and train talented professionals, both men and women, into the industry nationwide.

Name some of the opportunities available for women in the industry?

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The opportunities for women are endless. Identifying a career starts with understanding your skill set and interests. Women are master multi-taskers as well as superior organizers (most

The opportunities for women are endless. Identifying a career starts with understanding your skill set and interests. How did you get started in the industry? What’s your story?

Early in my career, I planned to be an architect, receiving both my bachelor’s and master’s in architecture and pursuing a career in that field while applying extra effort to become licensed. During that time, I was placed in a position that allowed me to work as an on-site representative for my A&E firm, where I was exposed to the everyday life of construction. It gave me a fresh new perspective on the building process. I was drawn into the relationships created by the general contractor with the owner and trade partners. Now, I serve as a superintendent for JE Dunn Construction.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen over the past few years?

Truthfully, it is the acceptance of women in leadership positions through-out the

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of the time) and that can be used at all levels in the industry. If you have an interest in the budget and financial side, the project management track is the way to go. If you want to work with your hands, you may consider carpentry or the superintendent track. If being on a jobsite does not appeal to you, there are many opportunities within the support services roles as well. There are amazing resources available for women who are exploring a career in construction. Reach out to your local NAWIC chapter to learn about some of the opportunities.

What challenges remain?

The challenge is no longer acceptance of women into the construction industry. The challenge now is how to educate women on the opportunities that exist, empower them to feel confident with their skills and encourage them to consider an opportunity

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

Trust but verify. This is a piece of advice that I use every day in my role as superintendent.

What’s the advice you would share with women coming up in the industry?

Hold your head high and walk with purpose like you belong—because you do.

What’s the biggest lesson the past few months have taught you?

That almost all people you encounter have widely different communication styles. While this seems almost obvious, training with JE Dunn has allowed me to expand my knowledge in this area and learn more about the different ways to communicate. I have learned how to read my team better, and thus making it easier to communicate and have crucial conversations.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list?

Spend some time with my husband and daughter. It is always No. 1 on my to-do list, and always my No. 1 priority.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when everything gets back to normal? Once the pandemic is over, we want to have a huge BBQ and pool party. We chose our house for the entertaining we could do, and we miss that.”

What’s one of the biggest lessons you learned over the past year?

Be kind. You never know what someone is going through. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that everyone needs a little compassion. CCR


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Walking through history

Building better museum buildings and experiences By Adam Laura

M

useums come in all shapes and sizes. They may em-

body the theme of the museum or reflect the art within. Many can be considered a work of art themselves. The vision that goes into the design of the building and what it evokes in a visitor, how the exhibit areas use space and light, and the construction process itself are all intertwined—one affecting the other and all affecting the visitor’s experience.

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WALKING THROUGH HISTORY

Planning that experience—what patrons see and feel and what they do not— must be a cohesive effort of the exhibit designer, architect and the construction team with everyone’s responsibility lined up exactly right. The lack of that proper engagement sequence can negatively impact construction timeline, drive up costs and affect final aesthetics. The following best practices will help museum architect and construction teams work effectively and efficiently together for a better construction process and outcomes.

Exhibit design coordination

While designing the base building first as a “canvas” on which to design exhibits may seem like a logical approach, the reality is the base building design is heavily influenced by the exhibit design. The features of the base building need to adapt to and accommodate the sizing and locations of the exhibits. Thus, ideally exhibit design

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should near completion before the museum itself is designed or at minimum, the exhibit space design phase and that of the museum building should parallel. Moreover, it is important that the exhibit designer provide adequate information beyond simple renderings or schematic drawings to the museum architect. Specific sizes, locations vertically and horizontally, thicknesses, and even means of construction are required. These allow for proper coordination of structural embeds, wood blocking, electrical supply, lighting fixture selection, and even help to properly place non-related items such as fire extinguisher cabinets, fire alarm pull stations, thermostats, occupancy signage and lighting switches.

Early modeling/virtual design It is important to create the building in a 3D model and coordinate the various

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WALKING THROUGH HISTORY components, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire trade partners in conjunction with concrete or structural modeling as early in the design process as possible. This allows for all infrastructure, specifically electrical and fire suppression—which design teams do not model— to be completed, coordinated, and routed through areas that do not detract from the visual presentations or themes. Decisions on routing, concealing, cladding or dressing up the necessary overhead items must be made early so as not to impact construction pricing or schedules. More drastic approaches such as adding interstitial spaces, embedding items in concrete and thickening slabs, or penetrating steel members in strategic locations may be necessary, all of which affect the structural loads and design, which is one of the first phases of design.

A bonus to completing the aforementioned item is the general contactor’s ability to provide the client with virtual reality (VR) tours of the facility and specifically the exhibit spaces. VR tours

A bonus to completing the aforementioned item is the general contactor’s ability to provide the client with virtual reality (VR) tours of the facility and specifically the exhibit spaces. Renderings from design teams are good for a basic understanding of the space, but VR provides an in-depth visual representation of the space and an enhanced understanding of what the final product will look like. This virtual visual tool provides the added benefit of details that may assist them while selecting exhibit sizes and locations. Additionally, the museum curator or commissioned artist can view the designated exhibit locations or areas from any location or perspective and even move virtually through the space in the manner the art or artifacts will be approached and viewed by a museum visitor.

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Life safety & code considerations

Given that aesthetics and the presentation of the exhibits is of utmost importance, the desire to preserve this often can seem to be the primary objective. But certain codes and ADA requirements aimed at the safety of visitors does in-fact overrule this desire. Creating the appropriate lighting conditions while meeting code requirements also can prove troublesome. Lighting themes can be too dim for code minimums or excessive lighting can harm works of art. Understanding these requirements along with the colors, textures and placement can aide in providing the

least intrusive implementation method. Specific items to consider include fire suppression coverage, minimum lighting requirements, exit signage locations, door handing and hardware, intrusions into egress pathways, and maximum electrical receptacle spacing. The design and construction phase of the inside of a museum is just as important as the exterior of the building. With early coordination between the complete architecture and construction teams, as well as input from museum leadership, the art, photography and artifacts will be the only thing a museum guest sees and experiences. CCR

Adam Laura is a Project Manager with McCarthy Building Companies Southern Region. He led efforts on the recently completed Holocaust Museum Houston—Lester and Sue Smith Campus. The extensive demolition and expansion project more than doubles the building’s original size from 21,000 square feet to 57,000 square feet, making the museum the fourth-largest Holocaust museum in the United States.

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Back to school Residence hall design trends in the age of COVID-19 By Sara Koester

COVID BEDROOM B

A

s universities and colleges look to design new residence halls after the current global health crisis, they will be challenged with how to safely house stu-

dents, while still providing for their social and academic development. Social interactions have taken on a new normal—social distancing, limited-size gatherings and a responsibility to act in a manner that does not make someone else sick. Residence hall designs will evolve to reflect the current pandemic condition.

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BACK TO SCHOOL

COVID BEDROOM B

Safety and security will be paramount for future students and their families, likely resulting in a desire for single-occupancy bedrooms in residence halls. Single bedroom units can provide a safe haven—a personal retreat where one can relax away from others. But this may be too isolating for a student away from home for the first time. Many residence halls are designed specifically to house freshmen. Studies have shown that freshmen students in double bedrooms with a roommate have a higher rate of retention. A “next best” bedroom design to consider is a double bedroom designed as a “paired-single” unit—two singles side-byside—with each occupant having furniture, closet, operable window on “their side” and only necessarily shared elements, like corridor door and mechanical unit/thermostat

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Individual outdoor activities, like hammocking and swings, can offer places to unwind, while outdoor terraces and patios can offer places for small groups to safely meet while social distancing.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

centrally located. The bedroom shape would be wide and shallow, allowing beds, desks and closets to be located further apart. The two sides can be marked with floor patterns and paint finishes to distinguish the two zones within the room. The two roommates will function as a “family unit” since they are indeed sharing a room. These resident students will have experienced the pandemic in their formative years and can rely on their prior experiences to understand the importance of appropriate space boundaries. Bathroom design may favor a clustered single-use bath arrangement where private-use bathrooms—each containing toilet, lavatory (sink) and shower—are located together. When grouped with a community lavatory area, this offers opportunities for socializing while still providing for privacy.


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BACK TO SCHOOL Two entrance/exit points to the facilities allow for a one-way traffic pattern to be implemented when environmental health conditions warrant. The common lavatory area, with ample space between fixtures, allows for ease of handwashing as well as a chance to chat with other residents while maintaining social distancing. New staff training and procedures will be required to ensure a constant (or at least much more frequent) cleaning cycle to safeguard the safety of all building users.

Socially social distancing

Social spaces, such as floor lounges and studies, should be sized and organized to allow for social distancing with distinct “stations” spaces at appropriate intervals. Areas can be demarcated with floor

Many residence halls are designed specifically to house freshmen; studies have shown that freshmen students in double bedrooms with a roommate have a higher rate of retention.

COVID Bathroom Design

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

patterns. Kitchen facilities should ideally be arranged for one-way circulation and appliances spaced to permit multiple work areas with adequate buffers between. Handwashing stations should be ample and sufficiently spaced with accessories at each station. It has always been important to provide a variety of social spaces that allow for a range of activities—quiet to active and small group to large group—but now residence halls should consider including single-person study spaces where a resident may go to focus on studies or simply decompress in a private, safe zone. Circulation spaces in residence halls will need to evolve. Entrances to buildings will need to be wider and feature multiple single entrance doors to avoid compressing


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BACK TO SCHOOL COVID BEDROOM A

residents as they enter the building. Lobbies should be large enough to allow for pedestrian flow to the elevators or stairs while social distancing, and elevators should be sized to accommodate multiple occupants at opposite corners. Additional elevators may be needed to safely address reduced elevator capacity due to social distancing restrictions. Corridors will need to be of ample width and preferably feature small alcoves at regular intervals off the main hallway, with views to the exterior and perhaps a bench, that can

serve as places to “step out” of the way and not be in the traffic flow. Doors to bedrooms should be located in recessed pockets off the corridor, allowing one to transition into the main corridor flow. Air flow exchange and mechanical systems may need to be reevaluated with more frequent filter changes. While the program for outdoor spaces in residence hall design always has been important, this will take on a heightened importance in providing places where residents can go for relaxation and space-distant socializing, with Sara Koester is a Principal at KWK Architects.

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individual areas articulated in the design of the hardscape, landscape and outdoor furniture. Individual outdoor activities, like hammocking and swings, can offer places to unwind, while outdoor terraces and patios can offer places for small groups to safely meet while social distancing. With careful and thoughtful planning, residence hall design can balance environmental health concerns and living preferences of students and their families with fostering community and providing a nurturing environment. CCR


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The art of the touchpoint Reframing rituals in the hotel industry

By Rachael Leson

T

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NELSON Worldwide

he ongoing pandemic has changed the way everyone walks through life, but it especially has impacted the way people travel. At the onset of COVID-19, hotel brands struggled with both low occupancy, and keeping their guests and valued staff members safe. With increased knowledge of the virus, brands have a better idea of the tactical and functional changes they need to make, but perhaps the more difficult next step is reimagining daily rituals in this new era of travel.

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THE ART OF THE TOUCHPOINT

While amenities will continue to develop and evolve into long-term solutions, the next hurdles are the social spaces and guest journey touchpoints.

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In the past five to 10 years, the emergence of the sharing economy and home-share vacation rentals has shifted and reshaped the hospitality industry, driving hotel brands to make deeper connections with guests and leverage their consistency of offerings. Hoteliers rose to the challenge of differentiating themselves from their new competitors. Through both design and marketing, they built a level of trust with guests. Today, following the outset of COVID-19, consumers will be re-evaluating their travel behavior and lodging providers. Safety, health and evidence-backed messaging will guide decision-making. This is the time for hotel brands to lean into the relationship they have cultivated with guests, their ability to roll-out large-scale programs and leverage brand partnerships. This is a space where reputable hotel brands can provide a level of credibility and responsibility that shared platforms simply cannot. At the start of the pandemic, there was a sprint to define what the “new clean” looks like. Brands leveraged a combination of visible tactics such as sanitizing stations, graphic seals, partnerships with brands like Lysol, and more to instantly cue clean and comfort guests. Additionally, “invisible” investments including automation and tracking technology were used to create truly resilient environments. Transparent, proactive communication of these efforts and protocols equally were important to ensure guests felt informed, reassured and confident. This led to a cautious recovery over the summer, where hotels became a safe escape from home isolation. While amenities will continue to develop and evolve into long-term solutions, the next hurdles are the social spaces and guest journey touchpoints. It will be necessary for hotel brands to pivot and think differently about these spaces. Innovation will immediately impact the guest’s journey. Hotel experiences are highly ritualistic, and each stay is carefully crafted to cater to individual routines. Guests check-in with specific touchpoints and expectations in mind, such as daily workouts and complimentary breakfast buffets. Successful brands will consider their


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COVID-19 response through the lens of those rituals. We will see brands optimize, amplify, reinvent and even eliminate familiar rituals for guests throughout the journey with careful consideration for how these changes also affect their employees. These reframed rituals could be minor, but we may also see brands experiment at a larger scale by allowing guests more visibility and control in their experience. Thinking about these important touchpoints and the service component connected may help get to the root of how hotels can pivot their offerings.

Support on-the-go

Whether it is a post-pandemic guest leery of germs or a business traveler late to a meeting, hotel brands should embrace this on-the-go mentality that so many consumers embody. Interior and exterior pickup windows are familiar to consumers and a good example of how hoteliers can support

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With air travel out of reach and considered risky by many consumers, road trips and staycations are back in a big way. on-the-go snacks and meals. Hotels can elevate their coffee offerings and provide a fast and secure transaction, removing the barrier for guests to make that secondary stop at Starbucks. Allowing guests to “call down” to place their order for pickup may be the new room service. For focused service properties that typically include a self-service coffee offering, this may pose a more difficult challenge, but perhaps this could manifest in “make your own” packets to go alongside pre-poured cups of black coffee. Technology can be a powerful support system as well. Beyond the reservation, technology can streamline amenities at

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

the guest’s convenience, create ease in contactless services and offer touches of hospitality anytime, anywhere.

Take it outside

The penchant for fresh air will not fade post-pandemic. Hotels should consider investing in larger outdoor or four-season spaces for guests to relax and unwind. From fireside s’mores to cornhole tournaments, these hubs of connection will become the new crown jewel that should be positioned to attract guests. Investing in outdoor seating and heating elements that extend the usability of these exterior spaces will be critical to


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THE ART OF THE TOUCHPOINT

making a better connection to the interior public spaces. Also, hotels should consider patios and terraces an extension of the lobby—multi-functional seating, available power/plug-in capability and transitioning dayparts are table stakes in the public space. Some hotels, particularly those in an urban setting, could easily transform rooftop bars, which generally are closed at night, into an auxiliary public space for safer gatherings.

Beyond the reservation, technology can streamline amenities at the guest’s convenience, create ease in contactless services and offer touches of hospitality anytime, anywhere.

A room for every guest

Traditionally, hotels cater to the overnight guest, making the hotel the bookend of a traveler’s day. While this may not change for the majority of a hotel’s occupancy, there is an opportunity to reach out to provide specific daytime services. Offering private offices, co-working spaces or Zoom suites with minimal adjustments to the guest room allows hotels to have a flexible offering and move some public space tasks to a safer, private environment. Whether it is an opportunity for residents to get out of the house for a few hours or an add-on offering to overnight

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IS YOUR SUPERINTENDENT CERTIFIED?

Being a retail superintendent requires a unique set of skills different from other market segments. While all construction superintendents have responsibilities for schedule, productivity, safety, and quality on the project site, the challenges and constraints of the retail environment mean that a special training focus is needed. Superintendents must learn how to think like a retailer and a contractor throughout these projects. RCA’s Retail Superintendent Training Program addresses this need. Certified Retail Superintendents have:

Ask your GC if

• At least three years of experience in retail construction

they have a

• Completed OSHA 30-hour certification

Certified Retail Superintendent

• Completed RCA's two-day workshop, which includes in-depth training on retail-focused customer service

on your project.

• Passed the Certified Retail Superintendent exam

CIRCLE NO. 47

Learn more about the program & view a list of participating companies: retailcontractors.org/superintendent-training-program Toll Free: 800-847-5085 | Phone: 703-683-5637 | retailcontractors.org


THE ART OF THE TOUCHPOINT

guests, re-thinking how guestrooms are used could potentially be the revenue generator of the future.

The new local

Redefining what it means to be “local” will continue to be a priority, as people feel more loyal to their communities and businesses than ever before. International brands also may explore how to connect various properties as COVID-19 has launched a sense of global camaraderie that will continue to drive guest values. With air travel out of reach and considered risky by many consumers, road trips and staycations are back in a big way. Now that hotels may have more local visitors with access to transportation, there is an opportunity for those destinations to connect with guests differently. For those in-town visitors, hotels could curate “best-of” localized packages—

specialty local coffee, a croissant from the best bakery down the street, craft beers on tap, etc. It is important that hotels not get caught in generic or expected recommendations because these guests will know. For road trippers, there could be recommendations for where to stop on the way home or on the way to their next destination, those local must-sees—from the funky roadside attraction to the best thrift shop. Also, getting outside will be even more important—rather than restaurant recommendation—guests may be looking for the best hiking trails or scenic overlooks. Hotel team members have the opportunity to share their city, from a fresh lens. While many of these initiatives may seem to strip back amenities or services, we can’t forget that the spirit of hospitality itself must continue to be the driving force of hotels. The best brands surely will

implement solutions that communicate cleanliness—but they also will empower their employees to keep a welcoming, concierge mindset at the center of all interactions. Finding new ways to integrate first-class service, personal connections and unexpected moments of delight will elevate these new-to-the-world rituals. As we continue to evaluate how the pandemic will influence the hospitality sector into the future, we will see hotel properties innovate and reinvent rituals beyond responding to the current climate. The sharing economy undoubtedly transformed consumer expectations and pushed the hotel industry to develop authentically localized and highly individualized lodging experiences. Those benchmarks will not go away. Hotel brands have a unique opportunity to prioritize guest rituals, innovate the experience, and continue to keep hospitality at the core of all they do. CCR

Rachael Leson is Director Interior Design, Hospitality at NELSON Worldwide.

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January 2021

Delivering the goods How Dacon helped healthcare laundry service provider Unitex enhance its green practices

Rob Potack, Chief Executive Officer David Potack, President Mike Potack, Chairman, Unitex


By Lauren Nowicki

Delivering the goods How Dacon Corporation helped healthcare laundry service provider Unitex enhance its green practices

M

anufacturing facilities, once the backbone of American industrialism and now considered obsolete, can through purposeful reuse metamorphosize for modern industry. Through repositioning, these expansive spaces offer solid framework, ceiling heights and architectural elements uncommon to modern construction. A well-executed reinvention enables a second life dramatically different from first use. Unitex, one of the nation’s top 10 commercial laundry service providers, embraced adaptive reuse for its 12th location and first facility in the Massachusetts’ market. Consisting of both processing and delivery operations to service the state’s vibrant life science and healthcare industries, Unitex leased Crown Holdings, formerly a 188,000 square foot global beverage and food can manufacturer, rooted in the Boston market for 25-plus years. Seeking a large employee talent pool for 200-plus jobs, it sought a space for an initial 90,000 square foot automated laundry and uniform service facility that enabled both future expansion and geographic accessibility to clients throughout the state.

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Four generations

Founded in 1922, Unitex continues to bring new life via an adaptive reuse. For more than 90 years, the family-run business has been leading the way in the medical uniform and linen rental industry. In all facets of the term, Unitex is an American success story. Starting with Max Potack’s first job working for A & S Coat and Apron Supply, within eight years, he purchased the business and expanded into longterm care facilities and hospitals, which ultimately led to a sole focus on life science and healthcare industries. Today, led by fourth generation family members Rob and David Potack, Unitex is one of the largest family-owned healthcare

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service providers in the country, operating under the mission to be involved in every inch of the business. The firm, which operates 365 days a year, has attained the TRSA’s Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification for its best management practices in operations, training and sterilization. Never one to rest on its laurels, Unitex is continually reinvesting in new facilities, refining and modernizing its protocols to serve a growing client base. That is the premise behind its state-of-the art facilities in the growing ambulatory market. The facilities are so advanced and so environmentally friendly that industry professionals from around the world visit to study its best practices. This blend of heritage and innovation was not lost on Dacon Corporation, the design builder that repurposed the facility. “Unitex’s long-term heritage, green commitment, focus on employee education and value of community resonates with the contributions family-owned businesses make to the American economy,” says Dacon Corporation CEO Kevin Quinn.

Future growth

“ Our new facilities help us to provide high quality products and services to our current and prospective clients in a local setting for both the outpatient and inpatient healthcare space.” – Robert Potack, CEO, Unitex

As the nation’s largest family-owned linen and uniform service provider to the healthcare industry, Unitex has 12 locations in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, with a 13th plant scheduled for completion later this year. “In reviewing a variety of options for new plant development in New England, Lawrence became an obvious choice, once we had an opportunity to meet with the mayor and his leadership team,” says Robert Potack, Unitex CEO. “Our new facilities help us to provide high quality products and services to current and prospective clients in a local setting for both the outpatient and inpatient healthcare space. This additional capacity significantly expands our reach in Massachusetts and throughout New England.”

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CIRCLE NO. 50


Best green practices

Within a seemingly deindustrialized society, innovation-driven life science and healthcare firms are paradoxically reliant on the traditional laundry servicing to enable their businesses. Yet these traditional services are anything but, embracing innovation through environmentally efficient practices. Unitex exemplifies this bridge between heritage and innovation. Based upon a green business model, Unitex’s investments in technology, operations, environmental quality and conservation training focus on conserving Big 3 resources–gas, water and electricity. Its initiatives include: > Heat reclamation yielding gas savings equivalent to usage by 1,204 households and electricity savings amounting to 218 homes per year. > Water softening reduces detergents and excess waste creating an annual water savings equivalent to usage by 5,000 homes. > Detergents are composed of 100% organic chemicals. In place of chlorine bleach, an oxygen-based, biodegradable cleansing agent is used to protect waterways and reduce linen damage. Fabrics experience a longer product life and less discarded solid waste. > LED lighting in the facility, high-speed automation and infrared monitored dryer temperature controls contribute to electricity savings. > Iron machines each have their own gas burner, making them 20% more efficient. > Trucks are monitored for air quality control, energy expenditure and are programmed to shut off after three minutes of idling. > Plastic recycling totals 1.5mm pounds each year. Transformation through adaptive reuse offers not only functional spaces, but demonstrable trends for the construction trade. An urban influx of demand for space—whether for commercial or residential use—offers both financial and aesthetic gains for modern industry. HC

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Lauren Nowicki is Director of Marketing and Communications for Dacon Corporation, a fully integrated design build construction management firm in Natick, Massachusetts.


CIRCLE NO. 51


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January 2021 • Issue 1

Design. Build. Repeat. Inside CFC’s strategy to help build the growing cannabis construction market Andy Poticha, Principal Cannabis Facility Construction


THE CANNABIS OPERATIONS

DESIGN. BUILD. REPEAT.

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n its partnership approach to building successful, sustainable cannabis operations, Cannabis Facility Construction (CFC) has a specific set of shared values, ethics and action points. They include doing it the right way, building relationships, communicating the story, anticipating needs and closing the loop. Achieve these tenets and you can help contribute to a positive, healthy environment. Delivering shared values and ethics, the CFC team, led by principals Andy Poticha, Ira Singer and Mike Frazin, continues to make its mark in the cannabis construction landscape. A division of Mosaic Construction, the group has either built or is in the process of building 30 cultivation facilities, processing centers and dispensary projects in 10 states since 2015. By treating each project as if it were its own, CFC’s commitment to building and maintaining customer relationships is critical. To help get a feel for building in today’s growing cannabis landscape, we sat down with Poticha, who also is the construction partner for 4Front Ventures in multiple states, including its most recent project for Mission Dispensaries in Calumet City, Illinois.

Greenhouse Northbrook, IL

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN TRENDS IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF CANNABIS FACILITIES? Creating a client experience is central to the design and development of cannabis facilities. With limited supplier options and narrow price differential, dispensaries cannot compete on unique products or lower prices. They have to offer an experience to set themselves apart from the facility further down the road. Whether their customers know exactly what products they want or need to spend time in consultation with a budtender, the space must accommodate those preferences and have enough flexibility to evolve as consumer habits and regulations change. We’re seeing renovations happening in states that adopted medical use first and have since expanded to recreational use. The regulations are different, and the customer demands are different, as well. To compete, the space has to follow suit.


Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

WHAT ARE CONSUMERS LOOKING FOR IN THE DESIGN OF RETAIL STORES? Consumers want convenience and a comfortable atmosphere where they can consult with the staff. The experience of a dispensary should feel familiar, like going to any other retail establishment from a clothing store to a coffee shop. We take cues from the surrounding area to match the aesthetic of the region, whether that’s slick, high-end showrooms in destination cities or a more casual, natural space in a small town. While getting the customer experience right is essential, cannabis facilities also have to adhere to safety and security regulations. You can’t have products out in the open the way you can in a clothing store, for example. The challenge is to marry the safety and security measures that keep clients, staff and product safe, while also creating a welcoming space where people want to spend time.

effects of disrupted supply chains and fewer people allowed on a work site due to social distancing regulations could have been disastrous. We have been able to maintain momentum by staying flexible. We’ve moved much of our pre-construction process to video conferences. We have staggered shifts to keep worker count on-site low, while still making significant progress. As a design-build firm, we are having conversations early about budgets, constructability, time frames and design choices from day one. When there are issues that come up on the project, we’re already in problem solving mode, with streamlined communications in place.

TAKE US THROUGH YOUR CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN STRATEGY. We are facilitators, converting ideas into functional, sustainable and beautiful spaces. To do that, we have to first get into our client’s head and understand their unique vision and goals. We call on our significant cannabis industry experience to ask the right questions and offer our perspective from years of work in this space. Because we are a design-build firm, we are bringing together the design and construction teams at the outset of the project. That means greater collaboration, problem-solving and anticipation of needs. We set realistic budget and schedule parameters at the start

HOW DOES THE OVERALL DESIGN OF THE SHOPS CATER TO THESE NEEDS?

Photography courtesy of Cannabis Facility Construction

We’re seeing more facilities adopt an open concept design, where consumers can walk around, browse and ask questions. It’s much more aligned with the image of general retail than older facilities. We’re also seeing design choices that mark the dispensary as a destination. Embracing design features, like natural light, and adding elements like living plant walls help put dispensaries on equal footing with other retail destinations.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES TODAY RELATED TO THE CONSTRUCTION SIDE OF THE BUSINESS? Timing is everything in cannabis construction. Our clients are in “grow or die” mode. To stay competitive, they have to expand their operations and that means opening new facilities, from dispensaries and processing to cultivation. COVID-19 complicates that reality. Even though construction was deemed an essential business in many states, the

Greenhouse Northbrook, IL

While getting the customer experience right is essential, cannabis facilities also have to adhere to safety and security regulations.

of the project and monitor those expectations throughout, which means fewer surprises. As with any construction project, there will always be things that don’t work in the real world exactly as we planned for them. We are constantly monitoring for those divergences and keeping the lines of communication open with our clients to assess how any changes might affect the overall budget or timeline.

WHAT AREAS ARE THE MOST IN DEMAND IN NEW BUILDS? Flexibility is really the key in retail projects. As regulations change and consumer demand evolves, facilities need to be able to adapt and evolve.

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DESIGN. BUILD. REPEAT.

Two areas that we focus on, which can be extremely costly if overlooked in the initial design phase, are security and facility access. While there are a number of security regulations for cannabis facilities we have to design for, we also need to understand local community and police expectations beyond what is required by law. It is a key component to ensuring facility design and construction will be approved for operational use. Thinking about how people and products come in and out of the building is also essential. The right loading areas and entrances have to be thought through in the early stages of the project or reworked at greater cost later, potentially rendering a highly strategic site unworkable.

IS THERE A FACILITY YOU’VE BUILT THAT STANDS OUT? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT MAKE IT UNIQUE? One of our recent projects was a renovation for Mission Dispensary in Calumet City, Illinois. What made this retail store conversion unique was its prime location across from a busy shopping mall, with lots of parking, in a location that serves both Illinois and those across the border in Indiana. One of the most unique projects we’ve completed is for the Greenhouse Dispensary in Morris, Illinois. That project involved converting a freestanding restaurant into a dispensary. The property itself posed many challenges, from mixed materials used

Greenhouse Northbrook, IL

throughout several additions, to general wear and tear of a high-traffic retail space. The most successful part of that project was rehabbing a 150-year-old, oak and brass bar that had travelled the state several times in its history before landing at the former restaurant. Preserving the 30-foot-long structure and making it the functional centerpiece of the new dispensary was a considerable effort, but it’s now the backbone of the space and a point of pride for the dispensary staff and clients.

We can create the most beautiful space in the world, but if the staff is overworked or unavailable, or if the wait time is significant and the product is unavailable, the space won’t be much of a draw.

TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY. WHAT ARE RETAILERS LOOKING FOR?

Greenhouse Northbrook, IL

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Whether you’re talking about retail, processing or cultivation facilities, clients want to build energy efficient, environmentally friendly buildings that meet current code requirements. There’s also a strong and growing desire for durable materials that will stand the test of time and hold up without having to be replaced. For example, we’re doing more polished concrete floors which are more durable than vinyl or porcelain tile and retain their aesthetic appeal over the long-term.

Photography courtesy of Cannabis Facility Construction

THE CANNABIS OPERATIONS


We are Pioneers in the Industry… 22 years and counting! When The Townson Company opened for business in 1999, the concept of outsourced project management was in its infancy. Since then we have become the industry’s premier resource.

We are Owner’s Representatives

For more than 22 years The Townson Company has successfully served as owner’s representatives for retailers, restaurants, office, commercial and service companies nationwide. We manage your projects as a member of your in-house team.

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Our project managers are seasoned experts. All of our team members have a minimum of 25 years of experience in construction project management from the owner’s perspective.

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THE CANNABIS OPERATIONS

DESIGN. BUILD. REPEAT.

WHAT TYPE OF OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE MOVING AHEAD? We foresee every state eventually legalizing both medical and recreational cannabis use, which will increase the opportunities, but also the competition in the industry. Speedto-market in construction will be essential to maintaining a competitive edge. Supply chains, for example, are dramatically impacted by the uptick in work but we’re able to raise issues early on in the process and advise clients on how any changes will affect their opening date. We are fortunate to have a six-year head start on anyone entering the cannabis facility construction space and the experience

we’ve gained in that time is invaluable. We understand our clients’ goals across operations, security, technology and customer experience. We know where the challenges lie and how to navigate them.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING/EXPECTING? Many cannabis companies are attempting to cater to two different customer groups— existing clients who know what products they like and want a quick and efficient experience, as well as new consumers who want a retail destination and a space to learn and explore.

Over time, these two groups will converge. We see a future where consumers care less about the dispensary as a retail destination and will instead prioritize a quality facility that carries their preferred product. Just as sit-down restaurants gave way to fast food drive-thrus, the cannabis experience will begin to envelop quick pickup and deliveries as the market matures and consumers prioritize convenience.

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO CREATING A “MUST VISIT” LOCATION IN TODAY’S COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE? A great location is as much about the operation as it is design. We can create the most beautiful space in the world, but if the staff is overworked or unavailable, or if the wait time is significant and the product is unavailable, the space won’t be much of a draw. Just like you wouldn’t return to a beautiful restaurant with lackluster food, dispensaries that don’t deliver on their customer promise won’t realize the opportunities the industry is offering.

HOW HAS THE LAST YEAR CHANGED THE GAME ON THE DESIGN/BUILD SIDE?

Mission Dispensaries, Calumet City, IL

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Mission Dispensaries, Calumet City, IL

Photos courtesy of Mission Dispensaries

Mission Dispensaries, Calumet City, IL

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THE CANNABIS OPERATIONS

DESIGN. BUILD. REPEAT.

know we can’t be all things to all parties, but our experience has helped us navigate some of the challenges COVID-19 presented and we are more prepared than ever to guide our clients through the construction process. There has been an undeniable impact on schedules, and we are seeing clients want to speed up the turnaround time of their projects to counteract those delays. At the same time, building material availability is not guaranteed. Prices are going up and suppliers are playing catch up to meet orders that were placed but never fulfilled. There are some opportunities, too, with new suppliers coming online and driving competition, but understanding how different options compare is critical. We’re more committed than ever to problem-solving and collaborating with our clients and focusing on the things we can control.

Mission Dispensaries, Calumet City, IL

WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING TO SEE IN THE MARKETPLACE IN 2021? As more licenses become available in different states, we expect to see more design-build construction and renovations projects. Our clients are sophisticated

operators and MSOs who know firsthand the importance of working with a design-build partner. They value our experience and expertise, particularly on the processing and cultivation side, and we think newcomers to the market will see that value, too.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Andy Poticha, Principal, Cannabis Facility Construction

Describe a typical day. “Man plans and good laughs.” There is no typical day for us. We plan to accomplish certain tasks during our 12-hour workday, but by the time we get into the office, it’s more than likely that several different things have conspired to derail that plan. We’ve learned to pivot and manage what we can to deal with the unexpected.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? We take a lot of pride in having a client say, “Thank you,

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you’ve done a great job.” We take every job personally and treat it as if it were our own home, so having our clients’ appreciation and admiration for our team makes all our hard work worthwhile.

What was the best advice you ever received? Someone once told me, “Nothing is ever as good as it seems, and nothing is ever as bad as it seems.” I try to hold onto that perspective. When challenging issues come up, I’m able to look at the next

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

steps, focus on the job at hand and stay even keeled.

What’s the biggest thing on your to-do list right now? I’m working on getting three proposals finished and delivered before I leave town next week.

What’s the best thing a client ever said to you? One of our longtime clients was able to grow their business into a national company that was eventually acquired by a publicly traded company. They told us they

wouldn’t have achieved that goal without our team helping them along the way. It was incredible recognition and validation.

How do you like to spend your down time? When I have downtime, I like spending it with my family, working out or playing guitar. I also spend a lot of time personally volunteering on three different boards, two of which are philanthropic. We have many meetings and decisions to make, and although it takes time, it’s incredibly rewarding on many levels.


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JANUARY 2021 • VOL 5 • ISSUE 1

The Voice of Craft Brands

They’ve got the look How Indeed Brewing Co. continues to grow beyond its Minneapolis roots

Kelly Moritz, COO Indeed Brewing Co.


The Voice of Craft Brands

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JANUARY 2021

CBAM-MAG.COM


Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

They’ve got the look How Indeed Brewing Co. continues to grow beyond its Minneapolis roots The plan was always to take it slow. When Tom Whisenand and Nathan Berndt wrote the business plan from a library book called “How to Write a Business Plan,” expansion was not on the short list of things to do. The plan was to diligently grow a brand that was not just rooted in innovation, but also in a culture built of good people, good beer and good experiences. Eight-plus years down the road, Indeed Brewing, which launched in 2012 with a taproom opened to the public and a distribution model consisting of kegged beer to bars and restaurants, the brand continues to evolve. The location, which opened in the Logan Park neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis, included Whisenand, Berndt, Rachel Anderson and Josh Bischoff, a former local brewer who they named head brewer. Indeed kicked off its foray into the Twin Cities’ craft world with a diverse set of offerings, anchored by its flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale, and the likes of Flavorwave IPA, the award-winning Mexican Honey Light and its Wooden Soul series of wild, sour and barrel-aged beer. Growth ensued with a $250,000 expansion in 2013 aimed at doubling its capacity to 6,400bbl per year, eventually increasing expansion out of state in 2014. In November 2018, Indeed rolled into Milwaukee with a new brewery and taproom in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

Today, it continues to create a whole environment around each brand—a strategy that not only involves the beer, but also the customers who have affixed themselves to the brand. We sat down with COO Kelly Moritz to get a peek into the Indeed world of brewing and what’s in store for the craft world in 2021.

What adjustments have you made to your business model surrounding the recent state of events?

It almost feels easiest to answer, “What adjustments didn’t we make?” The more nuanced answer, though, is that we have been able to double down on our strengths as a business to power through the unique challenges we face in this industry. Two main things stand out when we reflect on our relative successes in the past year: taproom experience and self-distribution. Our taprooms have adapted to the new norms by providing a safe experience for guests and staff whether enjoying a

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IndeedBrewingCo.

pint on site or taking beer to go. The self-distribution arm of our business, which serves the Twin Cities metro area and represents about 70% of our sales, was positioned to provide continuous, custom-tailored service to more than 700 accounts. In both cases, we were able to respond quickly and nimbly to a changing landscape.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers?

We’re making every effort to put ourselves in their shoes and provide solutions to problems. Our bar and restaurant partners are hurting, so we’re going the extra mile with them, and providing support and creativity wherever possible.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market?

A brand like ours is actually quite versatile in that we are a small company built and run by real people who speak in a clearly defined voice and tone that is easily recognizable and trusted. We can use that voice to take a stand on an issue that’s important to us, or we can use that same voice in a different time and place to put a smile on someone’s face with a bit of witty copy and a well-shot photo. We recognize that we’re in a stronger position than some, so as a brand we remain open, supportive and willing to help where we can.

What advice can offer other brands in how to deal with the unthinkable like this?

Stay true to what got you where you are. If you don’t have a well-defined brand voice, now is the time to put that work in. If your company doesn’t have well-defined values to lean on in hard times, and you can feel that now more than ever, dig in and figure out what those are. If cracks started to show when things got crazy, use them to shine a light on problem areas and to define what you want the future to look like.

Give us a snapshot of today’s craft spirits market from your perspective.

The playing field is wide open. Nothing is siloed into a rigidly defined category anymore. Beer can be seltzer. Wine can be a cocktail. Spirits can be booze-free.

What’s likely to happen next?

I think companies that are willing to play in a few different sandboxes, intentionally and with respect to their brand and their uniqueness, will see new levels of success staying relevant to their core customers and developing new relationships with those who exist now in their white space.

What trends are defining the space?

Fruit continues to dominate the craft beverage space, with the new addition of botanicals and teas really gaining in popularity. Creative booze-free offerings like hop water, CBD seltzer and non-alcoholic spirits are becoming so sophisticated, with such well-designed packaging. On opposite ends of the spectrum, I see a lot of wellness-leaning trends sitting side by side on shelves with a new level of decadence in these over the top pastry stouts and heady, sweet milkshake styles; it feels like the angel and the devil are on your shoulder with not much standing out in between.

What’s your story from a brand perspective?

We try to keep our story simple and let it tell itself through the things we produce, whether that’s a can of beer, a night out at the taproom, a new hat. We have two homes,

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IndeedBrewingCo.

in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, and we are deeply rooted in both cities. In all the things we do, we aim to contribute to the culture of those places where we work and play, and to give back to the communities we live in. Our owners founded the company with a light-hearted ethos that has been a through-line for the brand and still guides us today. We love what we do, and creating positive beer experiences is in our DNA. Artfulness has always been an important part of our brand story, from brewing philosophy to can design to what’s on our taproom walls. We’ve been able to build upon the founders’ vision of a playful, adventurous, whimsical, caring brand, while leaving room for the rest of our story to still be written.

Walk us through your branding strategy.

We try to create a whole environment around each brand, starting with the liquid, the person drinking the liquid, the experience they’re having with it, and then try to tell that story as quickly as possible through the visuals and copy surrounding each brand.

Craft Brewery Flooring

5 POINTS TO CONSIDER 1 2 3 4 5

SLIP RESISTANCE DURABILITY

WORK ENVIRONMENT INSTALLATION MAINTENANCE

Metropolitan Ceramics® Quarry Tile is designed for the demanding CRAFT BREWERY environment.

What’s the biggest issue today related to the marketing/sales side of the craft beer business today? Since branding has become so important on the shelf, people have lost a sense of the people behind the brands. In a race to become the hippest, the most well-designed or funniest label, the branding becomes more of a graphic design project with no distinguishable personality behind it. Brands aren’t telling stories of their companies beyond the cover image.

What’s the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy into?

An authentic and consistent voice, whatever that means to that particular brand.

What’s the one thing every craft beer brand should do in the way of marketing?

Email. After years of social overload, a really well-crafted email feels like a personal letter from a friend.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead?

2 Silos Brewing Co. Manassas, VA

METROCERAMICS.COM | 1.800.325.3945

To circle back to the strengths that have been getting us through this tough time, our taprooms and our self-distribution operations, along with our recent forays into some “beyond beer” drinks like our Boon Hard Kombucha and Lull CBD Seltzer, all stand out.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

We plan to take our Milwaukee brewery from less than 300 BBLs in 2019 to 1,000 BBLs in 2022, so that.

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PROJECTS

PROJECTS • CCD

Commercial Construction Data

F

ollowing is a brief report on new commercial construction projects. The information is presented as a service of Commercial Construction Data, a product of Commercial Construction & Renovation. For more information, visit www.cdcnews.com. PROJECT NAME

CITY

PROJECT VALUE

SQ. FT.

CONSTRUCTION TYPE

START DATE

7-Eleven

Darien, CT

$1,500,000.00

4,050

New Construction

Q2 2021

Port Road Restaurant

Kennebunk, ME

$1,000,000.00

3,859

New Construction

Q2 2021

Mitchell Auto Group Subaru Dealership

Canton, CT

$6,000,000.00

34,190

New Construction

Q2 2021

Dollar Tree #8597

Franklin, MA

$400,000.00

9,021

Remodel

Q2 2021

Paragon Mill

Providence, RI

$20,000,000.00

118,000

Renovation

Q2 2021

Warren Street Mixed-Use Development

Boston, MA

$11,100,000.00

36,758

New Construction

Q2 2021

Bow Street Apartment Building

Somerville, MA

$6,000,000.00

27,875

New Construction

Q2 2021

Cambria Hotel

Burlington, VT

$35,000,000.00

100,000

New Construction

Q2 2021

Home2 Suites by Hilton

Ridgefield, CT

$18,000,000.00

46,222

New Construction

Q3 2021

South Portland Middle School

South Portland, ME

$54,360,000.00

176,000

New Construction

Q2 2021

Chamberlain Elementary School

New Britain, CT

$49,000,000.00

104,990

Renovation

Q3 2021

City of Fall River Water Division Maintenance Building

Fall River, MA

$6,200,000.00

26,295

New Construction

Q2 2021

Town Hall Addition and Renovation

North Kingstown, RI

$2,000,000.00

2,600

Renovation

Q2 2021

Route 104 Health Focus Facility

New Hampton, NH

$10,000,000.00

20,000

New Construction

Q2 2021

Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital Emergency Room Expansion

Lebanon, NH

$2,600,000.00

4,631

Addition

Q2 2021

RETAIL/RESTAURANTS/QUICK SERVE:

RETAIL/STORES/MALLS:

RESIDENTIAL/MIXED USE:

HOSPITALITY:

EDUCATION:

MUNICIPAL/COUNTY:

MEDICAL:

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CIRCLE NO. 60


AD INDEX

Advertiser Page Reader Service No.

Advertiser Page Reader Service No.

ADART/Gensis Lighting Solutions

73

33

Laticrete

19 11

aim

56 28

McIntosh

105 48

Allegion

111 50

Metropolitan Ceramics

130

58

Mike Levin

8

5

NAC

37

19

National Terrazzo & Mosaic Assocation

61

29

Navien

3 2

NSTORE Services

39

20

Pantera Global Technology

89

40

Permit.com

123 55

Philadelphia Sign

83

37

Poma Retail Development, Inc

55

27

Portico Systems

95

43

Bostik

CVR2-1 1

Capacity Builders Inc.

77

35

CDO

47 24

Chainstore Maintenance

91

41

Chicago Faucets / Geberit Group

75

34

Commerical Construction & Renovation Digital Buyers Guide

66

Commerical Construction & Renovation Retreats

106 49

Construct Connect

133

60

Construction One

17

10

Controlled Power Company

15

9

Creative Edge

93

42

ProCoat

97 44

D/13 Group

11

8

Project Management Consortium (PMC)

5

Dynamic Air Quality Solutions

33

17

Projectmates

99 45

EarthTronics

65 30

PTS Contracting

81

36

Federal Heath

45

23

Retail Contractors Association

103

47

Fortney & Weygandt, Inc.

35

18

Rockerz, Inc

7

4

Healy Construction Services, Inc.

87

39

Georgia Printco

131

59

Goodwin Commercial

124

56

GPD Group

27

15

Hunter Building Corp

23

13

Immel Constrcution

50-51

26

Impact Security

CVR3

61

Jones Sign

25

14

Kingsmen

31 16

Knowify

31

SafeSite

121 54 8, CVR4

6, 62

Signage Solutions

113

51

Springwise

85 38

The Blue Book Network

114

52

The Townson Company

119

53

Visual EFX Group

129

57

Window Film Depot

43

22

41 21

Wolverine Building Group

71

32

Lakeview Construction, Inc

9

7

World Dryer

101

46

Laser Facility Management

49

25

ZipWall

21 12

134

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021

Schimenti

3


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JANUARY 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

135


PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER’S PAGE

by David Corson

A walk down memory lane

R

ecently my cousin, who lives in Colorado, reached out and asked if I would give him a call. We hadn’t spoken in a while, so there was lots to catch up on—

brothers, sisters, family goings on , etc. Life is short, so it was great to see how everyone was doing.

The main reason he called was to see if I wanted my grandfather's WWII memorabilia for my archives. Without hesitation, I said, “Yeah man, send it on over.” My grandfather was a Lt. Colonel under General George Patton. He was a combat engineer who helped rebuild the bridges, etc., that were destroyed during battles by allies

and enemies alike. When he came home, he ran the family's construction company, which has been in business since 1888. It is still going today—Mayor Pollock Steel. There was much construction and engineering to be done in Europe following the war. And I am proud to say that Lt. Colonel Sidney Pollock was the man for the job.

I asked my cousin what had remained from the collection over the years. I wanted to be able to pass some down to my son and future generations. One of the most valuable items was the treasure trove of 8 MM movies that gave glimpses of life during and after the war, as well ones featuring our family’s history when we were growing up. These memories are priceless. I have not seen or thought about them in a long time and was excited to be able to watch them again. Best of all, I am going to transfer them to digital so they will be preserved and easily accessible.

To my surprise, he also said he had my first Indian motorcycle, which sported a bright yellow gas tank. He was going to ship that to me as well. To be honest, I was in tears to know that my old minibike was still around. The memories it brought back to me of all those years playing Evil Knievel with my cousins. It is amazing how time flies. It is amazing to be able to drift back to those memories of me learning to walk, ride a bike, skate, ski, etc. Each of those experiences made me the person I am today. I am excited to see all of these items and even plan on donating some to a local museum so others can experience some history, too. To the rest of us, here’s to a successful 2021. We look forward to seeing you at our monthly Virtual Retreats, which start the end of February, on our weekly Podcasts, and in our magazine. Also, we hope to see you in person soon. As always, keep the faith. CCR

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — JANUARY 2021


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www.defenselite.com • info@defenselite.com • 888.689.5502 CIRCLE NO. 61


From Midtown to Manhattan Beach. We’ve expanded to the West Coast Bringing decades of experience building high profile retail and office environments for the world’s largest brands. We’re ready to build for you. Tom Fenton, Business Development Manager (914) 244-9100 x 322 / tfenton@schimenti.com

NE W YORK

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