Page 1

October 2015 •





Interruptions & Distractions GENERAL CONTRACTING: The Pros And Cons SPECIAL REPORT

BIGEN AFRICA: Closing Africa’s Infrastructure Gap


When it comes to lifting, transporting, installing and decommis-

tailor-made solutions for engineered heavy logistics. If you are

sioning large structures, we believe your biggest challenges

facing challenges in decommissioning, give us a call. Time may

aren’t about size. They’re about time. Uptime, turnaround time

not be set in concrete or forged in steel. It isn’t even all that

and time to market. In case of decommissioning, where no two

heavy. And yet, it’s the biggest thing we can move for you.

structures are the same, time spent on careful planning and creative engineering results in a solution with an optimal balance

For more information, please call Jelle Lanting, general manager

between time, cost and capacity for each operation.

Decommissioning: +31 6 46 60 25 55. Or send him an email:

With offices on every other continent and a fleet of equipment

that is unparalleled in size and capacity, Mammoet provides

Discover more on


The rise of the plyscraper T H E W O R D P LY S C R A P E R is so catchy

that it’s irresistible to journalists: nevertheless, it’s a fact that wood, whose mechanical properties are celebrated in so many ancient buildings, is no longer the material of the past. Technology has overcome such limitations as it had, and engineered wood is economical, adaptable, durable, has excellent thermal properties and ticks a lot of other LEED boxes. From the HoHo in Vienna to london’s Stadthaus, timber construction offers the combination of minimal cost and no carbon footprint – our lead article this month explores recent progress in returning timber to the mainstream. We can’t expect the arboreally challenged Middle East to join this trend, and featured company Hadeed Emirates Contracting Company underlines that steel remains indispensable – particularly for fast track industrial projects. It also has a great story to tell in carbon reduction.

Enjoy the Issue Abigail Phillips Associate Editor




MANAGEMENT PLANNING Preventing Deadly Interruptions And Distractions


GENERAL CONTRACTING The pros & cons of subcontracting

12 18

TOP 10 Out There AND Innovative Constructions 4

October 2015


Hadeed Emirates Contracting

Company Profiles EUROPE 32 Hadeed Emirates Contracting

AFRICA 42 Bigen Africa

USA 56 Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission 66 Nutmeg Companies 74 George V. Voinovich Bridge Project

AUSTRALIA 84 First Solar

George V. Voinovich Bridge Project



Bigen Africa


Nutmeg Companies


Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission


Preventing DEADLY INTERRUPTIONS AND DISTRACTIONS Health and safety is a key concern for construction bosses. Discover how to prevent accidents with less distractions and interuptions Writ ten by: EDWARD G. BROWN

AS IF I needed more conviction about the devastating impact of workplace distractions, I came across this claim from Safety Services Company research: “Statistics show that distractions are a major culprit in many workplace injuries and fatalities.” Yes, fatalities. I’ve spent many years teaching office workers, so I know how today’s “Interruption Culture” destroys productivity, workplace interpersonal relationships, job performance, and job satisfaction in office situations. So in workplaces like construction sites where the work is more physical, of course interruptions and their first cousin, distractions, would be more devastating. “Injuries and fatalities.” The pain and sorrow behind that stat no doubt have a costly corollary in terms of insurance premiums, payouts, and penalties. So clearly, it behoves physical work places, like construction sites, to be meticulously attentive to preventing distractions. Obviously it is an inconvenient truth but the question is how? When interruptions are woven into the fabric of today’s workplace culture, how do you make that happen? Not surprisingly, the best method 7

MANAGEMENT/PLANNING varies according to what kind of interruption or distraction is being experienced by your workers. One major problem is inattention, or what I call Mental Leakage. As I wrote in my book, “We are not masters of our own minds. We daydream. When what we’re doing doesn’t engage us tightly enough, our mind wanders to more attractive subjects – our next holiday, the coming weekend, what’s for lunch. We worry. Will that big contract come through? What will the X-rays show? Are the kids getting a good education? Will I make it to the hardware store before closing?” When that happens to me while I am writing an article, that’s not good – I waste time, fritter away mental energy, and irritate my waiting editors. But when it happens to a construction worker, life and limb is at stake. He walks in front of a dangerous machine. Fails to balance a load properly. Pours the wrong concoction. Forgets a crucial safety step. I teach six of my own tried and true methods for stemming Mental Leakage – a mental “Checklist” that help focus the mind and keep it focused which I call The Mental Hygiene Process. If I managed a 8

October 2015

construction crew, I would adapt those methods to the workers’ needs. One quick example: One of my techniques is called Visualizing the Ideal Self. You picture yourself victorious in a challenging situation when the odds are against you. A defense lawyer might visualize the client’s gratitude on hearing “not guilty.” A salesperson might visualize herself being applauded by her teammates in the next sales meeting. It could be as simple as an accountant visualizing showing up at his kid’s ballgame on time because he finished his work swiftly. The pleasure rush the brain

‘For a construction worker whose mind keeps drifting back to, say, his money problems or his dad’s illness, the visualization might be, “I can see myself driving proudly over this bridge” and telling the kids I helped build it.”’ gets from that picture re-energizes the person toward his or her task at hand. For a construction worker whose mind keeps drifting back to, say, his money problems or his dad’s illness, the visualization might be, “I can see myself driving proudly over this bridge” and telling the kids I helped build it.” Or, “If this fountain turns out perfectly, I can see the boss asking me for my creative input on any future fountain jobs we get.” If that gives the worker a rush, it rivets him back to the current job. Another technique is called Constructive Acceptance, which means accepting that which you

cannot change and doing so graciously, not grudgingly. You find the positive in what appears negative. It’s 100 degrees and you’re working on a black roof? Good thing the company negotiated extra pay and longer breaks for jobs like this in August. Then there’s Transcending the Environment, which means rising above physical issues. The new boss has an irritating habit of changing the day’s priorities, so nothing ever gets done. Squelch that irritation by recalling that your only job is to do well what you’re asked to do, and you’re not being asked to do anything you can’t do well. 9

MANAGEMENT/PLANNING You can transcend the environment by utilizing positive affirmations. “I can do it!” is just one of the examples. If you focus on the positives your work flows with less effort; if you concentrate on the drudgery, your work effort is sluggish and reluctant. The point is, workers who are actively worrying about family matters, grump about tough conditions, or irritated about management shortcomings are workers likely to make a mistake, and potentially a dangerous mistake. These techniques can save life and limb, not just time. Aside from workers’ Mental Leakage, workers are also adversely affected Transcend the environment


October 2015

by interruptions, especially when they are interruptions they can’t ignore – when they come from the boss or your client. In my book I call interrupters “Time Bandits,” but when interruptions pose safety issues, perhaps they should be called “Safety Bandits.” I know an accomplished cabinet maker and I once asked him about his craft. It was like listening to a true, dedicated artist, as he spoke reverently about the care and steps he takes at each and every stage of the process. Measuring this before cutting that, giving something time to dry, but not too much, inserting this before the wood swelled, and so on. I remember


thinking as he talked that it would be almost a sacrilege to interrupt him as he worked – and that an interruption would be bound to leave flaws in his work product and possibly endanger him as well. It’s one thing to walk up on a colleague with a pen in his hands. But what if he’s wielding an electric saw? Even if your construction workers are not engaged in artistry, their work does involve prescribed processes that if not followed can lead to mistakes that can in turn pose danger. So guard against being a Safety Bandit yourself, and teach them how to deter others from being Safety Bandits. If you see that they are being interrupted unnecessarily by co-workers or vendors, that’s a safety issue you can’t ignore. Take steps to create an interruption-free work zone, to the extent possible. That means educating vendors and workers on the danger of interruptions. But it takes more. It also means teaching workers how to deter their Safety Bandits. Let’s face it, asking innocent-intentioned people not to interrupt you is not an intuitive interaction. Your workers need to understand why it matters, what words they can use, what tone works and

what does not, and how to make it in the best interest of the other party to let them work uninterruptedly. Another source of grave danger to work is multi-tasking. When you hear this refrain, “I have too much to do and not enough time to do it,” don’t ignore it. When workers are pressed to do too much, they end up multi-tasking. By definition they are not focused on any single task. In the office, that creates poor output – mistakes, sloppiness, and so on. On the job site, it creates danger. Point out the dangers of multitasking and make rules about it. No carrying tools up the scaffolding while talking on the phone. No filling out forms in the middle of a drivers shift. Then, show them how, if they eliminate interruptions, they can save so much time that they will no longer have “too much to do and not enough time to do it.” Ending interruptions saves time. Having more time saves lives. Think back to your most productive, satisfying work days. More than likely they involved you being able to throw yourself into something you wanted to do without being distracted or interrupted. That is the best environment for your workers, no matter what their jobs consist of. 11


The Pros & Cons Of Subcontracting There are a number of reasons why companies choose to outsource work, and the practice comes with both positive and negative effects Written by: JOEL LEVY


GENERAL CONTRACTING WITH EVER-GROWING costpressures and the need to make use of a workforce’s time as efficiently as possible in a competitive industry, many companies are subcontracting more work than ever. Contractors of all sizes will subcontract either to save money, because their own resources are insufficient or required elsewhere or because they believe the required expertise is not available in-house and the job could be better

A subcontractor offers specialist skills 14

October 2015

performed by a third party. Subcontracting will always have an effect on the quality of services delivered versus performing all work in-house, be it positive or negative, but it is important to understand the reasons for both outcomes. Benefits Perhaps most importantly to many, subcontracting offers an opportunity to save money in certain areas. Although hourly rates for subcontracted employees may not always be lower than those for your own, considerable savings are to be made on tax and insurance as well as training in the long run. Using another company may also offer access to specialist skills and expertise that the main contractor themselves may lack. The subcontractor will be a specialist in the particular area, for example electrics, and have the ability


to perform the job more effectively than the main contractor could. Indeed, this main contractor’s role in the process when awarded a contract can be thought of as being responsible for getting each element of the work completed to as high a standard as possible, although this will not necessarily mean doing all of it themselves. Instead they are providing a valuable service by using their industry knowledge and contacts to assemble a team that can collectively deliver every element of

The main contractor is responsible for assembling a team that can collectively deliver every element of the work

the work efficiently and effectively. Using another company of course also frees up your own staff, affording you the time and resources to focus on your core business and areas of speciality. It also means you do not have to commit to hiring employees on a permanent basis. This enables greater flexibility; as more work comes your way, you needn’t take on staff only to have to dismiss them when things get quiet, causing negativity. Subcontracting also mitigates your risk as the responsibility becomes the subcontractor’s. If complications occur in the hands of the other company they are obliged to address the issue using their own resources, and indeed may be better equipped to do so than the main contractor as the job is their own particular area of expertise. Turnaround times are usually faster too when subcontracting. No single company is spreading their resources too thinly or in some cases over too great a geographical distance, and a project’s completion can be delivered faster. Negatives/complications Although a company will carefully 15

GENERAL CONTRACTING choose the best subcontractor and build up solid long-term relationships and trust in a contractor to carry out the work to a high standard, by subcontracting at all, said company relinquishes control of the process and cannot influence the quality of work undertaken by the other company, meaning that any deficiencies in performance and outcome reflect negatively on their own reputation. Of course, this is particularly of concern when using a contractor for the first time; whatever their reputation, you will not know to what standard they will perform for you personally until they have completed a job for you.

Some businesses could find relinquishing control of projects difficult as they cannot influence the quality of work undertaken by subcontractors


October 2015

The other company’s customer service policy may also differ from your own, or the skill and standard of employee may be inferior to your own as you see it. You can personally handpick your own talent and train them to do the job the way you want it to be done; this is obviously not the case when using somebody else’s employees. Using another company also requires greater communication and more time spent aligning your expectations and strategy with theirs. You will have to spend time answering their questions, perhaps chasing them up, and monitoring their progress

By subcontracting, a contractor relinquishes control of the process and quality of work


Good communication is required long-distance, all of which can cause delays and increase response times. And now we come to availability. There is no guarantee that your preferred subcontractor will be available to undertake the work when needed, meaning you may have to work with a new and untrusted alternative company which whom you have no previous relationship, which can create complications as previously mentioned. Ultimately, by subcontracting, a standardisation of your services is hard or indeed impossible to achieve as you cannot guarantee that the experience you give a client will be the same every time. Entrusting an element of a contract to another company is then a doubleedged sword. On the one hand

you are saving time and resources and taking advantage of external expertise, while on the other you are surrendering complete control of a project and possibly even risking your own reputation. But of course your industry knowledge and contacts mitigate some of these risks and makes subcontracting a very viable option. 17

TOP 10

Out There & Innova

The following buildings may be unconventional, but fine examples of how thinking outside the box can le Written by: JOEL LEVY

ative Constructions

t their ground-breaking designs have provided eave a lasting architectural landmark 19

TOP 10

10) Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, Ontario, Canada The Believe it or Not franchise showcases curiosities in a number of locations, however, the design of the museum at Niagara Falls Ontario deserves to make the exhibition itself. The building represents an upended skyscraper on its side that has taken some of the road with it, as a taxi floats inexplicably and pedestrians and construction workers cling on.


09) Piano House, Huainan, China Music-lovers of Huainan, China, can revel in this building, designed by architecture students from the Hefei University of Technology. The focal transparent violin contains the escalators and the staircase for the main piano-shaped building which is currently used to by city planners to display plans and proposed developments.


TOP 10

08) CyberTecture Egg Building, Mumbai, India Designed by James Law, Cybertecture International and engineer Ove Arup, the “egg� houses 33,000 sqm of office space in 13 storeys, achieving this using around 15 percent less area than a conventional building of this size. The structure supports floor plates without the need for obstructive columns. The building achieves sustainability and energy efficiency through its passive solar design, the inclusion of an elevated garden which aids in cooling the interior through thermolysis, use of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines on the roof, and the facility to recycle sullage.


07) The Basket Building, Ohio, US The headquarters of the Longaberger Basket Company serve as a striking advertisement for its wares, albeit 160 times larger at 192 feet long by 126 feet wide. Completed in 1997, the seven-storey ‘basket’ features handles that can be heated during cold weather to avoid ice damage.


TOP 10

06) Kansas City Public Library, US The ‘Community Bookshelf’ of Kansas Library’s Central Parking garage features 22 popular and varied titles reaching a height of some 26 feet, which were chosen by literature fans of the city. They serve both as a reminder of the public’s favourite books and an attractive disguise for the car park behind that was built to satisfy demand in 2006.


05) The Shard, London, England Modelled on a shard of glass, Europe’s current tallest building at 306 metres was constructed in three years. It consists of 72 floors, the uppermost of which houses an open-air observation deck. It dominates the London skyline and is a popular tourist attraction.


TOP 10

04) HARPA Concert Hall & Conference Center, Reyjkavik, Iceland The award-winning design by artist Olafur Eliasson with Henning Larsen architects was influenced by Iceland’s renowned natural scenery and the Northern Lights, and in its waterfront location, dramatically reflects both the sky and harbour in its glass façade. LED’s illuminate at night to produce a truly stunning landmark.


03) Linked Hybrid, Beijing, China Constructed by Steven Holl Architects between 2003 and 2009, the 220,000 sqm mixed-use complex consists of eight connected towers. The architects say the design was intended “to counter the current privatised urban developments in China by creating a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side.” 27

TOP 10

02) Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Terminal 3, HUAnGTIAN, CHINA The recently completed 1.5km, 500,000 sqm terminal is a striking visual from above and was designed by architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas to resemble a manta ray. Honeycomb shaped panels punctuate the roof, allowing natural light to filter through. The distinctive white conical columns rise to touch the roof at heights of up to 80 metres. Air conditioning vents are enclosed within stylised ‘white trees’. Shenzhen Airport Group was so pleased with the design that it is attempting to copyright it.



TOP 10


01) Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain Designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, who won a competition for ideas to redevelop the site, The Parasol overcame construction difficulties that saw it more than double in cost to€100m after six years of work and a redesign. The Metropol Parasol has revitalised the Plaza de la Encarnación, which was for years reduced to being used as a parking lot and gained a reputation as a dead zone between the city’s popular tourist attractions. The structure consists of six large mushroom-shaped parasols which provide shade from the city’s often hot climate and stands some 90 feet high and nearly 500 feet long. To avoid disturbing the Roman Ruins in the area, supporting columns could only be placed in certain locations, requiring an unusual design. Visitors, who may be interested to know that the structure is held together by (super-strong) glue, can enjoy viewing platforms perched atop the organic forms, which also shelter restaurants, shops and an archaeological museum. The parasol is also used for public events. 31


.‫م‬.‫م‬.‫ﺣـــﺪﻳــــﺪ اﻻﻣـــــﺎرات ﻟﻠﻤﻘـﺎوﻻت ذ‬

Contracting – and expanding in the GCC region Written by: John O’Hanlon Produced by: Heykel Ouni

Hadeed Emirates Contracting LLC, or HEC, likes to categorise itself as a mid-size contracting company working in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in each of which it has an office: its founder and CEO, Mr Sameer Dabbas, seems comfortable with this description, though after speaking with him one is left with the idea that at the rate the company has been growing, it may quite soon outgrow the mid-size category



EC was established in 2001. “We started by concentrating on structural steel as a discipline,” said CEO Sameer Dabbas. “Soon we started to take on some civil contracting work. This made us realise that we needed to be able to add electromechanical disciplines, so we acquired a specialist company to give us that capability.” From this point, it was a short step to start offering clients a design and build package. HEC’s attitude has always been more to meet the clients’ needs however these change, than to set limits on its capability. This way it has made a name for itself as the company to go to for fast track projects, where industrial clients from any sector can get their facilities up and running in time to meet their market demands. Now HEC has come to specialise in creating turnkey solutions in record time.

HEC’s attitude has always been to meet the client’s needs however these change


October 2015


HEC has come to specialise in creating turnkey solutions in record time

The structural steel manufacturing and fabrication plant in Abu Dhabi, established in 2008, has been growing continuously. “We are a long way from being able to supply all the steel we need for our own projects: currently we meet about 50 percent of the demand and outsource the remainder to reliable partners like Zamil Steel,” said Dabbas. “These are long term partners: we have built trust with them and we can rely on them to deliver so that in turn we can deliver for our clients. The name of our game is having a good team in house and then working with good supply chain partners. If you have these two things in the equation success is almost guaranteed!” This is also true of international suppliers. Nearly 70 percent of HEC’s contracts are repeat orders from satisfied clients. “We have state of the art software, and have even developed our

70% The percentage of HEC’s contracts that are repeat orders from satisfied clients

w w w. h a d e e d c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m


H A D E E D E M I R AT E S C O N T R A C T I N G L L C HEC’s USP is its ability to deliver a turnkey project on time, beyond all regulatory requirements, ethically and with environmental sensitivity


own ERP platform in-house, however we think the excellent personal relationships we retain with both clients and suppliers is just as important.” As just one example he cites the French supplier of overhead travelling cranes he has been dealing with for 15 years. “They understand that we are serious, pay promptly, and that our end client’s interest is also their own greatest concern.” As investment in industrial diversification and the development of the UAE’s industrial cities intensifies, many local and international companies are occupying space within wellappointed zones like the Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) in Abu Dhabi or the 14 square kilometre ICAD 1, located near to Musaffah Sea Port and close to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Having made the decision to invest, these companies need to get their facilities into production without delay, so they are turning to HEC in increasing numbers. For example, last year HEC completed a new manufacturing facility for UAE-based West Coast Company, a waste management specialist. The Kizad plant produces paper products from recycled materials, appropriately for what Dabbas calls one of a few industrial zones in the world that build according to strict environmental regulations. An even more recent success story is just being finished, also at Kizad. This is the $13 million Polysys Additive Technologies Middle East (PATME) manufacturing plant. The factory produces polymer stabilizers and will have the

HEC has increased its workforce by around 10 percent, to around 1200

“They have to be in production by a certain date: that is understood by us all - so we work to their dates and draw up a plan with which they can be comfortable.” – Sameer Dabbas, CEO

w w w. h a d e e d c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m



Companies are turning to HEC in increasing numbers


October 2015

initial capacity of 7,000 tons a year to serve the regional customers’ growing needs for these products. “The plant was completed in record time,” said Dabbas. “The client gave us a target of ten months, and to get all the equipment installed, commissioned and powered up in that time was really a big challenge.” But the HEC project team managed to achieve this. Time is money, he reiterated, and not just for industrial clients. Schools and universities also feature in the project portfolio, and often their expansion programs need to be completed within the vacation. HEC is proud of its reputation as a company that can unfailingly meet these tight schedules using innovative and flexible approaches to management and construction methodology. “Sometimes we elect to do things in parallel rather than in sequence; we may use factorymade modules as opposed to constructing on site, or pre-assembling electromechanical elements at the same time as doing the preparatory engineering. Techniques like this can cut the project time by as much a half!” So he is relishing a project that sets an even tighter timeframe as HEC accepts the challenge to build Morgan Advanced Materials’ first dedicated Middle East facility, again at Kizad. The London-based company is a global producer of fibre products, and this facility will initially focus on the production of high-temperature fibre products for use in sectors including oil and


It was a short step to start offering clients a design and build package

gas, aluminium, steel, energy, petrochemicals and fire protection. It’s HEC’s first contract with this client, but Morgan carefully monitored the Polysys construction to satisfy itself that HEC could deliver; with only eight months to complete a job that is not less demanding than PATME, it was clearly impressed. “They have to be in production by a certain date: that is understood by us all, so we work to their dates and draw up a plan with which they can be comfortable. They know exactly what they want and have been repeating the process all over the world,” says Sameer Dabbas. So many projects are listed on HEC’s website, and so many more are in hand or projected that we couldn’t hope to give more than a taste of the company’s reach. However it’s worth mentioning a couple more. One is a new project for a client that has been coming to

HEC is proud of its reputation

w w w. h a d e e d c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m



HEC’s success speaks for itself: for the time being it is content to be the leading mid-sized contractor in the region


October 2015

HEC since 2003. Al Masaood Marine is building on the coast within ICAD a ship maintenance depot complete with heavy lifting, fabrication and workshop facilities. “We understand this business, and we understand how to execute it within the UAE regulations that are very rigorously applied in the industrial zones.” HEC’s plans for regional expansion, particularly into rapidly growing areas within Saudi Arabia and Qatar for example, were to some extent put on hold after 2008 as the depression struck. Now, however, in an improving economic environment HEC has just increased its workforce by 10 percent to around 1,200 and is ready to expand beyond the UAE. It has started to bid for contracts in Saudi Arabia, said Dabbas, and it hopes that a recent contract award will help. Altaaqa Global owns, mobilises, installs and


Company Information INDUSTRY




operates efficient temporary independent power plants at customer sites, focusing on emerging markets. It is now establishing a new headquarters and logistics presence at the Dubai World Central, the new city that will be host to World Expo 2020. Understandably Sameer Dabbas is upbeat about this development. “Altaaqa is a subsidiary of the Zahid Group, a massive industrial force in the region. We are very happy they have put their confidence in us.” At the end, HEC’s USP is its ability to deliver a turnkey project on time, beyond all regulatory requirements, ethically and with environmental sensitivity. Its success to date speaks for itself, but for the time being it is content to be the leading mid-size contractor in the region. That way it can keep the personal goodwill that lies at the core of its success.



Turnkey project delivery

w w w. h a d e e d c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m




GAP Written by: John O’Hanlon Produced by: Richard Deane



Through a holistic approach to operational excellence, Bigen Africa is at the forefront of project development on the continent


igen Africa, a leading infrastructure development group with an established presence in southern Africa and a growing African footprint, continues to play a significant role in closing the infrastructure gap on the continent, despite a troubled global economy. With its vision of improving the quality of life of all through the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions, Bigen Africa provides engineering, management consulting, development finance and advisory services on cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in several African countries. The group has delivered projects with a combined value of R200 billion over the past decade, operating in the health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, property, housing, energy, road, rail and mining sectors.

Steyn City: Bigen Africa’s superior design and engineering capabilities have been proven and awarded consistently during its 44 years of operation.


October 2015


Bigen Africa’ philosophy of “doing good while doing business” supports the company vision of improving the quality of life of all through the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions.

“With over 40 years of experience, much of it obtained on projects ensuring progressive leaps for African countries, Bigen Africa has an in-depth understanding of the infrastructure development needs experienced on the continent and is committed to supporting the African Union agenda in achieving its infrastructure development goals,” says Dr Snowy Khoza, Chief Executive Officer. Central to the group’s success, in terms of both business achievements and expansion into Africa, is its value proposition to customers, governments and communities – to provide infrastructure development solutions through a holistic approach which encompasses inhouse capabilities, strategic partnerships

500 Number of staff employed by Bigen Africa

w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m



Snowy Khoza

and off-taker needs to optimise project validity and add innovative and sustainable value in integrating the entire value chain in an infrastructure development process. The group’s capabilities range from feasibility studies through project preparation, management and implementation to development finance and ongoing asset management.

Chief Executive Officer Having grown up in poverty in a South African township during the apartheid years, Dr Snowy Khoza has overcome great social and financial challenges, such as being forced to give up her schooling to start work in a factory at the age of 13. Eventually obtaining several bursaries, she completed a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University, USA and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. Her career journey comprises more than 28 years at senior management level. Before joining Bigen Africa in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer, Dr Khoza was Group Executive at the Development Bank of Southern Africa for 12 years, which was the culmination of various positions in information technology, strategy, governance, communications, knowledge management, policy, human resources, research and information analysis.


October 2015

Partnerships The forging of strategic partnerships is key to Bigen Africa’s business approach and the group collaborates not only with African governments, but also with suppliers and project partners which complement the group’s capability range to ensure that clients have access to a “full-service” offering. “The group’s partnerships strategy is key to its success in achieving technical excellence and innovation,” explains Dr Khoza. “At its annual Partnership Conferences, Bigen Africa strengthens ties with industry delegates from across Africa with a view to forging strategic partnerships. Through these, the group aims to build its capabilities in the renewable energy, development finance, rails, mining and industrial, mechanical engineering and project delivery services.” Industry awards Based on Bigen Africa’s contributions to the advancement of infrastructure development in


South Africa and on the continent, as well as its innovation, quality, outstanding workmanship and professionalism in the consulting engineering sector, the group recently won three of the seven categories at the annual awards event of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA). The categories were Business Excellence, Mentoring Company of the Year and Best International Project, with the latter being awarded for Bigen Africa’s work on the 360km North-South Carrier (NSC-2) regional water transfer system in Botswana. Bigen Africa’s entries in four other categories also qualified for the final round of judging – Mentor of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, the massive Steyn City residential project in Gauteng, South Africa (project value R50 million to R250 million) and the innovative, “green” Wallacedene taxi rank in Cape Town (project value under R50 million). CESA is an organisation committed to furthering engineering excellence and the annual awards are the top highlight on the industry’s calendar. “Bigen Africa is extremely blessed to have received these awards,” says Dr Khoza. “The group is dedicated to ensuring excellence in its operations, changing the lives of millions of Africans and practising its creed of “doing good while doing business” on a daily basis. Receiving accolades such as these is therefore very gratifying and we as a company give all the glory and honour to God Almighty.”

“Building on its extensive experience and carefully sourced expertise, and with the support of well-chosen industry partners, Bigen Africa offers a solutions driven approach to our clients’ infrastructure development needs” – Snowy Khoza, CEO

w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m


“ Excellence in Legal Practice Unveiled” COMPANY/COMMERCIAL/INVETSMENT LAWYERS

Formed as boutique firm which warehoused all the relevant core skills and specialized knowledge, LOGAN & ASSOCIATES was a response by a group of visionary lawyers lead by Maxwell Logan to fill the vacuum created by the sudden and aggressive deregulation and opening up of the Ghanaian business space in the late 1990s. The firm has one objective, TO CREATE A SOFT LANDING FOR FOREIGN BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO DO BUSINESS IN GHANA by providing guidance in navigating the mine field of regulations and to help them obtain the optimum benefits from incentive regimes in place. The firm provides a 'CRADDLE to ADULTHOOD' service for foreign clients delivering due diligence services, rendering advise on the regulatory regime for sector of client interest, incorporating and setting up investment portfolios, trusteeship services and project advisory. For most clients, we make Ghana ready for them even before the take their first step towards physical presence here. LOGAN & ASSOCIATES is proud of its partnership with our many international clients and we are particularly delighted to have partnered BIGEN AFRICA in its unfolding huge successful entry into Ghana. AFTER YOU CONSIDER DOING BUSINESS IN GHANA, TALKING TO US IS NEXT. A decade and a half on, we are here; STILL PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHTS.''

MESSRS LOGAN & ASSOCIATES The KingFisher House| House No. E742/1 | 10th Avenue | Ringway| Osu-Accra P.O. BOX 30566, KIA ACCRA-GHANATEL: +233 302 797168, FAX +233 302 797169 EMAIL: |

AIMING FOR THE SMALL DOT “Whatever thine hands find to do, do it well”



The group has also received many other awards over the years, including previous CESA awards, and has been one of the Top 500 Best Managed South African Companies since 2006. “Doing good while doing business” Bigen Africa’s creed of “doing good while doing business” is practised through the employees’ multiple social investment initiatives and is also embodied in the activities of Intuthuko Foundation, the group’s corporate social investment arm. With support from employees, clients and partners, the group raised R1 million over the past year for donating to several non-profit organisations, both in South Africa and some of the other African countries where it is active. As far as work and supplier contracts on projects are concerned, Bigen Africa adds value to its business activities by extending, where feasible, such opportunities to local companies in the countries where it is active, as a further boost to local economies.

Klarinet Housing Project. The Klarinet Integrated Housing Project in Witbank Mpumalanga was the recipient of the Govan Mbeki housing award in May 2012.

Expansion strategy Besides having 9 well-established branches across South Africa, Bigen Africa has opened offices in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and, most recently, Ghana. From these bases, the group has completed many cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in these countries as well as Malawi, Swaziland, w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m


BIGEN AFRICA Mozambique, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Congo, Lesotho, and Tanzania. Some of these projects are the provision of electricity for 100 000 rural villagers in Ethiopia; participation in Namibia’s national mass housing development plan; the construction of 30 000 household units for the Ghanaian security forces; the 200ha Luano City development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and phase 2 of the North-South Carrier water transfer scheme in Botswana. The latter entails the implementation of a 330 kilometre-long regional water transfer pipeline, three remotecontrolled break pressure tanks, four remote-


The number of branches Bigen Africa has across Africa

Quality Assurance Quality Control

Quality Pipe Inspectors provide Quality Inspection Services from pipe fabrication to site installation and commissioning throughout the Southern African Region. Tel 011 455 1976 Fax 011 455 0637 E-mail Web Address 2 Skeen Boulevard, Bedfordview, Johannesburg, 2047


October 2015


controlled feeder tanks, a terminal balancing storage reservoir and three pumping stations. Continuing to expand its African footprint is a major aspect of Bigen Africa’s business strategy, S-Vision 16, which is a five-year guide for both business planning and day-to-day operations. “This expansion strategy is being achieved with the support of Bigen Africa’s business partners, including the various country partners, to support localisation, indigenisation and regionalisation,” explains Dr Khoza. “Bigen Africa intends to expand into East Africa, through Kenya. The growth strategy into West Africa is spearheaded through the establishment of Bigen Africa Ghana Limited with a first office registered in Accra.”

The Bigen Africa Group has delivered various projects geared

Human capital development With its current workforce numbering almost 600, Bigen Africa has a formal employee recruitment, retaining and development strategy in place which is integrated with its growth objectives. The BigenPeople strategy is intended to capacitate the group for growth through building knowledge communities and encouraging multi-skilling, as well as directing employees’ attention towards the group’s S-Vision 16 goals. “Bigen Africa’s biggest asset is its human capital,” says Dr Khoza. “In an industry where engineering talent is at a premium, the group needs to take a longterm view to ensuring capability. One of the key core values is empowerment, which

toward sustainable infrastructure development in several countries on the African continent. The combined value of these projects over the past decade alone has amounted to R200 billion.

w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m



North South Carrier Project Bigen Africa has opened offices in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Ghana and has undertaken numerous infrastructure development projects in these countries to ensure an improved quality of life for all. Amongst these projects is the North South Carrier water transfer scheme in Botswana which entails the implementation of a 330km long regional water transfer pipeline. 52

October 2015


focuses on the skills development of all employees and strategic partnerships.” Some of the many programmes in place are study assistance, management and leadership development, succession management, technical expertise development and mentoring. Bigen Africa received industry recognition for its mentoring programme at the CESA Engineering Excellence Awards in 2012, and again in 2015, where it was named Mentoring Company of the Year. At the awards ceremony in 2013, Kobus Viljoen, one of Bigen Africa’s engineers, received the Mentor of the Year Award.

Green Star South Africa awarded

Thought leader With Bigen Africa’s mission being “to become a thought-leading, multinational infrastructure development consultancy with core capabilities in engineering, management consulting and development finance”, Bigen Africa aims to be progressive in all areas of its business, and this includes environmental responsibility. “The group’s involvement in South Africa’s first ‘green’ taxi rank, as provider of design and engineering services, is a highlight in its portfolio,” says Dr Khoza enthusiastically. “Bigen Africa utilised innovative conservation principles to render the facility largely selfsufficient in terms of water and energy use – while being able to accommodate some 5 000 commuters and 50 taxi drivers.”

the Wallacedene taxi rank a fourstar rating which recognises that the facility adheres to the body’s “best practice” guidelines

w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m



Bigen Africa provided the full spectrum of infrastructure services for Luano City. This included design, planning, construction supervision, roads and access as well as structural and sanitation services on the multi use commercial, residential and industrial Luano city development in the DRC.

As a part of the expansion strategy, Bigen recently opened their Ghana Office.


October 2015

The taxi rank uses alternative energy and water provision systems to ensure considerable savings for the local municipality, such as a rooftop solar photovoltaic panel system, rainwater harvesting and recycling of up to 70 percent of water used. These innovations have culminated in Green Star South Africa awarding the Wallacedene taxi rank a four-star rating which recognises that the facility adheres to the body’s “best practice” guidelines. With the group’s capabilities ranging from the provision of basic, essential infrastructure to innovation on unique projects – such as Wallacedene and the massive, prestigious Steyn City residential project – Bigen Africa has proven itself up to every design and


Company Information INDUSTRY

Infrastructure Development HEADQUARTERS




engineering challenge it has encountered. “Building on its extensive experience and carefully sourced expertise, and with the support of well-chosen industry partners, Bigen Africa offers a solutions driven approach to clients seeking effective solutions to infrastructure development needs,” affirms Dr Khoza. “The group will continue to strengthen its position as a leader in the industry, covering business development, strategic partnerships, geographical expansion, corporate restructure, human capital development and financial objectives, thereby ensuring its efficiency in assisting African countries to address key emerging public policy priorities.”



Engineering; Managment Consulting and Development Finance

w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m


Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Celebrates 75 Years On its 75th anniversary, what is in store for the future of America’s first superhighway? Written by: Sasha Orman Produced by: Tom Venturo



Southern Section


n 1940, the landscape of the United States was vastly different than today’s. The advent of the automobile lifestyle and the interstate highway system changed everything, and it all started with America’s first “superhighway”— the Pennsylvania Turnpike. On the 75th anniversary of this historic roadway, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is taking a fond look at its past while looking ahead to new improvements and projects that will bring a brighter future to Pennsylvania commerce and commuters.


October 2015

Celebrating 75 Years When the Pennsylvania Turnpike first opened, it changed the face of transportation and business capabilities for the region. “The first thing that comes to mind when you think about the PA turnpike is the truck traffic, the commerce we move through the Keystone state,” said PTC Chief Engineer Brad Heigel. “Regionally, the connection between Ohio and New Jersey really began with the Turnpike, and it continues to be a commerce pipeline from the Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard— especially between New Stanton and Breezewood where we have


Pier View Looking North

I-70 designation. We have truck volumes in those areas that are well over 12 percent of the vehicles in that stretch.” But the Turnpike’s impact is not simply regional. “We were the first superhighway,” noted Heigel. “We preceded all the other interstate highways in the United States. A lot of the design criteria and design issues that Pennsylvania Turnpike faced and resolved as it was constructed became the basis of the interstate highway program as we know it across the nation.” The Turnpike reaches 75 years officially on October 1, 2015, and this year the PTC is celebrating its contributions to the region with several events to commemorate the occasion. “We have already been celebrating throughout the year leading up to our October event, the day

“We’re excited to say we’re now over 100 miles of reconstructed turnpike across the state” – Brad Heigel, Chief Engineer

w w w. p a t u r n p i k e . c o m


CONGRATULATIONS Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission 75th Anniversary Building For The Next 75.. Proudly Providing Construction Managment and Inspection To The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission We at ALCM are committed to producing projects of high value to Owners and Taxpayers while being cognizant ot the project’s environmental constraints, the needs of the host communities and the safet y of the traveling public.

Carlisle MP 215 to 227


• • •

Beaver River Bridge

• • • • • • •

Administration, Management and Construction Inspection Construction Progress Documentation Construction Coordination, Submittal Approval and Project Record Documentation Contractor Payment Review for Current and Final Estimates Change Order Preparation Coordination of Right of Way Access and Utility Relocations Weekly Schedule Coordination and Monthly Progress Meetings Safety and E&S Walk Thru Inspections Material Testing and Documentation Project Close-Out Activities

Somerset Maintenance Facilit y

350 AronA roAd new StAnton, PA 15672

Ph: 724.925.2034 Fx: 724.925.2640

PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION C O N S T R U C T I O N the turnpike opened to traffic in 1940,” said Renee Colborn, Manager of Media and Public Relations at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. This has included events like a classic car show at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza, where 300 classic cars were on display along with memorabilia and concessions at 1940s prices. The main commemoration event will commence in October at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. “What they’re doing is opening a new turnpike exhibit which features an original tollbooth rebuilt inside the museum,” said Colborn. “It’s a part of the bigger transportation exhibit—the PA Turnpike is featured with the tollbooth, turnpike memorabilia and fully operational traffic signs.” This memorabilia, including an operational center used in the 1940s and 1950s, will be unveiled for

Setting Modular Dam

Last Deck Placement w w w. p a t u r n p i k e . c o m


American Geotechnical & Environmental Services, Inc.

Congratulations Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission 75th Anniversary !

One of the largest specialty geotechnical engineering design firms in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been a proud teaming partner with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission since 1995. This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary and we would like to thank all our clients and friends for their support!

Surveying and Construction Inspection Monaloh Basin Engineers is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with experience in providing the following ser vic es to the t r a n s p o r t ation industry: survey, right-of-way, utility coordination and construction inspection.

724-916-0300 / Canonsburg, PA, Hollidaysburg, PA King of Prussia, PA & Baltimore, MD

PITTSBURGH OFFICE 300 Business Center Drive Suite 304 Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (P): 412-788-2433

MECHANICSBURG OFFICE 5020 Ritter Road Suite 101 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 (P): 717-795-4621

toll free: (866) 489-1234

Lighting Your Way Since 1979 Heavy Highway | Industrial | Commercial

With over 35 years in the electrical field, Power Contracting Company is dedicated to providing quality work, competitive prices and skilled craftsmen, to owners and contractors throughout the industry. P: 412.278.0889 F: 412.278.0989

1011 Mumma Road Suite 101 Lemoyne, PA 17043 tel: (717) 236-9307 fax: (717) 236-1281 toll free: (866) 489-1234

Protection Services Inc. (PSI) has been a leader in the maintenance of traffic and horizontal construction industries for more than 50 years thanks to you, our customers. Our strength lies in our ability to serve customers like no other company in the industry with the impressive volume and diverse variety of products that PSI offers.

PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION C O N S T R U C T I O N the public starting October 1st. Investing in modernization The world has changed a lot in 75 years, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike must continually change and grow with it to keep up with the needs of those who travel its roadways every day. This can take several forms, from commuter outreach and tech investments—like its award-winning Trip Talk app—to roadway construction. Over the past 15 years, the PTC’s largest initiative has been its sweeping total reconstruction program. Since 2000, the highway commission has been removing road bed down to subgrade, upgrading surfaces and replacing drainage systems, and in many cases widening the original 4-lane 10 foot median model to a more modern 6-lane, 26 foot median setup equipped to handle today’s traffic. “We’re excited to say we’re now over 100 miles of reconstructed turnpike across the state,” said Heigel, noting that the commission reached an all-time high of 22 miles under construction this summer. “We have about another 130 miles in design, moving through at different levels of completeness and preliminary design, as we continue to maintain a very robust capital plan exceeding about $600 million of investment into our highway on the fiscal year.” A more recent major project for the PTC is an expansion to I-95 that had been long discussed and is now underway, including contracts to construct ramps that will connect northbound

Toe Bench Constr

Abut 2 Pile Driving

w w w. p a t u r n p i k e . c o m



I-95 to eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike and westbound Turnpike to southbound I-95. With these contracts in production, PTC expects to have I-95 fully connected from Maine to Florida by 2018. These projects are ambitious— the reconstruction program alone accounts for half of the commission’s yearly budget—but the benefits of these updates and upgrades promise to be massive. “By adding additional capacity we’ll be able to better able to maintain the roadway, and by bringing it up to criteria it will be 64

October 2015

safer,” Heigel explained. “We’re really excited. Everyone knows the areas of the turnpike we’ve rebuilt and widened, and it’s a much different driving experience than on a facility that was built 75 years ago. That’s definitely at the forefront of our daily initiatives here at the Turnpike.” Planning for the future While the PTC is busy with current projects, the commission is always looking ahead to new projects in the future. One major project on the horizon is actually an extension


of projects first started to support industry and economic development in the mid-1980s through Act 61, known as the Mon/Fayette Expressway and the Southern Beltway. “A number of miles of those roadways have been built from Maryland to Pittsburgh, but they stalled due to lack of funding,” said Heigel. Two years ago, with the approval of Act 89 through the efforts of Former Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch, funding will make the progress of these roadways possible once again. “We’re excited to say that we’re moving ahead with next section of the Southern Beltway. It’s away from the mainline Turnpike, but as we maintain our reconstruction focus on the mainline, what I would say is in store for us in the future is the ability for us to continue our expansion on those projects,” he added. With every project today and in the future, the goal is the same as it was when the Turnpike first opened three-quarters of a century ago: to improve commerce and increase convenience for commuters in Pennsylvania and beyond. “Being a toll facility, we want the customer that rides our roadway today to come back tomorrow,” said Heigel. “We always have that in the back of our mind. We’re trying to make that experience to be as good as possible, and we take a lot of pride in that. So we’re constantly looking at our level of service and making sure we’re providing the best level of service, the best ride we can do.”

Company Information INDUSTRY

Roadway infrastructure HEADQUARTERS

P.O. Box 67676 Harrisburg PA, USA 17106 FOUNDED


Not Disclosed REVENUE

Not Disclosed

w w w. p a t u r n p i k e . c o m


Nutmeg Companies, Inc.

Diversity leads to success Thanks to its hard work and reliable team, this construction company continues to make quite the name for itself Written by: Cutter Slagle Produced by: Tom Venturo


N U T M E G C O M PA N I E S , I N C .

Focusing primarily throughout the northeast, the Nutmeg Companies is proficient in design-build and bid-build projects


When we were first starting out, we used to invite our friends over and make them add up spreadsheets with calculators at the dining room table,� said Jason L. Bugbee, owner and vice president of Nutmeg Companies, Inc. Since its start in May 1988, Nutmeg Companies, Inc. has changed significantly. The fully licensed general contractor now has a corporate office in Norwich, Connecticut, as well as satellite offices in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a substantial upgrade from the company’s beginnings in the home basements of Bugbee and 68

October 2015

co-owner and vice president Evert L. Gawendo more than 27 years ago. Focusing primarily throughout the northeast, the company is proficient in design-build and bid-build projects, with the ability to perform all general trade, carpentry, plumbing, and fire protection duties in-house. In a recent interview, both vice presidents along with Director of New Development Robert Godiksen discussed how the company has been able to find success due to its hardworking team, one that exemplifies quality workmanship, reliable service and commitment to excellence.


Nutmeg involves each of its team members in all aspects and cross-train employees

It’s a team effort “We maintain a very strong relationship with our employees, subcontractors and vendors,” said Bugbee. “We strive to be a company that everyone wants to work with.” Since the very beginning, this has been Nutmeg’s goal. The company offers a family-oriented environment and prides itself on having a close relationship with its employees. “We have an extremely low employee turnover rate,” said Gawendo. “Most of our employees are long-term employees.” With team-building events like bowling parties and season tickets

to local sporting events, it’s no secret that Nutmeg’s employees feel close to the company and its executives, which Bugbee believes has helped to set them apart from others in the industry. Working with a range of clients in the local, state and federal government agencies, as well as private sectors, Nutmeg involves each of its team members in all aspects of the trade. “Our employees are cross-trained in all facets of the business, from finance to project management to estimating and engineering,” noted Bugbee. “Even our field employees

w w w. n u t m e g c o m p a n i e s . c o m


N U T M E G C O M PA N I E S , I N C . get the opportunity to handle multiple disciplines, working with owners, architects and other design professionals. “ Furthermore, all of Nutmeg’s field employees are OSHA 10- or 30hour trained, as safety is one of the company’s top priorities. A variety of projects Nutmeg is currently working on the Camp Edwards build, a twopart project consisting of one 25,900-square foot educational

Randy Schaen 860-625-6226

Glenn Coughlin 860-625-3997

Proudly Supporting Nutmeg Companies

Licensed & Insured CT El # 187989

Electrical Contractor 1069 Voluntown Rd. Griswold, CT 06351 PH: 860-376-2851 | FX : 860-376-0396

building plus an additional 32,000-square foot billeting facility. With steel frames, masonry exterior and metal siding, Camp Edwards will be a training center for the Massachusetts National Guard. The project was awarded to Nutmeg after the company’s technical and price proposal provided the best value to the government. Camp Edwards is currently on-track to be completed in April of 2016. The build hasn’t been without its


challenges; in fact, there was a rather large issue early on that Nutmeg had to address. “One of the buildings was going to be located within eight feet of existing high voltage power lines, making it impossible to proceed,” Bugbee said. Nutmeg was able to successfully work with the government to come up with a no cost solution that had the electrical wires placed underground, allowing the project to stay on schedule and within budget. Nutmeg is currently involved in quite a few other programs with the government, working with Navy MATOC—Multi Area Task Order Contract— for northeast responsibility. The company has a total of four different projects in the Newport naval station area, two projects with its GSA IDIQ contract (Indefinite Delivery and Indefinite Quality) and is involved with an on-call program with the University of Connecticut that prequalifies Nutmeg to handle ongoing construction needs. One project that Nutmeg is particularly proud of is the Marine reserve center in Brunswick, Maine. For this build, the company needed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED requirements for a silver certification. The entire project team worked together to help Nutmeg secure a gold certification from the council.

Nutmeg Companies, Inc. is a fully licensed general and mechanical contractor firm with over 27 years of industry experience

“We strive to be a company that everyone wants to work with” – Owner and Vice President Jason L. Bugbee

Going – and staying – green Nutmeg knows the importance of going – and staying – green. When it comes to recycling, w w w. n u t m e g c o m p a n i e s . c o m


N U T M E G C O M PA N I E S , I N C .

The Nutmeg Companies’ team has expertise in commercial, medical, industrial, major mechanical, education and federal government construction

the company is proactive: a high percentage of all contents get recycled including demolition materials, steel, sheet rock, block, brick and concrete. “We recycle as much as we can,” said Godiksen. “We even install and use energy efficient equipment.” The company has made sure that its new office building promotes a greener environment, adding LEED lights to reduce energy consumption, occupancy censors in all rooms and high efficiency water heaters.


October 2015

Strategies for success Keeping shares in each market that includes local, state, federal, private and healthcare, Bugbee noted that it’s hard to predict when one particularly industry is going to stop spending money. “It’s our philosophy to keep as much of balance in as many different markets as possible,” he said. “We don’t want to be caught with no markets to work in.” Bugbee believes that just having good construction skills isn’t enough to stay relevant in this industry.


“You must be able to contribute positively to the client’s business goals,” he said. “A business must be able to enhance during our construction process.” It is through communication with the client that Nutmeg ensures construction doesn’t interrupt a business’ day-to-day activities. Whether that entails working late nights or weekends, it’s imperative to have no surprises. Bugbee gives credit to their highly experienced team for being able to accomplish this essential goal. “Without our employees, numerous subcontractors and vendors, our success wouldn’t be possible,” said Bugbee.

Company Information INDUSTRY


1 Ohio Avenue Norwich CT, USA , 06360 FOUNDED


The future As for the future of the company and the construction industry as a whole, Nutmeg Companies, Inc. is very hopeful, believing that the outlook is promising. “We believe that the private market will start coming back in the northeast,” Bugbee, Gawendo and Godiksen all agreed, from looking at population and business growth in the area as indicators. With its quality workmanship, reliable service and commitment to excellence, Nutmeg is set to tackle whatever challenges and victories the future holds.


$25 million

w w w. n u t m e g c o m p a n i e s . c o m


Trumbull-Great Lakes-R

George V. Voinovic Building George V. Voinovich B

Ohio’s newest bridge promises a smoother, s thanks to careful manag Written by: Sasha Orman


Ruhlin (TGR) Innerbelt

ch Bridge Project Bridge: A Historic Joint Venture

safer commute across the Cuyahoga River, gement and planning

Produced by: Tom Venturo 75


A rendering of the completed bridge shows a view of the city motorists can look forward to seeing upon project completion


s years progress, even the most solid infrastructure begins to show signs of wear and age. This was the case with Cleveland’s I-90 Innerbelt Bridge, which carried thousands of commuters and goods across the Cuyahoga River every day. Built in 1959, the truss bridge began to succumb to corrosion and structural deterioration. After 76

October 2015

studies to determine the best course of action, the Ohio Department of Transportation made the decision to demolish the existing bridge and replace it with twin bridges to usher eastbound and westbound commuters with unprecedented efficiency. With the westbound bridge already built, the joint venture group Trumbull-Great LakesRuhlin (TGR) was selected to


move forward with a design build plan for the eastbound George V. Voinovich Bridge Project. The project at hand Trumbull-Great Lakes-Ruhlin joined together in 2013 to commence work on the Innerbelt/George V. Voinovich Bridge Project, along with designer URS who designed the new bridge from ODOT’s concept drawings. The project consists of two key parts: demolish the original existing bridge, and rebuild a new bridge in its place, owned by the

“The success of a job is to do it safely—and if you do it safely, you’re going to do it efficiently and with a high level of quality as well” – Jason Tucker, construction project manager

w w w. i n n e r b e l t . o r g


Proud Partners with tGr GeorGe V. VoinoVich BridGe Project 12525 Airport Hwy. P.O. Box 210 Swanton, Ohio 43558

Ofc: 419-402-4241 Fax: 419-402-4248

Partnering together for the success of the project.


Ohio Department of Transportation. With demolition complete, the project is now in its building phase, constructing a 4,000 ft bridge in a Delta Girder style. “Its primary design—the main span over the river and the valley—is 2,800 ft long,” says Jason Tucker, TGR construction project manager. “It is a 10-span structure that is a Delta Girder modified design. It will be five lanes and with full shoulders, so it’s about 100 ft wide. The approach span is a four-span conventional girder bridge with similar width, and the length of that is 1,200 ft.” The bridge delivers motorists to

Cleveland’s busy Central Business District, while the approach side travels near the homes and businesses of the Tremont neighborhood. Construction on each side commands its own challenges, as do the slopes of the Cuyahoga River itself. “Another part of the reason we replaced the 1959 bridge is that the foundations didn’t go down to bedrock on the original structure,” says Adam Belasik, TGR project manager. “We changed that on this bridge so that we could secure it to help stabilize the slope.” To guarantee quality, TGR and the

Crew members are nearly 90 feet above ground tying rebar inside the cap form of a pier. Some of the rebar was tied together at ground level and lifted into the form but much had to be done in place w w w. i n n e r b e l t . o r g


Two flat girders were joined together with cross bracing before being lifted on top of the delta structures. Two cranes are needed to make the lift


Ohio Department of Transportation have contracted a third party on site to keep a watchful eye on developments. “The monitoring contractors have two masters, so to speak—they worked for us and also worked for ODOT. They are out there independent of us, but they monitor everything that goes on and document all the testing, et cetera for the owner,” says Belasik. Along with ODOT watching over the project for quality assurance, many eyes on the project promise a meeting of high standards at every point of construction. Focusing on safety “Safety is key to everything,” says Tucker. “The success of a job is to do it safely—and if you do it safely, you’re going to do it efficiently and with a high level of quality as well.” Safety is top priority on the Voinovich Bridge Project. Similar to the firm on site to monitor quality, TGR also appoints staff devoted to the upkeep and consistency of safety measures throughout the project. “The joint venture has two onsite, full-time safety supervisors. They act as support for the crews

out there to get them the tools they need, the equipment they need to do the job safely,” Tucker continues. He notes that the joint venture heavily promotes meetings and programs to ensure that all staff are emphasizing safety whenever possible, from daily analysis with foremen to monthly allhands-on-deck discussions. “On top of that, we are charged with a safety snapshot program,” says Belasik. “We do a certain amount of just stopping to look at an operation and follow a checklist of: are our workers wearing proper safety equipment? Are they operating the equipment properly? Are they in the right locations? Each person on the job has to complete a certain amount of snapshots each week, and our safety folks compile that information to determine the more at-risk activities that are noted.” With these activities identified and examined, TGR is able to ensure safety for its workers, surrounding Cleveland citizens, and commuters using the bridge in the future. A better bridge for Cleveland commuters w w w. i n n e r b e l t . o r g


T R U M B U L L - G R E AT L A K E S - R U H L I N ( T G R ) I N N E R B E LT / G E O R G E V. V O I N O V I C H B R I D G E P R O J E C T

The steel piles used in the river valley are the largest manufactured in the United States. And even at 90 feet long, two had to be used spliced together in order to reach bedrock, nearly 200 feet below ground


October 2015


What’s in store for Cleveland once the Voinovich Bridge Project is complete? A much more comfortable and functional commute across the Cuyahoga River, starting with the promise of five full lanes in each direction plus two full shoulders and entrance ramp lanes to facilitate the flow of traffic onto the bridge.

Company Information INDUSTRY


“The existing bridge had four lanes in each direction and limited shoulders, so you didn’t really have a breakdown lane to pull off if something happened. We had daily backups on the structure previously, and it had short ramp merges to come onto the mainline. It was very difficult in rush hours for traffic to merge in, and it slowed traffic all through downtown corridor,” says Tom Hyland, ODOT’s project manager for construction. “We’ll have full lanes and dedicated entrance ramp lanes—so once the bridge gets in there, it will be full traffic running through to get in and out of downtown.” The new bridge will also be outfitted with aesthetic upgrades, from historic renderings and plaques to plaza areas and aesthetic lighting that can be coordinated with the westbound sister bridge for holidays and events. On track to be open to the public by October 2016, TGR’s joint venture project is paving the way for an efficient and more beautiful Ohio.

1441 West 25th Street Cleveland OH, USA, 44113 FOUNDED



Bridge construction joint venture project

w w w. i n n e r b e l t . o r g


First Setting the indu

First Solar’s PV modules lower the cos

Written by: Eric Hardin

Solar dustry benchmark

st of utility-scale solar electricity in Australia


Produced by: Rob Benson



First Solar employees at the Greenough River Solar Farm


he global energy industry is witnessing a fundamental change, driven by economic growth, desire for affordable, reliable energy, global demand, the need for non-volatile energy sources and the need for a diversified energy portfolio. First Solar heavily invests in and capitalizes on advanced technology, innovation and R&D. Starting with industry benchmark solar modules and extending to an advanced Balance of System (BoS) and O&M solutions, First Solar is benefiting from an R&D investment that exceeds that of any of its competitors. 86

October 2015

“We want our customers to believe in the quality and reliability of each of our technologies, as well as the enhanced benefit of integrating technologies throughout the power plant, to drive superior results,” said First Solar Asia Pacific regional manager Jack Curtis. “Most of our competitors focus on one or a couple of the many components of the PV value chain such as manufacturing or construction,” added Curtis. “But almost none of them have the ability to manage the integration & components of the entire value chain


like we do at First Solar.” Investing in Technology Building on the lessons learnt from developing, building and operating utility-scale solar power plants, First Solar recognizes the importance in investing in its core Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) PV module technology. The technology has historically been hampered by lower efficiencies than traditional c-Si modules but has surprised industry observers by its unprecedented efficiency improvements in 2015. First Solar claims it is now executing

against the industry’s most aggressive module technology cost and efficiency roadmap. “We are the only manufacturer of solar panels taking advantage of the semiconductor materials that we use,” said Curtis. “First Solar’s CdTe thin film is now rightly categorized as a high performance product,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s CTO. “At one time, we might have been characterized as a low cost, low efficiency technology, but consistent with our technology projections, we are now proving that CdTe thin film

Aerial view of the Broken Hill Solar Farm w w w. f i r s t s o l a r. c o m


FIRST SOLAR delivers both industry-leading performance and sustainable thin-film cost structures.” Garabedian noted that efficiency combined with other real-world performance attributes result in First Solar technology delivering higher energy yield and density than traditional multicrystalline Silicon (m-Si) solar panels. Given the same installed nameplate module capacity (Watts) with equivalent ground coverage ratio, he said, First Solar’s CdTe product will provide up to 8 per cent more useable energy from the same land area than m-Si, which gives First Solar a competitive advantage over other PV technologies. This advantage becomes

Installing the first module at Nyngan Solar Farm, the largest solar farm in the Southern Hemisphere






Ampcontrol has successfully partnered with First Solar on projects in Nyngan and Broken Hill. We offer a broad range of solutions to renewable energy projects for a sustainable future.


increasingly pronounced in hot and humid locations, which explains why First Solar’s modules are installed in the majority of utility-scale projects in Australia. In addition to the continued trend of efficiency records, First Solar’s modules are amongst the highest quality, most reliable modules in the world, having passed the industry’s most rigorous multi-stress testing protocols such including Atlas 25+, IEC Long Term Sequential and Thresher Tests. “The cost of a power plant is very important, but the commercial and financial viability of both the project and the company that stands behind it is equally important,” said Curtis. “Predictable lifetime energy is critical to confidently project the expected value of the sellable energy from a PV plant designed for long-term operation.” Current projects First Solar’s two primary ongoing installations in New South Wales include its Nyngan and Broken Hill projects. The 102-megawatt Nyngan installation will be the largest solar

project in the Southern Hemisphere and is being constructed for AGL Energy. In addition, First Solar developed, owns, and operates a diesel-hybrid project in Queensland. Electricity from the project will be sold to Rio Tinto Alcan under a long term PPA. Combing solar power with existing diesel generation offsets the cost of the fuel optimizes the efficiency of gensets and provides a more economical solution. “That is an application that we think exhibits a lot of potential,” said Curtis. “We think combining diesel with solar represents a very significant market, so it’s a project we’re also pretty excited about.” Thriving in a Skeptical Market Curtis said he has noticed a large shift in Australia’s perception of solar energy, as it has gone from just being a niche market to one that is now a common solution. “Australia historically has been a bit behind the curve when it comes to utility solar adoption,” said Curtis. “However, I think the large power companies in Australia are seeing what’s starting to happen globally w w w. f i r s t s o l a r. c o m



First Solar Asia Pacific regional manager, Jack Curtis

and that they view utility-scale solar as an inevitability.” Curtis believes that the industry has nearly come to a point where government policy will no longer be the primary reason for the adoption of solar power. “Even though the policy backdrop driven by the current government isn’t as encouraging as it once used to be, I think we’re seeing a commitment to the sector that will detach from what is happening at the policy level, driven by the increasing commercial attractiveness of solar power. I think 90

October 2015

that is very encouraging.” Moving Forward “We believe there are a few things that drive the market: one is the focus on policy, and the other is the energy gap, where emerging countries require to power up quickly to meet growth and infrastructure demands. The demand creators are fuel limitations, energy security exposure or fuel price volatility. As a company, our focus is to understand where the gaps and opportunities in various


markets are, and how we can help leverage our experience in those markets,” said Curtis. “Our primary focus is always to find a more cost-effective way to deliver solar electricity out of a utility-scale power plant, and to accelerate the rate at which solar continues to be adopted into the mainstream,” he said. Curtis also believes that the increased use of energy storage is the future. He compared the current state of energy storage to where solar was five to six years ago, as it appears to be a logical step but wasn’t available at the right cost. International Expansion With over 10 gigawatts (GW) installed across the world, First Solar believes clean affordable solar power is an important part of the worldwide energy mix. Through integrating technologies, services and expertise across the solar value chain, First Solar delivers bankable PV energy solutions that help create a world powered by reliable and affordable solar energy. According to Curtis, First Solar has aggressively pursued expansion opportunities over the past few years, including in Latin America, Asia and Japan, Africa, and the Middle East. “We really want to make sure we’re localizing the right capabilities in the right markets on the back of what’s been a pretty aggressive expansion strategy for the company,” said Curtis.

Company Information INDUSTRY


Level 3, 16 Spring Street Sydney, NSW, Australia 2000 FOUNDED


Renewable energy

w w w. f i r s t s o l a r. c o m


Profile for Construction Global

Construction Global Magazine - October 2015  

Construction Global Magazine - October 2015  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded