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Special Section YearAdvertising in Projects

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Year In Projects:

Building Value Quality Reigns in Spite of Tough Times By Linda Mastaglio

UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion: A massive makeover for a historic, landmark structure.

December 19, 2011

Despite global economic struggles, there are projects that amplify the creativity and quality of contemporary construction and design. The stories in this Year in Projects special section allow us to look beyond the economy and focus on the unique value that the AEC community brings to the financial and functional elements of our nation and our world.


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Upgrading an Icon: Carnegie Hall Expands Usable Space


arnegie Hall’s $200-million Studio Towers renovation project will create new spaces for music education on the historic building’s upper floors and refurbish the venue’s backstage areas. The New York City icon will not only be upgraded but will offer even more opportunities for effective building use. “With the creation of these newly expanded facilities, we seek to build on Carnegie Hall’s amazing history, ensuring that our building continues to revitalize itself to meet the needs of the 21st century, remaining a place as important to the future of music as it has been to the past,” says Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. Major renovation of this famed Construction constraints were many for this tight site in Manhattan. concert hall, whose events and activities will not be halted during construction, requires significant planning. One major concern is the flooring throughout the building. For the South Tower, the floor defines the office space that is suspended at mid-height between top and bottom flanges of an existing truss. In the North Tower, the floor adds lounge The flooring is a structural composite For 120 years, Carnegie Hall has been known as areas to existing rehearsal halls.

Lightweight Solution

with two metal plates bonded by a polyurethane elastomer core.

SPS Floors, developed and marketed by Intelligent Engineering of the UK and its subsidiary SPS Canada, are being used on the mezzanine floor of the South Tower and in four of the additions to the North Tower. SPS is a structural composite with two metal plates bonded by a polyurethane elastomer core, making the flooring lighter. The connectable pieces reduce installation time while providing equivalent performance to an 8-in.thick precast concrete slab. The lightweight, prefabricated panels were delivered to the site ready to bolt onto Y 2

one of the world’s greatest concert halls and as a premier destination for the world’s finest artists.

supporting steel framing members. The floor panels were lifted in place via weight-restricted freight elevator. The installation process substantially reduces the construction schedule because no wet work is required when installing the SPS Floors. Each panel weighs a fraction of a comparable concrete unit. Once in place, the panels are bolted through shop-applied holes using countersunk tension-control bolts to provide full composite action with the supporting steel framing while maintaining a flat surface. Standard

joint seals are applied along the SPS Floors joints to provide a watertight floor system. A carpet finish will be applied directly to the floor. “The construction process is safe, quiet and dust free,” says Robert Maier, president of SPS Canada. “The product offered minimal disruption to the music hall, provided immediate load capacity on installation and allowed an ease of installation in such a site-restricted area.” Full renovation of the 120-yearold concert venue is expected to be completed in 2014. n December 19, 2011

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High-strength micropiles support the cast-in-place, 30-in.-thick, 300-ft-long retaining wall.

Innovative Retaining-Wall System Protects Mississippi Casino


ayward Baker Inc. (HB) constructed an innovative addition to the retaining-wall system situated between the Ameristar Casino entertainment complex and the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Miss. The new anchored wall serves to stop any deep-seated slope movement in the area south of the existing boat basin and near the primary buildings of the casino located 30 ft away. Ameristar’s site includes a 70,000-sq-ft casino, a 149-room hotel, a pool, three dining venues, two bars/entertainment venues and a full-service RV park. HB engineered and built this castin-place, 30-in.-thick, 300-ft-long, reinforced-concrete stability wall. To secure the wall, 120 tieback anchors were drilled up to 250 ft into the December 19, 2011

earth, each having an allowable design tensile capacity of up to 280,000 lbs All anchors pass through the existing pipe pile wall and are bonded to the stable limestone bedrock, which is below the original wall. The new wall is also supported by 150 high-strength micropiles, each with a 9.625-in. dia. and 150-ft length.

Resisting Landslide Forces HB provided the state-of-the-art, design-build retaining wall to resist extremely high landslide forces, on the order of 220,000 lb/lf. “That makes it one of the heaviest loaded retaining walls HB has ever constructed,” says Steve Buckner, a vice president with Hayward Baker. HB teamed with consultant Burns Cooley Dennis,

of Jackson, Miss. to perform the geotechnical investigation and retainingwall design, while subcontractor Malouf Construction, also of Jackson, Miss., performed the sitework. Contributing to the success of the project was the construction sequencing, which was heavily impacted by the nature of the riverside environment. Challenges prevailed, “including tight access conditions and the constant threat of flooding,” says Buckner. Because of the close proximity to the casino buildings, HB prioritized site-stability measures during construction, including the use of pre-sleeving methods to minimize soil losses during drilling. This assured maximum protection for the adjacent structures. n


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Gates Foundation Campus Built to Last 100 Years


he Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in downtown Seattle was completed in the spring and its Visitor Center will open in February 2012. The new campus will support the Gates Foundation’s global mission of helping every person get the chance to live a healthy and productive life by bringing together the foundation’s employees in a central location with the technology, collaborative space and support infrastructure necessary to carry out their mission. In October, the complex was awarded LEED-NC Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and it is currently the largest non-profit LEEDNC Platinum building in the world. The new campus buildings were designed to last a century or more and to serve the Gates Foundation’s needs well into the future.

Outstretched Arms The two buildings in phase one of the new campus construction total 900,000 sq ft across the 12acre campus site. Each building can accommodate up to 750 employees. The unique campus design allows the sweeping, outstretched arms of the

three buildings to visually connect the foundation to its global reach. The structures rest on podium buildings that align with the city grid. The arms also embrace the heart of the campus, the green spaces that connect to the Seattle Center and the surrounding buildings. The $500,000,000 campus replaces an asphalt parking lot and returns more than 40% of the site back to green space via two acres of living roofs and native plantings. The building design was a major challenge and many hours were spent in upfront planning to determine how the campus could best reflect the ideals and values of the Gates Foundation. The project team worked to bring vision and relevancy to the discussion and to help foundation leaders truly clarify the buildings’ intent and best use.

Responsible Choices Green initiatives were paramount, but many of the decisions were made in response to specific issues in the region. Water conservation, for example, was a significant goal for the project to protect the local watershed from further depletion and pollution. This led to the construction of a onemillion-gallon rainwater-storage tank

The Gates Foundation campus is centered in the heart of Seattle next to Seattle Center.

built underneath the campus. Also on the site is a 750,000-gallon waterstorage system to minimize energy used to cool buildings by chilling stored water at night for recirculation during the day. The complex includes a roofmounted solar-energy system, which provides energy for more than onethird of the domestic hot water. The overall energy use has been reduced by nearly 40%.

Effective Collaboration

Phase One of the Gates Foundation campus totals 900,000 sq ft across 12-acres. Y 6

“The Gates Foundation Campus Project was very challenging due to the size and complexity of systems,” says Brad Hayes, senior vice president of Sellen Construction Co. Inc. “Every aspect of the project was very robust to meet the 100-year criteria. The level of coordination by each team for each of the individual systems exceeded the efforts I have observed on any other project. We are extremely proud of the performance December 19, 2011

Year in Projects

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Photos by Benjamin Benschneider

by our subcontractor partners. It was this extraordinary effort that made the project such a success.� For instance, Cochran Inc., the electrical and technologies contractor on the project, provided a wide range of services, including electrical, security, communications and in-building wireless. All of these incorporated extensive, challenging technologies, such as the state-of-the-art lighting control system, robust security features, an advanced data center and a world-class distributed antenna system. The strategic advantage of having one team performing all of these services was easier system coordination, both with the systems Cochran provided and other systems that integrated with their scope. Cochran collaborated extensively with the project managers from the Gates Foundation, Sellen Construction’s project staff, the designers of each December 19, 2011

system and the other subcontractors on the project. The collaboration allowed: the data center to get up and running three months prior to occupancy, the security system to be configured to meet the exacting needs of the foundation with leading edge technology, the distributed antenna system to function flawlessly and achieve carrier approval more quickly than any other system of its size and all of the systems to contribute substantially to the Gates Foundation’s LEED Platinum status.

Illuminating and Electrifying In support of the natural lighting design concept and LEED milestones, Cochran Inc. installed and implemented one of the largest Lutron Quantum/ECO lighting control systems in the U.S. This system supports dimming of nearly every lighting fixture in the facility and includes extensive daylighting control, scene

setting, motion sensing and energy monitoring. Electric lights automatically dim when natural light is introduced and also dim in inactive spaces.

Elevated Communication To accommodate a wide range of communication needs, both now and for the future, the foundation chose a distributed antenna system that produces 100% in-building wireless coverage for both buildings including the elevators, parking garages and several underground levels. Cochran engineered the design-build system to accommodate signal from any carrier including the public safety emergency 800 mHz band. Part of the installation also includes a UHF system designed to give the foundation employees two-way radio coverage anywhere in the building. The system requires more than 600 antennas and is powered by its own self-generated cellular signal source. n


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Renovations will transform the facility into a state-of-the-art, multipurpose venue.

Pauley Pavilion Preps for High-Tech Makeover


he University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is upgrading its landmark all-purpose venue, Pauley Pavilion. Since opening in 1965, the facility has been the home court for 40 NCAA championship basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams, hosted entertainers from Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti, provided space for sports events for the 1984 Olympics, accommodated vast crowds for the 1988 presidential-candidate debate and staged commencement ceremonies for hundreds of thousands of graduating UCLA students. With Pauley Pavilion’s illustrious heritage, UCLA was careful to plan its renovation from a multitude of directions and with the input of many different facility users. They partnered with the Los Angeles office of NBBJ to plan and to design the renovations that would transform the facility into a state-of-the-art, multipurpose venue. The project entails needed infrastructure and amenities improvements, seismic and life-safety upgrades, improved seating access, new perimeter concourse and modern locker and training facilities. PCL was chosen to manage construction. Their work on major arena projects like the Staples Center, Key Arena and the Air Canada Centre Y 8

played into the award, as well as their previous experience working on the UCLA campus as the general contractor for the Spieker Aquatics Center, the Life Sciences building and the Northwest Campus housing project.

Laser Scans Improve Accuracy “Taking something built in 1964 and trying to put modern systems and arena venue programming into it was tough,” says Jeff Miller, PCL construction manager. We were constrained by existing infrastructure and the need to preserve the history made in this building.” Miller says that, early on, they realized that the as-built documents didn’t match what was actually built there. Consequently, they performed laser scanning of the whole building and overlayed the 3-D laser scan with BIM modeling of the new construction and systems to assure accuracy and compatibility during construction. “Everyone—UCLA, NBJJ, PCL—we all contributed to the decision; we all agreed it was the right thing to do,” Miller says.

Safety Challenges Another challenge was working in and around a functioning facility. For the first year of construction, the

university required that the arena remain open daily for basketball, volleyball, intramural sports and other events. “It was logistically challenging,” says Miller. “We had to open up construction areas for pedestrian access.” In the same way, the sheer location of the construction, in the middle of the campus, continues to cause similar challenges. The constructors maintain a 20-ft work perimeter around the construction zone, while looking out for tens of thousands of students using adjacent space daily, from very early in the morning until late at night. Flagmen escort every delivery and piece of equipment as it enters or leaves the site. “I’ve been doing this type of work for 20 years and this site requires a lot more attention to pedestrian safety than any other I’ve been on,” Miller says.

Big Savings Through a competitive bid-construction process, the total project cost was reduced from an original estimate of $185 million to $136 million. “Bidding occurred at the height of the economic downturn,” Miller says. As firms vied for work opportunities, pricing continued to drop. The initial bid-construction cost dropped to $79,788,000. n December 19, 2011

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UDOT’s Five-Phase Program Improves Surface Transportation


hen reconstruction of an interstate highway occurs in a region bounded by mountains on three sides and a lake on the fourth, all arterial roadways need to be optimized thoroughfares. Such is the case for the Utah Dept. of Transportation (UDOT) with their $700-million Access Utah County (AUC) initiative. The five-phase program involves 24 miles of roadway off Interstate 15, in and around Provo, Utah. The program includes expanding a portion of State Route 77, reconstructing part of State Route 92 and adding commuter lanes. It also involves reconfiguring one intersection of key roads into a high-efficiency, diverging diamond interchange (DDI)—only the second of its kind in the nation—and reconstruction of Geneva Road. UDOT’s intent was to accelerate the construction bidding process, streamline communications and construction management, complete each project sooner than is typical and provide congestion relief to several communities within the Utah Valley. As a result, UDOT hired HDR to act as an extension of staff, to facilitate the administration of the designbuild contracts, as well as to provide project controls and oversight and to manage communications for all publicinvolvement programming.

Photo by Keith Philpott, courtesy of HDR

A Multilevel Approach Using a multidisciplinary approach, HDR streamlined several processes to expedite the multi-year work. This included giving UDOT a template for designbuild procurement including a process and a manual for evaluating proposals and selecting the design-builder. The team also acquired approximately 600 right-of-way parcels on an extremely expedited basis. HDR implemented a quality-control program that centralized construction documents and linked all inspection information to schedule items—an invaluable tool in the event of the need for claims resolution. Y 10

The Pioneer Crossing diverging diamond interchange at I-15 and American Fork is only the second to be constructed in the U.S.

DDI Offers Creative Solution On the design side, the DDI at Pioneer Crossing offered an opportunity for creative concept development. This variant of a traditional diamondinterchange configuration allows traffic on the crossroad to shift to the left side of oncoming traffic so that motorists can make left turns without impeding oncoming traffic. The result is more

efficient on- and off-freeway access, a reduction in the number of needed traffic-signal phases and the ability to move higher volumes of traffic without increasing the number of lanes. UDOT is an advocate for accelerated bridge construction. This technique was used as part of the AUC program to minimize impacts on traffic and to keep the program moving efficiently. n December 19, 2011

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Procurement Plan Uses Design-Build on Steroids Border Fencing Project Team Overcomes High Hurdles


he Southwest Border Fence, America’s first large-scale fence construction project, was completed in 2011 along a 2,000-mile stretch of the U.S./Mexico border. This infrastructure program, performed for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), was mandated to prevent illegal pedestrian and vehicular entry into the United States along its southwest border. Over the course of the 18-month project, hundreds of engineers, surveyors and contractors worked along the border with hundreds of technical consultants and staff from many federal, state and local agencies. The project entailed the design and construction of a combination of pedestrian and vehicle fences, as well as access roads and supporting infrastructure along border locations in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. “From a procurement standpoint, the project was design-build on steroids,” says Sam Darghous, program manager with Michael Baker Jr. Inc. “Everything from land acquisition to surveying and environmental compliance to fence design and construction occurred simultaneously.”

The first large-scale fence construction project in U.S. history was completed along a 2,000-mile stretch of the U.S./Mexico border.

Topographic Challenges Treacherous topography added to the coordination effort and project complexity. The geography varies from mountains and forests to grasslands and desert scrub. Baker’s surveying and mapping team members travelled anywhere from 30 to 60 miles a day on ATVs across rugged terrain, up steep hills and over boulders, working 12- to 14-hour shifts.

Best-Guess Scenarios The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) mobilized the Corps of Engineers Real Estate (COE RE) Division, including about 150 individuals, from geospatial information system (GIS) December 19, 2011

Photos courtesy of Michael Baker corp.

experts to real-estate professionals to manage land acquisition. According to Blake Bryant with the COE RE, Baker’s engineers and surveyors had to come up with “best guess” fence alignments even before fence designs had been established. “We didn’t have the luxury of time,” Bryant says, “so it was a constant struggle to gather the necessary siteassessment information or, in those cases where we could not gain access quickly, make an educated guess as to the land characteristics.”

The Border Patrol Sectors chose the fence type that best suited the needs of each site while Baker advised on logistical challenges in remote sites, such as availability of water or the need for an on-site batch plant to mix concrete. Darghous says, “There were many times when construction crews would need to work on a site located three or four hours from civilization. Logistics planning and execution played a key role in getting the necessary materials and resources to a remote site quickly, safely and easily in rough terrain.” n

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A 13-mile section of Canadian highway opened in November 2011. Project includes a 30-year contract with P3 consortium.

Canada Roadway Uses Economies of Scale to Land Best Pricing


ridlock woes will lessen in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada now that the northwest segment of a new ring road has opened. This portion of the North Edmonton Ring Road was completed in November 2011 for the Government of Alberta Ministry of Transportation. It came in at a cost of C$995 million—$15 million less than expected. The 13-mile (21-kilometer) section of two- or three-lane highway connects Edmonton’s western edge to its northern side and includes nine interchanges, four flyovers and two crossings over railways. NorthwestConnect, a fully owned subsidiary of Bilfinger Berger Project Investments Inc., serves as the publicprivate partnership consortium. The Alberta government signed a 30-year contract with the partnership to design, build, operate and partially finance the project at a cost of $1.42 billion. U.S.-based Flatiron managed the design-build team that designed and constructed the roadway. The joint venture team also included Graham and Parsons, and the project was designed by AECOM. Their goal was to define and then to achieve a

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arrangement allowed the team to take advantage of an economy of scale to land the best pricing for each element of the work. As a result, the project has garnered significant attention. The Alberta Ministry of Transportation awarded the redesign of two key interchanges in the project with the Minister’s Award for Road built in seeming “vast underutilized field at the edge Technical Transportation of growth” is spurring economic development in Edmonton. Innovation. ReNew design plan for Alberta that could be Canada also ranked the project in the affordably built within a shortened top five of the biggest infrastructure timeline. projects by dollar value in 2011. The project has also proven beneficial for sensible development of P3 Model Speeds Construction the entire region. When construction “Choosing a design-build-financebegan in August 2008, the area was operate model enabled Alberta considered a “vast underutilized Transportation to get a sizable project field at the edge of growth,” Peyton completed significantly faster than says. The development of the ring under a traditional construction and road expansion spurred economic financing model,” says Flatiron project development and contributed to manager Kent Peyton. increased commercial and residential Peyton says that a typical project construction within adjacent portions approach could have required 15 of the city of Edmonton. n separate contracts, but the partnership

December 19, 2011

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More Efficient Heating and Cooling Expected To Save $200 Million at Texas Medical Center


ouston-based Thermal Energy Corp. (TECO) began providing heating and cooling to institutions within the Texas Medical Center in 1969. The center is the world’s largest medical complex, composed of 162 buildings that house 49 public and private institutions, 14 hospitals, two specialty institutions, three medical schools and six nursing schools. “Texas Medical Center has a master plan that projects significant campus growth in the next decades,” says Dr. Richard Wainerdi, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. “To help meet the demand, TECO TECO’s independence from the utility grid assures uninterrupted electrical power to the has expanded its service to new massive Texas Medical Center in Houston. medical facilities in the Texas Medical Center and also installed equipment that makes it better prepared to continue service even when tropical storms and hurricanes threaten our institutions. That’s vitally important, as patient care, research and education cannot be TECO can recycle compromised.” TECO does not rely on surplus energy electricity from the grid. from its natural The recently completed expansion gas and electricity doubles the operating efficiency of the system to produce heating and cooling systems, while chilled water and steam. projecting to save $200 million in costs over the next 15 years. operations. The CO2 reduction is The focal point of the expansion is the new combined heat and power equivalent to taking 52,000 vehicles off Largest Cooling Facility in U.S. system, which was connected to TECO’s the road or planting 72,000 acres of Burns & McDonnell provided existing district energy system. TECO can new trees. Surplus electricity can also engineering, procurement and recycle surplus energy from its natural be sold to the regional utility grid. construction services for the master gas and electricity system to produce plan. The firm led the four-year effort chilled water and steam, which is piped that included the addition of an A Model Facility underground to provide air conditioning, 8.8-million-gallon thermal-energy “The $377-million expansion is space heating, dehumidification, storage tank, a state-of-the-art considered a model for planning and sterilization, kitchen and laundry operations support facility, a 48-Mw developing on-site energy facilities processes and domestic hot water use combined heat and power plant and worldwide,” says Scott Clark with for 18 million sq ft of buildings. a chiller building to house eight new Burns & McDonnell. Supported by The new system doubles TECO’s chillers, adding 32,000 tons of new $10 million in U.S. Dept. of Energy operating efficiency to 80% and capacity. The medical center’s district (DOE) funds, the project is recognized enables it to reduce carbon dioxide cooling facility is now the largest in the for actively promoting energy (CO2) emissions by 302,000 tons U.S. The project came in on time and independence and greenhouse-gas under budget. reduction. n annually, compared to previous December 19, 2011

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Construction Camera Increases Productivity, Boosts Community Enthusiasm


onstruction is underway for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando, Fla. Construction began in June and is scheduled for completion in 2013. The mixed-use urban arts center will include three main halls, educational facilities and a public theater plaza center. Balfour Beatty is using an OxBlue construction camera to facilitate coordination and communication of all construction activities. “We are using the OxBlue camera as a tool to record the construction process,” says Rick Romoser, senior project manager for Balfour Beatty Construction. “We use it on a weekly basis to help us monitor our schedule and reconfirm activity start dates and finish dates.” The ability to observe construction activity visually, 24/7, helps with sequencing and

December 19, 2011

The camera provides 24/7 access to the jobsite.

scheduling which reduces down time and improves efficiency. The construction camera also provides valuable footage for the community patrons who enjoy watching their center rise from the ground. It is positioned on top of CNL Tower I in downtown Orlando to provide a wide-angle, 12-megapixel view of the entire active construction

site. Users can zoom in and pan the jobsite. “Whether driving past the construction site or viewing it on our website, everyone can now observe and be a part of the project’s construction milestones,” says the center‘s President Kathy Ramsberger. Ernie White, vice president of sales with OxBlue, says that the multipurpose value of construction cameras is becoming an essential tool for all major construction sites. Gary Womack, the development project manager for Noble Investment Group in Atlanta, concurs “Because our investment and executive teams are based in Atlanta, they are typically limited to the review of progress reports. OxBlue images provide a great way for the team to see their investments come to fruition, right from their desk.” n

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ENR Year in Projects 12-19-11  

Despite global economic struggles, there are projects that amplify the creativity and quality of contemporary construction and design. The s...