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Leveraging Expertise: An Architect’s Role among Specialists Assessing the architect’s optimal role in achieving excellent architecture.

By Andrea Leveille and Betty Quintana

Interior View of Marine Mammal Center Photography Andy Caulfield


Abstract The Marine Mammal Center is an example of a project where a high amount of expertise from outside fields was required in the execution of the project. As a project that was required to be both aesthetically pleasing as well as sensitive to its animal inhabitants and visitors, it was imperative for all of the groups to effectively communicate their needs to the architect in order for the project to be successful. This case study will explore the relationship of the architect with the various consultants as well as the teamwork and extensive coordination required to complete a highly customized project.

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Table of Contents About the Authors

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Preface

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Introduction

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Learning Objectives

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Project Data

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Timeline

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Project Team

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Team Proximity Map

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Project Team Profiles

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Reflections

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Conclusions + Analysis

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About The Authors Andrea Leveille is a graduate student of architecture at Northeastern University and is scheduled to receive her masters degree of architecture in May 2011. She also acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture at Northeastern University, graduating in May 2010. Her work experience includes internships at Bechtel Frank Erickson and at LaFreniere Architects, where she has been working for the past three years. Andrea hopes to use her degree to pursue residential design and/or non-profit work, and will potentially pursue side projects including cooking and furniture design. Betty Quintana is a graduate student of architecture at Northeastern University and is scheduled to receive her Masters Degree of Architecture in May 2011. She also acquired a Masters Degree in Construction Management as well as Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural Studies in Florida International University. Her work experience includes eight years at Altman Architects in Miami, FL as well as three years in JCJ Architecture in Hartford, CT. Betty hopes to pursue a career in City Planning.

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Preface Through our Case Studies course in the graduate program at Northeastern University, we have been exploring the prominent issues in architectural practice. As our final assignment, we are exploring our interests in the extensive selection and orchestration of expert consultants for a highly customized project. Through this case study we aim to discover the actual role of the parties involved and the methods employed by the architect to achieve exceptional architecture that responds to highly sensitive requirements. Acquiring a better understanding of the most effective means of coordinating a project team will help architects to work within project schedules and budgets, and to avoid unforeseen issues in the design and construction. We would like to recognize those who participated in the interview process, making this case study possible. Special thanks to John McManus, Mike Weatherwax, Jim Duffey, John Shea, Steve Glowny, Sally Coyle, and Quentin Caron.

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Introduction Through the design and construction process, architects often seek out expert information from various consultants. The architect must decide which consultants will be necessary, who to hire, when to bring them into the project and how to leverage their expertise. This case study aims to explore the role of the architect in a highly specialized project through an in depth analysis of the project team dynamic for the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center addition to the New England Aquarium.

Exterior View of Marine Mammal Center Photography by Andy Caulfield

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Learning Objectives The objective of our research is to uncover the answers to the questions below. How does the architect decide what types of consultants will be necessary on a project? Who should be hired for each consulting position? During which phase of the project should consultants become a part of the project team?  What is the most efficient way to communicate and exchange information with consultants? How does an architect effectively apply the consultant’s expertise to the design process? How can architects effectively work with others to solve unexpected issues that arise in the field?

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Project Data Project: The New England Aquarium’s New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center Location: Boston, Massachusetts Budget: $10 million New Construction Area: 7,486 sf Renovation to existing Area: 4,329 sf Construction Type: concrete and steel tube columns, steel tube and laminated cedar beams, polycarbonate and aluminum roof canopy system Completion Date: July 2009

Marine Mammal Center Plan Graphic By McManus Architects

Marine Mammal Center Section Graphic By McManus Architects

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The New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center is the New England Aquarium’s newest addition, providing both interior and exterior space for visitors and the general public. Most importantly, this new exhibit provides a home for the aquarium’s five northern fur seals, comprising thirty percent of all northern fur seals in captivity in the United States. The exhibit aims to provide visitors, especially children, with close-up viewing, interaction and experiential learning. The covered open-air space boasts a large pool with deep and shallow zones complete with fiber class “rocks” and a sun bathing area for the seals with a viewing platform, seating, and multimedia learning for its visitors. The center is not only functional, but its sloping polycarbonate roofs, cedar beams, glass viewing screens and steel details make it an aesthetically pleasing addition as well. The structure ties into the Harbor walk, a renovation that was separately contracted but completed simultaneously to allow for maximum integration of the two projects. McManus Architects of Cambridge, MA designed the new structure while Halvorson Design Partnership designed the Harbor walk renovation. General Contractor Turner Construction oversaw the construction of both projects.

Interior View of Marine Mammal Center Photography by McManus Architects

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Timeline

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Project Team

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Team Proximity Map Local project team members allowed for a more seamless design and construction process. Consultants and sub-contractors were readily available to attend project meetings and site visits to solve any necessary issues. Similarly, the architect and contractor could easily visit fabrication shops if necessary.

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Profile: New England Aquarium

Involvement: When: Schematic Design, Marketing + Donation Collections, 2006 Role: Owner/client and primary decision maker. Design Requirements The Aquarium provided several requirements for the architect that led to the eventual design of the Marine Mammal Center. Most importantly, the addition would need to be functional for the marine mammals, attractive to visitors, and durable to the wear and tear of both. The aquarium wanted to incorporate the new center into their existing flow pattern revolving around the interior exhibits and central tank, providing the visitors with separate points of entry and exit to create a loop around the exhibit. The new center would have to be integrated into the harbor walk renovation, engaging the public as they pass by the exhibit. It must also consider the future tent structure intended to occupy the site’s event space, providing vehicular access for all types of deliveries and waste management. The aquarium decided to employ an open-air structure to significantly reduce cost and operate within the available budget. They also eliminated the option of an underwater pass through between the exposed exhibit and the private holding tank, and instead provided a ramp between the two pools for the seals. To save both time and money and to address environmental concerns, the aquarium wanted to avoid driving any new piles, and therefore chose to rely on those already existing on the site. Lastly, the New Balance Foundation, a major donor, had a series of stipulations with the aquarium that were relayed to McManus. The exhibit would have to allow for up-close viewing, visitor interaction, and educational programming for children about the importance of health and exercise.

Harborwalk & Exhibit Adjacency Photography by Andy Caulfield

Ramp to private holding pool Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Educational display board Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Aquarium Staff: Marine Mammal Trainers The mammal trainers provided McManus with all of the requirements for the seals, making sure that the exhibit walls would be strong and high enough to retain a full-grown male sea lion. There were also spatial constraints that would allow for ease of interaction between trainers and marine mammals as well as accommodate seal behaviors. The haul-out area needed to receive an adequate amount of sunlight for sunbathing, however, the seals can also sunburn and would need UV protection when seeking shade. Aquarium Staff: Jim Duffey, Project Manager Jim Duffey, originally a licensed architect, is the aquariums project manager in charge of overseeing all aquarium design and construction projects. He has experience in residential design and construction and previous worked in retail design as an associate at Cubellis Associates. He has been at the aquarium for the past ten years, and originally worked on the aquarium’s project team with Joe Almeida and Jose Luis San Miguel, both of which currently own their own businesses and still consult with the aquarium as Owner’s reps and project managers, respectively. His past work experience makes him a successful project manager, as he can understand and relate to project architects and contractors. As Duffey stated, “architects are trained to solve problems” and is it clear that his past played an instrumental role in his ability to successfully see this project through to completion.

Exhibit Display by Peter Brady Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Vertical glass panel exhibit wall Photography by Andy Caulfield

Aquarium Staff: Peter Brady, Exhibit Designer Peter Brady is an aquarium in-house exhibit designer. He is responsible for designing several of the educational displays located along the perimeter of the exhibit. Cast resin bones and skulls ordered from Skulls Unlimited International and are detailed and painted by Brady to look more realistic. He then cuts and arranges the elements and mounts them on informational plaques. Peter Brady also worked with Coyle & Caron to achieve the overall design of exhibit elements. Methods of Communication Jim Duffey, acted as a liaison between contracted parties and other aquarium staff. Due to the extensive nature of the life support systems, the aquarium enlisted an outside project manager, San Miguel Project Management, to represent the aquarium in communications with Aquatic Environments. Both Duffey and San Miguel attended regular project meetings through the design and construction of the project. The aquarium’s first step was to hire McManus Architects to generate a schematic design for use in marketing materials. Cambridge Seven was later brought on board to help with a master plan revolving around the new Marine Mammal Center, which was also used for marketing.

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Marine Mammal Center Event Tent Photography by Dave Donato

Polycarbonate Roof Sample Photography by Leveille & Quintana

Implementation of Expertise The project team did not bump into many issues with the city through the execution of the project. The aquarium is a well-liked institution and the city of Boston is happy to work with them through the permitting process. McManus Architects was able to address all of the needs of the aquarium, taking into account all of the expertise provided by the staff. The structure was organized according to what the existing piles could accommodate and the roof was carefully designed with appropriate angles to provide an adequate sun exposure throughout the day. The roof canopy is made of a polycarbonate panel system that comes in varying levels of translucency and UV filtration making it possible to protect the seals from potential sunburn. Since vehicular access could not be achieved on a portion of the deck, the site was organized such that trucks could drive up to the edge of the event space for deliveries. The waste management loading dock was intentionally placed on a vehicle accessible portion of the deck. Solid stone blocks were used in place of bollards, acting as both vehicular barriers and public benches.

Existing Conditions Photograph Photography by Graffitie

Leveraging Expertise: An Architect’s Role Among Specialists

Exterior Photograph Photo by Andy Caulfield

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Profile: McManus Architects

Involvement: When: Schematic Design + Marketing, 2006 Role: Project architect to manage consultants and produce design and construction documents Selection: Hired by New England Aquarium Credibility: Past experience working with aquarium: First Immersion Interactive Theater (1998), Second Immersion Interactive Theaters (2000), and Long Island youth camp pavilion. Previous experience on harbor side and local civic project: Boston Tea Party & Ship Museum. Expertise Limitations McManus Architects’ previous experience working on the aquarium and on the Boston Tea Party & Ship Museum helped to prepare them for work on the Marine Mammal Center. Regardless of this experience, there were many highly specific and specialized elements of the project that would require the architect to bring in several consultants. The architect acts as a “jack of all trades” and must have a general understanding of all aspects of a project, but must rely on specialists for more detailed expertise. McManus Architects hires code consultants for all of their projects, and has working relationships with engineers and other specialists that they regularly look to for information. In addition, McManus worked closely with Turner Construction through the shop drawing and construction processes. As hurdles arose in the project, the architect coordinated with necessary sub-contractors to reach design-approved solutions.

Harborwalk at Marine Mammal Center Photography by Andy Caulfield

Exterior View of Marine Mammal Center Photography by Andy Caulfield

Design Approach The roof shape was inspired by the fins of a halibut and was intended to create a veranda for the visitors. The design took advantage of an existing marine mammal pool on the site, locating the new structure over it and expanding the pool to include a shallow zone where trainers could interact with the seals. Originally, it was thought that visitors would also be able to wade in the shallow pool to meet the seals, however this proved difficult and the pool is not used in that manner. The deck surrounding the exhibit was originally several feet lower, and was raised to meet the aquarium at ground level. This move helped to better integrate the harborwalk and the event space, as well as ease the flow of visitors from the interior to exterior space. The exhibit’s design and integrated approach is meant to draw in public from the harbor walk, as well as attract new aquarium visitors.

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Halibut Inspiration Image from www.gma.org

Master Plan Image from www.halvorsondesign.com

Methods of Communication McManus Architects believes in establishing an upfront and honest approach to working with all members of a project team, encouraging both parties to ask the necessary questions and expose the necessary information to promote a smooth running project process. While quick questions are easily answered through phone calls, McManus advocates the use of e-mail submissions for shop drawings, eliminating travel time of the documents. In order to ensure that shop drawings and other requested information from consultants arrive on time, McManus prescribes early due dates for all materials. This creates a time buffer for late work from consultants, as well as an opportunity for McManus to review the work and request any necessary changes. Lastly, McManus advocates for regular involvement of the user groups throughout the process of the project. Inviting aquarium staff to project meetings and site visits eliminates unwanted surprises upon project completion. Implementation of Expertise McManus Architects is a small firm, and all eight of its employees were enlisted to work on the Marine Mammal Center project in some way. The firm is AutoCAD based, using the program for all 2D documents from schematic design to construction documents. Sketch-up was used for the production of 3D materials that were used for schematic design, marketing, and diagramming for project publications.

Marine Mammal Center Section Graphic by McManus Architects

Additional Notes Due to the successful nature of the Marine Mammal Center and previous projects at the aquarium, McManus Architects and the New England Aquarium have continued to work together. Projects completed since the Marine Mammal Center include renovations to the Amazing Jellies exhibit, the Shark and Ray exhibit and a research lab.

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Profile: Turner Construction

Involvement: When: Design Development Phase 90% Complete, May 5th 2008 Role: General Contractor Selection: Selected through bid process. Hired by the New England Aquarium. Credibility: Previous experience updating electrical systems of the aquarium and working on a similar exhibit project at Peabody Essex Museum. Well-known construction group with several successful past projects. Provided Expertise Turner Construction’s “special projects division” worked closely with McManus Architects and Halvorson Design Partnership on both the Marine Mammal Center and the Harbor Walk renovation respectively. Turner provided both design parties with more specific constructionbased knowledge and connected them with sub-contractors for answers where necessary. They were responsible for generating and compiling shop drawings for review, and managing all subcontractors. McManus would clearly dictate how elements should appear and generate details to accompany them, however Turner would occasionally submit alternate detail options that would save time and money while still maintaining the design concept. Upon the architects review, the team would move forward with the new details. Turner also provided the technique used to raise the deck where the project and new harbor walk currently sit.

Construction Aerial Photo Photography by Bing.com

Methods of Communication In order to maintain organization of documents and information, Turner uses a share point site on all projects. This allows all parties involved in the generation of construction documents and shop drawings to upload and download information from one another. Turner carefully monitors who can access which folders based on their role in the project. Folders are organized based on submittals and approvals and documents are moved into an approved folder once they have been reviewed. Coordinating the union and specialty workers was complex due to the number of specialists needed on site at any given time.

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Implementation of Expertise Turner Construction and McManus architects established a relationship of trust, and were able to work well together through the entire process of the project. This relationship is less an example of the architect requesting information from an expert, and more of a symbiotic partnership. Each had separate responsibilities and their own set of consultants or sub-contractors to manage, respecting each other’s expertise and acting as the primary link between all parties. Turner participated minimally in the design process, and changes made from their suggestions during the construction documents phase had minimal effect on the overall design of the project.

Construction Photo Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Construction Photo Photography by Andy Caulfield

Additional Notes Project Manager: Mike Weatherwax, Site Super: Nate Peck, Expeditor: Kent Black Turner put more people on this project than typical of a project of this scale due to the intricate nature of the project and the abundance of shop drawings requiring review. During construction an exit was blocked and a temporary hole was cut in the side of the building to maintain the fire department’s required emergency egress. Turner has also continued their relationship with the aquarium and have since worked on the primary ocean tank renovation and an animal holding facility in Quincy.

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Profile: Weidlinger Associates

Involvement: When: Design Development, February 2008 Role: Structural Engineer, structure and glazing design Selection: Hired by McManus Architects Credibility: Weidlinger Associates has worked on various projects at the New England Aquarium dating back to the ticketing pavilion in 1995. Their relationship with McManus Architects has been maintained over thirty years.

Glass and Roof Details Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Provided Expertise Weidlinger Associates designed the structural components of the Marine Mammal Center, specifying columns, beams, loads, etc. In addition to structural elements, Weidlinger used their expertise in glazing to help specify the various glass panels due to sub-contractor’s reluctance to accept design responsibility for the glass. They worked on the glass at the seal pool as well as the vertical spider-connected glass separating the exhibit from the public space. The team also provided insights as to how to hang the media-bar truss. Methods of Communication Weidlinger Associates interacted regularly with the architect through various forms of communication. E-mail and web submittals were used in conjunction with conference calls and regular project meetings. In addition, they communicated regularly with all of the engineers, Turner Construction, and directly with the aquarium. The team was very well integrated and familiar with one another, making it easy to work together. Implementation of Expertise As a result of primarily exposed structural elements, Weidlinger Associates was very involved throughout design development phase in order to achieve the design vision. John McManus commented on how lucky he was to have Weidlinger on board with their structural glazing expertise. Weidlinger’s knowledge was imperative in the realization of the design vision, especially considering that the majority of the project is exposed structure and glass. Their expertise truly made the design possible to achieve.

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Profile: Syska Hennessy Group

Involvement: When: February 2008 Role: MEP/FP Engineer Selection: Hired by McManus Architects Credibility: Previous experience working with McManus Architects Provided Expertise Syska Hennessy was hired to provide mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection consultation, design and drawings. They were responsible for specifying pipe and duct sizes and electrical line locations. While no HVAC was necessary in the new construction open-air space, the electrical, plumbing and ductwork on the interior renovation was extremely extensive to support the high capacity systems necessary to run the exhibit. Methods of Communication Similar to other consultants involved, Syska Hennessy Group communicated directly with the architect, to achieve the necessary MEP/FP design. They participated in project meetings, conference calls and web submittal systems to transfer information between parties. Unfortunately, there were miscommunications on the requirements for the steam pressure system, which stemmed from a lack of communication directly with the aquarium. To solve this issue they communicated directly with the aquarium to address their specific needs.

Steam pressure reducing station Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Electrical and Plumbing Lines Photography by Quintana + Leveille

Implementation of Expertise Information from Syska Hennessy Group did not have impacts on the architect’s ability to carry out the design vision. Especially since the majority of the systems were running through the interior renovation space, which is a back of house service zone for the exhibit. One issue that was overlooked in the MEP drawings was the sizing of steam pressure pipes necessary to operate the exhibit’s equipment. Steam is delivered to the aquarium by an outside source as a high-pressure level of 80 pounds and is immediately reduced to a medium pressure of 50 pounds. The system for the exhibit was designed to receive low-pressure steam, and would not be capable of handling the 50 pounds of pressure that would be traveling through it. Once this was discovered, close to the end of the construction deadline, there was a scramble to remedy the situation by installing a pressure reducing station between the aquarium’s main steam pipes and those being used for the Marine Mammal Center exhibit. Fortunately the system was able to be installed in what was previously a small storage area, and was able to be completed on time with the construction schedule.

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Profile: Ryan Ironworks

Involvement: When: Construction Phase, October 2008 Role: Miscellaneous metals sub-contractor. Draw, fabricate and install Selection: Hired by Turner Special Projects Division Credibility: Ryan Ironworks has been in the miscellaneous metals business for over 80 years and has extensive experience in drawings, fabricating and installing metals. They also had worked previously with Turner Construction. Provided Expertise Ryan Ironworks provided shop drawings for all of the metal and verified that everything was being built to Massachusetts State Building Codes. They discovered that some of the connection points did not work as represented in the drawings based on their mock-assembly in the shop. In addition, they specified alternate steel for the structure that would be more readily available, preventing extensions in the project schedule. Methods of Communication Although Ryan Ironworks is a sub-contractor hired by Turner Construction, they also worked directly with the architect and engineer to discover solutions to arising issues. They participated in the share point submittal system for shop-drawings and also attended regular project meetings. Phone calls were used for specific question and answer communication. Implementation of Expertise In order to address connection point issues discovered by Ryan Ironworks in the shop, the architect worked back and forth with the group to adjust heights and location of points. The teams worked closely to make sure that changes did not have other negative effects on the project and that the design vision was maintained.

Beam Connection Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Profile: Aquatic Environments

Involvement: When: Unknown Role: Marine Mammal Life Support Systems specification and installation Selection: Hired by the New England Aquarium Credibility: Previous work on several Aquarium projects Provided Expertise Aquatic Environments is a design-build group that specializes in life support systems for all types of marine animals. They are responsible for designing the systems based on waste loads, required water clarity, temperature and filtration to name a few. Methods of Communication Aquatic environments, Inc. was hired directly by the aquarium to work with an outside project manager, San Miguel Project Management, to design the life support systems. The aquarium brought San Miguel on board to work with Aquatic environments because of the vast system that they were designing for. The team worked with the marine mammal trainers to achieve the appropriate environment for the animals, and also attended a few project meetings towards the end as they worked on site with the sub-contractors. Implementation of Expertise Aquatic Environments communicated very little with the architect through the design process. The bulk of the systems is located in one space, designated by the aquarium, and therefore did not have a huge impact on the design. Jim Duffey acted as a liaison between the two parties, informing McManus of what would be necessary to implement the life support systems.

Life Support Systems Photography by Andrea Leveille + Betty Quintana

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Profile: Coyle & Caron LLC Involvement: When: Construction Phase, May 1st 2009 Role: Exhibit Designers Selection: Hired by the New England Aquarium Credibility: Recommended by Peter Brady, the aquarium’s in-house exhibit designer and Toby Wolf, the project manager at Halvorson Design Partnership. They have known both parties for over fifteen years. In addition, they have experience working on high-profile projects including exhibits at Disney Land. Provided Expertise Coyle & Caron is a design build firm, and they were responsible for their own design and construction, separate from McManus Architects and Turner Construction. The exhibit designers were responsible for sculpting and painting the artificial pool rocks to meet the mammal trainer’s requirements for use. They also painted the stamped concrete deck, which was not able to be real wood, to resemble a wood texture and pattern. In general, they were instrumental in creating an interesting and more realistic environment for both the seals and the visitors.

Stamped & Painted Concrete haul-out deck Photography by Andrea Leveille + Betty Quintana

Sculpted Rock Formations Photography by Andrea Leveille + Betty Quintana

Methods of Communication Coyle & Caron had limited communication with McManus Architects and Turner Construction outside of working on site together. They worked directly with Jim Duffey, aquarium project manager, and with owner’s representative Joe Almeida. They used primarily phone and e-mail to coordinate with the aquarium, and attended project meetings with the entire team when they were brought on board towards the end of construction. Implementation of Expertise The exhibit design aspect of the project is not highly extensive, and therefore did not have significant impact or pose any changes to the overall design of the project. Coyle & Caron typically complete the majority of their work after the other trades are completed with the construction. Since there was a grand opening date scheduled, and others were still working on the site additional coordination had to occur to allow all parties to work simultaneously. This posed some logistical issues for Coyle & Caron, however the team was able to work together to complete the project on time. Being well informed in advance of what the spatial, material and other needs were helped the exhibit designers to work more quickly than anticipated.

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Reflections: Shop Drawings Parties Involved Tower Glass Company Turner McManus Weidlinger Associates Conflict Zoos and aquariums require a laminated safety glass to prevent the glass from shattering into the water. Despite this requirement, a standard tempered glass was called out in the shop drawings. McManus noticed the discrepancy upon a review of the shop drawings. Resolution McManus consulted with Weidlinger Associates and Turner to provide an alternative for the lamination required for the glass that still met the performance and aesthetic requirements. Impact The aesthetic appearance of the glass was unaltered and the performance still met the requirements while the manufacturer was able to save effort in trying to provide the specified glass lamination.

Glass Spider Fitting Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Reflections: On-Site Adjustments Waterproofing Parties Involved Turner McManus Weidlinger Associates Conflict The gap between the existing aquarium building and the new Marine Mammal Center exposed the space to water leakage during rainfall. This was noticed once the roof installation was complete. Resolution McManus consulted with Weidlinger Associates and Turner to provide a flashing component on the face of the existing building that would repel water from the space in between the existing aquarium and the new addition. Impact The addition of the flashing component has a minimal aesthetic impact on the space and can only be noticed from an aerial view or if specifically searched for.

Waterproofing strip Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Lighting Parties Involved Available Light J. Corliss Electric, Inc. Turner Construction McManus Architects Conflict The installed lighting system was not performing correctly at night. Resolution McManus met on site with someone from Available Light, the Electrician and the expeditor from Turner Construction. Because of the natural light present during the day, the parties met on various occasions between 8 PM and 12 AM to adjust the lights. Walkie-talkies were employed in properly transferring information about how the lights were being adjusted from one space to another. Impact The proper lighting that was desired for the space was acquired through careful adjustments.

Night Lighting Photography By Andy Caulfield

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Media Bar Parties Involved Turner McManus Weidlinger Associates Conflict A truss that was designed to hang over the pool area to provide audio/visual components for the audience was a challenge to hang properly in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Resolution Turner developed a turnbuckle and rod system that would have a preferable appearance. This posed a challenge, however, in that it had to be bolted in exactly the right location in order to prevent skewing of the entire bar. Weidlinger provided additional strategically located tie-off points that allowed for proper installation. Impact The audio/visual truss now hangs securely over the pool for the audience to observe. Although the eventual aesthetic is not what was originally designed, it fits appropriately within the context of the Marine Mammal Center.

Media Bar and Hanging rods Photography by Andrea Leveille + Betty Quintana

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Reflections: Custom Details Parties Involved Ryan Ironworks Turner Construction McManus Architects Weidlinger Associates Conflict The connection pieces that were manufactured for the custom roof structure were not cut at the correct angle for the design of the roof. Resolution Turner brought this to the attention of McManus who then contacted the manufacturer. Although the shop drawings had been approved, it was not until installation that this could have been accurately determined. The manufacturer had the pieces remade and absorbed the costs associated with the discrepancy. Impact The roof was installed as McManus had intended. McManus claimed that this was an example of how problems may be avoided by the use of BIM programs.

Detail Image of Roof Canopy and Beams Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Detail of Cedar Beam to Steel Beam connection Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Reflections: Value Engineering Parties Involved Turner McManus Conflict Budget restrictions were imposed on the project, however, the use of a GMP contract aided in the value engineering process. The originally budget increased from 8 to 10 million due to added scope and because the nature of the project is mostly structural, the value engineering options were primarily limited to the finishes. Resolution San Miguel Project Management became instrumental in the value engineering process as they organized all of the potential options and cost reductions. Turner Construction generated a list of possible substitutions for McManus to evaluate. Some of the substitutions included the use of mahogany floor in lieu of epay; a simple concrete wall finish substitution for exposed aggregate concrete; and a substitution for the very specific steel grade that was required for the project. Impact The aesthetic of the alternative finishes selected kept in line with the intended design of the Marine Mammal Center. The substituted steel, however, posed a problem with a negative reaction to galvanization. An additional treatment to the steel had to be implemented, but Ryan Ironworks absorbed the cost.

Concrete Wall Photography by Leveille + Quintana

Mahogany Flooring Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Reflections: Seal Pool Lining Parties Involved Turner McManus Conflict Although the project specified a textured pool coating for the shallow end of the pool, the employees were surprised to find such a rough finish. The trainers preferred a smoother finish that was easier to clean and did not collect so many bacteria. The new, smoother lining was installed, but started bubbling and not performing correctly. Resolution The Marine Mammal Center was closed for approximately 6 weeks in order to reinstall the pool lining. Impact The aquarium lost the use of the Marine Mammal Center for a few weeks, but the trainers are happy with the results of the recently relined pool.

Pool Cleaning Photography by Leveille + Quintana

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Conclusions + Analysis How does the architect decide what types of consultants will be necessary on a project? The architect uses knowledge from previous experiences in conjunction with code and client requirements to decide which consultants will be necessary. In the case of the Marine Mammal Center, McManus Architects knew from the start that they would need Structural and MEP/FP Engineers as these are typical consultants used on a project and their expertise is required to obtain a building permit. In addition, McManus prefers to use code consultants on all major projects, and especially in this case due to the intricate nature of the design and the proximity to the waterfront. Due to the dramatic lighting effect called for in the design, McManus also chose to hire a lighting consultant. Lastly, a specifications writer was brought on board to assist in specifying the highly customized design elements and assembling the spec book. Based on his experience working on several previous aquarium exhibits, Jim Duffey, the aquarium’s project manager and a former practicing architect, also played a role in bringing vital consultants onto the project team. He was responsible for hiring Aquatic environments, a necessary party in developing the life support systems for the marine mammal pool. Coyle & Caron were brought on to generate a simulated natural environment for the seals to inhabit. Peter Brady, the aquarium’s exhibit designer was appointed to compose the educational displays seen throughout the space. Who should be hired for each consulting position? Throughout the project both McManus Architects and Jim Duffey hired consultants that they had previous working relationships with. The successful nature of the project proves that working with repeat consultants is an effective method to run projects smoothly. Not only does the architect and consultant become familiar with one another’s methods of communication and execution, but the consultants also develop a system of working with one another. The only major relationship that developed on the project was between Turner Construction and McManus Architects. Although the two had never worked together before, both seemed pleased with the other and with how smoothly the project ran. While issues did arise throughout the construction process, they were able to find effective means to communicate and solve the variety of issues at hand. It appears that Jim Duffey, Turner Construction, and McManus architects were all heavily and equally invested in the project, which led to its eventual success. Their enthusiasm toward the project instilled a similar interest in the consultants, establishing a unified work ethic. The personalities of those we interviewed, including Jim Duffey, John McManus and Mike Weatherwax, also seemed to play a vital role in the ease of collaboration. During which phase of the project should consultants become a part of the project team? Each type of consultant was brought in during a different phase of the project based on their expertise. The consultants involved in the fundamental aspects of the project that are highly integrated with the design must be brought on at the beginning of the design development phase so that the design is feasible. Such parties include the Structural Engineer, MEP/FP Engineer and Code Consultants and Life Support Systems. In this case, the general contractor was brought into the project when the design development drawings were at 90% completion. Turner Construction was brought in at this time through the bid process, through which they were awarded the project. Finishing touches consultants such as Coyle & Caron and Peter Brady were brought on late in the project because the nature of their work was meant to conform to the existing design. During our interview with John McManus he commented that none of the consultants seemed to be brought on too late to perform effectively. 

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What is the most efficient way to communicate and exchange information with consultants? As technology advances, it becomes significantly more efficient for project teams to communicate through e-mail and conference calls. The method used for sharing documents between parties is also very important, especially with the specificity of this project and the high volume of shop drawings needed. In this case, Turner Construction set up a share-point site where the architect and sub-contractors could submit and review one another’s drawings. This system helped to reduce travel time of documents between parties, allowing for immediate review and transmission of drawings. While conference calls are useful for immediate clarification to questions, e-mail is beneficial in its inherent ability to keep records of all communications. This eliminates the potential to forget information, as parties can always refer back to responses. How does an architect effectively apply the consultant’s expertise to the design process? Bringing consultants in on time, as McManus feels was done on this project, allowed him to apply their expertise to the design before it would impose undesired issues. Trust also plays an important role in the collaboration between the architect and consultants in attaining the ultimate design. As previously mentioned, the trust in this project stemmed from years of previous experience working with the consultants. How can architects effectively work with others to solve unexpected issues that arise in the field? In this case, the high-profile nature of the project helped to instill a passion in all of the parties involved to be associated with its success. In other instances, the architect’s ability to convince consultants that the success of the project is beneficial to them will play a vital role in the outcome. Keeping all parties equally invested is key in generating excellent architecture. As Duffey stated, “Architects are not just trained as designers, they are trained to solve problems.” This mentality is evident through the entire development process of the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center. With two trained architects on board, both playing separate roles in the project, there was a strong desire and ability to identify and analyze arising issues and to mobilize the team to efficiently attack and overcome them.

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Leveraging Expertise: An Architect’s Role Among Specialists

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Case Stuides: Neaq Case Study