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Ford Flat Rock expanded

Fall 2013




New healthcare in UAE


The safest payoff


BUILT FOR GOOD FROM THE BEGINNING. WE WERE FORGED IN DETROIT IN 1916 by two men who understood that a company can make a differance when values take the lead. Trust Integrity. Honesty. Character. Doing what is right. Words with great meaning that don’t seem to mean anything anymore. Well they mean something to us. They sustain the foundation of our company, built nearly a century ago by George Walbridge and Albert Aldinger. We have a history of adventure. A culture of responding to crisis and managing risks others wouldn’t touch. WE ARE WALBRIDGE


July progress at the new Wichita Mid-Continent Airport terminal.





This Issue




From our leadership


Digging deep: Improving Monroe Wastewater


Walbridge expands Mustang’s corral


This old house made new


Healthcare: The foundation of a growing region


What we’re building


A look inside, back in time


Risk Process: The safest payoff


Sneak peak: Discovery & Adventure Center

Cover: Production floor at the expanded Ford Flat Rock Plant in Southeast Michigan. Built For Good is a publication of the Walbridge Group, Inc. Forward any comments or questions to Mark Marymee at © 2013 SM

Built For Good I 3




albridge has achieved a reputation as an innovator in the construction industry. When you’ve been in business nearly 100 years, you have to create new ways to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities. It keeps your business progressive and thriving. But how do you keep the momentum going and ensure that innovation yields not only great ideas but great results as well? To begin with, we recognize that innovation is an important catalyst used to spur creative thinking and development of fresh approaches and solutions. It’s so important, we strive to make it part of our cultural DNA. Walbridge’s senior-most leaders have been the strongest advocates of cultivating an innovative spirit throughout the organization. Our LeadersEDGE program, for example, was established in part to encourage and nuture innovation among emerging leaders at Walbridge. Considerable focus was directed at innovating and improving current practices and processes. We realize that one of the greatest contributors to our success over the years has been adherence to tested and proven practices and processes. We count on them time and again. One of the ironies we face with innovation is that it is disruptive by nature. It challenges the status quo. So, at the same time we’re increasing efforts to be more innovative, we’re also seeking ways to make it more of a process-driven endeavor. Recently, we announced creation of the next step in our innovation journey – the Walbridge Innovation and Improvement Leadership (WIIL) initiative. It’s an enhancement of the efforts our employees and leaders made in recent years to improve lean operations and sustainable practices. It’s helped make Walbridge a quality leader. WIIL is so important that its leader reports directly to our President and Chief Operating Officer. Now we’re ready to innovate in ways that can change the construction industry for good for the next hundred years Terry Merrit Group Vice President Walbridge | Detroit, Michigan Terry Merritt is Chair of Haven, a non-profit organization promoting violence-free homes and communities; Chair of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, which has been championing social justice for women and girls for the past 26 years; and a Board Member of Inforum Center for Leadership, the research and education arm of Inforum, a professional women’s alliance.

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Digging deep: Improving Monroe Wastewater W

ith combined storm and wastewater treatment systems, like those that serve the Metropolitan Detroit area and much of the Midwest, most treatment facilities encounter an increase of influent flows during peak weather events. The Monroe Wastewater Treatment Plant took action to resolve this problem by incorporating a large equalization basin at its facility to contain excess storm water, allowing the plant time to catch up after heavy rains or snow melt. It’s a permanent fix that’s been successfully incorporated throughout the neighboring Detroit Water and Sewerage Department system (the third largest combined storm and wastewater system in the United States) – and one that Walbridge has great experience with installing. On the smaller size, with a capacity of treating 24 million gallons of water a day, the Monroe Wastewater Treatment Plant is adding a seven million-gallon equalization basin to its property along the River Raisin in southeast Michigan. Walbridge was hired to construct the $14.5 million upgrade, which is designed to contain flows from peak rain events and return the excess water to the plant for treatment once the increased flows subside. The new concrete basin occupies 50,000 square feet. With its installation, Walbridge also placed a 24-inch ductile iron force-main pipe that stretches 1,200 lineal feet, connecting the treatment plant to the new basin; as well as various control, monitoring and support systems around the site. The team also brought a significant amount of upgrades,

improvements and concrete restoration to the existing facility. The biggest challenge with building a basin on a riverbed is first reinforcing the earth. In the case at the Monroe Wastewater Facility, excavation for the basin was 10 feet below the ground-water table and just 30 feet from the river. In addition, construction required a piping jack and bore sleeve to be installed under a smaller connecting river. One of the innovative techniques that separated Walbridge from other general contractors bidding the Monroe Wastewater project was its proposal to use a perimeter slurry wall and series of dewatering wells to contain and control surrounding ground water. More than 40,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated for the 20-foot-deep, three-chamber basin; roughly 2,000 rammed aggregate piers were installed to support and stabilize the sub-grade below it. Walbridge Concrete Services, a major subcontractor on the job, has placed 11,600 cubic yards of concrete for the basin and its new pumping and conveyance control and monitoring facility. The project is slated for completion in summer 2014. While challenging, the team is incorporating the upgrades and new system connections while the wastewater plant remains in continuous operation. Once finished, the upgraded facility will ensure a more efficient and eco-friendly treatment of wastewater in Monroe, Mich.

Crews work on new basin at Monroe Wastewater



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Walbridge expands Mustang’s corral W

albridge was selected in 2012 to manage an expansion and the addition of improvements at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where more than 1 million of the automaker’s iconic Mustangs have been assembled. The plant, located 25 miles southwest of Detroit, also produces the Ford Fusion mid-size sedan. The plant opened in 1987 as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and produced the Mazda MX-6. In 1992, Ford purchased a 50 percent share of the plant and it was renamed AutoAlliance International, according to Ford. Over time, the plant produced the Mazda 626, Mazda 6, Mercury Cougar and Ford Probe. Mustang production was shifted to Flat Rock in 2005. Walbridge’s work started with demolition of an existing façade for the new addition tie-in, drilling caissons, and adding grade beams for new steel columns. The enclosure includes new column steel, purlins, metal deck and perimeter girt steel for new siding. The roof tied into the existing roof and consists of build-up single ply PVC roof membrane. The expansion, totaling 258,400 square feet, came in three

phases. The first involved adding eight bays and 15 truck docks, totaling 28,800 square feet. A second addition added 57,600 square feet of space, including 12 bays. A third addition (171,600 square feet) consisted of six more truck docks. The additions, plus new mechanical, electrical and plumbing, were tied into an existing Ford facility and existing infrastructure. Four 60-ton and one 180-ton air handling units were brought in to serve the new spaces. All existing plant utility services were used to operate the new units. New interior sprinkler systems were added to the three additions, as well as a new lighting system. Walbridge Tooling Services installed 18 new body welding systems for Comau, KUKA, Valiant, & GPS. The tooling, installed in the new plant expansion and existing facility, will support ongoing vehicle production. A new two-lane ring road was also built on the north side of the plant. Construction was managed to coincide with ongoing plant operations and was completed in January.

Part of the newly expanded plant 6 I Built For Good

More than 1 million Ford Mustangs were built here Twenty docking bays were added

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Two-level addition on renovated East Quad

This old house made new A

t 300,000 square feet, it’s been the biggest residence hall renovation for the University of Michigan to date. Spanning two city blocks, East Quadrangle holds 600 rooms and houses more than 850 students on the Ann Arbor, Mich., campus. The main objective behind U-M’s Residential Life Initiatives (RLI) program is to create housing facilities that make life on campus more comfortable and convenient while enabling learning communities and social interactions inside its residence halls. Keeping facilities contemporary, however, also plays a role in the university’s competitive advantages to attract potential students. The original plan for East Quad’s overhaul was a two-phased approach: keep half the building occupied during renovation work and have the entire project completed in two years. Walbridge, instead, proposed taking over the whole building and having the job done in 15 months. The team broke ground in May 2012 and reached completion in July the following year. For the East Quad renovation, Walbridge gutted the lower level and first floor of the 80-year-old building while floors two through four underwent selective demolition. A twostory atrium was added to the north side of the building, allowing for ample natural light on the first two levels. Walbridge brought new underground utilities to the addition through the property’s north courtyard, paying careful attention to mature trees that live there. The renovation also included construction of the new East Quad Center, a sunny commons addition for students to gather; as well as a 24-hour wireless café, where students can grab a snack and study at any hour. Two elevators were also added to the building, and another was refurbished to become one of the first elevators in the state of Michigan to not require a machine room for operation. In addition to student housing, East Quad also provides program space for U-M’s Residential College and Michigan Addition on East Quad’s North Courtyard

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Community Scholars Program. As part of the project, Walbridge brought 15 new classrooms to the first two levels of the building, as well as office space for faculty. Every room was modernized with new electrical data, fire protection, heating and cooling; and 10 modern community bathrooms were created to enhance each residential floor. Lounges were incorporated on each hall level to promote a sense of community. One of the most impressive features of the renovated East Quad is its expansive new dining facilities. Prior to the renovation, the building’s kitchen and food line were both situated on the first floor. With the renovation – which optimized space throughout the building – the kitchen was moved to the lower level, opening up room on the first floor to construct a state-of-the-art food court with seven different stations, naturally-lit dining areas and decorative ceilings and hoods. The building’s energy efficiency was upgraded to meet American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers standards. In addition to adding two inches of insulation to exterior walls throughout the building, Walbridge retrofitted six mechanical suites and one electrical substation to house the building’s entirely new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Five inches of acoustical insulation was sprayed on the ceilings of mechanical suites to buffer noise from offices and classrooms above.

Station in new food court

More than a mile of underground ductwork was integrated to create more space in East Quad’s lower level. This allowed for higher ceilings and an overall brighter, roomier disposition. Located in the lower level, the photography studio and dark rooms were updated, as was its print-making and drawing studios, ceramics and performing arts spaces. A new game room was incorporated into the lower level, as well as a computer learning center with raised floors. East Quad is a fine example of what the RLI program aims to achieve. Today, each residential unit has its own climate control. Wireless internet is available everywhere in the building. Students now have plenty of options for gathering outside of their rooms. And at the end of the day, U-M has one more modernized residence facility to offer students seeking a world-class education.

Renovated dining facilities New game room in lower level

See more photos of the renovated U-M East Quad >

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Crews work the night shift at new Ghayathi Community Hospital

Healthcare: The foundation of a growing region


10 I Built For Good


n about two decades, the western region of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is expected to double in population. To prepare for the boom, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company is building a state-of-the-art healthcare system, starting with construction of a 19-building hospital complex in Ghayathi. The Amana | Walbridge Joint Venture (AWJV), general contractor for the new hospital, recently passed the halfway point of construction for the project. Eventually, the new Ghayathi Community Hospital will be part of a network of seven new hospital facilities in the region. Western Abu Dhabi is a remote section of desert containing seven major settlements. Roughly 400,000 cubic yards of earth have been moved from the 36-acre site to make way for the 468,230 square feet of new construction required; and 74,000 cubic yards of concrete, 3,800 tons of reinforced steel and 108,000 concrete blocks have been placed for the project. An average of 1,500 workers report to the site each day and, so far, more than 2.4 million work hours have been logged. Ghayathi Community Hospital will serve as one of the major hubs in the region’s new healthcare network. It will feature 50 patient beds, two operating rooms, an emergency department, dialysis unit and imaging center, as well as support services. The hospital will also include a public health section to provide preventative and wellness healthcare services to area residents. Included in the 19 new structures are five multi-story buildings: the three-story hospital and four three-story apartment buildings to house staff and visitors. The complex will also feature a mosque, mortuary, two substation buildings, two water/fire service tank-and-pump buildings, a main energy plant, workshop building, gas and diesel fuel storage facilities, four guardhouses, a helipad, soccer field, tennis court, basketball court and children’s play area.

The biggest challenge with building in a remote desert is its distance from suppliers and subcontractors. This combined with the country’s cultural practice of doing business face-to-face has put great stress on the project’s logistics and planning program. Extra time for travel and material delivery was considered upfront and worked into the schedule. But meetings can take several days to arrange with parties coming from three or four different parts of the country, traveling two to four hours to attend. Lean practices help the team efficiently schedule meeting times and locations so that productivity is kept on track and decisions are made in the right order. Logistics and delivery staging are reviewed daily to ensure the site functions efficiently and construction stays ahead of schedule. Another hurdle is the region’s heat and humidity, which presents various work restrictions. Daytime temperatures in the desert reach 48- to 54-degrees Celsius (roughly 120- to 130-degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer, requiring constant hydration. To honor the region’s seasonal religious practices that prohibit eating and drinking during the day, alternative schedules were arranged to minimize laborious activity during the hottest hours. A second shift and additional crew were enlisted to work after sunset to make up for lost daytime hours. Because no permanent facilities exist in the area to house and feed the project team, temporary office, living and dining facilities were constructed onsite as a cost effective, reusable solution. A second project within the project, construction of the team’s temporary lodging was complete and ready to use within in 60 days. As of this fall, all 19 Ghayathi Hospital buildings were structurally complete. Envelope work is now underway, including interior build-out and site work. The 24-month project is on schedule for completion in early September 2014. Progress at Ghayathi Hospital in February 2013

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What we’re building RECENTLY AWARDED




Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Improvements

Benteler Steel Tube Manufacturing Facility

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Terminal

Continental Tire Manufacturing Facility

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has awarded the Shook | Walbridge Joint Venture a general contract to expand its Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Sustained Secondary Improvements Project includes expanding the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant’s 260 million-gallon per day capacity to 400 MGD. The project will create improvements to the plant’s existing aeration tanks and final settling tanks. The team will also construct six additional final settling tanks, bring upgrades to the plant’s disinfection system, improve hydraulics to support the capacity increase, and implement miscellaneous improvements.

Walbridge broke ground in May on the new Benteler Steel Tube Manufacturing Facility in Shreveport, La. With design partners SSOE, Middough and Siemens, Walbridge is developing a 360-acre greenfield site for the project under a designbuild-at-risk contract. The project includes all facility construction for an 800,000-square-foot tube rolling and finishing mill, an administration building, central maintenance lab and warehouse building, billet storage area, and all related electrical and mechanical utility buildings. The team is also installing all onsite roads and railroad lines for the new facility. Construction is slated for completion in December 2014 with production planned to begin in the third quarter of 2015.

The new Air Capital Terminal Project at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas is roughly 40 percent complete. The Key Construction | Walbridge Joint Venture is building a two-level 273,000-squarefoot terminal with 12 gates and boarding bridges, space for concessions, a children’s play area and “Bark Park” for traveling pets, as well as various state-of-the-art security features. The new terminal is designed to emphasize Wichita’s position as the “Air Capitalxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx of the World,” an effort to distinguish the fact that more aircraft have been built in Wichita than anywhere else. The team is currently working to incorporate owner amendments and is entertaining the idea of an addition to the new building. The project is on schedule for completion in April 2015.

The Walbridge | Mashburn Joint Venture is getting close to completion at the new Continental Tire Manufacturing Plant in Sumter, S.C. The new facility occupies a 330 acre site and totals 922,000 square feet. For the job, the team built a building that houses Continental’s central media, raw material warehouse, mixing operations, plant production and annex offices; a finished goods warehouse and conveyor; powerhouse; fire pumphouse and storage tanks; scrap storage building; and two security guardhouses. The team also installed all of the buildings’ mechanical utility equipment systems and managed installation of all site infrastructure. Completion is slated for March for the Canteen, but the production plant is already in operation producing tires for manufacturing verification.


Bethesda NEX

This past quarter, the Michigan Business and Professional Association presented Walbridge with several of its most celebrated awards: ƒƒ Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ – for the 11th consecutive year ƒƒ 101 Best and Brightest in Wellness™ and Wellness Elite awards – both for the second year in a row ƒƒ Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies in Sustainability™ And for the first time, the National Association for Business Resources named Walbridge one of the nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™. 12 I Built For Good

One Walbridge project also stood out in recent competitions: the LEED® Gold-certified Navy Exchange shopping center we built with Brasfield & Gorrie for the NAVFAC in Bethesda, Md. It was the recipient of three awards: the Associated Builders & Contractors of Alabama presented the project and the Walbridge | Brasfield & Gorrie Joint Venture with first place awards in both its Federal Government and Green Project categories, and the national Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) named the project a 2013 Merit Award winner.

A look inside, back in time Project No. 1 on Walbridge’s official roster, the iconic Book Building, still stands today on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Grand River Avenue in downtown Detroit. The 13-story Italian Renaissance-style office building opened its doors in 1917 and remained occupied for nearly 100 years. The building’s storefront level was home to various retail tenants; the floors above it housed offices. It was a first of its kind on many levels. While it’s sat empty for the last several years, the Book’s unique presence still piques the interest of passersby today. And although sometimes shadowed by its stunning 36-story addition, the Book Tower, the Book Building remains an anchor on one of the city’s best-known corridors. A few years from its centennial birthday, the Book’s legacy helps tell our story: A foundation, built for good, in the resilient city of Detroit. Built For Good I 13


f anyone knows how to manage risk, it’s Walbridge CFO Vince DeAngelis. As senior vice president of the company, he oversees Walbridge’s global financial operations, including risk management for all of our construction projects – both the physical risks and the risk of doing business in today’s economy. With 27 years experience, we wanted to hear firsthand how he does it.

It’s dedication; it’s prioritizing safety, communicating best practices, measuring results; it is worrying about it every day. And, yeah, it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of good fortune, but it’s not luck.

Vince DeAngelis, Walbridge Chief Financial Officer

Risk process: The safest payoff How does a construction company our size achieve 10 years without a lost-time injury?

One of the things we’re very proud of is that it’s been over 10 years and over 10 million man hours since we’ve had a lost-time injury with one of our employees. It’s a commitment that we’ve made to send every person from our jobsite home the way they arrived: healthy and safe.

What value do clients find in a contractor with a good safety record?

Our safety record is a great indicator that we’re disciplined. It’s a great indicator that we have processes to do all aspects of our work. And those things spill over not just into good safety statistics, but into our productivity, into performance and lack of disruptions on our customers’ jobsites, or any potential bad publicity that comes along with an unsafe incident.

What role does safety play in attracting a talented workforce?

Along with Walbridge’s other accomplishments over its near 100-year history, our safety record is another source of pride for employees. It provides a foundation for a sense of personal security and allows for focus on productivity. Potential employees want to know they’re working for a company that is the best at what it does.

Aside from the potential physical hazards, what’s another risk construction company’s face? In addition to the physical risk – the classic definition of safety: bodily injury or property damage – there’s a lot of other risks that come inherent in construction. There’s performance risk. Our customers need to have confidence that when they select their contractor that there’s no doubt 14 I Built For Good

that that project is going to be performed on time, on budget, and per the terms of their contract. Not only do we manage safety risk well, but we believe we’re the best and managing performance risk also.

How does a global company prepare for tough times, such as the recent recession?

We stayed successful by staying true to our core values and staying true to our risk model. There was, at that time (2008-12), a lack of work to feed all the contractors in the community. But there was also risk of just chasing work just to stay busy. We didn’t take work that we weren’t suited to do. There’s a lot of contractors out there that didn’t stay true to their risk models or didn’t have one developed. They chased work they weren’t suited to do, and they either didn’t serve their clients well or didn’t serve their shareholders well.

Did Walbridge’s safety record help in keeping us competitive during that time?

I think our attention to safety and risk paid big dividends during the recession. When times are tough, they’re tough not only for us in the construction industry, but they’re tough for our customers, too. Our customers didn’t have the amount of funds typically available to perform their construction projects. And the money they did have, they needed to spend it wisely, they needed to spend it safely. We believe at any point in time, especially during tough times, that Walbridge is the safest choice for any of our customers – both from a traditional safety standpoint and also from a performance standpoint.

Catch the rest of this interview - click here to watch >

Sneak peak: Discovery and Adventure Center On Nov. 5, Walbridge and developer Roxbury Group opened up the construction site at the historic Detroit Ship Building Company, or Globe Building, to show stakeholders and community leaders the progress the team is making on the future Michigan Department of Natural Resources Discovery and Adventure Center at Milliken State Park in Detroit.

Crews hoist the flag

The Globe Building, located on Detroit’s East Riverfront, was built in 1860 to house the Dry Docks Engine Works Company. It’s currently undergoing a massive overhaul to support the DNR’s plan to turn it into a fun and educational destination for families and visitors of Detroit. At the November event, supporters celebrated the toppingoff of steel with the placement of an American flag. Each visitor was also asked to leave their signature on a wall of the building’s original 150-year-old brick. Walbridge is serving as construction manager on the building’s rehabilitation. The project is slated for completion by summer 2014. See more photos from this project >

Walbridge CEO John Rakolta , Jr. signs the wall

People In the third quarter of 2013, several of our employees achieved some form of greatness. It’s time now to shine a light on them, as their accomplishments help keep Walbridge Built for Goodsm. Terry Merritt, Group Vice President at Walbridge, was honored in September for her service as 2013 Executive Director of the Construction Personnel Executives Group (CPEG) during the organization’s semi-annual meeting in Phoenix.

John Golden received their CM-BIM designations this quarter, meaning they’re now construction management building information modeling certified. Mark Furtaw, Walbridge Superintendent, and Joyce Sproul, Florida Group Administrative Assistant, were the winners of Walbridge’s 20-day water challenge, a Wellness Program competition designed to get employees drinking more water. Group of Walbridge employees participating in 20-day Water Chalenge

Walbridge Engineering Coordinator Alyssa Hepker and Senior CAD Designer

Contact us

Connect with us:

SALES | Randy Abdallah, Executive Vice President 866.331.6585 |

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Abu Dhabi, UAE(JV) | Aurora, Illinois | Charlotte, North Carolina | Columbia, South Carolina Cordoba, Argentina | Detroit, Michigan | Doha, Qatar(JV) | Kalamazoo, Michigan Kokomo, Indiana | LeClaire, Iowa | Manama, Bahrain | Mexico City, Mexico Oakland, California(JV) | Orlando, Florida | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | San Antonio, Texas(JV) S達o Paulo, Brazil(JV) | St. Louis, Missouri | Tampa, Florida 777 Woodward Ave, Suite 300, Detroit, Michigan 48226

Built for Good Newsletter - Fall 2013  
Built for Good Newsletter - Fall 2013  

Learn about Walbridge construction projects, people and achievements in our quarterly Built for Good Newsletter. In this edition, read about...