Page 1

ZF Transmission

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Safety: Core Value

page 10

Geothermal Technology

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Fall 2012



Built For Good I 1

ANOTHER SAFE DAY ON THE JOB. WHEN OUR EMPLOYEES AND PARTNERS finish a shift safely, it’s been a good day. Dinner’s waiting at home and the kids are ready for a hug. A lot of people count on us to stay focused on safety. Each and every day. WE ARE WALBRIDGE


This Issue

Fall 2012


From our leadership


An office to call home


No corners cut


Helping companies meet the standards of tomorrow


Everyone goes home safe





12 Tapping into resources 13

Back in time


What we’re up to


People & Awards

Cover: Newly constructed ZF Transmission Plant in Gray Court, SC Built For Good is a publication of the Walbridge Group, Inc. Forward any comments or questions to Mark Marymee at © 2012 SM

Built For Good I 3

reached a new safety milestone in June when Walbridge From our Weregistered its 10 millionth consecutive hour of work without a lost-time injury. The period for tracking this accomplishment


dates back to October 2003. We’re very proud of this achievement and I want to thank each one of our employees for their continued dedication to staying safe and keeping others safe… no matter what. We maintain an industry-leading safety program and our safety department is staffed with top-notch professionals. But safety isn’t the responsibility of any single individual or group of employees. It’s everybody’s business, from our Chairman and CEO, John Rakolta, Jr., all the way to our newest hire. It’s a core value and it’s stressed constantly throughout our organization. Going forward, one thing we need to watch out for is the attitude that an accident “won’t happen to me.” As a company that sticks to proven processes, we repeat many practices every day on every job. When you’ve done something over and over the same way and you’ve stayed safe, human nature could lead to a state where safety is taken for granted. That’s the reason why we continually strive to keep safety top of mind… through effective pre-task analysis, safety huddles, safety observations and many other tools. Every task must be viewed first through the filter of safe execution. We hear it a lot, but I want to repeat our safety motto because it captures Walbridge’s passion to protect people: If it’s not safe, I won’t do it and I won’t let others do it. Every time our employees and those of our construction partners return safely to their families at the end of a shift, it’s been a good day. We’re working to keep it that way.

Vince DeAngelis

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Walbridge Detroit, Michigan Vince DeAngelis joined Walbridge in 1987 and has management responsibility for the company’s support functions, including safety and risk management & insurance.

4 I Built For Good

An office to call home

Exterior of new GreenPath headquarters



roviding employees with a work environment that’s functional and attractive is a good start. Do it in a way that allows everyone to work harmoniously under one roof, and you’ve struck gold. GreenPath Debt Solutions, established in 1961, is a nationwide nonprofit that helps customers mitigate personal debt and realize financial goals. Before its new administrative headquarters was built, the organization had three separate locations in Michigan. The new facility in Farmington Hills allowed GreenPath to consolidate and stay in its home state. It was important to GreenPath to keep the money it spent on the project in Michigan. That’s one reason the organization chose local companies for the job. Detroit-based Walbridge teamed up with joint-venture partner Ronnisch Construction to construct the four-story, 125,000-square-foot building, which includes a data center, full-service kitchen and onsite emergency generators. The building’s sustainable design makes it a contender for LEED® Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Design program. GreenPath’s new headquarters, designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux, serves as a hub for the organization’s 42 field offices across the country. It accommodates 450 employees with bright, spacious areas to work – and play. With its high end finishes, airy floor plan, ergonomically correct layout

and spaces for foosball and exercise, the new headquarters was clearly built with the modern-day worker in mind. GreenPath’s headquarters was built on a 10.5-acre greenfield site situated adjacent to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation area. The project team followed best practices for controlling soil erosion and pollution runoff to ensure the preserved land would not be impacted by construction. The new facility was turned over in phases to allow employees to begin moving in immediately. It was completed in September 2011, 15 months after construction began.

Interior office stairway

“Maintaining positive morale is important for GreenPath because their employees are dealing with tales of financial woe day in and day out,” said Walbridge Project Manager Matt Pulick. “Employee cubicles were installed diagonally, giving everyone a direct view of the outside and almost everyone has a ‘window seat.’ Having that constant natural light provides a really nice, scenic work environment.” Interior office setting Built For Good I 5

No corners cut DRIVE IS GOOD.


ven with a client based overseas and a project team spread across multiple states, Walbridge finished ZF Transmission’s new 950,000-square-foot Gray Court, S.C., plant in just 13 months. ZF Friedrichshafen AG is a German transportation and energy technology supplier that manufactures components for a variety of automobiles, aircraft, vessels and energy equipment. ZF Transmission Gray Court, constructed to accommodate a future 436,000-square-foot expansion, was built to manufacture the most advanced eight- and ninespeed automotive transmissions in the world. Walbridge was hired in January 2011 to build the new complex under a fast-track design-build contract. When the project team arrived at the site, they were met with a sprawling 127 acres of open terrain. The vast site had to be cleared, then graded for infrastructure, and major utilities had to be brought in from remote locations, which subsequently required the local utility company to construct an onsite electrical power substation. But by March of that year, Walbridge had the first footing for nearly a million square feet of new construction in the ground. The main attraction at ZF Transmission Gray Court is a massive, single-story manufacturing complex containing a 761,000-square-foot main assembly area; two data centers; six in-plant office facilities and break rooms; a 149,000-square-foot shipping and receiving area with 19

truck docks; and a 40,000-square-foot administration building featuring dining facilities, locker rooms, showers and several training facilities. Two guard houses, fire and transmissionoil pump houses, and a tank farm for storage of nitrogen, ammonia and acetylene were also built onsite. The sheer velocity of the ZF Transmission Gray Court project was equally challenging and impressive. Following completion of the initial designs – barely two months after the contract was signed – the team broke ground Walbridge Project Manager Karlos Melgar and didn’t stop working until the project was complete, incorporating additional designs as they were needed. Crews worked two shifts for much of the construction, logging 565,000 hours of labor with no lost-time injuries. With architect and mechanical/electrical designer SSOE in Ohio, structural architect Gala & Associates in Michigan, civil engineer BP Barber in South Carolina, program manager Jones Lang LaSalle in North Carolina, Walbridge in Michigan and ZF in Germany, representatives had to be industrious in scheduling meetings and conference calls. Sharing information across varying time zones was a challenge overcome through use of Walbridge’s web-based Prolog and Sharepoint communication tools.

Interior of the new ZF Transmission plant in Gray Court, SC

“Walbridge’s communication tools were extremely helpful on this project. And we were able to visually track and communicate construction progress through use of several of the company’s technical processes,” Walbridge Project Manager Karlos Melgar said. “Tools like vPlan, productivity curves, four-week look ahead and vStart commissioning were extremely important in keeping the job on track, as well as in providing the owner with enough information to understand the design and construction progress.” Maintaining an accurate schedule was one of the key elements for ensuring a successful project outcome. “The schedule had to be accurate and on track at all times,” Melgar said. For example, a critical milestone date for the building’s enclosure had to be met for the installation of 46 mechanical rooftop units, which were delivered via helicopter lifts. Other items tracked in the schedule included the engineering, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of 957 pieces of mechanical and electrical equipment– all within a year’s time. Good rapport with local police and fire officials and different Walbridge divisions helped drive the ZF Transmission project toward a prompt completion. ZF saved roughly $6 million on the $77 million project, thanks to Walbridge value analysis/ value engineering (VA/VE) recommendations. Dr. Lu Reckmann, CEO of ZF Transmission Gray Court, recognized this project at the 2012 South Carolina Automotive Conference as the best-of-class benchmark for ZF in terms of schedule and cost. Exterior of the new facility Built For Good I 7

Helping companies meet the standards of tomorrow EFFICIENCY IS GOOD.

Exterior Plant No. 3

Inside the new Plant No. 3

There’s a very good reason Consumers Energy built its Ray Compressor Station in Armada, Mich. The 4.9-acre site sits atop miles of fractured rock, its caverns perfect for storing natural gas that can be tapped into when it’s needed most: during Michigan winters. Before gas can be put into the grid to warm residences and businesses, it has to be compressed. The Ray Compressor Station, with its 41.2 billion cubic feet of storage, is Consumers Energy’s largest underground natural gas storage and compressor facility. It supplies gas to Michigan’s Flint and Macomb counties. Originally built in the ’60s, exhaust produced by the old station is no longer meeting today’s standards. As a result of this, and a need to meet peakday deliverability, Consumers Energy opted to build the brand-new Plant No. 3 at Ray Compressor and will be retiring the station’s existing plants No. 1 and 2 upon its start up. Walbridge, headquartered 50 miles away in Detroit, was hired as general

Back-up generator

contractor for the job. Construction of Plant No. 3 started in August 2011. Beginning in October of this year, the team started bringing gas into the new facility. Plant No. 3 holds five state-of-the-art compressors that are cleaner and more efficient than those hosted inside plants 1 and 2. The station can now compress 117 million cubic feet of gas per day, reaching pressures of 1,800 pounds per square inch. Once the compressors are commissioned, Consumers Energy will be able to compress gas during the summer storage season. The twostage compressors can be used either in series or individually. As winter approaches and fields begin depleting, Consumers Energy can reverse flow from the field, compress the gas and inject it into the pipeline to maintain pressure as demand increases.

Just to be precise The construction of Plant No. 3 at Ray Compressor required the installation of: • 1.5 miles of large piping • Nearly 10 miles of small-bore piping • 2,100 foundations • 500 steel pipe supports • 300 pieces of equipment • Eight 6,000-gallon storage tanks • Five gas coolers • Five water coolers • Two contact dehydration towers • Two air compressors • One small thermal oxidizer • A hot water boiler • An emergency gas generator

Walbridge constructed three buildings for the new compressor facilities. The scope of work also included grading, utility excavation and backfill, equipment and pipe support foundations, underground and aboveground piping, vast equipment installation, supplying electrical power to equipment and facilities, and commissioning and start up of the new plant. One challenge for the team at Ray Compressor is working around live gas lines. Walbridge developed and implemented a federally-mandated Operator Qualification program to educate and safeguard crews from the dangers of working around operational gas.

Piping behind Plant No. 3

Built For Good I 9

OUR GOAL: Everyone goes home safely at the end of their shift This year Walbridge reached a significant milestone: Our employees logged 10 million consecutive work hours over eight-plus years without recording a single lost-time injury. To us, that’s a big deal. Our safety programs are elaborate and vast – from intense site-specific safety orientations, to weekly “safety moments” that encourage employees to pause and think about hazards that could happen – even off the clock. Part of the reason we’re so passionate about keeping our employees and construction partners safe is because we know the importance of “family.” It’s part of our culture and our history. We consider our employees to be part of the Walbridge family, but we also know they have families to return to each night. So it’s not just about protecting our workforce; it’s also about who’s waiting for them to come home at the end of each shift. Walbridge Project Manager Ross Linton believes developing a safety-conscious culture in all workers is the first step to maintaining a safe jobsite. “A good safety culture is a way of life; it becomes part of your thoughts for each task that is performed and it promotes self awareness and awareness of others, site cleanliness and higher morale among the workforce,” he said. “Safety requires good communication and planning. It doesn’t happen by accident.”

Safety Accolades 2012 This year, Walbridge has received: -

A Designated Geographical Area STAR Award for all current and future projects conducted by the company at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, issued through the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) Michigan Voluntary Protection Program for Construction; - A Construction Industry Safety Excellence Award from Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) based on the company’s exemplary safety record, its in-place safety management systems and performance reviews from clients; - A National AGC Safety Award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America for logging more than 50,000 work hours in 2011 with no lost-time incidents; - 2012 American Society of Concrete Contractors Safety Awards in a number of categories, including outstanding safety and zero lost-time; - And a Construction Management Achievement Award from Ford Motor Company for working more than 10,000 hours on Ford jobsites in 2011 without a recordable incident. 10 I Built For Good


Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration

A day in the life of a Walbridge safety engineer Walbridge has a whole department dedicated to maintaining the safest possible work environments. The safety engineers on our jobsites monitor daily activity, educate crews on potential hazards, conduct huddles to address risks and report their site’s safety stats to our corporate headquarters. Safety Supervisor Mike Dawson leads the safety efforts at the 715,000-square-foot Walbridge | dck Wayne County Consolidated Jail project in downtown Detroit. Crews there are tasked with working in a very tight space – literally one city block – situated in a dense urban setting. Right now, there are six cranes on the jobsite and very little lay-down area for materials and other equipment. The logistical planning that goes into keeping everyone safe is what makes Dawson so vigilant to his daily tasks as a safety supervisor. “Our biggest challenge is coordinating the logistics on a daily basis and ensuring everybody can easily get to their equipment and materials in the safest way possible,” he said. Mike Dawson

Dawson’s day begins at home as “Dad,” where he helps wrestle his two young kids out of bed and kisses them goodbye. At the jobsite, he starts by putting on his hard hat, glasses and safety vest. Then, he conducts safety orientations with everyone working at the jobsite. After answering a few emails, he takes a walk around the site, making sure everyone’s starting their day on the right foot. Next comes the pre-task plans, the auditing, making sure all inspections are complete, and then filing the necessary paperwork. Every Walbridge safety engineer coordinates three jobsite safety huddles each day – one in the morning, one after lunch and one prior to leaving. At the end of the day, the team briefly discusses and pre-plans what’s going to take place tomorrow. Then, everyone goes home. “Our most important priority is our workers and ensuring they get to go home every day to what’s truly important,” said Dawson. “While most of us have a passion to build buildings, I think we do this for something more important. And that’s what’s waiting for us at home every night.”

(3 photos, left) Working in tight quarters and around heavy equipment are a part of our ongoing work at Ash Stevens in Riverview, Mich. (Above) Moving material safety at Michigan’s Monroe County Community College.

Built For Good I 11

Tapping into nature’s resources ECO-FRIENDLY IS GOOD.


ne way Walbridge maintains its reputation of being an industry leader is by staying current with trends in the growing market for “green” building. Our experience in alternative energy solutions is also helping us meet client needs. Thermal heating is a reliable, sustainable and eco-friendly option for customers looking to save money on climate control. As a result, it’s becoming an increasingly popular add-on for clients looking to build new facilities. Put simply, geothermal energy comes from heat retained within the Earth. Human beings have actually been using it for millions of years, dating back to the Paleolithic period, when it was widely used for means of bathing in hot springs. So while the concept is not entirely radical, it’s gaining acceptance more rapidly than ever before, partially in light of technological advances that have expanded the range and size of viable resources. In the past, geothermal power was limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Since geothermal power has become available to consumers, Walbridge has been installing the technology that harvests it. At the forefront of sustainability efforts was Ford Motor Company, which jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of geothermal energy just as its benefits were becoming feasible. As part of a 10-year infrastructure project at Ford’s historic Rouge Center in Dearborn, Mich., in 2002, Walbridge built a new substation to power the north half of the complex and installed a geothermal climate control system to keep it cool. The work required boring eight 1-footdiameter wells at roughly 300-feet deep into the earth that surrounds the substation, which is roughly 5,000 square feet.

While small, the geothermal system at Ford Rouge was quite progressive for the time. Back then, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Program was still young, and Walbridge had one LEED® Accredited Professional (AP) on its staff. There weren’t many companies aware of geothermal power’s return on investment, nor were there many studies proving its effectiveness. Yet we welcomed the experience and the opportunity to become more educated. Today Walbridge is installing a 65-well geothermal field at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich., as part of a construction project that will bring the school a new 60,000-square-foot Career Technology Center. The geothermal energy harvested from the field will provide the entire building with sustainable, cost-effective climate control. According to recent studies, geothermal wells release greenhouse gases contained within the surface of the Earth, but their emissions are much lower than those created by fossil fuels. Because of this, growing use of geothermal energy could possibly help stem rising temperatures recorded in the Earth’s atmospheres and oceans.

Career Technology Center at Monroe County Community College

12 I Built For Good

Back in time: Bedell Building T

his coming year marks the 90th anniversary of completion of the Bedell Building, constructed by Walbridge at 1249 Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit. At the time of the building’s opening, the Bedell Company was a national chain that exclusively sold high-end women’s fashions. The Detroit store was one of 17 locations across the country. The 10-story building was designed by architect George A. Schonewald of New York with three bays of windows grouped into sets of three. Floors three through seven have spandrels containing incised blocks centered above each window. From 1941 to 1984, the building was occupied by Woolworth’s and contained offices, kitchens and stock rooms. The building has undergone multiple renovations over the years and today is part of Detroit’s Merchants Row.

Bedell Building (1923)

Still on the move T

he Southeast Michigan Transportation Authority’s Detroit People Mover celebrates 25 years of helping people get around the Motor City this year. Designed to promote intra-city traveling and connections to Detroit’s activity centers, the People Mover provides an accessibility that didn’t exist for decades. It’s in operation all year round. Walbridge played a major role in the three-mile elevated transit system’s construction, erecting its precast concrete beams and columns, as well as building 10 of its 13 passenger stations, including those at the Renaissance Center, Greektown and Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit People Mover passing through Greektown

Sales contact Contact us to discuss your next project.

Randy Abdallah

Senior Vice President 866-331-6585 313-442-1295

Follow us on Twitter Walbridge is on Twitter! Follow us at @WalbridgeGroup to keep up on industry trends and to learn more about our people, programs and projects.

Built For Good I 13

What we’re up to RECENTLY AWARDED In July, the City of Wichita selected the Key Construction/ Walbridge Joint Venture to build the new “Act 3” terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas. The $101.5 million project includes construction of a two-story, 273,000-squarefoot terminal with 12 gates and boarding bridges. Construction is slated to begin in this fall and wrap up in April 2015. The airport’s last major renovation was in 1989.


Walbridge is joint venturing with McKay-Cocker on the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) ED Weld Building expansion in Woodstock, Ontario. The 45,000-squarefoot addition, which will be the complex’s first, is bringing six additional bays to the ED Weld facility. Construction crews broke ground in July and are working under a 22-month schedule.



The 9,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the Ash Stevens, Inc. pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Riverview, Mich., is 70 percent complete. Walbridge is installing new temperature control units, glycol tanks, a filter dryer and reactors, which required the team to raise a portion of the building’s roof. Milestones this fall include receipt of remaining long-lead specialty equipment and reinstallation of siding.

The Fort Bliss “JST” project in El Paso, Texas is 98 percent complete. It includes construction of a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Elevated Netted Defense System battery (JLENS) Tactical Equipment Maintenace Factility (TEMF), a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery (THAAD) TEMF and a Sustainment TEMF located a half-mile from the JLENS/THAAD site. Crews are now installing a specialized 4,160-volt isolated ground switchboard and transformers system in the THADD parking area.

Pledging a safe site PARTNERSHIP IS GOOD.


n July, the Walbridge | dck Joint Venture entered into a formal partnership with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and partnering contractors to enhance worker protection efforts at the Wayne County Consolidated Jail project in downtown Detroit. The partnership’s goal is to heighten and intensify safety awareness and practices at the jobsite with the intention of recording zero worker injuries through the duration of the project. Construction began this spring and is slated for wrap up in August 2014. Signing partners included: Don Greenwell, Jr., P.E., Walbridge Project Executive; Bill Lorelli, Walbridge Senior Project Manager; Mark LaClair, Walbridge Asst. Vice President of Health, Safety and Environmental; Mike Palazzola, Walbridge Senior Corporate Safety Manager; David Burton, dck Project Executive; Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council President Zane Walker and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Devlin; LARA Deputy Director Rob Nederhood; and Martha Yoder, Director, MIOSHA. Subcontractors and building trades unions also signed the partnership.

14 I Built For Good

Awards CREW Impact Award The Walbridge Joint Venture (WJV) – made up of Walbridge, Fanning Howey and Brailsford & Dunlavey – was presented a Construction Real Estate Women (CREW)-Detroit Impact Award for Redevelopment for its management of the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Capital Improvement Program. The $500.5 million dollar bond program produced more than a dozen new and renovated schools for the district, as well as a new DPS Public Safety headquarters facility. ENR Midwest Best Projects Award Walbridge was selected to received an Engineering NewsRecord Midwest Best Office Project of the Year Award for is construction management of the Delta Dental of Michigan Headquarters Expansion and Renovation. In the same competition, Walbridge was also selected to receive an Award of Merit for its work at the University of Michigan Law School.

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. High School - one of four new DPS high schools

101 Best & Brightest Walbridge was named an Elite Wellness Award winner in the large business category of the 2012 Best & Brightest Wellness Championstm program for its onsite comprehensive health care and wellness programs. Walbridge also once again made Metro Detroit’s list of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. MMSDC Corporation of the Year - Construction The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) awarded Walbridge its second consecutive Corporation of the Year Award in the construction sector. For the first time in 29 MMSDC awards ceremonies, there was a tie in construction companies vying for a Corporation of the Year Award. This year, both Walbridge and Barton Malow received an award in the construction category. MMSDC Corporate ONE Award The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) awarded Walbridge its 12th consecutive Corporate ONE Award. The Corporate ONE Award is presented to corporate members of the MMSDC who are fully engaged in and supportive of the organization’s mission.

Interior lobby of new office building at Delta Dental of Michigan

(From left) Audrey Richie, Terry Merritt and Christina Collins accept Elite Award

People Walbridge President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Haller has been elected for induction into the 141-member National Academy of Construction. The academy is made up of construction leaders and those who have made significant contributions to the industry in the past. Haller, former chairman of the of the Construction Industry Institute, is scheduled to be inducted into the NAC on Oct. 26. The Exchange (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) presented Walbridge Project Manager Cranston Harris with a Certificate of Appreciation this summer for his participation in the Fort Belvoir Elementary School Teach-In Program. Harris presented information on local construction efforts and insights into the industry. Walbridge is currently building a new shopping center at Fort Belvoir for the Exchange.

Cranston Harris (left) accepts his certificate from Exchange representative Robert Johnson Built For Good I 15

777 Woodward Ave, Suite 300 Detroit, Michigan 48226 313.963.8000 Aurora, Illinois I Charlotte, North Carolina I Columbia, South Carolina Detroit, Michigan I Fenton, Missouri I Kokomo, Indiana I LeClaire, Iowa I Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Salt Lake City, Utah I Orlando, Florida I Tampa, Florida Windsor, Ontario, Canada I Mexico City, Mexico I São Paulo, Brazil Manama, Bahrain I Doha, Qatar I Abu Dhabi, UAE I Dubai, UAE Have a Walbridge project you’d like to see featured in our next newsletter? Send an email to:

Built for Good Newsletter - Fall 2012 edition  

The award-winning Built for Goodsm Newsletter is an interactive publication used to chronicle Walbridge’s story. It allows the company to sp...

Built for Good Newsletter - Fall 2012 edition  

The award-winning Built for Goodsm Newsletter is an interactive publication used to chronicle Walbridge’s story. It allows the company to sp...