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Western Specialty Contractors

Industry Safety Leaders Western Specialty Contractors Launches S-T-E-P-P-S to Re-Evaluate Safety on Changing Jobsites

in Companies/News

Workers reminded to make safe choices during National Construction Safety Week May 7-11

The construction industry is fast-paced and ever-changing. Change can be exciting for workers and their supervisors, but it can also be challenging. Not taking the time to ask the right questions about safety when a job changes can potentially lead to unsafe choices, accidents and delays.

Starting in May, Western Specialty Contractors launched its S-T-E-P-P-S (Stop, Think, Employees, Public, Property, Safety) Program designed to get workers to ask the right questions about safety during job changes and develop the answers that will prevent accidents.

“Since their jobs change every day, Western is requiring that every worker and their foremen STOP and assess their jobsite and tasks for the day as part of their Daily Huddle, then THINK about the process for the day,” said Western Safety Director Eric Olson.

Everyone will be asked three simple safety questions as part of their daily morning meetings:

EMPLOYEES – How can our employees get hurt today? By evaluating the job and asking about the potential hazards, foremen can address any issues immediately and ensure that their crews have the right people, equipment and processes in place to prevent injuries. As the job changes, these answers become even more important. Every type of injury should be considered, even soft tissue ones.

PUBLIC – How can the public and those around us potentially get hurt today? It’s important to note how job changes may impact the public, and to take steps to ensure that those living and working around the workers are not hurt.

PROPERTY – How can workers potentially damage nearby buildings, cars or other forms of property during their activities? As crew members work at heights or with harsh chemicals, they should be considering the proper precautions to ensure that they are not dropping items or spraying chemicals onto nearby property.

SAFETY – Asking these three questions every day should lead to the right answers. It is the foreman’s job to act on these answers and ensure that Western’s safety initiatives are the top priority.

“The worst thing we can do is recognize that there is an issue, but not take the proper steps to prevent accidents,” said Olson. “By asking these three questions, we are starting the process of planning our jobs in such a way that accidents can be prevented. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and by each person taking an active role in safety planning on the job, we can reduce or eliminate accidents, injuries and property damage.”

An industry leader in workplace safety, Western has evolved its safety programs over its 103-year history from the basic compliance initiatives to advanced programs that address ergonomic and soft tissue injuries. Western has also initiated a climate for safety that empowers employees to proactively take steps to evaluate their own job site activities and correct procedures to prevent accidents.

Western currently boasts an industry-leading OSHA Total Recordable Rate of 1.58, over two full points better than the industry average of 3.8. The OSHA Total Recordable Rate is based on injury and illness rates per 100 workers and is used to evaluate a company’s safety measures. The lower the number, the higher the safety rating.

For more information about Western’s commitment to safety, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/about/safety-commitment/.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing.  For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Western Specialty Contractors Presents SIUE Construction Management Major Joel Sipe with Scholarship

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Western’s internship/recruitment program exposes college students to careers in specialty contracting

Western Specialty Contractors recently presented Joel Sipe, a sophomore and Construction Management major at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), with a scholarship. Western provides the SIUE School of Engineering’s Department of Construction with a scholarship annually. The awarding criteria and recipient of the scholarship is determined by Department of Construction faculty.

Western Human Resources Director Maria Traina and Region Manager Jim Rechtin, Jr. presented Sipe with the scholarship during the SIUE School of Engineering’s Honors Day on April 15.

To expose college students to careers in specialty contracting and begin developing qualified employees to fill its management positions long-term, Western Specialty Contractors, the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and roofing, recruits candidates from leading construction management colleges and universities across the country for its comprehensive, hands-on internship program.

Those who take part in Western’s internship program have the opportunity to gain much more than traditional work experience. With various levels of opportunities and an individual approach, Western’s interns are exposed to everything from sales and project management to work in the field.

Those who remain in the internship program have great promotion opportunities. Western typically hires 60-70% of internship program participants, and will promote them to a management position on average within five years. Over 85% of Western’s managers have been promoted from within the company.

Initiative and hard work are rewarded with competitive salaries, excellent benefits and a 401K match, and tuition reimbursement, as well as advancement opportunities.

For more information about Western’s college recruiting and internship programs, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/careers/college-recruiting/.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured from left to right: Western Specialty Contractors Human Resources Director Maria Traina, scholarship recipient Joel Sipe and Western Region Manager Jim Rechtin, Jr.

 

Western Specialty Contractors Working with Renowned Team to Restore Iconic Saban Building in Los Angeles, CA

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1930’s-era Streamline Moderne Building is Future Home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Western Specialty Contractors branches in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA are teaming up on a project to restore the historic Saban Building (formerly May Company department store) in Los Angeles, CA—the future home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Western crews are working alongside renowned historic preservation consultant John Fidler, New York Pritzker-Prize winning architect Renzo Piano with Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Gensler, general contractor Matt Construction of Los Angeles, CA, and owner’s representative Paratus Group of New York, NY.

“We work with a lot of great consultants, architects and general contractors, but it’s not every day that we get to work with the country’s leading authorities on historic preservation on such a prestigious project,” said Western’s Seattle Branch Manager Dave Kimble. “We are so honored and excited to have been given the opportunity to work with such a talented team of experts.”

Described by the Los Angeles Conservancy as the grandest example of Streamline Moderne architecture in Los Angeles, the historic May Company store, now called the Saban Building after donors Cheryl and Haim Saban, is undergoing an extensive expansion and renovation to accommodate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new museum.

Three glass bridges will connect the existing building to a new eye-catching, 130-foot tall spherical structure made of glass and concrete that will overlook the Hollywood Hills. Scheduled to open in 2019, the 290,000-square-foot, six-story museum will celebrate and explore the history and art of films and filmmaking through exhibition galleries, two state-of-the-art theaters including the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater, an education studio, a restaurant and cafe, event spaces, and a store.

Western crews are installing new limestone and granite on a portion of the existing building’s facade, making limestone Dutchman repairs, waterproofing and repairing window frames, patching and cleaning stone, installing granite Dutchman repairs and waterproofing portions of the facade.

Constructed in 1939, the Saban Building is located on Wilshire and Fairfax next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus, and is listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The iconic building was once the finest department store on the Miracle Mile and is most recognized by its predominant gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue.

For more information about the museum, visit www.academymuseum.org.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Western Specialty Contractors Works Night Shift, Establishes Phasing Plan to Repair Three-Level Arkansas Parking Garage

in Companies/News

Parking garages are important structures that require extensive maintenance to minimize damage from environmental stressors and daily wear-and-tear. And when parking is at a premium, contractors must make sure repairs are performed in a timely manner and with as little disruption as possible to drivers.

Such was the case when Western Specialty Contractors – Little Rock, AR Branch restored a three-level parking structure for the Kirkpatrick Plaza office building at 10800 Financial Centre Pkwy. Western was contracted by the property manager, Colliers International, which leases office space ranging in size from 577 to 18,317 square feet at the five-story Kirkpatrick Plaza office building.

Western’s scope of work on the parking garage included replacing caulking in the garage’s exterior precast to precast joints, replacing caulking at the interior concrete columns to the precast panels, patching concrete, replacing caulking in the slab control joints, installing deck coating on the top level of the deck and two-thirds of the second level, coating the exterior of the parking deck and installing structural steel brackets.

The scope of work also included applying an epoxy coating to heavily pitted concrete to level the roughness and create a smoother finish for the deck coating application.

Since parking is at a premium in the area, Western’s crews could not have access to the entire parking garage at one time. Western met with the property manager and an owner representative to establish a phasing plan which allowed Western’s crews to have access to one level of the deck at a time.

Another challenge that Western’s crews faced on the project occurred during the deck coating application process. The material used had a minimum and a maximum temperature range for application. At the scheduled time for the coating application, the temperature exceeded the maximum temperature for application, therefore the deck coating was applied at night when the temperatures were cooler.

Despite the challenges, Western completed the project on time and within budget. Western crews worked over 3,000 hours and applied approx. 44,000 square feet of deck coating and 12,000 lineal feet of caulking to get the job done.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Western Specialty Contractors Working with Renowned Team to Restore Iconic May Company Building in Los Angeles, CA

in Companies/News

1930’s-era Streamline Moderne Building is Future Home of Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 

Western Specialty Contractors branches in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA are teaming up on a project to restore the historic May Company building in Los Angeles, CA – the future home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Western crews are working alongside renowned historic preservation consultant John Fidler, New York Pritzker-Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, general contractor Matt Construction of Los Angeles, CA and owner’s representative Paratus Group of New York, NY.

“We work with a lot of great consultants, architects and general contractors, but it’s not every day that we get to work with the country’s leading authorities on historic preservation on such a prestigious project,” said Western’s Seattle Branch Manager Dave Kimble. “We are so honored and excited to have been given the opportunity to work with such a talented team of experts.”

Described by the Los Angeles Conservancy as the grandest example of Streamline Moderne architecture in Los Angeles, the historic May Company building, now called the Saban Building after donors Cheryl and Haim Saban, is undergoing an extensive expansion and renovation to accommodate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new museum. Scheduled to open in 2019, the 290,000-square-foot, six-story museum will celebrate and explore the history and art of films and filmmaking through exhibition galleries, a 288-seat theater, educational areas, restaurants and special-event space – all dedicated to creating the “Oscars experience.” Three glass bridges will connect the existing building to a new eye-catching, 130-foot tall sphere made of glass and concrete that will overlook the Hollywood Hills.

Western crews are installing new limestone and granite on a portion of the existing building’s facade, making limestone Dutchman repairs, waterproofing and repairing window frames, patching and cleaning stone, installing granite Dutchman repairs and waterproofing portions of the facade.

Constructed in 1939, the May Company building is located on Wilshire Boulevard next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus, and is listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The iconic building was once the finest department store on the Miracle Mile, and is most recognized by its predominant gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue.

For more information about the museum, visit www.oscars.org/museum.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

 

Western Specialty Contractors Launches National Account Program Providing Property Managers with Single-Source for Exterior Repairs, Restoration

in Companies/News

It’s enough of a challenge when the properties you manage or own are across the street, but when they’re across the country, time spent finding and dealing with building restoration contractors who understand and can meet the demands of varying materials and climates can delay vital repairs and maintenance.

The total cost of building ownership can vary greatly depending on the level of expertise, consistency and dedication of a building’s exterior maintenance and restoration team. Western’s National Account Program was designed to provide national and regional property owners and managers with a single-source for all of their building and structure exterior repair and restoration needs.

Western Specialty Contractors has branch locations spread throughout the United States, each with experience in a broad range of exterior services, including: concrete and masonry restoration, waterproofing, roofing, facades, coatings, rainscreens, historic preservation and disaster recovery.

“Western Specialty Contractors realizes that the little differences can make a large impact. A single point of contact at Western handles all of the responsibility and can increase speed to mobilization and reduce the hassle of paperwork. Each of our maintenance programs is custom-designed to meet the property manager or owner’s needs, reflecting their policies, procedures and organizational structure,” said Crystal Moyer, National Account Manager at Western Specialty Contractors.

Building owners and managers can depend on Western Specialty Contractors’ National Account Program for a high standard of excellence, no matter where their building or facility is located in the country. For more information about Western’s National Account Program, visitwesternspecialtycontractors.com.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

Western Specialty Contractors Completes Restoration/Waterproofing of Museum Roof Beneath St. Louis’ Historic Gateway Arch

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Branch recently completed a project to restore and waterproof the roof of the Museum of Westward Expansion located beneath the iconic Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront. The work is part of a multi-phase project, spearheaded by non-profit organization CityArchRiver Foundation, to expand and renovate the underground museum, plus renovate the grounds surrounding the Arch.

Work on the 100,000-square-foot existing museum roof started by removing 16-18 inches of sod and sandy soil, 10-28 inches of Elastizell engineered fill and the existing waterproof membrane down to the structure deck using a bulldozer and air scrapers.

Once the roof was exposed, Western crews went to work identifying and repairing leaks in the existing museum lid that had been present for many years, as the existing waterproofing had exceeded its lifespan. Several methods were used to evaluate the condition of the concrete roof, which included a chain-drag sounding survey for the structural concrete deck, along with visually identifying delamination and cracks.

Western crews then installed a 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board. An electronic leak detection system followed by a permanent leak detection grid system were installed over the protection board. Crews then installed a layer of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene with an additional layer of WR Meadows PC2 protection board and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat.

The next phase of the project involved waterproofing the 42,000 SF horizontal lid and 37,000 SF vertical walls of the museum addition. Western’s scope of work included installing 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board, and installing an electronic leak detection system, along with two layers of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene. A layer of 1.5″ 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene was installed on the vertical walls and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat on both the horizontal and vertical walls.

Additional waterproofing of the north and south museum entrances (approx. 13,800 SF), which included approximately 5,000 SF of deck around each Arch leg, was also completed.

The museum was largely operational during construction and a lot of the time Western crews were working over occupied space. Western sequenced the removal of existing roofing material so that they could remove, clean and install new roofing material daily to keep the museum dry during construction.

Testing was a daily requirement during the waterproofing installation. Western was required to complete a pull test every 500 SF and take moisture readings every 100 SF. Daily observation reports had to be completed during the waterproofing application, with all testing results and location tests documented along with weather conditions. Additionally, Western crews took 50 photos daily to document the testing and work area.

Construction on the Arch grounds began in August 2013, while renovations to the museum and visitor center began in April 2015. The improved underground Museum of Westward Expansion is expected to be finished by summer 2018.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

Western Specialty Contractors Branches in Florida, Texas and Georgia Serve as Staging Locations for Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Services

in Companies/News

Losing a structure or building to an unforeseen natural disaster, such as flooding or the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas, can be devastating to the owner and its tenants.

The decision to move forward with repairs may not come quickly, but when it does, facility managers and owners should work with a specialty contractor experienced in disaster recovery to get the job done correctly and efficiently.  Western Specialty Contractors’ branch offices in Atlanta, GA; Houston and San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL have been helping companies recover from natural disasters on the Gulf Coast for over 50 years.

“Bringing a building or structure back to life in the case of a natural disaster takes a certain level of experience and skill,” said Chester Scott, Branch Manager of Western’s Atlanta, GA branch. “Special skills are needed to properly assess the damage, develop a recovery plan and initiate the restoration or take steps to mitigate further loss.”

Disaster recovery services provided by Western Specialty Contractors include:

  • Building exterior stabilization
  • Emergency building enclosure
  • Roofing repair and replacement
  • Window boarding, repair and replacement
  • Interior demolition
  • General clean up
  • Masonry and concrete repair
  • Historic restoration

When Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Western Specialty Contractors was there to help.

South Shore Harbour Marina features one of the largest boat slips near the New Orleans Lakefront Airport overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. Hurricane Katrina left the covered slips unusable and virtually unrecognizable. Western crews worked to remove any remaining damaged panels and purlins and completely replaced the outer skin of the slips (approximately 30,000 square feet) with interlocking Berridge Zee-Lock panels. Western also replaced the guard house that overlooked the harbor with a new modular version and made renovations to the public restroom and oil containment facilities, which all suffered severe wind and flood damage during the hurricane.

That same year, Western Specialty Contractors came to the rescue of Florida-based Ardaman & Associates after they noticed some leaking windows in their building, resulting from the recent hurricane activity.

Western crews came out and surveyed the building before making a recommendation to re-seal all of the glass-to-glass, metal-to-glass and metal-to-concrete window joints throughout the entire building. The result was a watertight building and a happy owner.

For more information about Western Specialty Contractors’ disaster recovery services, visit westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

 

Western Specialty Contractors to Participate in New York City’s Annual Create + Construct Symposium

in Companies/News

Western Specialty Contractors, along with a diverse group of architectural, engineering and construction experts, will participate in the third annual Create + Construct symposium on Sept. 19 in New York City. The symposium is sponsored by Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH), a national engineering firm that designs, investigates and rehabilitates structures and building enclosures.

According to a press release on the event, the New York City Mayor’s Office reports that 90 percent of the city’s one million structures will still be in use in 2050. Building permits for construction on existing buildings have doubled in value over the last five years from $4.5 billion in 2011 to more than $9 billion in 2016, according to the New York Buildings Congress. In the wake of this shift, Create + Construct will serve as a forum for AEC practitioners to discuss how to transform these structures and build a stronger New York City through adaptive reuse and rehabilitation.

An American Institute of Architects (AIA) – accredited educational event, the full-day symposium will feature five sessions, including a panel discussion on the challenges of updating existing structures.

Michael Radigan

Michael Radigan, Senior Operations Manager of Western Specialty Contractors’ Facades Division, will participate in Session 4: Extend + Enhance. This session will also include speakers from Page Ayres Cowley Architecture and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. Radigan’s contribution to the program will include specifics of the $70 million recladding and enhancement of 215 East 68th Street, a high-end apartment building on NYC’s Upper East Side. The terra cotta rainscreen recladding installed by Western is one of the largest of its kind in the nation and provides enhanced energy efficiency, aesthetics and overall performance of the building.

Radigan specializes in overseeing large-scale, complex facade restoration and recladding projects. He has more than 35 years of construction experience in NYC, having worked on such high-profile projects as the Empire State Building, Tweed Courthouse, Woolworth Building, One Madison, 11 Waverly Place and Guardian Life Building.

The symposium will include a keynote presentation by Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects on architecture and design trends affecting adaptive reuse projects, and a panel discussion on the current and future state of this critical market sector moderated by Guy Geier, AIA New York President-Elect and FXFOWLE Managing Partner.

Final registration for the event closes on Sept. 12, 2017. The symposium will take place at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W 17thStreet, New York, NY. The event will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and conclude with a reception at 5 p.m. For more information about the symposium, visit www.sgh.com/create-construct.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing.

Western Specialty Contractors Takes Extra Care to Protect Vegetation While Re-Roofing Research Facility at Historic Missouri Botanical Garden

in Companies/News

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Roofing Branch faced a multitude of unique challenges recently when it replaced the roof on the John S. Lehmann Building located in the center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Founded in 1859 by philanthropist Henry Shaw, the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO features Shaw’s original 1850 estate home, the oldest continually operated greenhouse west of the Mississippi River, the largest Japanese garden in North America, the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory, a children’s garden and pioneer village, and a rose garden, among other features.

Not open to the public, the John S. Lehmann Building, opened in 1972, houses the garden’s executive staff and important research programs, historical herbarium samples and a scientific and archival library. The St. Louis Roofing Branch was contracted to remove two existing asphalt roofs on the building and replace them with a fully-adhered, 80 mil TPO membrane roofing system. There was no room for error in the execution of this project.

Accessing the building through the botanical garden was a major concern. A 15-ton truck crane and half of the roofing material had to be hauled 700 feet via a walking trail to the building. Significant precautions were taken to protect the garden’s plant life along the trail from damage by the equipment and compaction of the soil. Western crews worked with garden officials to evaluate which trees along the route would need to be trimmed in order to make room for the materials.

“The crane and each forklift load of material had to be carefully escorted to make sure our material handling equipment stayed on the walking path and did not bump into any overhead branches,” said former St. Louis Roofing Branch Manager Keegan Tune, who is now Branch Manager of Western’s new Kansas City Roofing Branch. “The elevated level of skill in workmanship and communication exercised by our field crews made this project a success in all aspects.”

Another challenge that Western crew’s faced on the project was maintaining a tight schedule. Phase one of the project had to be completed before any decorative lighting for the garden’s annual “Garden Glow” event could be installed around the building.

“In order to shorten the critical path of the schedule, we had to fast track the submittal process and start immediate procurement of the materials. After the material was in place, it was a matter of providing sufficient labor and overtime until the deadline was met,” said Tune.

To protect the building’s valuable contents during the construction process, Western crews worked with the plumbing and ceiling contractors to install new internal overflow drains and piping to safely convey storm water from the roof to the retaining area. An architectural sheet metal company was also used to match the existing custom metal edging profile of the drainage system.

Western completed the project on time and within budget with zero change orders due to the accuracy of the specifications and drawings.

“At the end of the day, it is very rewarding to have taken part in helping preserve plants and science for the future generations to enjoy,” said Tune.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

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