Awards Recognize Outstanding Best Practices in Construction


Best practices in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.   The annual awards recognized successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.  Five projects and their teams were presented Best Practices awards.

Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence

The team from MC Industrial and Burns & McDonnell were recognized for use of the Advanced Work Packaging Best Practice on the Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence.  This is one of the newest Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute.  Although new, it did not stop the team from using the best practice, along with Planning for Startup and Change Management for the construction of a 425,000 square foot manufacturing and paint facility for the Boeing Composite Center of Excellence.  As a design build delivery project, it was critical to meet a tight schedule for the expansion to provide protection from the elements for the large equipment procurement which was well underway.

Since the schedule was fast-paced for this enormous facility, numerous design packages were required, 30 in all.  Each was separately tracked and progress reported to stakeholders on a weekly basis.  The packages had to carefully coordinated between each other and monitored to integrate with adjacent and sometimes dependent building systems.  Each package had numerous review stages with the client and construction team.

The team employed a 3D model walk through and cloud based interface systems to facilitate the reviewer comments and to act on them.  The review times were drastically reduced and this provided a coordinated platform to track and archive the documentation, providing a common pool for project information.  As the project progressed, the 3D modeling was published on a recurring basis, allowing stakeholders to visualize the facility as the design progressed.

Since all trades were modeled in virtual space, clashes in the field were identified during the design phase.  This minimized costly delays and re-work in construction.  The models were passed to subcontractors as a starting point for their fabrication models and further reducing the time typically required.

Hospital Realignment at Nellis Air Force Base

KAI Design Build and United Excel Design were recognized a major realignment project for the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  The project employed the Best Practices of “Planning for Startup” as well as “Front End Planning” and “Project Risk Assessment” for a complicated $93 million hospital renovation across 4 floors.  It involved more than 2 dozen departments in an operational hospital with an antiquated layout that was also undersized for its mission.

With a design charette as a starting point, floor plans were developed for the design build project.  This translated into the architectural, interior, structural, MEP engineering and other renovation needs.  Although the renovation encompassed 3 years, design submittals and pre-planning for the project were necessary early in the project for use by design sub-teams.

Project risks were identified for renovation of different areas of the hospital in phases while keeping occupied areas operational.  A project rating index and project risk assessments were employed throughout the project to provide sufficient scope definition and to assess risks.  This empowered decision makers to evaluate parts of the project prior to moving forward with design and construction. Mock-up rooms were built for major rooms, such as operating rooms, intensive care and labor and delivery to coordinate equipment and utility outlet locations such as power and data, medical gas and headwalls.  Sustainable design concepts were incorporated into the project which is tracking for LEED Silver Certification.

American Optometric Association Headquarters Renovation

The challenge to build new or renovate was faced by the team recruited to support the American Optometric Association (AOA).  Initial plans called  for constructing a new facility for the 44,000 member trade association with offices on Lindbergh Boulevard.  Team members including Northstar Management, Gray Design and BSI constructors, completed a pre-planning effort which indicated a cost of $14 million for a 30,000 square foot new building.  Then when they compared this option and the associated project budgets, including land acquisition and additional Owner operational costs, with an alternative option for a full gut renovation, the latter option’s lower cost of $10 million altered plans.

The design and construction team worked in close alignment to devise a plan for the renovation.  To support ongoing operations of the association’s staff during construction, the project included 2 phases in which staff relocated to one half of the building, while the other half of the building went through renovation in Phase 1.  Then staff moved to the completed half to make room for renovation of the 2nd half the building. This also enabled the team to address lessons learned from work on the Phase 1 when the project moved to Phase 2.

The team created a project organizational chart to implement a level of governance for the project.  This included representation from the Owner and the team members together with a steering committee to develop project goals & objectives, to review crucial decisions and to relay them to the Owner’s Board of Directions.  Subcommittees were formed to assist with interior finish and furniture selections and with review design of casework, café, and print copy rooms.  Town Hall meetings were conducted with the association staff to discuss the process for relocations during the construction phasing plan.

Quantifiable results included a 29% savings from the original new building concept while adding 50% more square footage and providing all new infrastructure.  Lessons learned from Phase 1 that were implemented on Phase 2 created resources for added scope as well as paving a smooth transition for Owner activities and occupancy.  The alignment best practice provided for a well informed team to make team decisions resulting in a project completed on time and 5% under the project budget.

Elanco Formulation Fill Facility

McCarthy Construction was awarded a Best Practices award for front end planning of a project for the Elanco Animal Health division of Eli Lilly and Company.  After experiencing significant damage to critical processing equipment in a prior project,  Elanco wanted to avoid a repeat.   Front End Planning was critical for construction of a new 41,000 square foot pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Located in Augusta, Georgia, the 3 story building houses production areas and process support spaces to create a fully automated process manufacturing environment.

A major challenge was assembling the large, critical processing equipment.  The complexity and precision necessary to mate the equipment would have been physically impossible inside the building because the building’s interior height constraint eliminated the opportunity to stack equipment.  Two pieces of the equipment were being built by different manufacturers in different countries, Germany and Switzerland.

With Front End Planning, a temporary outdoor enclosure and concrete pad were constructed for assembling the equipment so that it could be put together and tested.  With the assembly and testing completed in the temporary enclosure, the equipment was slid into the new facility in one piece.  Over $ 3/4 of a million in savings in logistics and labor were saved with this approach.

Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Health Care Mid Campus Center

Construction of the Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Mid Campus Center

called for the effective and timely integration of construction knowledge into the planning, design, construction and field operations of a project.  A team, including Clayco, KAI Design Build and Christner, employed the “Constructability” best practice for this 12 story, 517,000 square foot office building in the heart of the growing medical campus in the St. Louis Central West End.

Having design documentation ready to meet critical benchmarks, such as for civil, structural, shell, core and fit-out packages was critical to avoid delays for this project as well as future projects in the overall campus.  An overriding goal was to design a structure that could be erected quickly.  To accomplish that goal, the project team pursued a cost effective unitized curtain wall system to conform with the Owner’s construction budget.

With planning and scheduling, the joint venture team juggled demands of a rigid phased delivery schedule with the needs and desires of the Owner.  This included engaging a host of design assist subcontractors to perform constructability exercises and to source materials early in the process.  Other processes used to promote constructability included logistical plans and aerial photos to maximize lay down area and to develop hoisting plans for the tower cranes; early involvement of the curtain wall contractor to size its buck hoist dock and to accommodate large material crates; coordination meetings between the Clayco-KAI joint venture team, designer, subcontractors and Owner to maintain accessibility while minimizing impact on surrounding buildings and vehicular and pedestrian traffic; safety reviews on all sides, including 2 active roads, a substation and an overhead pedestrian link; and use of Building Information Modeling from the beginning to coordinate the trades in the ongoing architectural design.  In conjunction with “Advanced Work Packaging” efforts and “Change Management,” this project was completed on schedule in just under 20 months.

There are seventeen best practices which have been validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to provide savings in cost and schedule.  Validation is based on results from projects throughout the country.  The CII is recognized as a principal construction industry forum for improving the business effectiveness and sustainability of capital facilities.

Diversity and inclusion champions in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration


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