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Category Winners: Build Washington Awards for Construction Excellence


Pease Construction Inc. (Public Building under $10 million)

Spanish Steps Historic Rehabilitation Tacoma

Owner/developer:  City of Tacoma; Lead Engineer:  Darius Thompson City of Tacoma; Lead Architect:  Spencer Howard Artifacts Consulting Inc.; Contract Amount:  $456733

Modeled after the famous steps in Rome Tacoma’s Spanish Steps are considered a rare artifact. Pease Construction carefully rehabilitated the Steps which are used as a pedestrian connection between major roadways. The rehabilitation included the urns baluster newels posts railings and streetlights; installation of pedestrian furnishings and signage; and a new retaining wall.  Pease took great care with the 95-year-old landmark. For example the proposed method for attaching the balusters to the railing was labor-intensive and could have been destructive. Pease suggested an alternative method that was far less invasive and structurally sound.  The plan resulted in a credit to the City of 4.5 percent of the original contract price.  Also Pease exceeded state safety requirements by developing and following a stringent air respirator program for the project that required a substantial amount of concrete grinding.

Turner Construction Company (Public Building $10-25 million)

Pike Place Market Phase 1A & 1B Seattle

Owner/developer:  Pike Place Market PDA; Lead Architect:  SRG Architects; Lead Engineer:  Swenson Say Faget; Contract Amount:  $20636661

The Pike Place Market is comprised of historical buildings many of which are 100 years old and Turner Construction’s renovation was complicated by the age and diversity of systems within the buildings. The project involved the repair and replacement of the infrastructure of the mechanical plumbing and electrical systems; structural upgrades; and improved accessibility to elevators and restrooms.  This was accomplished without changing the physical appearance of the buildings in order to maintain the historical integrity of the Market and within a project site that was only 80×90.  Among the many challenges addressed by Turner was the excavation for the new Seattle City Light Electric vault that required excavating 10-20’ below the column footings of an occupied building.  To do so Turner installed micro piles around existing columns prior to the excavation transferred the load from the existing column footings to the new micro-piles and surgically excavated below.  Over 100 survey points were monitored daily to insure the existing structures had no unanticipated movement.

Abbott Construction (Private Building under $10 million)

Community Health Center of Snohomish County Broadway Clinic Everett

Owner/developer:  Community Health Center of Snohomish County; Lead Architect:  Steve OShea Giffin Bolte Jurgens Architecture; Lead Engineer:  Dowl HKM PCS Structural Solutions; Contract Amount:  $8199028

The project involved replacing two single story buildings with one new two-story 19020 square foot facility housing nine dental operatories 18 medical exam rooms and two procedure rooms.  Abbott Construction delivered it on schedule and under budget via a design-build delivery method. During the construction design stage the owners determined that they had to relocate the building to the other end of the site necessitating a total re-design.  Abbott was able to manage this process and met the original completion date. The schedule was divided into four phases to facilitate continuous operation of one of the existing on-site clinics along with a temporary pharmacy which Abbott provided by adapting a modular portable building complete with pedestrian access and an ADA ramp that remained in place throughout the building process.  While not slated for LEED the Abbott-led team delivered a project that is anticipated to be LEED Silver at no additional cost to the owner.

Compass General Construction (Private Building $10-25 million)

The Chloe Apartments Seattle

Owner/developer:  Barrientos; Lead Architect:  Runberg Architecture Group PLLC; Lead Engineer:  Coughlin Porter + Lundeen; Contract Amount:  $18 Million

This project involved construction of a seven-story 142586 GSF mixed-use building with 117 units of apartment housing residential amenities seven commercial units and two levels of below-grade parking.  The Compass team was actively involved in the design review and value engineering of the building and this process resulted in the incorporation of Compass’ redesign recommendations for the parking garage and shoring systems.  This minimized project exposure to a local water table and reduced the budget of several scope areas.  Compass’ field management also played a day-to-day role in providing design/build ideas.  For example the Compass team worked with the owner to redesign the lobby and garage elevator vestibules to allow for the elimination of elevator pressurization and associated equipment.  This removed a significant piece of annual maintenance and testing from the project. Also Compass’ experience with Seattle City Light’s Built Smart program helped generate a significant rebate to the owner.

Exxel Pacific Inc. (Private Building over $25 million tie)

Joule Apartments Seattle

Owner/developer:  Essex Property Trust; Lead Architects: Driscoll Architects (design) and Runberg Architecture Group (construction administration); Lead Engineer:  DCI Engineers; Contract Amount:  $56502657

Joule Apartments is a twin-tower mixed-use building with 295 apartments and town homes. 

The client subscribes to a fast start process that required Exxel Pacific to start construction using incomplete construction documents and an anticipated GMP budget. Among the challenges of this procedure was the discovery that on-site construction activities were out distancing design.  To avoid excessive slowing Exxel performed work out of sequence. This led to non-typical construction conditions including retaining large open areas in the framing to allow the structural steel element design fabrication and installation to occur as it was completed.  Exxel also placed a full-time staff architect on-site to coordinate and design missing details to help maintain the schedule. Exxel completed the north tower five months ahead of schedule and the south tower three months early translating into earlier than expected revenue flow for the client. Exxel returned more than $6 million from the initial budget through construction efficiencies and buyout savings.

Lease Crutcher Lewis (Private Building over $25 million tie)

505 First Avenue South Seattle

Owner/developer:  Starbucks; Lead Architect:  NBBJ; Lead Engineers:  Coughlin Porter Lundeen Hart Crowser

The challenges Lease Crutcher Lewis faced constructing a landmark 292000 square foot seven-story office building between two historic buildings and the Alaskan Way Viaduct were abundant beginning with the garage excavation that extended 42 feet below grade.  The water table was only seven feet below grade so to keep the building from floating 370 “hold down” anchors were installed below the 5’ mat foundation (8000 yards of concrete).  For shoring the Lewis team chose a cutter soil mix subterranean wall an innovative approach new to Seattle.  It allowed for the drilling precision and vibration control necessary to protect the century-old sewers and structures around the site. The shoring required 450 tie backs coordinated with BIM to avoid conflicts with soldier piles belonging to adjacent buildings.  The fill material consisted of debris from the Seattle Fire and old wharfs and piling. Artifacts from this period discovered during the excavation required an archeologist to be onsite during the majority of the digging activity.

Mountain Construction (Tenant Improvement/Remodel over $5 million)

Griots Garage Tacoma

Owner/developer:  Richard Griot; Lead Architect:  Helix Design Group; Lead Engineers:  PCS Structural Engineers Petra Engineering Sunset Air; Contract Amount:  $5.6 million

Bringing Tacoma’s old 1950’s Coca Cola Building back to life was the challenge for Mountain Construction.  Mountain was selected by Griot’s Garage as the design-build contractor to demo and restore the facility with space for class A office high end retail an auto museum retro style employee cafe and warehouse. The design-build team used Mountain’s “Roundtable Design” method.  In an interactive series of meetings the entire team worked out the design together steadily working toward the best value.  To meet the owners schedule Mountain fast-tracked the design and permitting by meeting with the city of Tacoma during design development and providing the information in packages that worked for their review process.  In a letter to Mountain the owner said “The quality of work and commitment by the entire crew paid huge dividends.  Just one walk through the new Griots Garage Corporate Center and Flagship Retail Store and youll see the level of detail that went into making the building one of Tacomas landmark sites.”

Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. (Highway & Transportation)

SR 519 Intermodal Access Project – Phase 2 Seattle

Owner/developer:  WSDOT; Lead Architect: Hough Beck and Baird; Lead Engineer: Aecom; Contract Amount:  $67545484

Kiewit was awarded this design-build contract to improve traffic connections to the Port of Seattle terminals Colman Dock ferry terminal central waterfront area sports stadiums and destinations in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.  Embracing the design-build process Kiewit developed several innovative alternatives to the owner’s conceptual design.   For example Kiewit used cast-in-place box girder bridges instead of steel tub bridges and steel girder spans. The change from steel to concrete mitigated the significant risks associated with rising steel prices and the long lead time associated with steel fabrication. Using cast-in-place box girder bridges allowed Kiewit to begin both of the bridge superstructures immediately after the substructure was complete saving critical project time. Plus Kiewit changed the preliminary design from steel girders and used precast pre-cambered concrete girders.  This eliminated extensive fabrication time and significantly reduced the high maintenance and difficulty of painting the steel girders in the future.  The project was opened more than a year ahead of WSDOT’s schedule.

Walsh Construction Co. (Green Building)

Salishan 7 Tacoma

Owner/developer:  Tacoma Housing Authority;Lead Architect:  Torti Gallas & Partners; Lead Engineer:  Parametrix; Contract Amount:  $14047904

Walsh Construction Co.’s project Salishan 7 is the first federal public housing project to achieve a LEED for Homes Platinum Certification. On its own initiative WCC conducted a rigorous review of the project months prior to breaking ground to develop strategies to achieve LEED certification giving the Housing Authority the confidence to pursue the Platinum level.  For just a seven percent increase in overall budget a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency was achieved effectively removing 27 homes from Tacoma Power’s electrical grid.  WCC implemented a comprehensive air-sealing strategy.  This included thermal imagery and blower-door technology to diagnose unforeseen air-sealing problems that enabled fixes to walls before they were closed up.  WCC added many environmentally sound features including insulation that is far above code enhanced windows and smart-meters for each home.  Nearly all of the stormwater is routed through bio-swales and landscaping choices reduced water use by 60 percent. WCC’S efforts resulted in 91 high-performance environmentally-friendly and healthy homes at affordable prices.

Lease Crutcher Lewis (Technology)

Lease Crutcher Lewis created WebPM a customized application of SharePoint collaboration software that is dramatically improving document coordination and communication speed.  Before WebPM project documents were distributed via courier or email or posted to static FTP sites.  This was inefficient and led to occasional errors.  Lewis Project Engineer Chuck Hynek decided there must be a better way and he developed WebPM to streamline processes and create one source for information. The Lewis team compared results from a project using the new system to typical results and found that WebPM produced many positive outcomes.  Time spent tracking documents was reduced from two hours a day to 15 minutes.  The punch list process was shortened from three weeks to one.  Submittal processing time was reduced from one week to one day.  And the amount of paper used for meeting minute distribution declined from 150 pages to zero.  WebPM gives immediate access to documents and drawings to all project team members and provides a single source for control and confidentiality.



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