Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Impact of Bidding Schedule on Capital Project Cost

Project Planning Meeting
When bidding capital projects relating to the exterior building envelope, schedule needs to be a main consideration when trying to obtain the best competitive price. Historically, a way to yield effective results was to bid in the first quarter anticipating for work to begin in the spring, summer, or fall.
There are however additional savings that can be achieved if the bidding occurs in the fourth quarter as opposed to waiting until the New Year. With the schedule set for the construction period, the earlier the project is bid the better.

The new budget year is approaching and now is an excellent time to start planning for 2015 projects. Planning now will:

·         allow for concise, realistic budgets ready for next year

·         help take advantage of lower pricing (competitive bidding)

·         help avoid being lost in the contractor’s backlog

Benefits such as receiving the most competitive pricing, ensuring project completion meets all deadlines and engineering costs savings can be realized.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too Late for 2014 Projects?

Last week we featured our Rush Oak Park Hospital horizontal restoration project. This was a unique project not only in magnitude, but in timing.

The project began in October of 2013, the time of year when most construction projects are delayed until spring. The traditional design-bid-build process is too lengthy to allow for new projects to start in the fall; however if you still have work to be done in 2014 there is another option that might work well for you.

The Rush Oak Park Hospital project was delivered using StructureTec's design-build program, Premier Engineered Systems. Choosing this delivery program allowed the project to be completed before the end of the year, without "rushing" the quality of the work.

A truly turn-key application, Premier Engineered Systems design-build delivery utilizes the engineering and construction expertise of our vertically integrated companies. This changes the relationship between designer and builder into an alliance that promotes collaboration and teamwork. The unified flow of work, from planning to completion, enables our clients to receive the highest quality project quickly and on budget.

If you're on the fence about whether or not to tackle your project before the end of the year, design-build may be a great option for you.  Contact us to find out more about our design-build opportunities.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Horizontal Restoration: Rush Oak Park Hospital

Horizontal restoration is the process of restoring horizontal concrete structures. This type of restoration encompasses the protection, rehabilitation, and/or replacement of damaged and deteriorated structural elements. These structures, such as parking decks, plaza systems and underground expanses, have a significant effect on your facilities appearance and functionality. Proper restoration and maintenance, although often overlooked, is essential in order for you to protect and preserve your capital investments.

StructureTec Group has a long history in the evaluation, design and restoration of horizontal structures. One notable project, that utilized the unique capability of StructureTec Group’s design build program for their horizontal restoration project, was Rush Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois.  

Nearly completed weatherproofing installation.
Rush Oak Park Hospital had a long-term water problem in an underground unit of the hospital. The unit had been leaking for nearly 20 years, and the extensive damage had rendered the area unusable costing the hospital valuable space. The hospital had a tenant eager to rent the unit and needed a quick turn-around. With winter rapidly approaching, the client selected StructureTec Group’s design build program, Premier Engineered Systems, to fast track the project.

The cause of the leak was found to be improper below grade waterproofing. Deficiencies such as open seams, splits and cuts allowed water to travel under the membrane to any crack or opening in the structural slab. In addition, the existing drainage board that was designed to funnel water away from the unit was clogged with clay preventing it from functioning properly.

The unit was located directly below the Emergency Room entrance. To complete the construction, the entire parking lot and drive needed to be excavated, requiring the entrance to be at least partially closed to the public. The hospital management decided to close the Emergency Room entrance completely and re-route traffic around the site giving the team full access to the area for 45 days. 

Weatherproofing installation.
Once the lot was excavated and the below grade substrate was exposed, a new fully-adhered, liquid-applied waterproofing membrane system was installed with new a drainage system to effectively route water away from the structure. The team worked double shifts in order to meet the deadline.

The project was completed with a new redesigned driving surface and parking area with more space and an attractively updated look. Rush Oak Park Hospital now enjoys a best-in-class weatherproofed unit that will be leak-free for decades to come.

Finished project.
How are your horizontal structures holding up? Contact us to learn more about our unique design build capabilities and how we can help increase the lifespan of your capital investments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maintaining and Restoring your Parking Structures and Plaza Systems

There is more to parking structures and plaza systems than meet the eye as we learned from Russ Thurston, P.E., National Expert in Horizontal Restoration during his presentation – “Best Practices for Maintaining and Restoring you Parking Structures and Plaza Systems.” The functionality and appearance of facilities are highly impacted by these systems and the upkeep is crucial for the structure’s stability and the safety of patrons.
During the presentation, Mr. Thurston described each system, gave a brief technical overview and highlighted best practices for maintaining and restoring these structures to ensure functional serviceability and structural integrity.
Many were in attendance nationwide for this live webinar presentation on August 20, 2014. Key discussion points and audience questions were:
  • Common concerns of each system
  • Identifying a post tension parking structure
  • Rule of thumb for yearly maintenance costs
  • Guidelines for inspection
Click here to request a link to the recording of the live webinar presentation. Mr. Thurston will also be presenting this topic at the Building Envelope Forum in North Canton, Ohio on September 10th, 2014. This forum is brought to you by Building Construction Technology Educational Center, A division of StructureTec. Click here for more information about the forum.
Mr. Thurston is the Manager of The Restoration GroupSM, a division of StructureTec and primarily focuses on walls, plazas, below-grade waterproofing, and parking garage restoration. He is a registered professional engineer; with over 30 years’ experience focusing on the building envelope and structural concrete restoration. He has investigated building envelope failures and deterioration, designed repairs, and managed all phases of remedial projects.