How our Stone34 project demonstrates sustainable leadership



When Brooks Sports, the running shoe and apparel company, needed a new global headquarters and a Seattle-area home for its growing staff of shoe designers, marketing experts and product managers, it turned to Skanska USA. They wanted their new home to reflect the company’s commitment to wellness and sustainability and our team worked with Brooks to develop an incredibly compelling vision for its new home. That vision has come to life at Stone34, a 129,000-square-foot building along one of Seattle’s most popular multi-use trails, enabling Brooks to craft a new trailhead and stronger relationship with those who engage on many levels with the company.

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Today, Stone34 has been nominated in the category of “Transforming Spaces” in Sustainable Seattle’s Sustainable Leadership People’s Choice Awards. The Sustainability Leadership Awards celebrate inspiring sustainability efforts accomplished in the Puget Sound Region and winners and nominees are nominated and voted on by the community.

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So what makes Stone34 an example of sustainable leadership and a transformative space? Being environmentally and socially responsible is important to Brooks, and Skanska responded with a building that creates brand value for Brooks while helping the company manage energy risk in the future.  Stone34 is the first-market rate project and second building overall to participate in the City of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program, a partnership between Skanska, tenants and the surrounding community to grow a smarter neighborhood through green, sustainable design. Stone34, on track to receive LEED Platinum certification, is situated and designed to reduce heat gain and energy use, this includes operable windows to enable natural breeze to help cool the building.

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The building captures and reuses at least 50 percent of storm water on the site and using 75 percent less energy than a typical Seattle commercial building. This is in part thanks to an innovative hydronic heating and cooling system, which uses circulated water to control temperature. The centerpiece of the building’s facade is a glass-enclosed staircase to encourage walking between the five floors, rather than riding elevators, reinforcing the activity and movement inherent in the Brooks’ brand. Activity is further encouraged through the building’s connection to Seattle’s Burke Gillman trail, encouraging employees and visitors to commute and exercise on foot or bike.

For more information on Brook’s new home, check out this New York Times feature.

In addition to conceiving, financing and developing Stone34, Skanska also built it. We relied on our in-house craft workers and expertise with lean construction processes to ensure the highest quality construction on a very aggressive schedule. Skanska is also guaranteeing the building’s energy performance for ten years.

Check out this video on the Stone34 vision and click here to cast your vote for Stone34 by December 19th.

Stone 34 | Skanska from eric becker on Vimeo.

 

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Why I-4 is the ultimate

There’s much to be excited about with Skanska’s latest public-private partnership project, Florida’s I-4 Ultimate. There’s our joint venture’s $2.3 billion design-build contract that encompasses widening and reconstructing 21 miles of interstate highway, and building or modifying an incredible 140 bridges. I-4 Ultimate provides our team with a 40-year operations and maintenance agreement. Also, I-4 stands to be the largest and highest-ranked project certified by the Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system.

This massive project is needed because I-4 – a crucial trans-Florida link connecting Tampa and Daytona Beach – becomes an expanse of red brake lights during the Orlando area’s rush hours, a situation worsened by the highway’s outdated 1960s-era design. When our team completes construction in 2021, the Orlando stretch will be a better-functioning highway – with safer curves, improved access to connecting roads and all new driving surfaces – and a more aesthetically pleasing corridor through artful bridge design, lighting and landscaping.

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This image shows how I-4 will look near downtown Orlando.

Beyond those enhancements, I-4 Ultimate will offer a new travel experience: Those willing to pay to bypass normal traffic will have access to the four dynamically tolled express lanes we’re inserting in the highway’s center median.

“This is something that all of the communities along the corridor – as well as the commuters and tourists using the highway – will certainly be proud of,” said Brook Brookshire, project director for SGL Constructors, a joint venture comprised of Skanska, Granite and Lane. “It’ll be a showpiece entrance to Central Florida.”

Added Cesar Souza, CEO of I-4 Mobility Partners, the concession company made up of Skanska and John Laing that is partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation. “I-4 Ultimate will improve the daily lives of many Floridians and will further position Florida as a leader in P3s. We’re honored to be making this possible.”

This project’s impact will go far beyond blacktop and concrete. Our team will be creating up to 2,000 construction jobs, and providing hundreds of local residents with job training. Also, central to our strategy is tapping the expertise and building the capacities of small-, minority- and woman-owned businesses. Outreach to such potential partners began during the pursuit phase, and is even greater in intensity now.

Here are some key aspects of this project:

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What’s behind the I-4 Ultimate project name?

Our client, FDOT, dubbed this project the “ultimate” because it represents the final effort to physically expand this highway. Once SGL Constructors completes its work, FDOT doesn’t see future possibilities for adding lanes.

Why is I-4 Ultimate a P3?

On its own, FDOT did not have adequate funding to undertake this project in a timely manner. An FDOT study found that if the agency built these I-4 improvements as public money became available, the work would take 27 years to complete. By contracting via a public-private partnership, FDOT is able to have the full project designed and constructed in less than seven years.

Through this P3 arrangement, FDOT gains the support of two companies – Skanska and John Laing – that are investing equity and financing much of the project, and are assuming the risk for constructing the project on time and within budget, among other responsibilities. Skanska, for instance, will invest up to $73 million of equity. In turn, we secure a substantial construction project and gain a long-term concession that includes regular “availability” payments once the tolled lanes open to traffic.

As part of the financing and reflecting the national priority of this project, our team secured the largest-ever federal loan for a P3, one for $950 million through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

 

What’s our overall approach?

To manage this extensive project, our team divided the 21 miles into four sections of four to six miles each: Attractions, Downtown, Ivanhoe and Altamonte. In each area, we’re establishing field offices staffed with 30 to 50 project management staff.

The project headquarters is in a 42,000-square-foot building along the route in Maitland. Opened this fall, it will house approximately 160 people. All key project partners are co-located here, which promotes rapid and collaborative decision making.

What are the biggest challenges?

The project’s location and length are the main technical challenges. The corridor passes through downtown Orlando, with its dense concentration of people and businesses that the project must safely accommodate. Beyond Orlando’s core, our team must ensure an Injury-Free Environment® over I-4 Ultimate’s 21 miles of active interstate. The most complicated aspect of work is building a five-level interchange downtown to connect I-4 and SR 408.

What are some ways we’ll ensure safety?

As with all Skanska projects, instilling and maintaining an IFE culture is key. This is even more important on I-4 Ultimate, given the significant number of people being hired who haven’t been part of Skanska.

To advance a proactive safety environment, our team selected a senior operations person to be safety director: Bill Reed, a project executive formerly overseeing our Interstate 275 reconstruction in Tampa. Reed is known for being a safety champion.

“Bill can connect with the workforce because he’s been in the field doing the same things that they’re doing,” Brookshire said. “And hopefully, they can connect with him in the same manner: they know this is a guy who has done this before, and they know he’s looking out for their well-being.”

Reed will oversee an extensive safety training program that will be conducted for everyone, from superintendents to laborers who have never before worked in construction. This training will include how to properly develop plans that detail every step of each activity. These sessions – which will be ongoing throughout the project – will be conducted at a training complex with a dedicated safety trainer.

How will we staff this project during construction?

SGL Constructors will have about 220 management staff, and at the project’s peak there will be 1,500 to 2,000 craft employees (both direct hire and through trade contractors). Our team has had no problems finding people to fill the management roles. However, they expect it will be a huge challenge finding that many craft workers, given the large number of workers required and the numerous other transportation projects underway in Florida.

To ensure our team has the needed skilled workers, this fall they started a tremendous outreach effort, even though those positions won’t be needed until the first quarter of 2015, when construction operations begin. This effort will include a dedicated craft recruiter and a separate office for people to apply for craft positions and be interviewed. Local craft candidates are preferred.

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Orlando’s Bridge District will come alive at night with aesthetic LED lighting, an enhancement offered by our team.

How much equipment is required?

I-4 Ultimate requires a huge equipment fleet: 250 to 300 pieces of heavy equipment – including excavators, loaders, cranes and backhoes – and another 220 pick-ups and SUVs. The price tag for all this? An estimated $125 million. That doesn’t include the 90 to 100 on-road dump trucks that are also on our team’s shopping list. Most of the equipment and vehicles will be new and acquired through strategic leasing methods.

With all this, the most impressive number might be the projected $56 million equipment fuel bill, plus even more for those dump trucks.

How is BIM/VDC being used?

Our team expects to use the project’s BIM model to analyze the constructability of the I-4/SR 408 interchange. Already, we’re using the model to analyze a significant new maintenance-of-traffic plan for that junction. That work will then extend to the rest of the project alignment.

“I believe we will be able to identify cost-saving changes that were otherwise indiscernible at the time of bid, given the huge volume of information to process during that period,” said Paul Pedini, vice president.

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Distinctive landscaping and bridge architecture at project boundaries let travelers know they have entered the new I-4.

Why does Envision matter?

To help differentiate our proposal, our team committed to achieving the highest standard possible under Envision, the leading sustainability rating system for infrastructure projects. That I-4 will be one of the first projects pursuing this certification, that it’s the largest to be doing so, and that our team is targeting Platinum certification all make this very significant. Beyond recognition, Envision will provide a framework for our team to share sustainability best practices.

Envision has five areas under which points are assigned: quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, and climate and risk. Much of what Envision requires is already part of how FDOT defined and planned this project. Still, key aspects of achieving enough points to attain Platinum status include such construction best practices as re-using nearly all waste materials and balancing earthwork operations so excavated materials can remain on site. The lifecycle thinking inherent with P3s also provided us with important points, as does using a customized version of Skanska’s environmental management system.

Skanska is helping pioneer the Envision system. Along with being a charter member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure – one of the groups behind Envision – we were also appointed to the chairmanship of the Envision construction group, which organizes the system’s construction module.

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This 700-foot-long curved pedestrian bridge over I-4 is an iconic enhancement offered by our team.

What are our operations and maintenance responsibilities?

Beginning this February and for the next 40 years, I-4 Mobility Partners is responsible for operating and maintaining the project’s 21 miles. Everything is included, such as repairing potholes and guardrails, inspecting and fixing bridges, and mowing grass. This work also includes providing roving service patrols to help stranded motorists.

Part of why governments are attracted to P3 projects is that the arrangements ensure a high level of service. With I-4, for example, our team is obligated to be on the site of accidents within 15 minutes, remove any broken-down vehicles within 30 minutes, temporarily restore lighting that has fallen below acceptable levels within 30 minutes, and temporarily patch all blacktop potholes within three days.

Did we consider maintenance and lifecycle costs when designing this project?

P3s give the concessionaire – the contract holder – the incentive to consider the whole-life costs of a project, not just the initial design and construction costs. For I-4, our team performed lifecycle analyses of four key project aspects: pavement material, pavement marking, lighting and bridge structure type. For example, steel tub girders were found to be most economical over 40 years for the curved flyover bridges, surpassing the concrete superstructure alternative after consideration of the post-tensioning maintenance costs. The analyses were led by Skanska’s global lifecycle experts using models developed in-house. These studies utilized input from workshops with the full-range of team members present: development/finance, design, construction and operations.

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Building this five level downtown interchange to connect I-4 and State Route 408 is the most complicated aspect of work.

How will this project benefit Central Florida?

Our team has a goal of awarding more than $250 million of work during the design, construction, and operations and maintenance phases to small-, minority- and woman-owned firms. “That’s a challenge, but we look at this as a real opportunity to infuse economic empowerment into these local communities,” said Rodney Renix, compliance officer.

Making sure the biggest pool of firms have access to I-4 contracts requires much outreach and other efforts. This fall, for example, our team held an eight-week program to educate small business owners about bonding, a hurdle for many such firms in procuring contracts. Another local benefit is that our team will be providing on-the-job training throughout the project’s duration so that 250 formerly unskilled workers become proficient in a construction craft.

“We have made a commitment to do something great here, and we intend to deliver on that promise,” Renix said.

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Stretch and Flex for the holidays

Every day, Skanska employees and trade partners perform our Stretch and Flex warm-up routine to help prevent soft-tissue injuries and otherwise get mentally and physically ready to work safely. It’s an important part of our commitment to an Injury-Free Environment®.  As we prepare for the holidays, our team pulled together a few new Stretch and Flex routines, designed with the holidays in mind. From present wrapping to wood chopping and football watching, our holiday version of Stretch and Flex will keep you healthy and safe through the New Year!

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How you can help improve how building information is shared

PDFs are the de facto format for digital construction documentation. Yet, there is no set standard for how to produce PDFs for a project. This is an industry-wide problem. Every firm and every team are creating their own process, and that is creating big inefficiencies for both construction and building operation. Now, one group is trying to bring the industry together to improve the outcome and efficiency for all.

At Skanska USA we spearheaded the creation of the Construction PDF Coalition – made up of both designers and constructors – in order to address this issue head on, with the multi-disciplinary approach necessary for the task. The coalition’s goal is to create a set of defining standards for documents in order to better leverage digital information being shared among designers, constructors and all project team members.

Some easy PDF adjustments can pay big dividends. For instance, take hatching, the pattern or shading used to indicate materials on drawing cross-sections. If a designer creates very detailed PDFs in huge file sizes, it’s often challenging for the contractor to access those documents on mobile devices in the field. Adjusting the hatching in a standardized way would help alleviate this issue.

Another key standard: By being consistent with how drawings and other documents are organized and identified, both jobsite operations and building maintenance by the owner will be improved through easier data identification.

Skanska Safety App

Gateway to 3-D

This movement has aims beyond more efficient jobsite workflows and reduced environmental impacts by encouraging more paperless jobsites, however. Another major improvement made possible through standardized PDFs is accelerating our industry’s ability to work in the 3-D realm – a technological advancement that is already well underway. By taking the PDF document – which has been and continues to be a raw, unrefined resource – and providing industry guidelines for usage, the standards will allow AEC teams to more efficiently consume 3-D data through the PDF. (Today, 3-D models are typically viewed through such software as Navisworks or Revit, both of which require significant computing resources not always available to the workforce.) The Coalition is also actively collaborating with AutoDesk to further enhance what native content carries over to the PDF.

Call to action!

Ultimately, the coalition seeks to reduce the amount of time project teams spend digesting information. Rather, they can better use that time to focus attention on client’s needs and the end product. All of this will increase the baseline abilities of the AEC industry while pushing jobsite sustainability further.

Here’s where you come in. So far, these guidelines have gone through eight iterations as we incorporate feedback from architects, engineers, designers, constructors and owners. We still want to hear from you! Please consider filling out this survey to share your thoughts on PDF construction documents. We’ll use your feedback to continue our work in building a better PDF.

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Kyle Hughes

posted by Kyle Hughes

Project Engineer, Skanska USA

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On NPR, our MacAdam Glinn shares the latest airport trends

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Today’s airport terminals seek an upgraded passenger experience.

From yoga studios to farmer’s markets and sky decks, airports across the country are upgrading and renovating their facilities to better meet passenger needs, reduce inefficiencies and improve the overall travel experience. Recently, MacAdam Glinn, national director of our Aviation Center of Excellence, spoke to NPR’s Robin Young about the latest trends in airport design and construction. As Glinn notes, it’s an exciting time for American airports, with these improvements helping to reconnect people to the “nostalgia and romance of air travel.”

You can listen to Glinn on NPR’s Here & Now by following this link: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/11/27/airport-design-changing.

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Four landmark projects make public debut this month

Four major Skanska projects have officially opened to the public this month: Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Mass.; Fulton Street Transit Center in New York City; Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.; and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s San Carlos Center near San Francisco. Together, these projects represent extraordinary craftsmanship, advances in building processes and technology, mastering extremely tough site conditions and our teams’ ingenuity and hard work. Below are highlights from each project:

Untangling Lower Manhattan’s subways

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Fulton Street Transit Center in New York City

Our work on the Fulton Street Transit Center, which we began nine years ago, organized and improved a knot of nine subway lines dating back to the early 1900s. While several contractors were involved with this transit hub, which is envisioned as Lower Manhattan’s version of Grand Central Terminal, Skanska’s assignments were among the most complex.

Through five contracts totaling $428 million, our work included building a block-long underground concourse connecting the Fulton Street Transit Center site to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub we’re still constructing; building the Fulton Street Transit Center foundation, which included carefully constructing an 80-foot deep secant pile wall to avoid the settlement of an adjacent 1890s-era building; gutting and rebuilding the complex’s A/C line subway station with a new structural frame and improved vertical circulation through adding new elevators, escalators and stairs; and installing finishes at two other stations in the complex.

With all this work, our team had to largely maintain the flow of traffic on the streets above and adjacent subway lines. In some cases, this meant supporting existing stations and track while we excavated below. Such work could only be done during weekend outages, which lasted two years. Every Monday, those stations had to be returned to service by 5 a.m.

“That was quite a challenge,” said Norm Hirsch, project manager. “But we got it done – we didn’t miss an opening.”

To read a New York Times article on the center’s opening, click here

Showcasing extreme craftsmanship at Harvard

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Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Mass.

The Harvard Art Museums project consolidated Harvard University’s three museums into a single facility designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The undertaking had two major elements: demolishing and then rebuilding 70 percent of the 204,000-square-foot interior of the original 1927 building, and constructing a 154,000-square-foot, five-story addition.

Precise work was a hallmark of this project. For instance, our team  erected 700 tons of temporary steel to brace the existing structure’s exterior walls, and later threaded permanent steel into place in that same space. Thanks in part to a BIM model, there were few conflicts. Additionally, they achieved a three-quarter-inch reveal between the bottom of the drywall and the top of the concrete floor in the galleries, which was only possible through nearly perfect steel and concrete placement. Most uniquely, our team had to painstakingly move two huge frescoes, one a 10-foot by 12-foot work of art weighing 15 tons, given that it was an integral part of a load-bearing masonry wall. (Click here to watch a video of this process.)

“We did a lot of things here that people will never do again in their careers,” said Claude LeBlanc, field operations director. “Many things were done that that no one will ever see.”

Faced with a ballooning number of requests for information and design updates early in the project, our team innovated the use of a Bluebeam Revu-based PDF document management system. Even more, they electronically linked the drawings to associated RFIs and other information, making it even easier to find the right data. Exploring another way to improve how we build, LED-based luminaires were used for nearly all temporary lighting, saving more than $300,000 in energy costs.

Click here to read a Boston Globe story on the museums’ expansion, and click here to see a time lapse video of construction.

Sharing the joy of construction with young patients

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Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

Multi-system prefabrication and lean processes were key to our success in expanding the Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. Skanska established an off-site facility in which we assembled 144 each of bathroom pods, patient room headwalls and medical staff work stations. Additionally, we assembled 160 overhead MEP racks. All this was done to compress the schedule while reducing waste and ensuring high levels of quality and safety. In another advancement, our team utilized pull planning to most efficiently build the 450,000-square-foot expansion’s five-story atrium. Also, we used a single provider to perform all above-ceiling MEP coordination to speed this work while ensuring consistency.

But perhaps the most rewarding part of this project was engaging young patients during construction. This expansion is located adjacent to the existing facility, which has balconies that overlooked the construction site – our team saw those balconies as an opportunity to give the kids reasons to smile. Sometimes our team had children lead them in Stretch and Flex from those balconies. During the earthwork phase, through the use of a mock blasting box and some subtle project radio commands, children thought they were causing the earth to heave. Our team became an integral part of hospital life, even creating a construction-themed coloring book and outfitting a wheelchair like a Cat bulldozer for a Halloween parade.

“Helping these kids has touched the hearts of even the most hardened construction workers,” said Marty Corrado, prefabrication manager.

An integrated approach to construction

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San Carlos Center medical clinic near San Francisco

The 192,000-square-foot San Carlos Center medical clinic was Skanska’s first project to truly use integrated project delivery, which emphasizes heavy collaboration among project stakeholders, and it also extensively used lean construction practices. Having the project’s key stakeholders – including the client, Skanska, the designers and trade partners – operate out of a common Big Room office helped accelerate and improve decision making, said Project Executive Raul Rosales.

Besides how we built this project, the building itself is also notable because of its high-quality finishes. These include a canopy made of reclaimed redwood, a lobby with Pakistan limestone flooring and a wall of three-inch thick stacked Douglas fir, and, for an especially unique effect, large images of the local landscape digitized onto plywood. This medical center is part of the Sutter Health system.

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P3s aren’t just for transportation – here’s how they can help with public buildings too

The University of California, Merced is the newest campus in that state’s higher education system, and yet already it needs to grow: It has an ambitious plan to double its size over the next six years, with a building program that involves some 1.9 million square feet of academic, housing and research uses.

The size and scale of U.C. Merced’s program is emblematic of what is happening on many college campuses. Fueled by the recent surge in attendance, American universities have been expanding and upgrading their footprints and facilities to meet this demand, be more competitive and adapt to changes in technology and academic focus areas.

But what is different about Merced’s 2020 project is how the school plans to fund the expansion – using a public-private partnership, or P3.This is the largest so-called social infrastructure P3 project in the U.S., with a client-estimated value of about $1.2 billion.

In a P3, public money is leveraged with private investment to fast-track critical projects, for which the long-term responsibility to maintain that infrastructure falls to private partners. These performance-based contracts have proven highly effective and valuable in dozens of countries, including Canada, Chile and the U.K., as well as in the U.S. Here, P3s have typically been used to finance and develop large-scale infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges. For example, Virginia’s Elizabeth River Tunnels and Florida’s I-4 Ultimate are two of the biggest such undertakings. To date, 33 states have approved P3 approaches for transportation infrastructure.

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P3s transfer significant risk from the public sector to private sector

Like our roads and bridges, America’s social infrastructure – public buildings, from schools to hospitals – are also in dire need of investment. Lacking the funds to make the needed improvements, government entities – and even such universities as U.C. Merced – are increasingly considering P3 models for their projects. Social P3s have lagged behind transportation projects because until recently, ample capital and low interest rates made it relatively easy for public bodies to get approval to build, said Larry Casey, Skanska senior vice president. But as that capital flow has become scarce, municipalities, universities and state governments have been forced to look elsewhere to fund these projects.

For social infrastructure projects, the funding model that U.C. Merced and a growing number of other facility owners are using is the concession-availability model. Often used for transportation P3s, this approach has the facility owner contracting with a concessionaire – the contract holder – to develop, design, finance, build, operate and maintain the project. California’s Long Beach Courthouse project is the first U.S. social infrastructure project under a concession-availability model. Beyond U.C. Merced, three other major social infrastructure P3s are currently in development: the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building Replacement in New York City, the Indianapolis Justice Complex and the City of Houston Justice Complex.

Demonstrated success

While U.S. social infrastructure P3s are gaining traction in the U.S., internationally these kinds of P3s have been successfully implemented on a broad range of projects. The largest P3 in Sweden is a university hospital: the New Karolinska Solna, a Skanska project and also one of the largest P3 hospitals in the world. In the U.K., our teams are delivering, maintaining and operating the Barts and the London Hospitals P3. This project has transformed two hospitals, the historic St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, into state-of-the-art healthcare centers. Also in the U.K., we’ve used P3s to redevelop secondary schools in Essex as part of the U.K. government’s former Building Schools for the Future program. The U.S. can learn from these successes.

“Once completed, New Karolinska Solna will be one of the most sustainable hospitals in the world and the first in Europe to reach LEED Gold certification – this is one of many benefits in using P3s,” said Karl Reichelt, Skanska executive vice president. “This method also ensures high safety performance, minimization of long-term lifecycle costs and a high-quality project that is delivered on time and on budget with little risk to the owner.”

P3 advantages

The benefits are clear for using P3s for public buildings. They allow owners to:

Transfer project risks to the private sector:  The private partner takes on the financing risk and risks associated with designing, constructing, maintaining and operating the building. This alternative delivery approach advances projects that would otherwise be stalled due to lack of funding, or that are of a size that would normally require multiple phases to complete. By utilizing P3s, municipalities can more quickly green light projects that might otherwise take years to begin, creating jobs and boosting local businesses in the process.

Minimize lifecycle costs: Eighty- to 90 percent of a building’s cost over its lifetime comes from operations and maintenance. Yet, when facility owners consider social infrastructure projects, too frequently much of the discussion focuses on up-front costs and selecting the lowest bid. P3s are designed, built and maintained in a holistic way that focuses on ensuring a high-performing facility throughout the concession period, and returning the asset in the specified condition at the end of the contract.

“P3 delivery is not privatization but a partnership between public agencies or institutions and private sector businesses,” Casey said. “The approach needs to be thought of as ‘responsible’ asset development and management because the intent of P3 is to instill innovative design and operating methods that create value, such as energy savings and healthier work environments, and facilities that maintain their aesthetic characteristics and optimal performance for 35 or more years.”

Achieve projects on time and on budget, with any overages borne by the private partners: The transfer of project risk and investment means that the private partner is responsible for delivering the project on-time and on-budget regardless of externalities such as weather, construction costs or material availability.

 

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Building green careers

Green building doesn’t only improve the built environment—it betters people too. With green, people stretch their skills in any number of ways to develop the best green solutions, and some—maybe you—are lucky enough to devote their careers to this aspect of sustainability. The U.S. Green Building Council recently shared stories of how some of our professionals are using their green expertise to make a better world for us all.

Check out the full story, here. For more on the future of green building, check out Chief Sustainability Officer Beth Heider’s Greenbuild interview with the USGBC:

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The evolution of airports: Trends in airport construction

In just a few weeks, millions of Americans will hit the road and take to the sky for Thanksgiving and holiday season travel. In some ways, that’s more of the same: at any time of year, American airports are some of the busiest in the world, and the Thanksgiving holiday is perennially one of the busiest travel times of the year. Yet as demand has increased over the years, much of our aviation infrastructure largely has not kept pace – many of our aviation facilities are outdated and in need of major renovations in order to ensure public safety, maximize efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

But that dynamic is starting to change.  Safety, the new economics of flight, and consumer demand are three of the major factors shaping how airlines and airport officials are approaching the need for upgrades and renovations. Post-9/11 security concerns are being addressed in the context of a desire for greater efficiency in passenger traffic flow, prompting airports to rethink how they lay out checkpoints and process passengers.

Trends in aviation like upgauging – the switch to larger, more fuel efficient jets – mean adjusting terminal layouts to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts and more passengers.  And air carriers and airports are making changes in response to new consumer expectations, undertaking major renovations to airport common areas, with airports adding everything from local restaurants rather than national chains, to replacing their smoking lounges with yoga rooms.  To understand how all these trends are shaping the construction of the airport of the future, check out our aviation infographic:

skanska_airport_v3

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MacAdam Glinn

posted by MacAdam Glinn

Skanska USA Vice President - Aviation Center of Excellence National Director

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Awards, milestones and BIM – what we’re reading this week

At Skanska, we’re proud to work on some of the largest, most innovative and iconic building projects in the U.S. These exciting projects challenge us to find new ways to build efficiently, sustainably and safely.  This week’s Weekend Reading features news from two hallmark projects, plus some useful ideas for maximizing the uses of BIM.

An inside look at the 2014 Building Project of the Year

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From the very beginning, our team at Florida Polytechnic University’s Innovation, Science and Technology Building recognized that bringing Santiago Calatrava’s intricate design to life was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As our project leader Chuck Jablon said: “We knew it was something special at the beginning, but when we saw Calatrava’s vision and design actually working, and capturing everybody’s attention, it made it extra special to know that we were the ones delivering it.”  This week, ENR Southeast magazine named this project – with its signature 94 operable rooftop louver arms – as its Building Project of the Year. Read about our team’s collaborative and innovative work to transform Calatrava’s vision from concept to reality, here.

One tunnel element submersed, 10 more to go

Our joint venture team at Virginia’s Elizabeth River Tunnels project reached a major construction milestone this week when the first hollow concrete element for the Midtown Tunnel’s second tube was fully lowered into place under the river. The team completed the 18-hour placement process on Tuesday. What’s next? With ten more tunnel elements to submerse, the team will be placing one tunnel element every five weeks from the Portsmouth side moving across the river to Norfolk. What does the placement process look like? Check out this time lapse video:

Getting the most from BIM

As more facility owners come to recognize the value of building information modeling for design and construction, the next step for designers and builders is helping owners utilize BIM data to improve facilities management and over the building lifecycle. From writing a plan to focusing on the total cost of ownership, Skanska’s Hal Jones, virtual design and construction director, shares six ways for owners to maximize the value of their BIM-enabled design and construction team. Check out our latest blog, here.

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