Looking Back on 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the projects, the people, and the values that propelled our company in building what matters this past year.  Across the country, in urban centers and suburban neighborhoods, we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to develop and construct the roads and bridges, hospitals and schools, aviation and transit projects and more that connect communities and make our world a better place. These are just a few of our favorites.

We’d love to know what your favorite Constructive Thinking post was from the past year. Follow us on twitter and share a post – and tag @SkanskaUSA in the message.

Northeast

A worker’s perspective on the Oculus and PATH Hall at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub – One of our workers coined it “the most important project I’ll ever build,” because if its significance not only to New York but to the entire country. From our work on the original Twin Towers in the 1970s to the Santiago Calatrava-designed terminal dubbed “an instant selfie magnet” by the New York Times, Skanska has come full circle at the 16-acre site.

A Seaport Renaissance in Boston – The news that we sold our 101 Seaport commercial development property in Boston was reason for celebration. The 17-story, 440,000-square-foot LEED® Platinum office building in the Seaport District was completed in record time, helping this neighborhood springing to new life.

Southeast

Road Trip! Midtown Tunnel Opens To Public Ahead of Schedule – The Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project opened one lane of its new Midtown Tunnel to traffic on Friday, June 17, six months early, marking the first time the public could use the new passage under the Elizabeth River connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia.  It was the first of two deadlines we hit early for this massive public-private partnership that will help reduce commute times and vehicle emissions in the area.

At Duke University, a Remarkable Transformation – Our Duke West Union project restored the beloved on-campus dining halls designed by Horace Trumbauer in 1920 while inserting a new full-service dining environment and activity spaces for students to interact and socialize.  This ambitious renovation began in 2013 and was needed to accommodate a growing student body, while also providing a modern and exciting campus experience.

Central

Not Your Grandpa’s Library – Asked to envision a library, one might conjure up images of stacks of musty books, dimly-lit wood-paneled rooms in hushed silence and cabinets of Dewey Decimal cards that lead to a prized tome. Our Dayton Metro Main Library project in Ohio is anything but that: with design elements that include glass, steel and earth tones that bring in natural light, open space and encourage social interaction in a model that turns traditional library construction on its head.

Building a home where Alzheimer’s patients can thrive – With the U.S. population aging, Alzheimer’s has become the sixth leading cause of death, affecting more than 5.3 million people.  Alzheimer patients require specific environments designed to alleviate some of the disease’s unique challenges. Abe’s Garden in Nashville, Tenn. was a special project for us, believed to be the first memory care community in the U.S. designed and built to demonstrate and disseminate best practices that will improve the lives of individuals and their care takers affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

West

Building What Matters: From “Grand to the Sand” in Los Angeles – Building what matters took on a new definition for our Los Angeles EVP Mike Aparicio, as he took us inside the Expo Line Phase 2 project, which opened to the public for the first time in May, connecting downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica beach by rail for the first time in 60 years. The project is getting people out of their cars (and out of legendary Los Angeles traffic), in some cases, cutting commute times in half.

Building Communities, Changing Lives, South of the Border – For the second year in a row, Skanska USA employees took time out of their weekends to lend a hand on a building project that would change people’s lives in a community in need. It was before dawn on Saturday, May 14, when approximately 30 Skanska colleagues piled into a bus to make the trip from our Riverside, CA office to Tecate, Mexico, to participate in the Skanska Corazon Build project.

Innovation

Getting Ahead of the Curve – When it comes to driving value for customers, bringing innovative solutions to problems is a powerful asset. In our Skanska USA Building Business Unit, the preconstruction group has been utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) and parametric estimating technology to help accelerate the building process from concept design to final estimate – to the growing delight of customers and colleagues. It started – as most great ideas do – with the need to solve a problem.

Sustainability

Living Buildings take Sustainability to the Next Level – For years, sustainability has been more than just a buzzword in the construction industry – and with good reason.  As stewards of a planet with limited natural resources, it’s in our own interest to build projects that consume less. The concept of Net-Zero construction has pushed the boundaries of sustainable green building farther, as we enter the era of the Living Building, the industry’s most rigorous performance standard to date.

 

Just like our Skanska USA projects aim to create new possibilities for our customers, this blog aims to help give a peek behind the curtain at our company and our industry.  Thank you for being part of our stories – here’s to more great projects in 2017.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Building Communities, Changing Lives, South of the Border

For the second year in a row, Skanska employees trekked to Mexico to lend a hand on a building project that would change people’s lives in a community in need.

It was before dawn on Saturday, May 14, when approximately 30 Skanska colleagues piled into a bus to make the trip from our Riverside, CA office to Tecate, Mexico, to participate in the Skanska Corazon Build project.

2016-05-13 RENDERING-CorazonBuild-Classroom

This year, the team of construction veterans and relative newbies brought their enthusiasm and building skills to construct a community center that could function as both a classroom and day care center (rendering, above).

“Driving down from the comforts of Southern California into the hills of Mexico, you take in the scenery and see the living conditions in this town and it’s humbling,” said  Alex Six, a Riverside-based participant in our Core Competency Training Program. “Homes are literally made from scrap sheet metal, and when it rains you get a flood in the house. To put these modern structures up for people to use is really a game changer for them.”

Many of the Skanska employees involved had taken part in last year’s build in Tijuana, which gifted a simple – but invaluable – home to a family.  This year’s build was more architecturally complex, says Six, with an inverted roof and “extra math and angles” that had to be figured out.

“When you first get there you’re excited, it’s fun. You meet colleagues that are helping. Some aren’t familiar with building or how to swing a hammer, and there’s a lot of teaching and communication going on,” he said.

IMG_0637

The team ended up erecting the walls and roof of the community center, leaving some of the finishing, windows and door installation for a future team.

“At end of the day, it kind of hits you that you’ve done something extraordinary. It’s great to help people who need it,” says Alex.

Others had a similar reaction to the volunteer experience.

“I’ve always tried to be very mindful and thankful for all that I have in life. This trip down to Tecate has opened my eyes even more. Their poverty and living conditions there is nothing like poverty here [in America],” said Dana Zuccarello, Document Control Coordinator, “I’ve always taken for granted the fact that I have locks on my doors and that I don’t have to worry about people coming in to steal my food.  And to hear one woman tell the story of being thankful for a lock on her door just amazed me.  If given the opportunity again next year, count me in!”

2016 PHOTO-CorazonBuild-Group2

The structure will be completed in time for an opening ceremony in October, which Six says he will return to take part.  Six said there were some tears shed by the locals at the close of the day, because they were excited to see this important building starting to take shape in the middle of their town.

“It was [your] positive attitude; this belief that what you were there to do was important and by working together, we will get it done.  I expected a certain level of proficiency from a group like Skanska, but [your] patience and enthusiasm was inspiring to me, and was especially inspiring to the locals who were there,” said Terry Mackprang, Corazon’s US Vice-President and the leader of the build project. “They told me how exciting it was, what a great building it was going to be as their classroom and day care center.  For me, this has always been the most important aspect of US volunteers coming down [to Corazón]. I want you to know what a difference you have made for [our] families.  I think it may have made a lasting impression on them as well.”

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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