The ultimate sustainability award at I-4: Envision® Platinum

Our I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project has won the prestigious Envision® Platinum award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). I-4 Ultimate, the reconstruction of 21 miles of roadway in Central Florida, stands to be the largest project certified by Envision to date. I-4 Ultimate is one of Skanska’s three public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the United States in addition to LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B in New York and the Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia. At Skanska, we are advocates for PPPs because they set the stage for successful sustainability planning by involving all parties – from the architects to the future operators – from day one.

“The entire I-4 Ultimate team is thrilled to receive this recognition for our efforts to protect the environment while creating a signature corridor for the entire region,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E. who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation. “This award shows that sustainability goals are achievable alongside other primary missions of our agency to enhance the economic prosperity and preserve the quality of our environment and communities.”

Proposed rendering of the future SR 436 Interchange, which is currently one of the most congested intersections in Florida with more than 100,000 motorists traveling on it per day.

Our PPP team at I-4 Mobility Partners (I4MP) is doing more than building new infrastructure, it is also relocating protected wildlife such as tortoises and osprey, planting native trees such as elms and maples, and recycling 99 percent of the concrete and steel removed from roads and bridges.

Public spaces are being created to connect and engage the community through group sport activities, farmer’s markets, art fairs and parks. Residents will also be able to enjoy enhanced walkability, biking and public transportation options with connections to the SunRail commuter rail system and LYNX, Orlando’s local bus service. All in all, we are fully invested in improving the places where we work and live.

The proposed project design includes accent lighting, illuminated fountains, enhanced bridge architecture and architectural cladding.

“Since day one, our entire team has been committed to achieving the highest standards under Envision,” said Sal Taddeo, Chief Operating Officer East, Skanska USA Civil. “Our goal is to deliver one of the country’s most complex roadway projects while reaching a top level of sustainable infrastructure performance that can serve as a role model for other projects of its kind.”

The road to sustainable infrastructure

Created in 2012, Envision provides a framework for evaluating infrastructure projects similar to how the LEED® evaluation system works for building projects. The ranking consists of a broad range of criteria that address a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment, technical considerations regarding materials and processes, and other critical choices spanning the project’s lifecycle. There are five categories measured: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk.

I-4 Ultimate received high scores in three key categories:

Quality of Life: Central Florida’s local history and unique community character are being reflected in the design because there are hundreds of nearby buildings, districts and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several of these places are within the project limits, including the town of Eatonville, Griffin Park and the Holden-Parramore Historic District.

Founded in 1887, the town of Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American town in the US. The main road — Kennedy Boulevard which passes under the new I-4 project — once served as a wagon trail. Key landscape and historic features will be integrated into the bridge design at Kennedy Boulevard to honor the city’s history.

Leadership: To meet FDOT’s sustainability goals, an agenda was created early in the program to provide the project’s foundation. This includes social priorities such as health and safety, community involvement and business ethics; environmental priorities, including energy, carbon, materials, water and local impacts; and economic priorities such as project selection criteria, supply chain management and value added to society.

Natural World: A comprehensive Contamination Management Plan and Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan was developed to prevent pollutants from contaminating soils, surface water and groundwater. Four underground storage tanks and 145 tons of petroleum that impacted soils and debris have been removed from the project site.

Invasive species are being controlled by removing existing Brazilian Pepper trees and Tropical Soda Apple shrubs along the project’s right-of-way while including non-invasive plants for landscaping and maintaining wetland functions.

The native landscaping proposed for this project includes up to 14,225 trees, 9,825 palms and 65,900 native shrubs and grasses.

Setting new sustainability records

In the fall of 2016, our Expo Line 2 Light Rail transit project in Los Angeles received Envision Platinum certification, making it the first transit project to receive the certification. Skanska has been involved in Envision since its inception and we are proud to see that momentum continues to grow. We are a charter member of ISI and we have supported more than 60 employees in achieving the Envision Sustainability Professional designation.

Moving forward, all of our PPPs in the U.S. must be either Envision or LEED certified, and by 2020 all of our U.S. civil infrastructure projects will seek Envision certification.

This marks the first time a Florida project has been honored by the ISI and the second time a Skanska project has been honored.

Thank you to our teammates at I-4 Mobility Partners

Our I-4 Mobility Partners team is designing, building, financing, and operating the project through a 40-year P3 concession agreement with a total design and construction cost of $2.323 billion dollars. We have two roles: one as an equity member through our Infrastructure Development group and a second as part of the SGL Constructors (SGL), which is the Skanska-led joint venture with Granite Construction Company and the Lane Construction Company.

Other members of the I4MP team include John Laing Invesments Limited; Design Joint Venture – HDR Engineering and Jacobs Engineering Group; and Infrastructure Corporation of America.

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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Solar Town, USA

Run an entire town on solar power?  It’s not the stuff of imagination anymore.

On June 28, ground was formally broken for “Founders Square” in Babcock Ranch, Florida, with the construction of the initial downtown district getting underway. As the social and commercial hub for the new residential community, it will also include the first of several common area “micro-communities” of solar panels to power the development.  Large shed metal roofs facing south maximize solar power collection.

The buildings surrounding Founders Square will serve as the social and commercial hub for the first residents of Babcock Ranch, who will start moving into the innovative, solar-powered town early next year.

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The project is the creation of Kitson & Partners, with Phase One, Founders Square, serving as the permanent lakefront anchor for the downtown district that will expand southward in future phases of construction.  The park provides a central gathering place and features splash fountains, shade structures, a band shell and lakefront boardwalks.

“We are working to provide a whole new way of life with expansive opportunities to connect with nature and neighbors,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners.  “Founders Square is designed to serve as a regional gathering place, drawing in our neighbors to join the fun at the heart of a vibrant new town.”

2016-06-29 PHOTO-BabcockGroundbreaking

Groundbreaking at the new Babcock Ranch Founders Square project on June 28, 2016.

 

Designed by Harvard Jolly Architects, all Founders Square buildings are being constructed by Skanska.

“Babcock Ranch is set to have a great impact on Florida and the surrounding region.  As more communities turn to green building, Skanska continues to bring sustainable development to the projects we build,” said Fred Hames, Skanska USA Building’s General Manager and Executive Vice President for Florida.  “The Founders Square will serve as an integral part of Babcock Ranch’s thriving Downtown and we look forward to seeing this unique community take shape.”

See how local media covered the event here.

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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What you missed from the Build America Infrastructure Investment Summit

American infrastructure is in great need of investment, and it will take strong political leadership to make meaningful improvements. As one step toward that larger goal, it was great that the Obama Administration on October 9 hosted the Infrastructure Investment Summit to rally support for the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide effort launched in July to advance the U.S. market for public-private partnerships. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew were among those who spoke at this D.C. event to an audience that included leaders from state and local governments and businesses, including Skanska.

While this entire event was great, our favorite part was directly related to Skanska’s latest P3, the I-4 Ultimate project for which our I-4 Mobility Partners team is providing finance, design, construction, operations and maintenance services to reconstruct and widen 21 miles of Interstate 4 through Orlando, Fla. Before the crowd, Foxx announced a $950 million Transportation Department loan to help pay for this project. This is the largest loan that the U.S. DOT has awarded to a public-private partnership, and is a significant step forward for P3s in America.

In case you missed this event, below is the conversation about it from social media.

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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This Calatrava masterpiece comes to life – exactly as envisioned

This Saturday, Florida’s first STEM-focused college, Florida Polytechnic University, will mark its formal opening and the beginning of the 2015 school year. The Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building that is the centerpiece of the campus was designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and built by Skanska, as part of a collaborative team of numerous design and construction partners.

You might be impressed by the project’s facts: this 160,000-square-foot structure was completed on-time and within the strict $60 million budget. This was accomplished despite such immense challenges as 90 percent of the structure being on a radius and having to find a way to build never-done-before louver arms that rise up to 12 stories above grade, and then hydraulically lower – all to ensure the optimum amount of daylight enters the building. And importantly,  there were no lost-time injuries over the four years of work,  thanks to each team member staying highly engaged.

But what made this project really special was the intense trust developed between the designers and our construction team, how every craft worker understood they were creating a structure of which they could be forever proud, and how through our team’s hard work to truly understand Calatrava’s intent for the project so they could convey that to our trade partners, the IST building has been delivered exactly in line with Calatrava’s original vision. It’s rare that that happens, even more so on a project like this.

“Completing this project makes my team and I feel extremely happy and at the same time somewhat sad,” said Chuck Jablon, the Skanska vice president who has overseen this project from the beginning. “This Skanska team wishes it would never end. We felt challenged every day and each day brought our team closer together, as everyone had different skill sets that we all relied on to overcome the greatest of opportunities. I am most proud of each and every one of my Skanska team members and look forward to see how they continue with the knowledge and experience gained on this magical modern marvel of the 21st century.”

So before the crowds arrive for tomorrow’s celebration, we invite you to explore this building.

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The butterfly-like aluminum louver arms are raised to let in the evening sun. Of the design, Jablon said, “You can’t tell me that this design hasn’t captured you. Calatrava captures your curiosity on the drawings alone. Then, when you start building it and you see it evolve, he gets your heart. And when the building is far enough along so you can see the full design realized, he’s damn sure captured your soul.” (Credit for all photos: Macbeth Photography)

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Construction was a collaborative process, in which Skanska focused on engaging all the stakeholders in the construction and design process from beginning to end. As Scott Judy of ENR writes, we worked to “break down traditional silos of silence between the design and construction team.”

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Inside, the roof’s exposed underbelly reveals concrete rakers that converge at an apex containing a skylight. A grand staircase takes center stage. Throughout the building, the concrete is clean and crisp – which required tremendous attention to detail and concrete craftsmanship from our team.

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The complex rooftop system is supported by a concrete ring beam – 72 inches deep and 30 inches wide – that encircles the interior of the second floor’s grand common area. On the building’s radii, each column rotates on another angle. This building has about 300 radius points, with an incredible 90 percent of everything done on a radius. As Jablon said, “You see the radius – do you feel it?”

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Calatrava designed the building to inspire students with a sense of optimism: “My first aim is to make an inspirational environment for the students and the professors and everyone working here.”

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Executing this design required forging a sincere bond between Skanska and Calatrava’s team. “This has been one of the best relationships I’ve had professionally with a contractor,” said Frank Lorino, chief architect of Calatrava’s New York office. “It hasn’t been without disagreement, but we know we’re both working for the same goal – the highest quality of project possible for the means that we have.”

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The building’s exterior is wrapped by a pergola of lightweight aluminum trellis that covers walkways and gathering spaces. In addition to being visually stunning, the pergola also helps the building function efficiently, reducing the structure’s solar load by 30 percent.

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The building’s amphitheater showcases the team’s craftsmanship. So much of the building’s detail is understated: from the rotation of the columns, to the quality of the concrete pours and the challenging patterns cut into the floors. As students embark on their STEM education, they’ll appreciate the work that went into achieving these features even more.

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Jablon and the Skanska team relished the building process. “I wanted to do it,” he said. “If you’re a builder, this is what you dream about doing in your career. It’s an opportunity to take your experience and your knowledge and gather people you’ve worked with throughout your career and say, ‘Friends, we’ve got one. We’ve got what we’ve been dreaming about our whole career.’ That’s what it is about.”

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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At Florida Polytechnic University, building under the spotlight

Many have built designs by noted architect Santiago Calatrava, but few – if any – have delivered these highly complex structures within the clients’ budget and schedule goals, and through a smooth construction process. After all, if a starchitect designs the building, won’t the project be so complex that it’s destined to be late and over budget.

Skanska is proving that notion wrong as we near completion of the 160,000-square-foot Innovation, Science and Technology Building in central Florida, the centerpiece of a new campus for Florida Polytechnic University. Projects don’t get much more complex than this, with 90 percent of the building on a radius; the glazed roof covered with operable louver arms that will reach up to 12 stories above grade to regulate light into the building; and a soaring cast-in-place concrete structure that required the highest standards of craftsmanship. All this was done on a $60 million budget.

“We’re proving the naysayers wrong,” said Chuck Jablon, Skanska vice president. “Our team is getting this project in budget without compromising Calatrava’s design.”

While it’s been under construction, this building has been in a Dodge Ram commercial, has developed a popular mascot – Kittiago Calatrava (the team’s adopted kitten) – and has been the subject of scores of media attention. Here’s a recap of some of what the media has to say about this compelling project:

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but to really get a feel for the building take a look at these videos:

This video shows Santiago’s vision for the Florida Polytechnic University campus and the Innovation, Science and Technology (ITS) building.

ABC Action News takes a look at the new university’s construction.

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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A Q&A with architect Santiago Calatrava

Bill Flemming, president of Skanska USA Building, met with world-renowned designer Santiago Calatrava to discuss the successes of our two joint projects: Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Fla., and, in New York City, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and its dramatic Oculus entrance structure.

Florida Polytechnic University 9-5-13 04

Florida Polytechnic University

Flemming: Santiago, in your opinion, what were some of the successes of the Florida Polytechnic project that stand out to you the most?

Calatrava: One of the main successes of this project is how my team and Skanska worked together to deliver a price certain design and construction process for such a complex building. Effective collaboration is the key to success. It shows that great things can be built.

Flemming: When you are dealing with a complex project like Florida Polytechnic – or the Oculus– what is the most important characteristic you desire in a contractor?

Calatrava: I have always respected contractors and admired their capacity to deliver. When working with Skanska on the Polytechnic project, we could not believe how easily you were able to attack the most complex components. There were never any problems that couldn’t be addressed. And in the end, you gave us better solutions. This project is an exceptional project. And it will be completed under budget.

That is truly exceptional.

Oculus

The Oculus entrance at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Flemming: Getting to price certainty is a real challenge in this industry. What do you think the best solution is?

Calatrava: When the architect and builder work together, the owner always benefits. If you, as the contractor, give us the chance to design something better, we will take that opportunity. When you are working hand-in-hand, the building will only be more innovative.

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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