This was a competitively bid project designed by Burt Hill Architects. The concept for this project was to completely demolish including all mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems approximately 25,000 s.f. in the Exchange Center West and renovate this area for a new college that would offer degree programs in Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice, Medical Assistant and Paralegal Assistant program. The existing building is a 6 story structure, Brown Mackie College, occupies the 1st 2nd and 3 floors.
The existing structure was completely gutted including all Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Systems. The new construction consisted of all new HVAC Systems, New Electrical Distribution and Lighting, Telephone and Data Systems, Security and new Plumbing Systems. Due to the age of the building all of these had to be replaced to meet current building codes.
The project had many challenges. The first being the schedule, L.D. Kerns Contractors received our notice to proceed on May 22, 2008 and achieved substantial completion on Aug. 10, 2008. This required a fast track schedule. The average crew size at the project was 30 people per day. This schedule also required daily updating and coordination to achieve. In today’s construction industry most materials have an 8 – 12 week lead time. This required L. D. Kerns contractors to provide timely submittals for the Architects review and working with all of our suppliers to ensure timely delivery dates so as to not negatively impact the construction schedule.
The next major challenge was material deliveries. As an example the existing building utilized a pneumatic control system for the HVAC. Part of the project requirements was to change to a D.D.C.control system. This required all new V.A.V. units and F.P.B. units which are normally a long lead item. By working closely with the suppliers we were able to receive this equipment in about 6 weeks.
Another major challenge was coordinating with the owner, architects and engineers. Each of these entities were located in other states. Most of our meeting's were held per conference call and Burt Hill also has a web site where all document revisions are posted, R.F.I.’s are posted and answered and all related job info is updated for all parties to review.
The last major challenge was working in an occupied building. The existing elevators at the project are very small. A 4x8 piece of sheetrock will not even fit in them. To solve this issue, we removed windows on each floor and created landing areas where all the materials for this project could be loaded through the side of the building and not impact the existing occupants of the building.
L. D. Kerns Contractors performed this project in just under 3 months per the bid documents and provided the owner with an aesthetically pleasing project that was available for them to utilize for there fall class schedule. The owner and architects have told L.D. Kerns Contractors many times that this was there smoothest project to date and would work with us again.
This project is unique for several reasons, L. D. Kerns Contractors constructed a 2.5 million dollar, 25,000 s.f. project in just under 3 months, with 0 Lost Time Accidents and just 1 Doctors Case.
This project also had an emphasis on not impacting the environment, out of the 17 tons of debris generated, over 50% was recycled.
In summary, L.D. Kerns Contractors has built our reputation in the “Hard Bid” of our business by providing our clients with more that is expected. We will always go the “extra mile” to ensure our Client satisfaction.