Traffic Barricades Clutter The 520 Freeway Into Redmond
Redmond Washington is home to some of the biggest names in business. Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon, and many more tech startups. Washington State has long been a destination for companies looking to expand in an area that is cheaper than California but still keeps them on the West Coast. The 520 Freeway connects Redmond to Seattle and passes through areas of Kirkland and Bellevue along the way. The freeway has been under construction for years as growth in the area has surpassed the States ability to manage roadways and traffic. Just in the past few years, the 520 went from a 2 lane bridge in each direction to a 4 lane bridge. The 520 is also now a toll bridge, so commuters are now opting to go around Lake Washington to get to the northern part of Seattle. What we have noticed during this time period is an increase in traffic-related accidents. This increase in automobile accidents is caused both by the flood of residence in the area moving there and commuting to and from work daily, but also from poorly cared for roadways that erode from the constant rainfall the Seattle experiences. Washington has a yearly rainfall average of 38.19 inches of rain. This amount of rain washes out roads and causes other natural problems like mudslides that also impact the road quality. That being said, when traveling from Seattle to Redmond the 520 dumps you out either onto Leary Way or on to Avondale Road which will take you to Woodinville Washington. The traffic becomes extremely congested in this areas as commuters use this access point to travel to and from Seattle. The poorly maintained roadways and constant road construction leave commuters dodging potholes and traffic barricades. Potholes become a major issue as vehicles crash into holes that exceed 6 inches in depth and can experience alignment and balance issues in addition to blown out tires. We spoke to a Redmond mechanic who went on to say that oil pans and axles also suffer from debris on the road. As the roads break up and the asphalt breaks loose it becomes a road hazard and bounces along the underside of moving vehicles causing damage to the parts underneath. They get hundreds of vehicles a year into their Redmond Auto Repair Shop and the issues are consistent from vehicle to vehicle. the damage caused from loose asphalt is never-ending, and the road barricades that force drivers down narrow unmaintained portions of the road are to blame. Washington State needs to fix its road problem at a rate that keeps pace with its growth, or more car owners will be spending more time at the mechanic shop.
With so many options being available, choosing the right internet providers in New Mexico and surrounding areas could be a problem and challenge. New players are getting into the market while old ones are giving way to the new ones. The plans and products that they offer are also going through quite a bit of change. Unless you are fully informed and have the right knowledge you could end up choosing the wrong service provider. Let us, therefore, try and list down the various important points to be kept in mind when it comes to choosing a suitable ISP or Internet Service Provider in New Mexico.
Identify The ISPs in Your Area
This without any doubt is the first step you should take when you are into the job of selecting the right ISPs. This is important and there are two main reasons for identifying the right ISPs in your area. Though you could see an ISP talking quite big about its capabilities, you may find that they may not be able to cover the entire area. The areas that are covered may not be to your exact liking, though they may talk about in their advertisements. At the end of the day, the proof lies in the eating and this is where you must do your research. You should not hesitate to talk to your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and relatives who could be living in your area. They will be able to give you a reasonably good idea about the various ISPs in your area and the kind of services and coverage areas that they have under their catchment areas.
Have A Close Look At The Pricing
The next important task is to ensure that you go through the pricing of the various ISPs quite closely and perhaps run it through a fine comb. You will find the offers quite confusing as far as pricing, plans, speeds, download limits, and other such things are concerned. Many online tools could help pull out the various ISPs in your area. The pricing and other details could be highly misleading and unless you are fully informed you could be taken for a ride.
Look At Their Service Standards
Though the internet coverage may be quite good, be you must ensure that they offer the best possible services when you have downtime and other related problems. Many customers run their home-based businesses and other such activities based on the internet services Roswell that are provided to you. Hence, you cannot afford downtime beyond a reasonable limit. Any good ISP should ensure that you get 99% uptime and even if there are downtimes, the same should be corrected almost immediately. They should have the required manpower and equipment and the infrastructure to take care of these problems.
Go For Long Term Plans
Though many of us would be tempted to go in for short term plans because they cost less, the long term plans are always economical. However, before going in for such long term plans, be doubly sure about the network and the coverage areas. Short term plans can mean lower losses and therefore this point should always be kept in mind.
Are you looking for the right concrete suppliers in Oklahoma City? If yes, then you have a few reasons to go through this article. Though there are many concrete suppliers in Edmond, OKC and other surrounding areas, not all of them are good. Some are good while others might have a few things not so good about them. Hence, you must do the right research and go through the desired due diligence process. When you have so many concrete suppliers, the task becomes quite difficult. But the grind has to be gone through because concrete suppliers could make or break your dream housing project or other commercial constructions. We are happy to share a few of the points that may help you in making the right choice. It will help you to stay away from the wrong suppliers and ensure that you do not lose time, money and effort as far as your construction processes are concerned. When you are armed with a list of questions you can be sure that you will be able to hire the right talent without too much of a trouble.
Exhibit Confidence And Be Prepared
As a customer, you should always speak from a position of strength. Whether it is a small order or a big one, your knowledge levels should indicate that you are confident and are sure as to what you are talking about. If you are confident, it will be easy for you to even find out more about the experience, expertise and other vital attributes of the concrete stain in Oklahoma. Never let your guard down and if you do so you might be taken for a ride by scamming contractors and other dubious service providers.
Have More Number of Options
Never settle for the first concrete supplier that you come across. Do your research and find out the contact details of at least seven or eight such service providers. Take your time and then shortlist the best ones based on various factors like experience, expertise, track record, customer satisfaction and of course price.
Are They Conveniently Located?
Concrete suppliers are not sent in one big lot for the entire construction project. It might require regular refills and many trips. It would be better to look for concrete suppliers who are conveniently located and not very far away. This will make supplies faster and the builders will also be able to manage their inventory better. They will not suffer over-stocking or under-stocking problems.
Take Into Account Drying Time
Concrete takes time for curing and drying and this factor should be taken into account when you choose these professionals. You should always hire those contractors who understand this drying and curing process. They will be able to schedule your supplies accordingly and it will be a win-win situation for you as a builder, the concrete suppliers, and other stakeholders.
The Final Word
A quality building depends on the strength of the concrete and therefore you must always hire concrete suppliers who have a good track record and success story behind them. Do not compromise on quality and delivery schedules even if the cost looks a bit attractive.
Bill’s Custom Concrete & Yard Drainage
Address: 14609 Remington Way, Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 755-3975
You have decided to buy a home outright or you are in the process of building one. Both are fantastic decisions and it will certainly take you to a situation where your dreams will come true. However, you have quite a few things to take care of and many loose ends have to be tied up. You need to have a fix on the funding because homes, whether customized or pre-constructed do not come for cheap. They could cost you a few hundred thousand dollars. While you may have some savings of your own to take care of the initial payment, you need to arrange for a mortgage loan to take care of the balance. Further, you also would like to be sure that the property in question is free from construction defects once it is ready for handover to you. It is quite likely that you may not have any information or knowledge about construction defects. You will, most certainly, have to depend on professional and experienced construction defect expert witnesses. Let us try and find out why you need their services and what services you can expect from them.
They Have Experience & Expertise
Construction defect experts come with experience and expertise in their domain. They are capable of identifying possible areas of defects that we will never be able to find out. There are many areas where construction defects could happen. It could be related to poor framing; issues about masonry work, poor carpentry work, issues related to the foundation, plumbing insufficiencies and also shortcomings related to electrical wiring and other related works. They also would be able to find out possible areas where the building standards and codes may not have been adhered to. Not being able to identify these could cost the homeowners dear and hence it makes sense to hire the services of these professionals for a price.
They Will Be Able To Identify The Source
When you hire the right construction defect witness professionals, you have many other advantages coming your way. They will be able to find out the main source of the defect. While this will help in pinning down the builders and contractors, as a homeowner, you also will be able to heave a sigh of relief. You will be able to get on with the task of rectifying the problem. All these can be done before you move into the new home or before you decide to give it for rent.
They Could Help In Appraisal
Your builder or promoter would have quoted a price taking into account the size of the property, the location, size and construction quality, and other such attributes. While in most cases it would be in line with the market rates, hiring the services of a good construction defect expert in Tulsa may be a good idea. He or the company will be able to give you a reasonably accurate answer as to whether the price that is being charged from you is correct or not.
We are sure that the above article would have given the readers and prospective homeowners a rough idea about the roles and responsibilities of these professionals. It also could help them to make the right choice.
Address: 401 NE 139th St Suite 17, Edmond, OK
Phone: (405) 474-2828
If you look at the complaint list of certain sites like BBB or Better Business Bureau, many complaints would be related to roofing companies. There are dozens of instances where customers have lost big money to roofing scams. Hence, if you are from Oklahoma City and are trying to hire the right roofing company in Oklahoma City, you must keep a few things in mind. It would be very wrong on your part to hurry through the entire process. You must understand the importance of research. When you spend time researching and then deciding, you will stand benefitted in many ways. You will be able to understand and have reasonably good knowledge about the various things that make a good roofer a great one. You should have a close look at their attributes, success journey, and other such things. This is because of one simple reason. Roofing repair does not come cheap and some homeowners spend up to $50,000 for roofing works. Hence, you would like to ensure that they get full value for money. Here are a few things that could help separate the grain from the chaff as far as roofers are concerned.
Good Roofers Offer References
Professional Edmond roofers always believe in offering references. They would not mind sharing reviews from previous customers. They know that genuine and positive references are the best possible advertisements for bringing in new customers. On the other hand, if you come across shady and not so well-known roofers, he or she would not be too keen on sharing details about previous customers. It would be better to stay away from such customers because of obvious reasons. Hence, good roofers are those who are upfront and transparent about their performances and would be more than willing to share it with their prospects.
Does The Roofer Have Insurance?
Many homeowners in their hurry to identify a roofer miss out on this important point. It would be a cardinal mistake to choose a roofer who does not have insurance. The insurance should be comprehensive and should cover the customers, the insurance company and the workers who do the roofing job. It also should cover the materials that are needed for such a roofing job. Roofing is a risky job and in spite of the best safety precautions, accidents and mishaps cannot be ruled out. In such situations, having an insurance policy will certainly help in more ways than one. It will help the customer to stay safe and be indemnified from any possible litigation and claims.
They Will Offer Warranty
Good roofing companies would never hesitate to offer a warranty and guarantee for the work they undertake for their clients. The warranty terms and conditions will be transparent and there will not be any ambiguity in it. It will cover materials and workmanship and reputed roofers will always stand by their commitment as far as warranties and guarantees are concerned. They also will be aware of the fact that properly signed contracts with warranty and guarantee terms and conditions are enforceable in a court of law.
The Final Word
You must, as a customer, understand that good roofers do not just advertise and blow their trumpets but stand by what they have promised. This should be reason enough for you to be sure that you have separated the grain from the chaff.
Over the past year, DPR Construction has shared stories of its self-perform work (SPW) teams. We’ve heard from builders who successfully execute complex technical projects every day by working closely with their teammates. But a key part of project success also lies in the collaboration and integration between teams, so we’re shifting our focus to highlight those synergies. We begin with Andres Sanchez, a self-proclaimed “office guy who came from the field and every day takes the field to the office.” Sanchez began his career as a craft team member, transitioned into virtual design and construction and currently acts as a project engineer, so he has a keen appreciation for and experience with integrating the various teams it takes to deliver a successful project.
Q: What is your role at DPR and describe the path you took to get there?
Sanchez: I’m currently a project engineer transitioning to project manager, managing SPW work. I started working in the field as a craft employee, and I was fortunate to get the chance to be part of the laser scanning unit when it was brand new to our region. We laser scanned as-built conditions, floor flatness, concrete pre-pours, and after we were successful we trained other regions in laser scanning. I liked laser scanning because it allowed me to visit multiple offices and work with various teams, because we were performing work outside of our Phoenix office and training others. We mastered the process so we could share our learning. I’m currently managing the ASU Health Futures Center projects and assisting at other SSG projects on other campuses.
Q: What do you love about construction / your job?
Sanchez: The main thing I love about construction is just putting my two cents in to get something done. To be the bridge between our design and our craft. To be able to translate what’s being requested to put that in place. That’s team integration in a nutshell.
Q: How does your team integrate with other teams? How do you work with each other or make things easier for each other?
Sanchez: In my role, we deal with Preconstruction before the project even starts. We deal with BIM coordination. We work with our superintendents to be able to manage the correct schedule, and with other trade partners to coordinate the work in place. At the end of the day, we’re all working together to achieve one goal: a successful project. And teamwork makes that happen.
One good example was the laser scanning. I was doing framing on a project, and I was asked if I was interested in being part of this new team that was being developed. I didn’t hesitate for a minute. I said, “Yes, when do I start?” Our group of three had no real experience with it, but we knew we needed to master it as soon as possible. With support from our Southern California team, we purchased our own laser scanner and brought in a specialty team from the vendor, Trimble, to train us. On a scale from one to 10, our first project was a 9. To be able to exceed the owner’s expectations and showcase the benefit of laser scanning was mind-blowing. As a region, it was just the beginning of a new way of implementing technology into construction. From that project, it skyrocketed. We did Shea Hospital in Phoenix. That lead us to go to Austin, Dallas and Houston to coach and train our Texas folks, where concrete was taking off. After that, we did the same thing in Florida.
Q: What are you most proud of / what is your proudest moment at DPR?
Sanchez: One of my proudest moments was to be able to share my love of construction with my daughter. When I worked on the project in Tucson, my 9-year-old daughter, Mia, visited the jobsite with me on multiple occasions until completion. During our daily dinner conversation, she always asked me, “Is it done yet?” It was like having to give a superintendent a daily project update. Now that we moved back to Phoenix, she tells everyone, “I built a hospital in Tucson. I worked for DPR.” And now she wants to be an engineer.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Sanchez: (Laughs) Going home! There are days when I get calls from home telling me dinner is ready, and I say, “Give me 20 more minutes.” I always try to stay ahead of things and be on top of what’s coming up next week: forecasting, what’s going to be impacting our schedule. I must stay on top of all that.
Q: To be successful in your role, what skills does a person need?
Sanchez: Attitude. Having the right attitude, the will to learn and to be teachable. You could have all it takes to master a skill or a task, but not having the correct attitude will not give you great results. It can be as simple as sharing a smile with someone who might be having a bad day. A great smile and a great attitude make everything easier. I’m always smiling. Even when something goes wrong, they say, “Why is he smiling?” And I say, “Well, let’s figure something out!”
Concrete slab in the foundation is one of the main important parts of your house. You need to make sure that it is completely perfect. If you are experiencing any issues related to the concrete slab in your house or in the foundation, then you need to seek immediate help. With the right concrete slab repair service, you can fix the problem completely. For that, you have to find the best concrete slab repairing service in Oklahoma City. But before you take the decision to hire a service, how will you figure out whether or not the concrete slab needs repairing.
Signs and Symptoms
If you are experiencing any issues related to the concrete slab of your house or foundation, then it is important to assess the issue. You must watch out for the significant cracks or holes in the slab. There can be large gaps too or a difference in the elevation between either side of the slabs. If there is any crack which is quite significant then there lays the problem. These issues can be caused due to many reasons. When the soil beneath the slab was not graded properly and it was not prepared, these issues can come up. Sometimes extreme heat can cause the cracks. For all these, you need to find the best solution. So, choosing the right concrete and drain contractors is very important.
How to choose the best service?
Here are some of the factors that you have to consider when you are looking for the best quality concrete slab repair service:
Reliability and experience: There is no doubt that experience plays a major role in this. With experience people gain more and more knowledge about a certain work. Also, reliability is very important when it comes to choosing the right service. You have to rely on it.
Customized solutions: No two houses have the same problem. So, when it comes to repairing the concrete slab, it always needs customized solution. You have to choose a repairing service that can provide with the customized solution according to the problem and severity of the issue.
Expert technicians: While you are choosing a service, make sure that the service has some of the advanced and most efficient technicians with expertise in this field. You cannot simply rely on a technician without any knowledge and former expertise in this.
Price: You need to ask for the total estimation of the work. For that, you have to get a free evaluation of the total cost. You can call the service for assessing the entire property that you have for identifying the issue and provide you with the total estimation. Based on that, you can choose the service.
So, these are some of the main and most important factors that you can consider while choosing one of the best concrete slab repair services in Oklahoma City. These can help you to find the most efficient service without any doubt. You have to shortlist and choose based on your needs and requirements.
Bill’s Custom Concrete & Yard Drainage
Address: 14609 Remington Way, Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 755-3975
Data center development has surged in the Atlanta metro area in recent years, fueled by rich connectivity options, reasonable power costs, low natural disaster risk, easy access to tech talent, and a state tax break passed by Georgia legislators in 2018 designed to spur growth in the data center market.
Long recognized as a financial technology hub (Atlanta is a clearinghouse for some 70% of all electronic payments worldwide and home to 16 Fortune 500 companies), the city has garnered recognition in recent years as the 7th largest wholesale data center market in the United States according to CBRE, with 132.5 MW of inventory. Forbes named Atlanta one of the top five up-and-coming “tech meccas” in 2017. And in a nod to the region’s growing data center market, Bisnow held its Data Center Investment Conference & Expo in Atlanta the past two years, while CAPRE held its fourth annual Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure Summit in Atlanta this August. CBRE Research recently ranked Atlanta fifth in the U.S. for the region’s 14.5 MW currently under construction and sixth in the nation for its 40% growth in inventory since 2015 (North American Data Center Report H1 2019).
The leading names in data center ownership are expanding their presence in the Atlanta market – enabling the region to hold its own against other leading powerhouse data center markets throughout the U.S.
DPR Construction, a leading builder of data centers and advanced technology facilities, has found itself in the midst of this boom.
DPR recently completed two major data center projects for clients in the burgeoning Atlanta region; a signature data center project in Midtown Atlanta for leading enterprise-class data center provider Databank and a 70,000-sq.-ft. data center facility for Flexential on their Alpharetta campus. The projects showcase how DPR was able to leverage its technical expertise and its national data center experience to support customers’ needs for highly technical, mission critical projects in the Southeastern U.S.
Databank Expands to Atlanta Market
The three-story, 110,000-sq.-ft. data center and adjoining 645,000-sq.-ft., 21-story mixed use office complex are the latest addition to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s “Tech Square.” The project is Databank’s first data center in Atlanta, representing the company’s expansion into its ninth U.S. market.
Databank is leasing 30% of the data center facility to Georgia Tech for its high-performance, research computing needs. The ATL1 facility will also house part of the Southern Crossroads network node which provides high-speed, high bandwidth connectivity to research and education sites throughout the region and across the nation.
Georgia Tech’s fleet of super computers operate at five-times the density of traditional computer racks and produce heat loads that would overwhelm traditional, air-cooled data centers. Working with DPR, DataBank and Georgia Tech opted to address those unusual heat loads with rack-mounted heat exchanges that allow Georgia Tech to significantly reduce the energy required to manage that heat.
DPR completed the initial 3.2-megawatt buildout on time and under budget. The space is now being operated by Georgia Tech for university support and research activities and by DataBank as part of its Atlanta service offering for companies seeking colocation, cloud or hybrid cloud solutions.
Additionally, DPR was selected as the general contractor for both the Coda Tower project (built for Portman Holdings) and Databank’s ATL1 data center project, employing two separate project teams that worked simultaneously on site. The Databank project team overcame an array of logistical, technical, and project management hurdles to complete the facility in February of 2019, just 11 months after construction began. The complexity of the conjoined development was further compounded by an extremely tight development schedule, mid-project design changes, equipment issues, ongoing weather factors, and finally, a construction moratorium enforced by the City of Atlanta to minimize any impact to the Super Bowl festivities.
“Our relationships with the subcontractors and vendors helped us cut short some of the long delivery equipment times so we could still meet our substantial completion date,” commented DPR project executive Vikesh Handratta. “Everyone stepped up to help find solutions whenever we faced a challenge on this project.”
Handratta said that clear, open communication, a highly collaborative and committed project team and DPR’s ability to leverage its national data center knowledge base were all critical factors in the project’s success. “Everybody had one end goal in mind: let’s be successful as a team,” he said.
Success on the project required the team to innovate solutions to myriad challenges that came up. Among them:
Groundbreaking on the Databank project was dependent on Coda tower’s completion of five levels of parking below the plaza level, which is the ground floor for the data center. Although the plaza level had some challenges in delivering as originally planned, the team came up with a strategy to mitigate that delay and still complete the data center on schedule.
Constructing the project in the middle of busy midtown Atlanta created some logistical challenges which required DPR to hyper coordinate activities with subs and suppliers and the city of Atlanta on all project deliveries and equipment installation activities that impacted traffic.
Transporting the chillers inside the building through the Coda tower loading dock proved to be a challenge that required careful preplanning and coordination ahead of time with the trucking and equipment vendors.
Tapping DPR’s National Data Center Expertise
DPR leveraged its national data center expertise to assist with commissioning, bringing in a highly experienced MEP coordinator from the West Coast to work alongside DPR’s Atlanta-based team.
“As a national data center builder, we were able to easily bring in someone who was extremely knowledgeable about all stages of data center commissioning to work hand-in-hand with our project-based commissioning agent, which was really helpful,” Handratta concluded. “Leveraging the power of our nationwide knowledge base and the depth of DPR’s expertise as a technical builder helped us deliver a first-rate data center project for Databank.”
Facility for Flexential
That same approach was also key to DPR’s success on the new 70,000-sq.-ft. Flexential data center facility in the northern Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, completed this April. The project followed another recent data center project that DPR completed for Flexential in the Pacific Northwest, boosting the company’s national colocation footprint to more than 3.1 million square feet.
Constructed on the site of a former parking lot, the new facility ties into an existing two-story data center on Flexential’s Alpharetta campus. It contains 3 megawatts of UPS power, two 2.5 megawatt generators, two 500-ton air cooled chillers and 4 switchgear lineups.
DPR broke ground on the project in July 2018 and successfully completed it on schedule just nine months later. The team contended with one of the region’s wettest seasons on record, facing 30 rain days and more than 59 inches of rain during construction.
“It was substantially more rain than anticipated, but we were able to fast track a few scopes of work and still finish the project within the timeframe we originally told the owner,” said DPR project manager Robby Wright. “That was a big accomplishment.”
The project was the first to employ Flexential’s newest data center design. DPR relied on its extensive bank of data center knowledge and previous work to overcome various hurdles and even shared lessons learned with a competitor Nashville who built Flexential’s second project with that same design in Nashville.
Wright said DPR’s consistency across its data center work processes was a key success factor on the Alpharetta data center project. Similar to the Databank project, the Flexential project team also brought in a national MEP expert to help guide the project through commissioning. “DPR has many resources across the country and we definitely appreciate leveraging those as much as possible to benefit our customers,” he added.
In October, the Loudoun County, VA chapter of Habitat for Humanity moved into a brand new office in Northern Virginia, a project that came together through the efforts of DPR Construction in collaboration with other industry and local business partners. What started out as a conversation initiated in 2018 about design advice for an underutilized space soon grew into a 2,800-st.-ft. donated remodel. It’s one of the latest examples of DPR’s philanthropic mission to build opportunities for the under-resourced, in action.
“We’re very excited to deliver a new space that will serve Loudoun Habitat for years to come,” said Ashton Osterberg, who led the project. “Fulfilled is an understatement for how I felt on the day we cut the ribbon.”
Designing for growth and functionality
The project consists of numerous upgrades, but the primary ambition was to establish an office that is more conducive to an exciting new initiative of Loudoun Habitat for Humanity. The new “Tools for Life Learning Center” will enable Habitat to offer a plethora of courses ranging from financial management and planning for homeownership to general home maintenance to benefit the community at large. A collaborative design process that included Habitat, DPR, and local architect Herring & Trowbridge Architects brought the redesign plan to fruition.
DPR made significant changes to the wall layouts to create a 740-sq.-ft. permanent learning center room, with seating and desks for up to 40 people, dedicated to hosting workshops for the community and Habitat families. The learning center is separated from a new 610-sq.-ft. open office environment for Habitat staff fully outfitted with modular workstations. Now, there’s enough space to accommodate future hires as the staff grows.
Also included in the remodel are two private meeting rooms where confidential conversations can take place in a comfortable and secure environment. Finishing touches included lighting, HVAC and sprinkler adjustments in the ceiling. Topping off the design, the project team brought in new furniture, flooring, paint plus canvas photo art, vinyl Habitat logo decals, and other architectural accent features.
A perfect place to work
The project team also created additional storage space in the back of the office by building a split-story, 8-foot-tall, 350-sq.-ft. free standing steel mezzanine complete with shelves and plan tables. This effectively doubled the usable space, and Habitat can now store all its equipment and tools for home remodeling and building on-site. It also proved to be the ideal place to set up a desk and drawing table for Habitat’s construction manager.
“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.” – Michel de Montaigne
Veterans walk among us and work alongside us, and we’re often unaware of the contributions they made to protect our nation and ensure our safety. We might not know that the nurse taking our vital signs learned his trade as an Army combat medic; or that the project engineer on our jobsite was part of a Navy construction battalion.
These stories aren’t always shared, so we asked DPR employees to tell us a bit about the veterans in their lives. The response was overwhelming and inspiring. So, on this Veterans Day, we’d like to take a moment to honor the extraordinary men and women who answered the call to service.
Lean Construction continues to deliver benefits on a project-by-project basis, but how can these ever-advancing techniques stick on and off the construction site, changing the way business is done? DPR Construction and its partners gave three presentations at the 21st annual LCI Congress, the flagship event of the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), in Fort Worth, TX that aimed to push toward that goal.
This year’s LCI Congress featured discussion of “essential-ism.” Stemming from Greg McKeown, writer of “Essential-ism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less,” the concept asks: How can the construction industry narrow its focus to improve on key scopes? Among the essential things DPR is aiming to excel at – in order to support the goals of its employees in the field and the customers it builds for – is creating alignment on project norms and goals to maximize efficiency.
The commitment to integrating customers is changing. Creating a Lean company and project culture means educating people to better focus Lean systems on job sites, in customer meetings, and in preconstruction. Throughout the industry, a key priority is finding ways for contractors to better align with customer expectations and leverage up-and-coming technology in new ways.
Aligning expectations toward defined success
During the presentation, DPR project manager Julie Davis asked attendees to imagine building a swing with your friends. Each friend would probably bring a different design, technologies and mindset and that may not always equal the creation of one perfect swing.
Construction is no different than the swing analogy and the challenge is to create a realistic commitment to the customer while aligning with the intended vision and value.
Still, there is a tendency to wait until the end of the project to debrief and share everything that could have gone differently. DPR’s team suggested having this conversation at the outset. Setting expectations should be a priority for all members of the project teams. By setting priorities, every customer will come to the table with their own measurement for success. It is in the best interest of Lean project teams to implement steps to agree to and achieve this standard.
To create a unified assessment of success, DPR’s presenters shared the organization’s commitment to quality control known as Distinguished Features of Work (DFOW). DPR’s Leigh Heller noted how DFOW gives project teams the knowledge to better understand what the customer’s expectations are and, as a result, focus on them to reduce the chance of any rework.
“DFOW/Quality/Aligning Expectations IS Lean, and we need to do a better job of sharing the documentation of our planning and learning with the field and with other projects,” Davis said.
Lean Leaders Build Lean Cultures
Project teams also must establish a baseline of appropriate team behavior and workflow from the inception of a project to better align expectations on and off the jobsite. Successful Lean integration starts with an aligned and standardized workflow that enables the team to visualize and anticipate roadblocks.
“We must provide the highest quality service to our customers at the lowest possible cost while maintaining a respect for people. We all can influence that effort and help improve it,” said Leigh Heller, DPR superintendent.
For example, remodeling projects will always have unknowns that could affect budget and schedule. DPR’s recently-completed shopping center makeover sparked conversation at LCI Congress about the many different team conversations that build trust and respect across project teams that will translate to a more efficient project. Through candid conversations and planned actions, the outcomes should result in a clear work process structured to help maximize the value and minimize any waste at delivery level. It’s a win for the project team and a win for the customer.
In doing so, the project can serve as a replicable model for recruits, new hires, and team members to understand what a Lean project is and ways to duplicate positive operational behaviors.
Building a Lean Culture: Engaging the Value Stream
Presenters also shared were examples of different activities that different project teams performed to map value streams. In each case, this helped establish unique site cultures while also identifying all possibilities of unneeded waste.
DPR Lean manager Cory Hackler noted in his presentation that the company’s method of personnel alignment stems from the development and use of Lean Leadership training across the company.
“Having 600 people go through DPR’s Lean Leadership class, we are getting aligned on a common language to enforce Lean thoughts throughout projects,” said Cory Hackler.
The “Big Room” environment is one of many tactics sowing value to any team, enabling better collaboration.