DBIANE 2022 Bronze Award for Building Construction – South Coast Improvement
Project Name: The Residence a Great Woods
Owner: LCB Senior Living
Contractor: South Coast Improvement Company
Lead Designer: EGA PC Architects
LCB, South Coast Improvement Co, EGA PC Architects, BLW Engineers, Glynn Electric, T&N Mechanical
LCB purchased this Senior Living complex in Norton, MA that was made up of a 1990 built Assisted Living Facility and an attached skilled nursing facility that was originally built in the 1970’s with an addition in the 1980’s.
LCB approached South Coast Improvement Co. based on their extensive senior living experience working for many of the largest providers of Senior Living in the country. LCB wanted to demolish the interior of the 40,000 sq. ft. skilled nursing facility and construct a state of-the-art Memory Care unit.
In addition, LCB wanted to completely renovate the interior of the fully occupied 65,000 sq ft Assisted Living building including all common areas, back office, and resident rooms. Further, LCB wanted to create “Shared Rooms” on a percentage of the residential units whereby they would take a typical one bedroom and reconfigure the unit to include two bedrooms, a small shared common area and kitchenettes.
There were structural challenges as well as electrical challenges in splitting the service between the two facilities while ensuring any interruption to service would not impact residents on the occupied side. In addition, the existing sprinkler system services both buildings and had to stay “live” during the demolition of the former skilled nursing facility.
The team had to coordinate the shutdown of two existing commercial kitchens as all food was transferred to the new kitchen. The occupied assisted living side of the building could not go without food service and the town was not amenable to bringing in a temporary kitchen meaning the coordination of the commissioning of the new commercial kitchen in conjunction with the shutdown of the existing commercial kitchens was critical. The Design-Build Team was able to develop a plan that avoided any outside catering having to be brought in during the switch over.
Due to the collaborative nature of design-build, the Design Team and the key subs, were able to successfully navigate all the separation of services, and the commissioning of the new kitchen while coordinating a seamless transition from old kitchens to new commercial kitchens.
Another area where the Key Subs were critical was in looking at the original kitchen design and making recommendations as to equipment the sub-contractors were sure they could get in a timely fashion. This project timeline was in the height of COVID supply chain issues and only with the assistance of the trade partners was South Coast Improvement Company able to recommend equipment that not only met the performance requirements of the owner but were also available. In some cases, the trade partners recommendations shaved months off of lead times with no impact on performance.
During the Pre-Construction phase of the project, South Coast Improvement Corp. identified several areas of the unoccupied side of the building that had severe structural deficiencies that needed to be addressed. Because these were identified during the design phase, they were able to include the necessary repairs within the original construction buy out. In a typical
Design-Bid-Build project these most likely would not have been identified until after the contract was signed and resulted in a change order of greater than $100,000.00. By virtue of utilizing the Design-Build method and working with a team during design, these issues were identified, planned for and included in the original design build construction budget.
Another challenge of the project was the renovation of the occupied side of the building during a pandemic. An infectious disease control consultant helped develop a protocol that allowed for the safety of the residents while allowing work to be performed. This included phasing options for the project, means of egress for the trades, PPE requirements, testing protocols and the use of air filtration systems. Because these items were planned for during the building of the project budget, we were able to include these items in the cost of work and not as additional costs.
Once the architect and engineer was chosen, weekly meetings were established where the first order of business was to schedule mutually agreed upon benchmark delivery date. These were internat D-B Team meeting where they discussed what needed to be accomplished in the next week in order to meet the benchmark dates. This meeting was followed up with a meeting with
the ownership to discuss progress and also ensure our design progress was heading the right direction. As soon as a consensus was reached on schematic design, the Key MEP Subs were brought in.
Part of the reason for the success of this project was that the owner was very involved without micromanaging. Right from the project inception, ownership was available to answer questions, provide feedback on design and make recommendations.
The design team and key subs were not kept waiting for answers or directions. This required the Design-Build Team to meet their milestones in the design phase as everyone knew the engagement of the owner. Thankfully, the owner was also of the collaborative mindset. Even when ideas were presented that were not going to work, the owner was always respectful and thankful for the effort. Ownership’s commitment to the process is absolutely critical to the success of the Design-Build project. Overall, the payoff of all the meetings during preconstruction and the design phase was realized in a team that was tremendously vested in the success of the project from the team’s point of view. It confirms that if the right people are chosen for the project based on qualifications and on personality, the result is often a harmonious, high performing project.
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