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Transforming the Modern Campus – While Meeting Fixed Schedules

Posted on October 19, 2017

Whether we participate on higher education projects as an owner, designer, or builder, we all share a common goal. The projects we team on are long-awaited fulfillments of strategic aspirations, an expression of the academic and social advancement that is a driving force at great universities.

Our higher education clients navigate a variety of challenges and inputs as they plan capital projects. These include changing technology needs, future curriculum changes, and site and infrastructure unknowns. Planning, funding, and building these projects is understandably a long process, with countless big decisions to make and multiple stakeholders to engage. The unintended but frequent challenge that comes with the process is keeping everything to a fixed schedule.

Fortunately, the scheduling and execution of campus projects on a fixed deadline is benefitting from the application of new technologies and creative innovations in project delivery. We have encountered this deadline dilemma on nearly every large-scale education project and the lessons learned along the way are worth sharing.

Choose the Right People

Selecting the right people for planning, design, engineering, building, and client-side management is the single most beneficial action a university can take to keep a project on track. Experienced professionals, with the expertise and disposition for continual innovation, will create the path to success on a complex, schedule-challenged project. They anticipate challenges and work in unison to resolve them.

Start Early on Site, Utility, and Parking

Some of the most time-consuming challenges result from unexpected infrastructure and subsurface conditions. On today’s urban campus projects, subsurface parking is becoming standard practice. City environments are notoriously complex, with site utility and soil or geotechnical work often a given. The earlier action is taken to investigate existing issues and remedies, the less risk and impact there are on building schedules.

Adopt Design Assist on Capital Projects

The sheer cost and complexity of a new university building means that no single entity will know all that is needed to produce it at the highest level of efficiency, value, and appeal. On the Boston University (BU) Joan and Edgar Booth Theatre & Production Center project, we collaborated across multiple disciplines early on, working together with the designers and key subcontractors to make informed decisions on the building’s systems, materials, and budget.

Phase When Needed

Many new multi-use and cross-disciplinary campus buildings can benefit from a phased building and occupancy schedule. At BU, we knew the classroom, production, and student service components of the new performing arts education building needed to be ready for September use. Phasing construction to open the theatre space in December allowed resources to be concentrated on that goal.

Employing Lean Management and Pull Planning

Employing Lean practices allows the team to reduce the schedule for a wide variety of tasks. Instead of allowing each task to expand and fill available time, efficiencies are identified through pull planning. By working from a target completion date back to the present instead of projecting ahead, tasks are identified and timed with the input of the entire team. During the pull planning sessions, a list of constraints is developed that would prevent work from being put in place on schedule. These constraints include design clarifications, submittal approvals, material lead times, and regulatory approvals.

Tasks, new developments, labor availability, and material lead times are worked into the schedule, based on the “pull” of the tasks ahead. Adjustments can quickly be made to add resources, optimize on-site productivity, or reduce congestion through just-in-time deliveries.

Transforming the Modern Campus - While Meeting Fixed Schedules - BOND

Employing Lean practices elevates schedule performance by identifying opportunities to streamline or combine tasks and reduce inefficiencies. One component of Lean, and an essential element of schedule management, is the standup meeting at the start of each day. Specific tasks within the work plan are identified on post-it notes and whiteboards, and reviewed by project leaders from across the entire team, including subcontractors. The morning meeting routinely spots and solves problems early, and provides the opportunity for creative innovation and cross-discipline collaboration.

Apply Strategic Use of Technology and Prefabrication

Shared technology tools and prefabrication can enable the team to streamline the schedule while significantly elevating quality control. Projects are now built first via design and building modeling programs shared among the entire team. By continually investing in technology tools and training, we find the return on investment translates measurably to shaving cost and schedule for our clients. Increasingly, these shared tools also avoid the need for later-stage changes and surprises, since conflicts and missed data can be caught early on.

Off-site fabrication allows for items normally built only after the building shell is complete to be pre-built in a safe, controlled environment while the foundation is being dug at the site. Delivery and installation of items such as mechanical, plumbing and fire protection are executed following a precise schedule.

We enjoy the exhilaration – and the challenge – of helping fulfill the transformational aspirations of our higher education clients. By participating early in the process, and advising on the decisions impacting schedule, we help them make it to the long-awaited finish and celebrate an on-time opening.

Two-Way Learning in BOND’s Providence Diversity Course

Posted on October 19, 2017

BOND has completed its first diversity and learning course as a new initiative based in Providence, Rhode Island. Building Division Project Executive, Kim Silvestri, shares ideas on raising awareness on the business side of the field, provides advice on how to win work and highlights the two-way benefit of the program.

The idea of giving back where we live and work is a core value followed in most respected companies today, including BOND.

What’s different about a new education and economic advancement initiative underway in our Providence office is that we are learning just as much as the student participants.

The program, called the BOND-PLX or Professional Learning Exchange, is an eight session forum for women and minority entrepreneurs interested in doing business in the construction industry. BOND-PLX was developed in partnership with the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE), a nationally known nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses.

The original intent when we launched the idea was to share practical skills in areas including financial management, safety training, project procurement, and construction technology. Raising awareness of the business side of our field and providing advice and direction on how to win work as a subcontractor or specialty consultant was what we hoped to accomplish.

professional learning exchange at BOND

Classroom Discussion | Professional Learning Exchange (PLX)

What surprised us was the incredible feedback and knowledge we gained. We began planning the program by hosting a focus group and asking questions. What are the biggest challenges you face? What do you need to know to be more competitive and informed?

From the very start of this discussion, and over the course of the eight classes, we gained unexpected insights on the skill sets and opportunity barriers experienced by the forum participants.

During my career, I was fortunate enough to have mentors and experienced advisors helping me to learn the ropes and advance. For me, taking on a mentoring and leadership role in BOND-PLX is another opportunity to pay forward what so many others did for me. We are off to a strong start having completed our first series, and I am looking forward to seeing what great things are ahead for this group and their businesses.

We are currently gearing up for a new BOND-PLX course starting this winter. If you are interested in participating, please contact me: 401.429.0810 | ksilvestri@bondbrothers.com.

bond learning

Students from the first Professional Learning Exchange (PLX) graduating class | BOND, Providence, RI

BOND’s Virtual Design & Construction Laboratory Unveiled at Wentworth Institute of Technology

Posted on October 13, 2017

BOSTON –  BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility, and energy construction firm, today celebrated the unveiling of Wentworth Institute of Technology’s BOND Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Laboratory. The ribbon cutting event was held with BOND CEO Edward A. Bond Jr., a Wentworth Trustee emeritus and key philanthropist. It was attended by members of the university community and the BOND team, including executives, alumni, and the company’s VDC Department.

The BOND VDC Lab is a dedicated, interdisciplinary project and classroom space that brings student teams together in the field of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the built environment. It features innovative equipment and advanced technology in a flexible, open-spaced setting. The lab will be shared with students and faculty from multiple majors, such as civil engineering, architecture, and the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

“The BOND VDC Lab will have an immeasurable impact on the Wentworth community,” said the university’s president, Zorica Pantić. She said the new space will help more than 500 students each year prepare for the complex design and construction challenges they face upon graduating from Wentworth. “We are grateful to BOND for making this happen.”

“We are honored to support Wentworth and advance the futures of our next generation of construction and design professionals,” said Edward A. Bond Jr. “This new lab gives students and faculty the tools they need to more efficiently plan, design, and construct building projects and infrastructure.”

BOND has a long-standing relationship with the Wentworth alumni community and student co-op program. The company has a corporate philosophy of integrating VDC into all of its projects, and pioneered the use of laser-scanning technologies to help clients build more efficiently in the A/E/C marketplace.

BOND Tops Off Brandeis University’s New Residence Hall

Posted on October 11, 2017

(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, celebrated the topping off of Brandeis University’s new residence hall. The ceremony marked the last steel beam raised on the new building, designed by William Rawn Associates. It was attended by the Brandeis University community, the project team and design partners.

BOND is providing preconstruction and construction management services for the new 50,000 SF building, that will be the most sustainable facility on campus. The building features the following: roof-top solar array, geothermal heating and cooling, a wide central staircase, shared spaces for collaboration, large kitchen area, study space, four lounges, a courtyard and A/V and acoustic equipment. In addition, BOND renovated the famed Chum’s Coffee House, located within the adjoining Usen Castle, which opened early for the fall 2017 semester.

“BOND is honored to partner with Brandeis University and the project team to build this new residence hall, an essential part of the campus,” said Robert Murray, BOND President. “This is a phenomenal project, which incorporates sustainability and modern design. We are excited to deliver upon the vision of this new facility which reflects the University’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation.”

The project is on-track, within-budget and slated for completion August 2018.

BOND Celebrates Topping Off of Stonehill College’s Academic & Welcome Center

Posted on October 3, 2017

(Providence, RI) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, recently celebrated the topping off of Stonehill College’s Academic & Welcome Center. The ceremony marked the last steel beam raised on the new facility, designed by S/L/A/M Collaborative. It was attended by the Stonehill College community, the BOND project team and design partners.

BOND is providing preconstruction and construction management services for the 35,000 square-foot Academic & Welcome Center, built on the site of the Old Student Union. The Center will feature state-of-the-art presentation rooms, administrative and faculty offices, a 350-seat auditorium, classrooms, meeting spaces, a bookstore and an Au Bon Pain Café.

“We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with Stonehill College and to have the opportunity to work on another important building that will expand the student experience on campus,” said Dan Ramos, BOND’s Regional Manager, Providence, Rhode Island. “This new state-of-the-art Center will provide a space for students, faculty and visitors to gather and learn about the Stonehill experience for years to come.”

The new Center will serve as a welcoming focal point to the College, offering students a wonderful introduction to the campus, as well as demonstrating the value of a Stonehill education. It’s also the cornerstone building of a series of improvements to the academic quadrangle. The project is slated for completion August 2018 in time for the academic school year.

In addition, BOND is working with the College on the pre-construction design of the Leo J. Meehan School of Business, which will begin construction in Spring 2018. Both of these projects are being managed by BOND’s Providence office team, whose leadership has been instrumental in building a strong relationship with the College. Some of BOND’s past projects on campus include: the Rev. Mark T. Cregan C.S.C. Athletic and Fitness Center at the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex and the Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center.

About Stonehill College

Stonehill is a selective Catholic college located near Boston on a beautiful 384-acre campus in Easton, Massachusetts. With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, the College engages over 2,500 students in 80+ rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The Stonehill community helps students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character to meet their professional goals and to live lives of purpose and integrity.

BOND Celebrates Opening of School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Posted on September 29, 2017

(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, celebrated the opening of the new University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).

A ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by members of the University, BOND executives, the project team and several dignitaries including: Robert E. Johnson, Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth; Martin T. Meehan, President of UMass; William R. Keating, U.S. Representative; Mark C. Montigny, State Senator; Antonio F. D. Cabral, State Representative; Jon F. Mitchell, Mayor; and Patricia A. Filippone, Executive Director, University of Massachusetts Building Authority.

Located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the new 64,500 square foot facility supports the largest marine science program in the UMass system. It features state-of-the-art laboratory facilities with marine and wave tanks and a seawater research facility. Expanded space for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and dive gear program is also housed within the building. This new facility brings together faculty, students and the DMF community to engage in education, research and policy related to commercial fishing, coastal preservation, ocean observation and climate change.

“BOND is honored to partner with UMass on a state-of-the-art academic building devoted to the study of marine science and technology,” said Ken Johnson, BOND’s Vice President of Education. “This exciting new facility will play a pivotal role in advancing the impact of science at SMAST, the local and regional marine industries as well as equipping our next generation of marine scientists.”

BOND worked closely with architect, Ellenzweig; project manager, Hill International; DCAMM, UMBA and UMass Dartmouth to provide preconstruction and construction management services for the project. The new building consolidates the marine science program of the University into a comprehensive LEED Silver certified facility. The building opened on time for the Fall 2017 semester.

BOND Attends the Topping Off of Providence College’s Science Complex

Posted on August 31, 2017

(Providence, RI) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, celebrated the topping off of the Providence College Science Complex. The ceremony marked the last steel beam raised on the newly revitalized facility, designed by S/L/A/M Collaborative. It was attended by the Providence College community, the BOND project team and design partners.

The multi-phased, science complex project will unite three buildings: Albertus Magnus Hall, Hickey Hall and Sowa Hall. A new 37,000-square-foot, four-story addition will serve as the new main entrance. Renovations to approximately 80,000 square feet of existing space include: modernized laboratory space, technology-rich classrooms, a roof-top observatory that doubles as an outdoor classroom, a computer modeling and computational lab, microscopy suite, administrative suite, outdoor greenhouse and a new student commons.

“We are pleased to have this partnership with Providence College through the construction and renovation of this multi-phased, science complex project,” said Dan Ramos, BOND’s Regional Manager, Providence, Rhode Island. “This new state-of-the art facility will become a hub for the College and it will greatly enhance the quality of teaching and research for students and faculty in the sciences.”

The project is on-track, within-budget and slated for completion June 2018.

BOND Celebrates the Grand Opening of Lynn Community Health Center Expansion Program

Posted on August 28, 2017

(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, announces the completion of 20,000 SF of the newly renovated expansion space at Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) located at 269 Union Street in Lynn.

Lynn Community Health Center is the medical care home to more than 40,000 patients and for over 40 percent of the population who live in the city. This project is part of the LCHC’s Stephen D. Hayes Building that BOND completed construction of in 2012.

“BOND is proud to play a pivotal role in the expansion and transformation of the Lynn Community Health Center,” said Michael Walsh, BOND’s Vice President of Healthcare and Life Sciences. “It is an honor to serve such a valued client and to help them accomplish their mission to meet affordable, community-based, urgent healthcare needs.”

The construction of the newly renovated space will better provide patients with healthcare by increasing access to primary care, urgent care, health promotion and prevention services for the community. The renovated space on the 2nd and 3rd floor houses Pediatrics, Primary Care, Behavioral Health, Immigration/Refugee Services, Employee Health, TB/HIV, Podiatry and outreach for community health workers.

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and tours of the newly renovated space were held to mark this celebrated event. Bill Mantzoukas, Founder and Board Member for the Health Center was presented with the John S. Moran Award for Community Service. He also received legislative citations by a representative from U.S. Representative Seth Moulton’s office and Massachusetts State Senator Thomas McGee. The celebration and unveiling came during National Health Center Week 2017, surrounding the theme “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: The Key to Healthier Communities.”

BOND Wins Stonehill College School of Business Project

Posted on August 17, 2017

(Providence, RI)BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, announces that Stonehill College has selected BOND to provide preconstruction and construction management services for its new Leo J. Meehan School of Business. This project was awarded to BOND and is being managed by the Providence office team, whose leadership has been instrumental in building a strong relationship with the College.

The state-of-the-art $30 million School of Business launches the College’s revitalization program to transform the campus for the future. Located in the main quadrangle of the campus, the 65,000 SF facility will provide an innovative and active learning space for students in accounting, finance, international business, management, marketing, economics and healthcare administration. It will feature cutting-edge technology and flexible, adaptive classrooms that support hands-on learning and collaboration, preparing students to operate more successfully in the real world.

“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Stonehill College with the newly established School of Business project,” said Dan Ramos, BOND’s Regional Manager, Providence, Rhode Island. “We look forward to working closely with the College to deliver upon this exciting new transformation of the campus, which will elevate the College regionally and nationally.”

Currently in the design phase, building construction will begin Spring 2018 and is slated for completion in August 2019.  Design and project partners include: S/L/A/M Collaborative, Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers (BR+A) and Nitsch Engineering.

In addition, BOND recently broke ground on the College’s Academic and Welcome Center and has completed several other projects on campus including: the Rev. Mark T. Cregan C.S.C. Athletic and Fitness Center at the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex and the Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center.

About Stonehill College

Stonehill is a selective Catholic college located near Boston on a beautiful 384-acre campus in Easton, Massachusetts. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, the College engages over 2,500 students in 80+ rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The Stonehill community helps students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character to meet their professional goals and to live lives of purpose and integrity.

BOND’s Tim Peer Appointed to Board of Directors of International District Energy Association (IDEA)

Posted on August 10, 2017

(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, announces that Tim Peer, P.E., BOND’s Vice President of District Energy, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), at the 2017 annual conference and tradeshow in Scottsdale, Arizona.

IDEA is one of the energy industry’s foremost organizations representing over 2,200 members from 26+ countries. Its mission is to foster leadership in providing reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally sound district heating, district cooling and combined heat and power. Tim has been actively involved with IDEA for over 20 years and now joins its board of industry leading professionals from around the globe.

“We applaud the election of Tim Peer to IDEA’s Board of Directors and their recognition of his accomplishments in the energy services field,” said Robert Murray, President of BOND.  “At a time when managing and sustaining the world’s limited energy resources is so critical, IDEA has worked with the industry to make substantial advances in the production, delivery and management of energy.”

Tim is responsible for leading BOND’s District Energy market sector, with a focus on developing new strategies and integrated solutions that exceed client expectations. A licensed professional engineer, Tim has over 25 years’ experience in the evolving power and energy industry, specializing in campus district heating, cooling and micro grids. He has led the construction of many complex projects, including central utility plants and distribution systems, as well as natural gas delivery systems and substations.

For more information on IDEA, visit www.districtenergy.org and please visit the BOND website at www.bondbrothers.com to learn more about district energy and power generation services.

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