Posted on March 1, 2018
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, celebrated the Grand Opening of its new company headquarters located at 10 Cabot Road in Medford, Massachusetts. Prior to this move, BOND was headquartered in Everett.
The new location provides a highly-collaborative environment for both BOND’s Building and Civil & Utility Divisions to work together. This collective in-house expertise and technology supports its clients in delivering complex projects.
“We are extremely pleased with our new space that is open, dynamic and highly-energized,” said Robert Murray, President of BOND. “We are proud to open the doors of our new Medford office, which represents the next step in our growth strategy. This is an exciting time for our employees, clients and partners as we continue to build and strengthen our company for the future.”
“Our newly expanded office signifies the tremendous success BOND has experienced in its core markets,” said Edward A. Bond, Jr., CEO of BOND. “The new headquarters is an important investment in our employees and clients as we foster increased collaboration and innovation.”
Posted on February 26, 2018
We asked BOND Preconstruction VP Greg Williamson five questions on the changes and opportunities he sees in his frontline work with clients and project team partners. Greg’s recent projects include the phased expansion and renovation of Lawrence General Hospital and the new Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and Production Center for Boston University.
What changes on the client side are changing preconstruction services?
With the ever-increasing complexity and speed of projects, we are involved earlier than ever to advise on decisions that impact cost, schedule, phasing and material selection. There is much more need for early collaboration and planning that has us working side-by-side with the project architect, the owner and key subcontractors. A recent illustration of the benefit of this collaboration is the Boston University Booth Theatre project where we had important decisions on materials selection, sequencing and site construction to make early on. For example, selecting materials and building the theatre’s dramatic slanted glass exterior required team expertise across disciplines.
Rapid advancement in technology is changing the way we work. When we plan infrastructure layouts and improvements within a hospital campus such as Beth Israel Deaconess, Dana Farber, or Lawrence General Hospital, we need to creatively build for both present technology needs and future expansions and tech innovations. Technology transformation requires us to always look ahead, consider the what-ifs and work with our clients to build in added flexibility for the future.
The complex planning and installation of the glass curtain wall elements at Boston University’s Booth Theatre required the collective expertise of a collaborative team of design, construction, manufacturing and installation professionals. During preconstruction, Greg and the BOND construction management team were engaged early in the design stage to help establish critical budgeting, materials selection and constructability decisions. This strategy ultimately fulfilled the theatre’s modern, transparent lobby and entrance experience. Architect: Elkus Manfredi
How is technology helping on the construction side?
Early on, we realized the potential value of investing in new technology – laser scanning, real-time 3D modeling, and virtual design and construction. The early investment BOND made years ago in these digital tools and in developing our in-house expertise, has given us a big advantage in all our preconstruction, planning and estimating. What’s exciting is that we keep pushing the envelope and finding new applications for the technology in areas such as quality control.
Another exciting development everyone loves is using 3D models and virtual reality. Clients can experience exactly how their new space will look and function. If something needs changing or a new idea is suggested, we can adapt quickly and easily. It’s amazing to see how much these tools improve cost control and reduce construction duration.
Speaking of budgeting, how do you and your team help clients to manage the cost of construction?
With funding for institutional projects under extreme pressure these days, budget control is on everyone’s mind. The most critical window for cost management is in preconstruction, when we are developing options, compiling reliable cost data and establishing a clear framework for the budget. Working through all the options early on and seeking creative ways to meet the client’s priorities, allows us to achieve maximum value for the budget.
We like to advise clients not to give up on their aspirations when budgets are tight. We always work to streamline costs through strategic purchasing and project management. Then we create a path back to the budget that allows us to return savings to the client to fund the aspiration at the last responsible moment. This often translates to shifting unspent contingency dollars forward to allow the client’s aspirational idea to be built. Maybe they want to create additional amenity space or consider including additional structural components that will make adding another floor in the future much easier and efficient.
What are some of the changes happening at BOND?
Our growth is allowing BOND to provide more early-stage advising and services. In the past year for example, Bob Stone joined the company as Director of Preconstruction for Healthcare and Life Sciences. Bob and I worked side-by-side for years when we were with another construction management firm and I am glad to be working with him again. His knowledge of healthcare and life sciences gives us an added depth that benefits our clients in so many ways.
Also, our new office provides a highly collaborative environment for both our Building and Civil & Utility Divisions to work together. The combined in-house expertise and technology supports all our clients in tackling complex and sophisticated projects from preconstruction through project delivery.
The Lawrence General Hospital, Santagati Surgical Center features hybrid operating suites allowing a full range of surgical capabilities to be provided within a single procedure and room. Preconstruction cost analyses and research provided the client with a series of schedule and budget efficiencies including the strategic concentration of resources on patient and family experiences. Architect: Morris Switzer|E4H
What motivates you about the work BOND provides for clients?
I feel tremendous satisfaction and pride in our role, which I see as helping our clients succeed in their organization’s mission. They invest in a building project to improve and expand on that mission. I am proud of the long-term relationships we build together and enjoy our role on delivering best-in-class facilities that will last for generations.
Lawrence General Hospital is a recent example. For generations, the Hospital has provided such a vital service in the community. Lawrence General also happens to be my family’s community hospital. We worked with the administrators and staff on setting priorities, advancing the patient experience and taking a creative approach that will help expand their mission now and in future years when they are ready to build again.
Posted on January 23, 2018
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm announces the hiring of Vern Rich within its Building Division. Drawing upon his 29 years of construction management experience within Greater Boston, Vern will focus on business development and project delivery for select projects in BOND’s education, historic preservation, healthcare and life sciences sectors.
Prior to joining BOND, Vern served as Director of Tenant Interiors at Shawmut Design and Construction, where he managed a team of estimating, project management and field operations professionals. He is well-experienced in handling fast-track, complex projects with a reputation for delivering on schedule and according to budget. His project portfolio includes clients such as Columbia Properties, Equity Office, Forest City, Rockpoint Properties and United Healthcare.
“Vern is a terrific and strategic addition to the BOND team,” said David Shrestinian, BOND’s Senior Vice President, Building Division. “He has built his entire career upon superlative client service within the vertical building marketplace. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our clients, adding value to existing partnerships and cultivating new relationships. We are excited to have him on board.”
Vern holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology. A resident of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, he is a member of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He also holds an unrestricted construction supervisors license and OSHA 20-hour certification.
Posted on December 14, 2017
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, celebrated the topping off for the new Southwest Quincy Middle School. The ceremony marked the final steel beam set into place on the new 95,000 SF building. It was attended by City of Quincy officials, the School Building Committee, Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), Ai3 Architects, owner’s project manager PCA360 and the BOND project team.
BOND is providing preconstruction and construction management services for the new school, featuring collaborative learning spaces, a media center, gymnasium, music and art rooms, administrative offices, café and auditorium.
“It’s a pleasure working with Mayor Koch, the MSBA and the School Building Committee to deliver this important project for the Southwest Quincy community,” said Robert Murray, BOND President. “With light-filled spaces and technology-rich classrooms, this new building ushers in the next generation of learning. This is an important milestone and we’re excited to be part of the project team.”
The new modernized facility will replace the Sterling Middle School, built in 1927 and provide enhanced educational services for students in grades five through eight. BOND is using Building Information Modeling (BIM) along with 3D phasing and logistics plans that allow students to remain in the existing school while the new facility is being built. BOND is also using Lean management principles to streamline the schedule and provide the best value construction. The new building will be completed by early spring of 2019, with the remainder of the existing building being demolished following the occupancy of the new school.
Posted on December 13, 2017
Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Maine’s Orono campus experienced an October surprise this year – two unrelated power outages in a single week. The first one darkened the campus and adjacent downtown on October 27th. Three days later, a storm with near-hurricane force winds roared into New England taking power down again on October 30th for several days. The disruption closed dorms, cancelled classes and disrupted computer networks.
This is the new norm for the northeast region of the United States. The question at hand is how do we create more resilient energy systems for extreme weather events caused by climate change and how do we address the root cause which is greenhouse gas emissions? Fortunately, the implementation of district energy systems allows both goals to be accomplished in a more strategic and efficient way. Distributed energy resources, particularly Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, are advancing both initiatives simultaneously.
Figure 1 – Greenhouse gas trajectory using district energy as the thermal platform Source: Cornell University Climate Action Plan
Climate change is fundamentally our greatest challenge to overcome. We know the trapping of greenhouse gas is making the planet warmer and that human activity is mostly responsible through the combustion of fossil fuels. This is a trend we must reverse.
Climate change is causing severe weather events that our existing infrastructure was never designed to withstand. We are reacting by creating more resilient systems and reducing our greenhouse gas footprints with the expectation of halting, or even reversing, climate change. As a result of climate change, many states in the northeast have implemented legislation that facilitates the development of renewables and distributed energy systems.
Many institutions are banking on a future of emission-free power sourced from the larger grid. The available technology consists of wind-based and photovoltaic-based power generation systems. At face value, this may seem like a simple and achievable approach, but there are complications. From a grid perspective, the combination of intermittent production with variable demand is a recipe for higher costs and lower reliability.
Energy storage is touted as the technology of choice to smooth out the differences in demand and production of renewables. However, technologies such as battery storage introduce significant losses and high capital expense requirements. Additionally, energy storage is primarily a short-term fix for matching demand to production. For the northeast region, there is a tremendous hurdle to overcome with renewable production as outages due to blizzards and nor’easter storms reduce renewable outputs. This creates a significant challenge solvable only through improvements in existing technology. In short, it is a gamble to depend upon a future of grid-based, emission-free power in the Northeast.
The implementation of district energy provides the platform for a portfolio approach, which allows any site to customize an energy strategy that combines the right systems and technologies to match specific needs. District energy is a platform-based solution that allows for a lower greenhouse gas footprint, higher resiliency, lower cost and future option flexibility.
As a platform-based solution, the thermal host is the asset that makes microgrid decarbonization possible. Institutions that have district heating, cooling and their own power distribution systems have the ability to leverage the full suite of available and future technologies to meet climate action goals. When coupled with a low temperature hot water thermal platform, the ability to integrate energy recovery, renewables and high efficiency technologies such as CHP is optimized.
Figure 2 – Having a district energy platform allows for addressing the need to reduce overall carbon emissions while planning for resiliency
The path to successfully implementing a climate action plan that includes a carbon neutrality goal is not a simple undertaking. The commitment, while bold and progressive, has implementation challenges that require decisions today that may be impacted by an unknown future. Current decisions and issues to address today include whether to electrify campus systems and depend on grid decarbonization as a path to carbon neutrality. This decision needs to carefully consider the value of resiliency and the possibility that the long-term goal may not materialize.
Figure 3 – The decision to utilize natural gas fueled CHP today does not limit the ability to move away from fossil fuels completely
When addressing climate change, its severe weather events, and the need to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, one thing is clear about the future: the value of a district energy-based solutions platform will increase in value. District energy is a strategy that will reduce carbon emissions, reduce regional methane usage and provide the platform for future biologically derived fuels, all while enhancing business continuation. CHP is a near-term strategy that enhances resiliency with future optionality; no other current choices have this portfolio benefit.
Video Interview – Microgrid 2017 in Boston, Tim Peer, P.E., Vice President, District Energy, at BOND Brothers
Posted on December 11, 2017
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm celebrated the ground breaking of the new Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham (BID–Needham) Outpatient Clinical Center. The ceremony was attended by members of the BID–Needham community, administrators and staff as well as the BOND project team and design partners including JACA Architects, Bard Rao + Athanas and Nitsch Engineering.
BOND is providing preconstruction and construction management services for the 37,000 SF, four-story building, located at 148 Chestnut Street, Needham, Mass. The Center will provide gastroenterology, cardiology and orthopedic services, as well as an array of medical/surgical specialties and support services. The Center will support an increased number of medical professionals with technology-rich services designed to lower hospital stays and improve the patient experience.
“BOND is proud to continue our long-standing relationship with BID–Needham,” said Michael Walsh, BOND’s Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences. “This is an important addition to the Needham campus that will greatly benefit the surrounding communities with a full range of outpatient services under one roof. We are excited to break ground on this modern new building that will improve patient access and offer world class medical care closer to home.”
The new Outpatient Clinical Center is planned to open in the Spring of 2019 and is the third project delivered by BOND and JACA Architects within the last ten years. Other recent BOND/JACA projects on the BIDH–Needham campus include the Cancer Center and Surgical Building in 2014 and the BreastCare Center in 2016. These projects are part of the Hospital’s overall strategy to redevelop and transform the Needham campus, bringing state-of-the art care to Boston’s western suburbs.
Posted on November 7, 2017
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, announces that Gemma Power Systems, LLC (Gemma) has selected BOND as the civil and underground utilities contractor for the Exelon West Medway II, LLC project in West Medway, Massachusetts. This is a great win for BOND’s Civil & Utility Division, and a testament of the strong leadership and record of successes in the delivery of large power generation projects throughout the Northeast.
The West Medway II project is a new 200 MW dual-fuel power generation facility on Exelon’s existing West Medway site. Gemma is the Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contractor for Exelon and has chosen BOND to perform all of the site civil work and to install all of the equipment foundations, underground piping, and the underground electrical duct banks for the project. BOND will offer expertise in managing the execution of all these scopes of work simultaneously, working with Gemma and its many other suppliers and subcontractors to sequence this fast track project.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with both Gemma and Exelon through the civil and utility work on this state-of-the art power generation project,” said Dennis Keough, P.E., BOND’s Vice President of Power Generation. “We are confident our team’s experience and extensive knowledge will support Gemma’s aggressive schedule of installing the equipment and commissioning the plant for startup in 2018.”
The Exelon West Medway Power Generation Facility will support ISO New England’s requirements to provide ‘peaking’ power when needed. The 200 MW facility will be constructed on a 70-acre site adjacent to Exelon’s existing 135 MW West Medway Generating Station and will feature two 100 MW General Electric LMS 100 combustion turbine generators.
Posted on October 27, 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.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students from the first Professional Learning Exchange (PLX) graduating class | BOND, Providence, RI
Posted on October 25, 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 late November 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.
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.
Posted on October 13, 2017
(Boston, MA) – 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.