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BOND Tops Off New Middle School for Southwest Quincy

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.

Climate Change Solution and Energy Resilience: District Energy Systems Allow Universities to Address Both Goals

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

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.

Grid Decarbonization

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.

District Energy 

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

Path Forward

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

BOND Celebrates Groundbreaking of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham’s Outpatient Clinical Center

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.

Gemma Power Systems Selects BOND for Exelon West Medway II Facility Project

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.

Two-Way Learning in BOND’s Providence Diversity Course

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.

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

Transforming the Modern Campus – While Meeting Fixed Schedules

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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