Posted on October 1, 2019
BOND has been working in New York City’s five boroughs for the past four years and we’ve loved every minute of it – the city’s electricity and variety of work are exhilarating, yet the complexities add a layer of challenge not seen in other metropolitan areas. There’s the dense population, hidden utilities underground that are old, and the spaghetti-like maze of wires and pipes snaking their way beneath the streets. With that in mind, here are some best practices that are helping BOND establish itself as one of the premier utility contractors in the region.
All Streets Aren’t Created Equal, So Embrace the Complexity
The utility landscape under New York City’s streets is a city unto itself. Oftentimes, we think we know what’s underneath, yet when we open up the street, it’s something entirely different. Century-old records don’t account for changes in elevations – roads have been built on top of roads through the years which means sometimes we’re navigating through multiple levels of base. And the records aren’t always right – some maps are missing utilities, or don’t reflect abandonment, so we carefully sift through the layers in dealing with the gas, water, steam, or electric utilities we run into.
One of our most complex jobs was a Con Edison 16 inch inlet piping transmission project that had us installing 6,200 linear feet of gas piping throughout the Bronx. Because every intersection we came across had a subway tunnel below it, we found ourselves digging as deep as 25 feet to avoid any interferences, with multiple offsets in our transmission piping. Any street excavation on a linear project, whether its gas or electric poses the same challenges — unforeseen underground interferences and multiple layers of utilities that we’re trying to snake one of our new utilities through. You don’t know what’s active and what’s not, so we treat everything as a live functioning utility just to be sure.
BOND in the Bronx streets working on the Con Edison 16″ Inlet Piping project.
Flexibility on the Fly
As a civil & utility self-performing underground contractor and construction management company, we know that being flexible with equipment is important. BOND had a site at JFK International Airport in Queens where we thought we’d use driven sheet piles but because of adjacent structures and crossing utilities, we had to go with contact lagging. The change in equipment meant we had to go back to the drawing board to re-engineer and redesign, but we came back with a better solution. Had we stuck with our original plan, we probably would have completed the job, but it could have led to a costly mistake. The saying, “measure twice, cut once” certainly applies here.
There’s No Such Thing as Over-Communicating
Communicating is often taken for granted, but in this industry making assumptions on what people know can be problematic – even dangerous. We pride ourselves on over-communicating to the public, to our clients, and especially to our crews.
On any given day, we’re simultaneously taking over sidewalks and bus lanes throughout Manhattan. Solid communication to agencies avoids both inconveniencing the public and major safety concerns. This brings me to work zones, maintaining traffic flow and public safety is a crucial activity, but it can’t be done without proper communication and signage. When lane closures are occurring, we make sure the timing and pattern are clear so that anyone passing through can do so without any hesitation, head scratching or questions. We also have one-on-one communication with area residents and businesses to make certain our work schedule isn’t too disruptive.
Communication also holds true for the team on the ground. At the start of each job, we facilitate team meetings to define and develop the project before it kicks off and gather prior and existing project information, including the client’s perspective. Daily coordination calls and stand up meetings on site allow for the flow of information to team members, which prevents potential issues.
Get Your Hands Dirty – Literally
We recently finished the National Grid Chelsea Gate project on Staten Island that consisted of a new regulator station with a couple thousand feet of inlet and outlet piping. While we rely on 811 Dig Safe mark-outs, we also conduct hand-digging to see where utilities are located so that we can verify our lanes before breaking ground with any excavation equipment.
By paying close attention to your environment through hand-digging, you can smell and determine the type of soil that you’re excavating, and that alone provides a better idea if something was there previously, or if it is truly native soil. All of this helps with understanding what challenges your crews might run into.
The BOND NYC Team performing gas pipe distribution work at night.
Identify the Risks – Then Plan for Them
It goes without saying that safety is #1 – always and anywhere. BOND makes sure that any project with a public element gets extra attention with supervision and safety controls that are put in place up front to eliminate risk to people.
Before we begin a project, we identify critical activities and prepare an activity pre-plan for the project team so that all members are on the same page. This is critical, especially during projects with multiple complexities and many moving parts, such as our recent National Grid Brooklyn Spring Creek Phase Two project.
This pre-plan form outlines the potential risks and remediation risk factors that we need to prepare for. We put together the plan, identify the potential risk for each task, and develop our avoidance plans accordingly. This working document is updated on a weekly, if not daily basis, and really helps us move forward in a safe manner.
We look forward to continuing to play an important role in enhancing the infrastructure of New York City and increasing energy reliability for the community, while leaving the areas around which we work safe and undisturbed.
Posted on September 20, 2019
BOSTON, MA – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, officially helped dedicate the $35 million state-of-the-art Leo J. Meehan School of Business building at Stonehill College. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place last night before more than 360 members of the Stonehill College community, which celebrated the three-story structure at the center of the campus quad.
The Meehan School of Business building will change the face of Stonehill and is a key part of a new campus revitalization effort. The Catholic liberal arts college enlisted BOND to provide preconstruction and construction management services for the project that was completed in time for the school to open its doors and welcome students into the 63,450 square foot business school home complete with cutting-edge technologies, adaptive, modern classrooms and collaboration spaces.
In accomplishing this major campus transformation, the College once again turned to BOND, who also built the Thomas and Donna May School of Arts & Sciences building last year, the renovation and expansion of the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex and the construction of the Shields Science Center.
“BOND values our longstanding relationship with Stonehill College and we were honored to carry out the construction services for this innovative, new space,” said Frank Hayes, Chief Operating Officer and President of the Building Division at BOND.
The BOND team worked strategically amid an occupied campus and was able to finish the project in just over a year.
“We strived to diminish any disruption and produce an environmentally-responsible learning establishment,” said Dan Ramos, Director of Operations for BOND’s Building Division. “The Meehan School of Business building will bring business learning to another level on an already bustling and vibrant campus.”
The Meehan School of Business building was made possible by trustee and benefactor, Leo J. Meehan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the W.B. Mason Co., Inc. A 1975 Stonehill graduate, Meehan has been a longstanding contributor to the College, its students and faculty. In June of 2017, Meehan, along with his partners at W.B. Mason, Steven Greene, John Greene, and their company pledged $10 million to help fund construction of the project.
“This gift is a no-brainer,” said Meehan at last night’s building dedication. “Stonehill is a great school for business, I know, I hire their graduates. They’re very good.”
Posted on August 5, 2019
Move underscores dynamic growth of company in New York City market
BOSTON, MA – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, announced today that Dan Foppiano has been promoted to Vice President of the Civil and Utility Division of the company’s New York City office. Foppiano will be responsible for overseeing all major civil and utility projects while continuing to grow the operations in the New York City metro area and further develop both new and existing customers.
“In just four short years, Dan’s leadership has helped BOND establish itself as a top-tier urban utilities contractor in the New York City market,” said Tony Bond, President of the Civil and Utility Division at BOND. “The expansion into New York City was BOND’s first big venture outside of the New England region. That we have been able to deliver high quality and consistent work is a testament to what Dan has brought to the table. We look forward to diversifying our services in New York City while building on our reputation as a respected urban utilities contractor.”
Foppiano is a 16-year veteran of the construction business who specializes in the complexities of trenching, excavation and installation of electric and gas distribution facilities. Since BOND opened its New York City office in 2015, Foppiano has been instrumental in the company becoming a valuable partner to key energy and infrastructure entities such as ConEdison, National Grid and the Port Authority; BOND is currently operating in all five boroughs.
“As a lifelong resident of New York City, I care deeply about this market,” said Dan Foppiano. “The city has a tremendous need for upgraded infrastructure, to be leading the BOND team in addressing these unique challenges and servicing this city is a real source of pride for me. I’m looking forward to our future here.”
One of BOND’s most substantive accomplishments in operating the New York City office is replicating the company’s strengths, identity, safety record, customer satisfaction and commitment to excellence. A family-owned business, BOND employs approximately 100 people in the New York City region and prides itself on offering employees more work-life flexibility and the opportunity to expand with the firm, no matter what region they work in.
“We always try to maintain our local feel and our local family presence, if you will,” said Tony Bond. “But we also appreciate that situations change for people and sometimes they need to make adjustments. BOND will always try to give people the optionality about where they want to be, where they want to work and where they want to live. We’ll do that while continuing to grow our footprint and presence.”
Posted on June 13, 2019
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm celebrated the groundbreaking of the Fitchburg City Hall building. The goal of the renovation is to create a modern and efficient workplace for city administrators to better serve Fitchburg residents. The exterior building will be restored to its original state with the interior being renovated to accommodate the complex functions of government returning the building to its original function. In addition, this project will further drive Fitchburg’s downtown economic development revitalizing the local community. Design partner ICON Architecture and Owner’s Representative Colliers International joined the festivities as well.
Fitchburg City Hall is considered a local historic landmark and is listed in the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System as the “Downtown Architecture of H. M. Francis, Fitchburg MA.” The building is also being recommended for listing on the National Register of Historical Places with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
“We are pleased to be part of such an important project that is changing the face of Fitchburg City Hall,” said Francis X. Hayes, BOND COO and Building Division President. “BOND looks forward to an exciting synergy working with the entire team including Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale and the community in delivering this transformative historic building. It’s an honor to be here today in celebration of this momentous construction milestone.”
The restoration of City Hall will be completely redesigned to accommodate 14 administrative departments including the Office of the Mayor. An adjacent building (formerly a bank) is being converted into a legislative building, housing the City Council Chambers.
This historical renovation project is now underway and will be completed late 2020.
Posted on June 3, 2019
Navigating through the uncertainties of a construction project is often a stressful experience for clients. Even for clients who build frequently, the challenges are enough to keep them up at night, maybe for many nights.
Why the agita? For one thing, construction means a big-budget commitment, high expectations, and the uncertainty of buying a product no one can see until it is built. A big part of our job at BOND is to reduce this stress and ambiguity.
When asked about their past experiences, the good and the bad, there is one universal characteristic clients cite about their successful projects – a positive, strong project start. I agree. Successful projects begin with everyone in agreement about what they need to accomplish, what each team member’s role is, and how the process for making decisions will work.
So, in hopes of all of us getting more sleep, here are a few ideas on improving the project start:
For Brandeis University’s Skyline Residence Hall, BOND and several trade partners collaborated early in the process to develop a cost‐efficient project. The start featured preconstruction and construction management services, advising the university on cost, schedule and material selection, beginning during the schematic design phase.
Creating a Shared Purpose: Everyone at the Table
With the enormous complexity that comes with building within a defined project budget and schedule, we need the wisdom and team problem solving of all parties at the table together early, including the owner. With this collective knowledge in place as early as possible, creative approaches to the project are discussed, and inherent problems anticipated and resolved.
What’s missing on too many projects is a genuinely open and honest dialogue, begun early on, where the client and their design and building team can put processes in place to manage conflict and deal with the scenarios likely to come up. ‘What is our process for dealing with change orders? How do we together handle things that may hold up the schedule such as a design miss or scope additions?’
Too often, there is an assumption that most issues in construction can easily be worked out by the CM as the project moves along. The flaw in this thinking is that our best opportunity to course correct is in the preconstruction stages. Once the project is underway, and cash is flowing, change can get expensive.
Applying Proven Tools and Methods
Lean design and construction principles offer a well-established framework for fostering team success. One example, aligned with the shared-purpose objective above, is for all team members to agree on a written set of project priorities, the project’s Conditions of Satisfaction. This tool guides decision making for the life of the project by clarifying expectations, documenting expected behaviors, and creating a detailed measuring point to refer to when consensus decisions are needed. To succeed, all stakeholders including the owner need to develop these expectations of each other.
Pull planning, another proven Lean practice, allows for the project schedule to be defined by those who execute the work. Instead of the CM creating the schedule and handing it off to subcontractors, the subcontractors participate, suggest improvements, and sign on as partners to the plan.
These methods and principles ultimately help clients navigate more easily by anticipating potential problems and being prepared to respond. A more thorough start helps clients secure internal buy-ins because they gain clarity around what the cost is, how long the project will take, and what the plan is when something changes or is added to the project.
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, General Internal Medicine – Benefiting from Lean methods and the early onboarding of key trade partners, the project team helped the client overcome a later‐than‐planned start and completed the relocation of the GIM practice one month early. During pull planning sessions at the project start, the entire team, including owner, architect, CM and trade partners, streamlined the planned demolition and renovation phases.
Building the Off-Ramps
Everyone needs a contingency plan. Institutional clients are especially at risk without one, since there are multiple stakeholders involved in a university or healthcare project. We saw an example recently on a project where the cost estimates following design came in significantly higher than budgeted.
Should an unsettling surprise such as this happen, the client needs to have previously talked through and know their contingency strategy. I refer to this as knowing what and where the off-ramps are. ‘If you cannot afford this building as currently conceived, what are the options? Can you remove some floors without jeopardizing the program? Do you pause and look for additional funding instead? Are you prepared to reduce the quality of the materials in the design? How long will that take, and who is involved in making the decisions?’
Leading by Communicating
Everyone talks about improving communication, but have we lost sight of how to do it well? When you think about what makes a project executive, a project manager, an architect, or an engineer successful, it is his or her ability to communicate well. Their knowledge is only helpful when others can understand it, ask questions, and buy in. Early communication among the designers, construction professionals, clients, and owner’s representatives will go a long way in charting the course for project success.
Where I see helpful, human communication drift off course is when we all rely too much on technology as the crutch. Don’t get me wrong. We have incredible, game-changing technology in the industry and here at BOND. However, the technology should support the knowledge and experience of the professionals we call the master builders, not replace it.
The people who work with me know I’m big on getting back to basics. This means more time and attention on active listening with the client, the veteran experts, and the entire building team. Pause before writing that hundredth email of the day and pick up the phone and talk. Meet in person and walk the job together instead of relying on a drawing, the model, or a photo. Be human.
Improving these actions and behaviors will help advance the goal of a stronger start – and might help inch us towards another goal: a good night’s sleep.
Planning, budgeting, and preconstruction work began more than two years prior to building the expansion and upgrade for a 69,000 gsf, 40 megawatt Central Utilities Plant for MIT. Early specification and purchase of the equipment, combined with closely‐integrated design development and design review collaboration with the project architect and engineers, helped maintain the established budget as the design progressed.
Posted on May 17, 2019
(Boston, MA) – BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm announces it has received a Construction Management Association of America, New England Chapter (CMAA) Project Achievement Award for the Brandeis University Skyline Residence Hall. The 25th Annual Awards Ceremony was held on May 8, 2019 at the Omni Parker House, Boston.
Within a fast-track 13-month design and construction schedule, BOND completed on schedule for the fall semester 2018 a new Skyline Residence Hall named for its spectacular Boston views as seen from the panoramic windows.
The 54,000 SF facility was constructed in a tight and congested area in the heart of the campus. Working closely with University stakeholders, owner’s project manager, Leggat McCall Properties and design firm William Rawn Associates, BOND provided preconstruction and construction management services for the project. This included significant planning and value-engineering techniques, advising the team on cost schedule and material selection.
“In all my years as a facilities management professional, the Skyline project was the most successful I have ever been a part of and the BOND team played a significant role in that achievement,” said Robert Avalle, Jr., Associate Vice President for Facilities Services, Brandeis University. “Through the preconstruction process and efforts, BOND’s leadership and skills helped us evaluate all the options and challenges to find creative ways to meet our priorities. BOND worked diligently and in unison with the other project teams to solve problems, communicate effectively and stay on top of issues, hitting every milestone along the way.”
The Skyline Residence Hall stands as a beacon of sustainability for the “university on a hill” and is one of the only geothermal, zero-fossil fuel residence halls in the state. With wide open spaces and sun-splashed common areas, the sleek and modern building is home to 164 students. Built on the land that is formerly part of the Usen Castle, the U-shaped building features four study lounges, four common rooms, a kitchen and a courtyard with 5,000 SF of green space. Elevators and a main stairway allow for easier movement between four fully accessible floors. A complete renovation of the beloved Chum’s Coffee House in the adjacent Usen Castle was also included in the project.
“We are proud to be a part of the CMAA New England Project Achievement Awards,” said, Frank Hayes, Chief Operating Officer of BOND and President of the Building Division. “This project involved the construction of a new building located in a heavily congested area, with extensive site logistics challenges. Yet, with a terrific synergy between the owner, designer and project teams, we were able to keep this project on budget and delivered on schedule. The Skyline Residence Hall is a beautiful facility that students will enjoy for decades to come.”
About CMAA New England
Started in 1991 by a small group of professionals devoted to construction in a management role, the New England Chapter now has over 500 members with approximately 90 Certified Construction Managers (CCM). The continued growth of CMAA indicates the rising importance of construction management within the industry and the value of CCM certification.
The Chapter offers numerous activities to the membership, some of which include Monthly Breakfast Programs, Owners’ Forum Luncheon, Annual Project Awards, Student Scholarships, Professional Certification Classes, Construction Legislation Tracking & Alerts, and Annual Golf Outings. For more information, please visit the website http://www.cmaa-ne.org.
Since 1907, BOND has managed many of the Northeast’s most complex construction projects. BOND operates as a construction manager for academic, healthcare and life science clients and a self-performing general contractor for the power and energy industry. BOND is well-known for delivering reliable, safe, and high-quality work. The Building Division has completed high-profile projects for clients such as Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston University, Bryant University, Brown University, Harvard University, MIT and Roger Williams University. The Civil & Utility Division has successfully completed projects for Eversource, Enbridge, Iberdrola Renewables, Port Authority NY/NJ and United Illuminating. For more information, please visit www.bondbrothers.com
Posted on May 7, 2019
BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm celebrated the Grand Opening of the new Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham (BID-Needham) Outpatient Clinical Center on Friday, May 3, 2019. BID-Needham President John Fogarty; CFO and Support Services Officer Nancy Hoffman; and CEO and President of Beth Israel Lahey Health Kevin Tabb, MD were all on-hand for the festivities. In addition, nearly 500 Needham community members and Lahey staff attended along with the BOND project team and design partners including JACA Architects.
BOND provided preconstruction and construction management services for the 37,000 SF, four-story building, located at 148 Chestnut Street, Needham, Mass. The Center will bring expanded outpatient services to the community in the areas of cardiology/vascular surgery, endocrinology/endocrine surgery and neurology 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 be part of this momentous occasion,” said Michael Walsh, BOND’s Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences. “This is an important addition to the Needham campus. Our long-standing relationship with BID-Needham has given us the opportunity to work with Beth Israel’s administrative team on this modern new building that will improve patient access and meet the rising demand for care in the community. “
The new Outpatient Clinical Center 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 April 23, 2019
BOND has been working in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) arena for over 15 years. With the LNG market continuing on a path of rapid growth, clients need responsive and expert advice on how to manage these critical assets. Aaron Govoni, Senior Project Manager and BOND resident LNG expert shares his experiences from the field on how we can help our clients with the execution of this project type.
Anticipate Nuclear Generating Assets to Come Offline as LNG Pipeline Projects Become Critical
The region has recently seen several coal and nuclear generating assets come offline with additional plants slated in the next several years. Additionally, new pipeline infrastructure has met significant opposition at the permitting stages, and new pipeline projects capable of bringing more natural gas into the region do not look promising. As a result, LNG has become a critical component of the energy reliability portfolio for this region to maximize the efficiency of the constrained natural gas capacity.
As siting new LNG facilities near population centers would face the same hurdles as pipeline construction, owners are looking at life extension projects at their facilities constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. This strategy will make sure this critical energy infrastructure is ready to operate and perform when needed. These projects must be executed on tight seasonal timelines to not impact the ability for the LNG facility to store and make gas while working in tight quarters around live equipment.
Modification to Existing LNG Facility, Metro NYC
Revitalize Outdated Infrastructure to Distribute LNG During New England’s Coldest Months
Relative to the Northeast, LNG is primarily used as a source of energy for meeting peak demand spikes. Due to the seasonal variability (hot summers & cold winters), combined with constrained pipeline access (existing pipeline infrastructure is not enough to meet those demands), LNG assets are called upon to overcome these demand peaks. As a native of New England, I understand the lack of available land for new plants and support the renovation and expansion of existing LNG facilities as well as replacing and installing new pipelines for transmission and distribution. With these existing assets already playing such a vital role in meeting demand, expanding or updating these facilities must be done without taking plants out of service, making technically challenging projects more complex by layering on challenging logistical hurdles.
Approach LNG Expansion Construction by Prioritizing Sequencing without Impacting the Existing Operations
As an LNG construction professional, I’ve worked on many complex projects that have initiated with feasibility studies. Not only do these studies inform our clients of their options, including expansion and upgrades to live plants, re-gas projects, liquefaction projects and new plants, they ensure there is a clear understanding of the requirements of the active plant. The feasibility process leads to efficient, early-on decision-making in budgeting, equipment selection, construction planning and sequencing, while identifying pinch points between keeping the facility operating today and getting the upgrades put in place for the future.
For instance, when working on a liquefaction installation project at an existing plant, as the execution plan is developed, all the options are ironed out. This informs schedule and logistics to minimize facility disruption during construction. If we can align the plan, budget and schedule early-on during the feasibility phase, then we have a solid foundation for a successful project. Existing plant operations continue, and this doesn’t impact their bottom line. At the end of the day, working in live facilities requires a special set of skills from the project design and construction teams. These skills include an understanding of the facilities operations from all involved, and a focus on realizing the day-to-day requirements of the plant are as important as the project schedule for the upgrade.
LNG Vaporization Expansion, Eversource
About BOND Civil & Utility
BOND has proven expertise in the natural gas industry working with clients such as National Grid, Eversource, UI, PSEG, ConEd, Williams, Enbridge and Black & Veatch. We employ both professional and craft individuals with hands on LNG project experience ranging from specific process equipment modifications, to a complete liquefaction system replacement. In addition to our internal resources, our experience in the natural gas industry has enabled us to develop relationships with partners at all stages of the supply chain including engineering, specialty material procurement, utilities and transportation providers. These relationships allow BOND to call on these partners to fill in scope gaps as they develop on a project by project basis, giving the client the confidence that BOND can take a cradle to grave approach in executing their projects.
Posted on March 6, 2019
(Boston, MA) – Kim Silvestri, Project Executive at BOND, the Northeast’s premier building, civil, utility and energy construction firm, was honored with the Building Women in Construction (BWIC) Mentor of the Year Award on March 5. More than 150 industry peers attended the luncheon ceremony, led with opening remarks by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
The BWIC 2019 Inspire Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate the most exemplary women in construction who demonstrate leadership, generosity, innovation and unwavering commitment to their careers, colleagues and industry.
BOND’s Kim Silvestri is an experienced mentor and trailblazer for many women in the construction industry. She has worked in the construction management field for more than 20 years and has experienced the challenges of being a woman in the industry.
Kim attributes many of her successes to the mentors that helped guide her. She had a few key mentors that taught her some of the best practices and methodologies she still uses today. “I was lucky to be surrounded by strong leadership during the early stages of my career,” said Kim Silvestri. “It made all the difference and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the advice and experience I gained from them.”
As an accessible role model for other women, Kim is a big advocate of mentorship, both inside and outside of work. Kim is the co-chair of BONDing Women in Construction, the company’s internal professional women’s association. The group provides a venue for women to access mentors, discuss timely topics, develop strategies and offer networking opportunities.
In addition, Kim leads the BOND Professional Learning Exchange (PLX), a group for minority and women business owners. She mentors and helps educate women in the local communities, empowering them to develop, grow and prosper. She initiated a partnership with the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) and currently teaches courses to help women start their own business. She also is on the Board of Directors for the ACE Mentoring Program, which is a program that mentors local high school students to inspire them to pursue a career in design and construction.
“Kim is a genuine person that clients and co-workers truly enjoy working with. She knows how to be persistent, hard-working and determined. Yet she combines it with an approachable, grounded style and a sense of humor,” said Robert Murray, President of BOND. “Her dynamic working style in a male-dominated industry, is living proof that it takes different skills, perspectives and collaborators coming together to deliver a successful building project.”
Kim has led many multi-million-dollar projects with a solid success rate such as Taunton State Hospital WRAP (Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program) Center, which won the Preservation Massachusetts Tsongas Award for Best Use of Community and Social Services. She is currently leading the new Providence Public Library Renovation project along with recent projects at South Shore Hospital. One of her most notable projects was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Women & Infants Hospital.
Kim is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management Business Administration. She also is an American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Certified Healthcare Constructor. She is the former Secretary of the Rhode Island Healthcare Engineers Society (RIHES) and continues an active involvement in that organization along with the New England Healthcare Engineers Society (NEHES).
Posted on December 3, 2018
Technology innovation is transforming the way we plan, manage risk, and build. Translating digital advances into tangible benefits for clients, however, is often missing in all the industry hype. We asked Chris Fogg and Olivia Gardner of BOND’s Integrated Services Group to describe what’s new in construction-related technology, and how new tools and methods are changing the client experience.
Chris and Olivia, what game-changing technology should we all know about?
Chris: A few years back it was laser scanning, which most clients now know is enormously beneficial. The next new technology we see as game changing is augmented reality. By using a Microsoft HoloLens, we can immerse ourselves in the holographic construction model which provides a full-scale, realistic preview of how a space will look and function. Instead of viewing the 3D images only on a computer, we get to see them in their intended space and how everything works together so we spot problems or conflicts before and while we build.
Olivia: As Chris says, it is changing the game for our clients. The efficiency and quality control value are dramatic. Without the HoloLens technology, we needed to rely solely on the BIM plans. When these models were brought to the field, they were seen on an iPad or a computer screen. Now, we have the benefit of projecting the modeled section in front of you. At actual scale, you can see the modeled section overlaid on current site conditions. This virtual test fit provides a tangible benefit for everyone from the owner to the builder to the facilities staff.
By utilizing HoloLens technology, BOND’s team at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Cancer Research Lab Fit-Out project saw in real-time how the BIM design and construction model aligned and fit before construction began. This technology provides a “mixed-reality” and a 100%-scale view, overlaying virtual images from the BIM with the existing field conditions. Conflicts and alignment issues on complex HVAC and piping, for example, can be detected and adjusted in advance of construction.
What is the response you are seeing from clients?
Chris: Many of our clients don’t often enough read drawings or BIM diagrams to fully visualize their building. This can often create the opportunity to fill in the gaps with their own vision of the project. And it’s not unusual for clients to walk through their building during the late stages of construction and say ‘Gee, that’s not how I thought it was going to look.’ Augmented reality technology can’t solve that issue completely, but it can get us all much closer to providing a realistic preview of how a space will look and function before it is built.
We recently walked through the new Stonehill College business school site with our client’s leadership group. When the construction state was only foundations and steel beams, they were able to virtually walk around and view the inside and outside of the finished building thanks to the HoloLens. This makes it easier to see things as they will be built, and to easily make adjustments based on that realistic experience.
How does augmented reality reduce schedule time and cost on project?
Olivia: With greater use by all our trade partners and by superintendents and foremen, we can spot issues of conflict or insufficient space before they impact the schedule or the budget. In most cases, it’s not what they are installing now that needs to be seen in the HoloLens or in augmented reality, it’s the systems around them that haven’t been installed yet. If they opt to make a deviation in the field, the hologram would show that, no, you can’t move that pipe because there’s going to be a cable tray there eventually. For all the trades to operate at full efficiency and stay on schedule, it is paramount to avoid rework and to help answer the what-ifs that come up in everyday construction.
Stacks of paper plans at the project site during construction have quickly become extinct thanks to what we call our “BIM Box.” The unit and the iPad provide easy access by all the project trade partners to the current BIM, ensuring each skilled trade is working from the same up-to-the moment model. The BIM Box is a mobile, interactive resource that saves time and introduces a game-changing level of quality control and collaboration during construction.
What other changes are happening as technology evolves?
Olivia: I see the technology advancing collaboration among all the parties designing and building today. Adapting new technology to solve our shared challenges and problems earlier is the goal. At BOND, we see closer integration of disciplines and perspectives as key to our Lean approach and its principle of continuous improvement.
Chris: To provide the maximum value, we believe we need to be involved from the first conversations during project pursuit all the way through commissioning and turnover of the building. We formed a cross-discipline Integrated Services Group that brings together our tech capabilities – laser scanning, virtual design and construction, reality capture, and augmented reality – with our MEP expertise – and our quality control program. This fosters Lean practices across the entire project team.
BOND’s Integrated Services Group includes MEP experts who work side-by-side with BOND’s Virtual Design & Construction and Reality Capture specialists to provide a thorough planning and implementation program. Investing resources and quality management in properly configured and installed MEP systems is the best way to mitigate risk in building today’s complex projects. BOND’s Chris Fogg, Director, Integrated Services and Hristina Toncheva, Assistant MEP Superintendent, MEP Services, are shown reviewing installation progress and quality control.
In closing, is there something you wish everybody knew about technology adoption?
Chris: One important thing is that technology doesn’t solve problems. A big misconception is that wow, now that we’ve got all this great technology, our project’s going to be successful. It’s not the technology, it’s the process, it’s the people, and it’s the culture of the entire project team. Success comes from what surrounds the technology and from a trust in the process and the people behind it.
I was talking with Olivia today about a project she is working on. The conventional thinking is that hey, we used Revit, we did clash detection, this job’s going to go smoothly. But an exhaust vent was too close to an air intake, and that creates a problem with the building code. To do that review was an extra layer of problem solving that Olivia added beyond the model. It’s these above and beyond catches that come from having a process, a workflow of checking items that aren’t in the model, but you know will occur in real-world conditions, that lead to success.
Olivia: Another part to this human side is that much of this technology, to be candid, is a younger generation tool. The adoption of tools such as BIM is a lot easier there. But it’s the lessons learned from the senior staff, the project managers, the superintendents, our trade partners, and how well we extract that knowledge and apply it to a BIM, that makes technology perform as it should.
Using digital tools, including our advanced Touch Quality Assurance/Quality Control technology, Olivia Gardner, Virtual Design & Construction Manager, completes a routine check of new mechanical installations. Olivia communicates frequently with the project owner, architect, and subcontractors to share field updates.