Some companies are operating on a different Scale.
Chicago’s oldest and most reliable industry, construction, has seen little change over the decades in how contractors find, approach, and win work. Why should they? It’s a proven process. Invest in the equipment, find the people, form relationships, perform the work. Repeat.
The cream of the crop rises to the top, while the shoddy fade away. But it’s more complicated than that. There is a change happening in Chicago Construction, have you noticed?
Technology has introduced itself to the blue–collar worker. Evening the playing field for some, threatening hand shake construction deals for others. Efficiency has come to dominate this economic uptick, where the backlog of shelved blueprints from the last decade has developers and contractors racing toward topping out ceremonies.
Consider Cedar Street Venture’s adaptive-use redevelopment of 30 E. Adams.
Formerly known as the Hartman Building, the 12-story landmark is located on the Northwest Corner of Adams and Wabash adjacent to the ‘L’ tracks. Once a prominent property in historic Jewler’s Row, 50% vacancy led to Cedar Venture’s $14.5 million dollar purchase, and 40 million dollar renovation for 176 new rental units.
General Contractor W.E. O’Neil broke ground in late 2017 under leadership of WEO Superintendent Dale VanDeursen. The radical alternation of the building interior, from commercial to residential, called for an innovative mechanical design with state-of-the-art HVAC equipment housed on the building’s roof, 195’ off the ground.
The challenge for any contractor delivering a project on this scale can come down to a few determining factors that make or break a project budget. Even the local giants of industry botch a crane number here and there.
Premier Mechanical, of Addison, approached La Grange Crane Service to help properly bid the heavy hoisting portion of the Mechanical SOW for 30 E. Adams. No plug numbers here.
Premier is a prime example of a local contractor operating on a different Scale. Less reliant on the industry practices of old, Premier, under Director of Business Development Andy Hubner, are leveraging technology to punch above their weight class and win large scale projects that have larger competitors clapping erasers at the drawing board.
Hubner and the Premier BIM team were awarded the 30 E. Adams mechanical contract and designated the project as a benchmark, to demonstrate new industry leading practices.
Many contractors focus on dollars and cents to make critical project decisions. The planning and execution of said plans, that keep projects on budget, on time, and in General Contractor’s good graces, are underestimated.
La Grange Crane Service performed the lifts for Premier Mechanical’s roof plan under these pretenses. The 550 Ton Crane placement was optimized so that every lift, big and small, could be performed with a single crane configuration, with zero downtime.
Often overlooked, crane configuration optimization is key component of what differentiates La Grange Crane’s project management team from the liter. Coupling field experience with 3D Lift Planning know-how, La Grange Crane shares Premier’s value toward technological innovation to fuel growth, exceed subcontractor’s expectations, and put a multiplier on partner safety.
Project Manager Brandon Hubner took the reins on partner logistics and execution. After a team of seven brilliantly built the crane overnight, perfectly timed units were delivered with the help of Bulldog Cartage. In less than five hours of hook time, the project was completed without a hitch.
The majority of the crane lifts were Premier’s VRF units. Paving the way in prefabrication, “each unit built offsite takes about 10 hours, comparable to 24 hours onsite. Prefabbing units in our shop allows for a higher level of quality control and gives our team the in-house resources to adapt and solve problems before they become detrimental to a budget,” said Hubner.
Easier said than done, but then again, some companies are operating on a different Scale.