With a little help from their friends, h/dc solves big puzzle for BIG YAM

puzzle-houseIn the building world, we are constantly solving puzzles, some more complicated than others. hardison/downey construction’s recent completion of the 65,000-square-foot YAM Worldwide Center was just that: one big puzzle. But fortunately Kitchell’s ability to mobilize and engage its in-house services helped solve it.

As the new home of BIG YAM Ad Agency, Sneaky Big Studios and several other YAM Holdings affiliates, each of the projects under this roof had its own consultant team and set of documents. h/dc held a total of four separate general contracts between the shell building, with two levels of underground parking and three major complicated tenant improvements (TIs). In August 2015, the post-tension concrete shell structure was already under construction and the h/dc team was challenged to implement a total coordination and document management strategy, since all three separate TI jobs (with three separate design and engineering teams) were combined under one permit.

Early on, says h/dc Senior Project Manager Eric Rogers, the team realized the coordination effort between four design and engineering teams was challenging: enter Kitchell’s in-house Virtual Construction (ViCon) team.

“Having the in-house tools to be able to manage a complex project like this was a great illustration of our services all working collaboratively,” Rogers said.

A digital scan of the building structure was overlaid into a BIM model, which had already eliminated conflicts. This brought even more issues and conflicts to resolution before they became costly delays, by bridging the gap between drawings/models and reality. Kitchell’s IT team was integral to the project, as SharePoint also played a major role in the simple management and coordination of information flow to the design teams and a long list of owner vendors.

As the project moved into construction, Bluebeam Studio became a very reliable and useful tool. A station was completely dedicated to the electronic management of the document set on-site, complete with a touch screen monitor. The document set was uploaded to a Bluebeam Studio session, so the project team could have access to the documents on both their desktops and iPads. In the studio session, drawings could be checked out and updated by anyone with access. The superintendents were able to post pictures of field conditions to the drawings.

“As you can imagine, with this many designers and engineers all crossing paths in a single document set, tracking and coordination of changes was really important,” Rogers said.

By using a hyperlink function, the team was able to highlight the areas on a drawing that was revised and linked back to the document that made the revision. This saved the field personnel time by being able to reference the drawings and revisions without having to carry around a set of paper drawings or return to the trailers.


The need for real-time access to this information was critical. The team used iPads in the field for quick reference and access to the latest information and any relevant revisions being tracked in the electronic set. When a larger screen was needed, the site team and subcontractors used the document station to review the plans, enlarge details and generate further questions and clarifications on the fly. This kept decision-making moving along, and allowed for a marked-up screen shot to be attached to an RFI for response in real time. This constant communication flow reduced response time to the field for implementation.

When the time came for punch lists, the team again turned to Bluebeam Studio.

“A little time spent on establishing the punch document set and they were off,” Rogers said. “Bluebeam allows photos taken with your iPad to be tagged to the punch item on the plan. In most cases, this greatly reduced the ‘wandering’ for a subcontractor to find and correct the punch item.”

At the end of the project the team was able to include the fully posted set of electronic documents as part of the closeout manuals turned over to ownership.

Puzzle solved: while building value for project owners, teams and each other.

Kitchell projects winning kudos in Arizona & California

We take great pride in our projects regardless of their size and scope; making connections, building communities and landmarks that will stand the test of time. Recently several of our projects were recognized with industry accolades, from ENR Southwest and the Western Council of Construction Consumers (WCCC).

ENR Southwest – Best Interior/Tenant Improvement Project


The Banner Corporate Center project, designed by RSP Architects, encompassed 200,000 square feet of shell space in two high-rise towers; a total of 14 floors. In addition to Kitchell overseeing the challenging build-out in a high-density, urban environment, wholly-owned subsidiary FDI Planning Consultants oversaw the move schedule. The team expertly facilitated the entire move schedule, spanning 10 phases and 90 days, transitioning 1,200 employees from four separate facilities.

ENR Southwest – Best Small Project

David Schacher Photography LLC

Honor Health’s Deer Valley Medical Center Hybrid Operating Room Expansion, designed by HKS Inc., was a two-story addition built over an active loading dock, just 70 feet from the hospital’s helipad. The new OR enables the community hospital to perform complex procedures that benefit from the advanced medical imaging devices that enable minimally invasive surgery.

ENR Southwest – Best Residential/Hospitality Project


Part of ASU’s community, Vertex is a project of Peak Campus Communities. Built by wholly owned subsidiary hardison/downey construction inc. and designed by Ayers Saint Gross, the project offers 16 unique unit plans, including two-story lofts in three interconnected five- and six-story wood-frame buildings (two on concrete podiums) surrounding an active courtyard. All residential units come fully furnished with high-end finishes, private bathrooms for each bedroom, walk-in closets, full-size washers and dryers, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Most units have a private balcony.

WCCC – Distinguished Project/Sustainability Excellence


The Novato Fire District Station No. 64 replaced an outdated facility that did not meet seismic standards and would have cost more to renovate than build new. Kitchell CEM served as construction manager of the 7,500-square-foot LEED Platinum facility, which was designed by Glass Architects and built by D.L. Falk Construction. Staff and equipment were temporarily relocated to a nearby site during demolition and construction, to ensure uninterrupted services to the community. This project also was awarded best new building (less than $15 million) by the Construction Management Association of America, Northern California chapter.

WCCC – Outstanding Project/Sustainability Excellence


The 110,000-square-foot Barbara Lee Science and Allied Health Center serves students at Merritt College, part of the Peralta Community College District. After Kitchell CEM provided construction management services, our Facilities Management team took the reigns, overseeing ongoing critical operations. This is the largest project developed by the District in more than 40 years, and among the most sophisticated community college learning centers in the United States, housing 12 different departments, each with wide-ranging equipment and space needs. Designed by JK Architecture and built by the joint venture of Clark & Sullivan/Walsh Construction, the multi-level building was constructed into a hillside to take advantage of the vista and serve as a defining element of the campus. The building achieved LEED Gold certification.

WCCC – Significant Project


The 163,000-square-foot Superior Court of California Yolo County Courthouse replaced and consolidated six overcrowded facilities in poor condition. The new courthouse increases operational efficiency, co-locates adult and juvenile court operations, and expands capacity for judicial proceedings. The six-level building encompasses 14 courtrooms, administrative offices, public service spaces, holding areas adjacent to courtrooms, in-custody holding, court support spaces and adds much-needed public parking. Kitchell CEM served as the owner representative. The design team was Fentress Architects and Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects, with Hensel Phelps serving as builder.