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    Balfour Beatty Construction Wins 2016 ENR Southwest Best Project Award

    December 07, 2016

    Fast-track, innovative delivery of 447,000-square-foot manufacturing facility enables operations to commence on same day as project completion
    PHOENIX – Balfour Beatty Construction has been recognized by Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southwest in the 2016 Best Project Awards competition for the IRIS USA manufacturing facility. The Phoenix-based project team received the award in the manufacturing category at ENR Southwest Best Projects Awards ceremony recently held at the Renaissance Phoenix Hotel.
    The ENR Southwest Best Projects competition honors the best construction projects of the year located throughout Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, as well as the companies responsible for their design and construction. Industry leaders in design and construction judge the projects based on safety, innovation and teamwork, among other criteria.
    “The IRIS USA manufacturing facility will serve as a magnet to bring in foreign direct investments, other businesses and more jobs to Surprise,” said Sharon Wolcott, mayor of Surprise, Ariz. “All of this was made possible through Balfour Beatty’s rigorous efforts to meet an eight-month, fast-track schedule that allowed the project to finish the same day production could begin.”
    “This project serves as an outstanding model of collaboration,” said Jay McQuarie, vice president of Balfour Beatty Construction. “The client was faced with product delivery deadlines that required the entire project be up and running in a short eight months. Our team successfully met that deadline, delivering it on a fast-track schedule and incorporating innovative solutions so that manufacturing could start the very same day as the project was scheduled to complete.”
    Project Backgrounder
    The new 447,000-square-foot IRIS USA manufacturing facility was built to produce plastic injection molded products. The $40-million-plus project will not only help grow the local economy with the creation of 100 new jobs, but will also benefit the city of Surprise with an influx of new tax revenue by the end of its first year of operations.
    The project features 11-inch thick concrete tilt panel external walls that top out at 56 feet high; a 300,000-square-foot warehouse space with a 40-foot clear height, 21 loading dock positions, and a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing mezzanine; and a production area with 40 injection mold machines with room to add an additional 13 machines. The administrative area totals 52,550 square feet of offices, conference rooms, training rooms, breakrooms, a test kitchen and various gathering spaces.
    The project involved many unique designs, including the elements to deliver the raw plastic production materials. Raw material deliveries are accomplished by the installation of a double rail spur used to unload rail cars of raw plastic materials into six, 60-foot tall storage silos located directly adjacent to the building. A vacuum conveying system was installed to deliver the raw plastic pellets from the storage silos to the manufacturing area. Three overhead bridge cranes were also installed in the production area to relocate the injection mold machines when needed for varying production runs and servicing.
    Examples of the project’s excellence, innovation and success include:

    • A dual-track schedule enabled production tools to be installed simultaneous to completing construction build-out.
    • Seamless machinery delivery coordination: 40 injection mold machines were shipped from Japan in 61 individual crates – each weighing between 11 and 45 tons. The crates were unloaded and sorted on site, and then assembled in the construction zone. Each machine required power, process water and compressed air connections. The construction teams were able to accomplish all the hook ups and commissioning in less than eight weeks—all while construction was occurring throughout the space.
    • Conversions from a metric measurement system to an English measurement system was accomplished by the design team in full partnership with the Balfour Beatty team, subcontractors and the owner’s teams. This collaboration and expedited conversion was critical in the fast-track schedule environment of the project.
    • At the same time the mold machines were being installed, a complex storage rack system was also installed in the warehouse area. A schedule strategy was developed and implemented with phenomenal results – the rack installation process was completed nearly two months early.
    • The most current technologies available were utilized for a nearly paperless project saving time and money, as well as assisting with the real-time coordination process.
    • The project incorporated many sustainable elements including LED lighting throughout the facility; a cooling system that uses a combination of highly efficient evaporative cooling units and large, high volume/low velocity ceiling fans, as well as a white reflective roofing material and significant roof insulation. In addition, the landscaping incorporates low water-use vegetation and decomposed granite surface covering in lieu of water dependent turf.
    • The team achieved no recordable incidents during more than 117,000 worker hours.