$135M State Office Building Finishes On Time In Budget Amid Pandemic
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AUSTIN, Texas, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Facilities Commission's North Austin Complex Phase One achieved substantial completion last week, on time and in budget. The project includes a nine-story office building, central utility plant. and 1,850-space parking garage.
When the COVID pandemic hit, over 300 construction workers each day were on site. Adhering to social distancing protocols was one of the biggest challenges for Vaughn Construction, the contractor overseeing the project. Their COVID-19 policy mandated a reduction in crew size, from 15-person crews, down to three or four people. Crews worked together, in the same area, every day, for the entire week to reduce the possibility of COVID spread and to facilitate contact tracing.
Weekly safety and production meetings that previously involved up to 100 people were reduced to individual crews; meetings were held outdoors. Face-to-face meetings with Texas Facilities Commission and the design team were replaced with virtual meetings. When the State of Texas issued stay-at-home orders for all state employees, building inspectors were no longer allowed to visit job sites. So, Vaughn hosted virtual inspections of the work progress to maintain the schedule.
Delays in equipment manufactured outside the United States presented the only major schedule impact to the project. When an elevator factory in Mexico shut down for an extended period due to COVID-19, the 12 to 14-week lead time for the 10 elevators stretched to four months. Once the elevators arrived, the elevator contractor provided extra crews to work on each elevator concurrently. The additional workforce effectively reduced the delay to six weeks. The pandemic also disrupted the City of Austin's municipal operations, delaying the connection of the building's gas line to city services. In the meantime, construction crews installed a temporary boiler to fire up the HVAC system and regulate the building's temperature, so crews could continue working inside the building.
The collaborative effort between all the workers with enhanced sanitation, additional personal protective equipment, and social distancing, allowed this essential project to be delivered on time. Approximately 1,500 employees from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will occupy the building in June 2021.
For more information about the TFC North Austin Complex, visit https://tfc-nac.com/
For more information about Vaughn Construction, visit www.vaughnconstruction.com
SOURCE Vaughn Construction
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