This project presented several environmental and construction challenges. During mass excavation, a large amount of unknown underground structures were found. Their removal impacted the project schedule by extending the duration of mass excavation work into the wet weather season. Due to an existing gas station located on the site many years ago, there was also extensive contamination of the soil that had to be removed and remediated.
In addition, the shape of the project site presented challenges. Located in the heart of Capitol Hill and surrounded on all three sides by arterial streets, there was little to no available space for staging, storage or lay down during construction. Any right-of-way area to be used for these purposes had to be rented from the City of Seattle at a premium cost.
During the project, the owner decided to make substantial design changes, presenting an additional layer of project complexity. Changes were required for the building common areas and lobby, including modifying door and wall layouts, adding access control and CCTV systems and upgrading overall finishes.
We were able to overcome the challenges presented by the VIVA project by working as a collaborative team with the owner, architect and consultants. We expedited the cast-in-place concrete schedule and increased wood framing crews in order to work multiple shifts per day. Through extensive strategic planning we mitigated rental costs and limited rented space to a single length of the project site while keeping the remaining two sides open for pedestrian access throughout construction.
The owner’s requested changes required us to think innovatively and present a variety of options. One such solution included locating alternative light fixtures with shorter lead times than the original selections, allowing an on-time and on-budget completion.
This stunning building is now an ideal example of how meticulous planning, creative problem solving and an assertive leadership approach can guide even the most challenging of projects to a successful conclusion.