Landmark Construction Builds Vacaville’s New Waste Water Treatment Lab

Site continues to Operate During Construction of Easterly Waste Water Treatment Lab

P6100710Landmark Construction, based in Loomis CA, built a new 5,000 square foot state-of-the-art laboratory for the City of Vacaville just 15 feet from the existing lab at the Easterly Waste Water Treatment Plant, located in Elmira. The plant operates 24/7 and treats an average of 10 million gallons of wastewater per day.

Tim Craig, Construction Manager with Consolidated CM, indicated that this was a complex public bid project. “Building a laboratory is difficult because the building must have such high standards,” said Craig. “The HVAC system is complex – there is a lot of equipment and the building must be 100% operational when they move in.” The wastewater laboratory cannot shut down, as it must be able to continually monitor complex environmental systems.

“It is difficult to get a contractor as good as Landmark Construction, and I’ve worked with a lot of companies.”

Proactive approach addressed challengesP6100721 - Copy

Craig described Landmark Construction as proactive. “When an issue arose, Landmark’s leaders Paul Hanson or Joe Bittaker would be onsite looking for ways to resolve it,” said Craig. “The communication was always open and there never was any push back, just a desire to get the job done. Tim Watson, the initial superintendent, was very proactive in anticipating problems and solving them. Jim Johnson, who took over as superintendent, did a spectacular job shepherding the project to the end.”

“It is difficult to get a contractor as good as Landmark Construction, and I’ve worked with a lot of companies,” said Craig. “They are not confrontational, know what needs to done, and get it done well. It was a pleasure to work with them.”

Built on an active site

One of the projP6100709 - Copyect’s challenges, according to Ryan Andersen, Project Manager, Landmark Construction, was building a new laboratory in such close quarters while the adjacent site was fully staffed. “Planning for safety and security was our number one priority,” said Andersen. “Inserting the new facility on an existing worksite meant that people were working just 10 to 15 feet away from cranes. We worked closely with the client to coordinate safety for all personnel.”

Additionally, security issues required extra collaboration with subcontractors, explained Andersen.  “The building site was surrounded by controlled gates,” said Andersen. “Our team is used to working in high security areas so we were able to meet the client’s requirements.”

Met specialized requirements

The new waste water treatment laboratory was 2,500 square feet in addition to 1,300 square feet of office space, plus mechanical, electrical and rest rooms, according to Andersen. “The mechanical scope alone was over one half million dollars,” said Andersen. “To meet the specialized requirements of a working laboratory, we appreciated the expertise of our subcontractors, Pacific Power Systems and Tyrrell Plumbing.”

P6100706 - CopySpecialty products were specified for interior surfaces that were resistant to chemicals. While the project was under construction, the client was informed that the epoxy counter top and sink materials called for in the plans and specifications had burned in a fire at the manufacturer’s facility.

According to Andersen, figuring out a solution might have delayed the project. “We went on a field trip to a food laboratory in the area to look at alternative materials,” said Andersen. “We found a phenolic product that had the chemical properties to meet the client’s needs.” Changing from the epoxy to the phenolic material required that Landmark Construction source a new subcontractor with expertise in installing the alternative product.

Another challenge that Landmark Construction faced was the discontinuation of the specified air handling unit. By collaborating with the architect and the engineer, Landmark Construction employees were able to find another system that met the criteria. The $40,000 change order was handled smoothly without delaying the project.

The project was completed in June 2016.

Landmark’s Project Manager was Ryan Andersen

Andersen joined Landmark Construction in 2010 after a two year stint in Southern California working on hospital projects. More opportunity to gain experience was one of things that appealed to him about working at Landmark Construction, according to Andersen. “On Landmark’s typical fast-paced projects, I have gained an incredible amount of experience working from startup to closeout,” said Andersen. “I was able to take an accelerated career path and work up to a project manager from a project engineer in just a couple of years. In my previous work in Southern California, I was managing change orders for the plumbing aspects of the project for a period of two years, without much further career development. There are so many more opportunities to progress at a rapid rate at Landmark Construction.”

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