EIC Award Winners - 2018

In 2018, CT ABC recognized the following companies as Excellence in Construction Award recipients:

Best in Show


The Southport School
C.E. Floyd Company, Inc. 

The Southport School, Peterman Architects and C.E. Floyd Company collaborated to convert The Southport Savings Bank into the Arts and Music Building for The Southport School. The renovated building enhances student learning by giving art and music a more prominent role in the curriculum after both have shown promising results in chronological processing, spelling, reading skills and educational achievement in children and adolescents with dyslexia. It also gives The Southport School more opportunity to train and mentor local teachers and, through the use of new technology in the building, teachers across the globe, who work with kids with learning-based differences.

The charming brick exterior of the new Arts and Music Building required maintenance and repair. While exploring our options for replacement we learned the brick was very special indeed, having previously served as ballast on schooners during 18th century seafaring. The project team decided the best solution would be to use salvaged bricks from interior renovations in order to have a match in both color and structural integrity. This was one of the many obstacles C.E. Floyd encountered and overcame during the renovation process.

Working on an active school campus required a special consideration to the daily construction schedule. We had to consider the pick-up and drop-off location, 15 feet from the jobsite entrance, and the students’ twice daily breaks. To minimize interruptions to the school day we worked our schedule around theirs, halting construction during pick-up and drop off as well as taking breaks at the same time as the students. The Southport School was thrilled and appreciative of our consideration of the students’ needs.

The vault removal will forever be a part of C.E. Floyd’s history just as much as it is a part of the Arts and Music Building. Constructed on 10 tons of solid granite, the vault was load bearing and could not be easily removed without consideration to the structural integrity of the building itself. The removal of the granite was a collaborative process, from determining the best method to its implementation. The project team’s ability to come up with creative solutions to problems was one key to the success of the project.

Preserving the exterior of the building while removing construction debris provided its own set of challenges. All debris had to leave the building one of two ways: out the doors or through the windows. C.E. Floyd’s innovative response to this was to bring it back to the basics: a bucket brigade. 90% of the construction debris was brought out one bucket at a time.

The Southport School’s new Arts and Music Building is more than a renovation; it is a place for students with language-based learning differences to be themselves and a place for teachers with specialized expertise to share their knowledge with others around the world. The entire project team is proud to play a role in such a unique project with the potential to effect positive change in the lives of so many. The team mindset from the owner, the architect and all the subcontractors played a critical role in successfully preserving the building’s history. C.E. Floyd Company is grateful for the privilege of helping to continue the legacy of this fixture in the Southport community.

Special Jury Award


EnviroVantage, Inc.
Wood Island Life Saving Station

To understand the massive challenge of this restoration, you have to remember that the location is an island off the coast of Kittery Maine.  While some might see this as a logistical nightmare, for EnviroVantage it was just a series of challenges and solutions. 

Scheduling
Challenge: How to come up with a creative and innovation plan, factoring in tide schedules, to get boats, barges, and skiffs to move dumpsters, generators, abatement equipment, saws and pumps, all currently dockside to Wood Island.  
Solution: Load dumpsters with equipment, put everything on Vietnam era landing crafts and deliver to a dockless, poison ivy covered work site using surplus army trucks with delivery all dependent on tides and weather.

Challenge: How to get crews of workers from the mainland to the island
Solution:  23 foot boats were secured to transport EnviroVantage work crews, leaving the Kittery Dock at 7am each work morning, for a 25 minute trip to Wood Island, returning at 4pm, ……assuming seas allowed.

Obstacles
Challenge: Interior floor systems that were so rotted and dilapidated that they were unsafe. 
Solution: Install temporary staging and planks to access work areas.

Challenge: Saving as much of the original building including flooring, interior trim, door trim and frames, window trim and frames, historical sheathing, and bead board wall coverings. 
Solution: All of the headers, studs and rafters in this dormer were removed, reproduced in kind with some structural improvements required for strength and longevity. 

Extenuating Circumstances
Challenge:  The whipping winds of the Atlantic Ocean:  Loose asbestos paper that was decomposing, fragmenting and flying around and would have been Gone With The Wind if not caught. 
Solution: Netting was installed on the outside of the staging to catch the hazardous materials that would have otherwise been deposited into the ocean.

Challenge: 60 years’ worth of beach cobble that had stacked itself 6-8 inches high in the cellar. Dirt, sand, rocks, glass, and sea-debris had settled itself onto the cellar floor, been contaminated with the hazardous materials and then hardened itself into a rock-hard surface. 
Solution: Pick-axes were used to loosen the hardened materials and special vec loaders on trailers were used to suck up the mixture.  Rocks were then extracted from the mixture, hand cleaned and returned to the ocean. 

What Makes This So Special
Any project that necessitates arrival at work site by boat, ships in its work materials, depending on tidal charts, on Vietnam era landing craft, moves its materials on site in surplus Army trucks, has no working utilities or running water and is working in buildings that have deteriorated from 60+years of neglect and is a candidate for the National Register is worthy to be called “special”.  Phase 1 of the project is now complete with the structure in better condition today than when it was built in 1908.  This Station was determined to be “eligible” for the National Register of Historic Places by the State of Maine Historic Preservation Officer in April of 2015.  Historical restoration comes in phases and Phase 1, demolition and preparation for restoration is complete and successful thanks to EnviroVantage and its team of renewal and rejuvenation experts.

First Place Projects


Petra Construction Corporation
Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut

The need to increase capacity brought the team of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Svigals + Partners, and Petra Construction, as well as numerous consultants and subcontractors, together to replace the nearby facility with this new 28,000 square foot residential facility.

A singular aim guided the design solutions for this new house: to create a home where families of nearby hospital patients would feel cared for. This experience of care begins when arriving families first see the facility’s uplifting colorful façade, playful sculptures and inviting entrance. With careful siting and orientation, the entry and main façade are visible from the children’s hospital, establishing a strong connection between patient and family experience. The entryway, set back from the street, forms a welcoming, embracing courtyard. A rear courtyard made up of a large patio and play area provides a peaceful setting for guests.

The architecture works to integrate the interior and exterior of the site. The reception area is illuminated by southern light coming from the rear of the building, to warm and reassure families. Gathering spaces open up with higher ceilings, admitting light deeper inside. Windows in the stair tower offer views of active streets and neighbors below, as well as others entering the shared home, reinforcing a sense of community and welcome.

In addition to more bedrooms, the residence offers a large state-of-the-art commercial kitchen where families can interact and cook side-by-side. The main floor also offers dining/lounge space, a glassed in play room and a teen room. Two respite rooms are also available for parents to relax or hold private conversations. These new resources provide innovative ways for the staff to help the families during their stay.

One of the most important aspects of this project was establishing positive relationships with the neighbors and surrounding businesses. The Project Superintendent always kept the neighbors well informed and involved in the process. In return, the neighbors kept watch of the site during off hours and would help out by blocking off their own personal parking spaces for truck access in and out of the constricted site.

Petra also took precautions above and beyond the normal environmental impacts due to the close proximity to the hospital and neighboring medical facilities. The building was completely contained with staging and a wrap to contain dust and anything else from the EIFS work to make sure nothing would travel onto the sidewalks or neighboring properties. The project team also helped to improve the neighborhood by working in conjunction with the hospital to clean the neighborhood’s streets from other litter and garbage that was not a result of the project. 

The relationship and communication amongst the entire project team was unparalleled. As a result, the original schedule held true to the end of the project and the team delivered a house that was the embodiment of the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ motto of “the House that Love Built”.


KBE Building Corporation
UConn Putnam Refectory

The Putnam Refectory project was a 42,000 sf comprehensive renovation and interior fit-out of an existing dining facility on University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus. Renovated to support the increasing number of students on the campus, the Refectory was designed to provide students with a wider assortment of food options, as well as plenty of space to dine with friends and fellow students.

KBE’s scope of work encompassed the full renovation of the existing servery and seating area on the upper floor, and conversion of the lower level into an additional level of seating and serving. The project also included installation of a new service elevator, tray return system, monumental stair with glue-lam timbers to connect the upper- and lower-level seating areas, dunnage rack on the roof for the new rooftop mechanical and kitchen equipment condensing units, new food service equipment, serving lines, beverage stations, condiment stations, and serving counters.

KBE managed the project concurrently with the construction of the adjacent Peter J. Werth Residence Tower and Monteith Hall, with all three projects located in a highly constrained, active campus setting. The Putnam Refectory renovation shared utility infrastructure with the Residence Tower project, and both had critical deadlines with penalties for late completion.

The team was under extreme pressure to closely coordinate the utility work on both projects and meet the onerous schedule for each. To successfully do this, the Putnam Refectory project needed to be a cooperative effort from the entire team – UConn, Amenta Emma Architects, KBE, and the trade workforce. Immediately after being awarded the project, KBE worked with the University and design team on a phasing plan that allowed the dining hall to remain operational until spring break. This plan outlined carefully thought-out phases, and included selective demolition of MEP and plumbing systems.

Putnam Refectory was delivered on schedule to the University through the close collaboration and efforts of the entire project team.


Kronenberger & Sons Restoration, Inc.
Richard C. Lee Courthouse, Window Rehabilitation and Associated Repairs

The Richard C. Lee Courthouse, constructed between 1913 -1919, is an excellent example of Classic Revival Architecture. The master plan was developed by Fredrick Law Olmsted II in 1910, and Yale graduate James Gamble Rodgers designed this new courthouse & post office for the US Treasury in 1913. Urban renewal in the 1960’s almost destroyed this structure until a group of former judges and preservationists petitioned for its saving. Much of the original historic fabric has remained intact. In 1998, the building was renamed the Richard C. Lee Courthouse in honor of the former New Haven mayor and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

KSR’s Mark Aldieri, AIA was the historic consultant for the courtroom #3 restoration and technology upgrade in the late 2000’s and was the project manager for this current exterior restoration. KSR’s Andrew Moore worked on the National Register nomination in 2015 at the CT SHPO and worked on the windows with KSR the following year.

Quality control was paramount. The building has elaborate finishes of limestone, cast iron, mahogany, and bronze. KSR personnel performed all the masonry, metal/wood window and door restoration, plaster repairs, and paint finishes. Specialty subcontractors performed the ballistic window, membrane waterproofing, and bird control work for KSR. Stone “Dutchmen” mock ups were performed with matching limestone, specified epoxy adhesives, and stainless-steel attachments. Mortar mixes were produced to match the original mortar’s color and structural integrity. Window restoration mock-ups were performed to establish a standard for wood and metal repairs, hardware restoration, weather stripping, glass installation, and protective finishes.

Due to GSA security requirements, all personnel were required to comply with background checks and wear badges while on the premises.

The building was fully enveloped in staging, with the lower sixteen feet clad in plywood to prevent unauthorized personnel from climbing, and security cameras were relocated to accommodate the new perimeter. All entrances and egresses required overhead protection for the public throughout the entire project. There were no incidents relating to safety with the public. KSR and our three subcontractors logged over 25,000 on-site hours with zero injuries and no time loss. Scheduling of this project was based on factors not normally encountered in construction. Being a federal court, noise, odors, and vibrations from work could not interfere with any legal proceedings under penalty of arrest. Our superintendent worked daily with staff to schedule work that would not conflict with the court docket. Early morning and off-hours were dedicated to construction operations that created disturbances.

Weather conditions played into the building restoration schedule due to the extensive amount of exterior work involved - All masonry work was limited between April through November due to inadequate temperatures in colder months. Winter work was focused on the window sashes, including wood, glass, glazing, and hardware restoration. On-site parking was non-existent due to security concerns and urban location, so KSR personnel were shuttled to and from the site daily in a van specifically purchased for this task.

Looking at the courthouse today, it is remarkable to think that this building had little value until a group of forward thinking individuals did the impossible and saved a major component of New Haven’s architecture. KSR is proud to have been a part in preserving its legacy.  


Interstate Electrical Services Corporation
616 New Park Ave

This new construction project converted a blighted lot that formerly housed a car dealership in an upcoming West Hartford neighborhood into an attractive, contemporary rental community with retail and recreation space. The building is specifically located next to CT transit fast track allowing residents transportation without requiring a car and providing a direct and unobstructed commute to New Haven. The building features an attractive lobby/recreation space with contemporary lighting, a gas fire place and several flat screen televisions, as well as a meeting room and exercise area.  There are 54 apartments: 41 single bedroom units and 12 dual bedroom units. The schedule was aggressive, the site cramped with little room for materials or equipment. The Interstate crew was small as well, just 5 electricians including a project manager/project superintendent.
 
Interstate maintained control of the project by taking full advantage of extensive preconstruction planning and prefabrication. Fully assembled electrical panels arrived ready to install saving time and reducing waste on the site, contributing to a safer work environment.


Cianbro Corporation
Millstone Outfall Fish Barriers Restoration

Scope of Project:
Cianbro was contracted by Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut to provide construction services for the Outfall Fish Barriers Restoration project located at their Millstone Power Station. Millstone, New England’s largest power plant, is a nuclear-powered generating station located off of Long Island Sound in Waterford, Connecticut.

Millstone operates two Pressurized Water Reactor Units. There are fish barriers installed across the Unit 2 (west barrier) and Unit 3 (east barrier) outfalls of the Circulating Water System Discharge Canal. These barriers prevent marine life from populating the canal waters so that an ambient temperature drop during a dual-unit outage will not result in mass fish kills. Each barrier consists of removable louvered screens restrained by structural support steel which ties into concrete abutments on either side of the outfalls. As a result of over 40 years of continuous exposer to extreme environmental elements, the condition of the steel and concrete structures had deteriorated and required replacement. The scope of work consisted of replacing the structural support steel, repairing the concrete abutments associated with the fish barriers, and implementing a series of structural, mechanical and electrical improvements to the fish barrier area.

Project Details:
* Performed site work to prepare the environmentally sensitive area for construction, including widening the existing access road and installing and maintaining erosion and sedimentation control measures
* Installed a temporary walkway to allow for safe and efficient access between the two structures
* Used over 38 tons of new structural steel to erect two new fish barrier structures
* Placed new concrete crane and wash pads on both the east and west side structures
* Placed approximately 250 total yards of concrete and 40 tons of rebar
* Relocated existing conduits and installed temporary electrical supports
* Installed a temporary fish net
* Demolished the existing fish barrier structures, access platforms and louvered fish screens
* Performed repairs on the four existing concreteabutments
* Preassembled the new fish barrier structures on shore and installed each (weighing 50,000 lbs) as a complete unit
* Installed new modified louvered fish screens
* Completed a concrete tremie pour of a new solid foundation for the west side structure
* Installed a new polyester grating and handrail system
* Demolished and installed a new HDPE domestic water line across the new structures
* Installed 22 new LED lights, which span across the abutments
* Installed approximately 750 lf of 316 SS Rigid Conduit with a mix of new cable to support the design

Project Schedule & Size:
Cianbro began construction in June of 2017 and completed the job in November of 2017. The majority of work was completed during a 13 day outage in which two crews worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cianbro self-performed 97% of the project which had a total of 14,420 total work hours and ZERO lost time injuries.

Notch Mechanical Constructors
Baystate Medical: Piping/Plumbing/HVAC for 4.6 MW CHP Plant

In November of 2016 Baystate Health broke ground on a 4.6 megawatt turbine combined heat and power plant in Springfield, MA. Notch Mechanical Constructors was brought on by the general contractor Cianbro to supply and install the piping, plumbing, and HVAC for the entire project. The completion of this project allows Baystate to continue to serve as a pillar for the entire region during an emergency.

As a former house lot approximately 8,000 square feet, the site of the new power plant was extremely tight with several contractors working simultaneously. There was also very little parking for contractor vehicles. The Notch crew parked in a parking garage a mile away and carpooled to the site each day. Notch had to be strategic on planning the rigging of all the piping, including rigging 24" pipe through a window into the basement. Pipe installations also included rigging 10" pipe up to 30 foot high ceiling in the boiler room, but there was nothing to rig off of. The only way to get a scissor lift in there was by going through a 36” door. A hole was cut in the roof with a beam across to rig up the pipe.

Because there were so many different crews on the job site, unique software called Last Planner System was used to facilitate the robust schedule. It shows each day side by side with each contractor as a different color.  The Notch and other crew’s foremen would meet once a week to discuss what they would be working on. Each contractor could then go back to the software and drag and drop activities to different days to make sure everyone had access to where they needed to work and what sequence it would need to be done. All shutdowns for tie ins (steam, chilled water, tower water) were required to be successful or risk impacting critical life services for patients. They had to be done in less than 8-hour time periods. Each shutdown on this project went off without a hitch.

This project lasted a full year, with completion in December 2017. The new power plant will save Baystate Health an estimated $2.7 million in energy costs annually. It will also increase Baystate’s energy efficiency by roughly 25%, while reducing greenhouse gases by the equivalent of 4,000 vehicles per year. The western Massachusetts region can sleep a little tighter at night with the completion of this project, and knowing it was done right.

Viking Construction, Inc.
Crescent Crossing

Viking Construction served as general contractor for the new $48 million Crescent Crossing housing complex in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  The landscaped community of 177 mixed-income one-, two- and three-bedroom units is located on a 3.5-acre site that once housed the very first public housing complex in Connecticut, Yellow Mill Village.  First constructed in 1943 to help house factory and military workers, Yellow Mill Village was renamed in 1955 to honor Father Stephen Panik, a priest who had worked for decent housing for poor and working families.

The once-promising community included 36 apartment buildings, a shopping center with a grocery and dime store, two large playgrounds, 29 sandboxes, 700 park benches and landscaped courtyards. By the early 1980s, however, the complex had become the center of the city's crack cocaine trade with dealers hanging out in stairwells, and the scene of dozens of homicides and violent crimes. From 1986-1993, the city demolished Father Panik Village; 23 years later, Viking Construction built a new mixed-income housing community, now named Crescent Crossing. 

The new Crescent Crossings is a testament to beautification and revitalization in public housing – and is a very welcoming presence in a thriving part of the city.  The grounds and large tree-lined courtyard consist of lush lawns, fine landscaping, well-lit pathways, benches, and dozens of trees along each of the four streets surrounding the community. A clock tower overlooking the corner entrance at the intersection of Hallett and Church Streets now serves as a focal point for the community.

The exteriors of each building include beautiful veneer brick and hardie board.  Interiors include fully equipped kitchens with Energy Star-rated appliances and a breakfast bar with pendant lighting.  The designer bathrooms include high-efficiency lighting and stylish plumbing fixtures. Viking installed vinyl plank floors (resembling wood planks) in the living space and green label carpet in bedrooms, hookups for clothes washers and dryers, and keyless electronic entry systems

Other efficient and environmentally friendly elements include lighting, windows, insulation, individually controlled central heating and air conditioning, ventilation, and low VOC finishes. Solar panels were installed on each rooftop to generate electricity that powers common areas and LIFE-safety lighting. 

Viking constructed several common areas throughout Crescent Crossing including a resident lounge area with kitchenette and entertainment/media area, a resident business and learning center with internet-enabled computer terminals, a fitness center, and a recycling area. Viking completed all work in two phases (1A and 1B) and worked on a tight timeline, keeping close track of deadlines and working diligently with utility companies as well as town and state officials to secure all approvals.  During phase 1A, there were significant design and inspection issues as well as some weather-related delays.  However, Viking was able to keep the project moving forward throughout each phase of construction, so the entire project was completed on time.

Today, Crescent Crossing is a beautiful community that serves a broad range of families, and that significantly contributes to improving Bridgeport’s streetscapes.

KBE Building Corporation
Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse

Proposed many years ago in 1974 by the late Superior Court Judge John Speziale, the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse project faced many delays before an official RFQ was issued in 2010.

The Design-Build team of KBE Building Corporation and the DLR Group presented the winning design, which features a four-story building that nestles into the Torrington neighborhood of brick buildings and is far less imposing than the five- and six-story structures proposed by the competing teams.

From the very beginning of the RFQ process, collaboration and listening were imperative to the success of the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse project. Given the complexity of the project – the need to ensure its fit into the surrounding neighborhoods, its schedule, and its budget – teamwork was essential. The KBE/DLR team worked tirelessly to develop a design solution that met the needs of the owner and one that took into account the need for a design that did not impose on the surrounding neighborhoods in the City of Torrington. This required input from several parties, all of whom were able to voice their opinions. As a result, the team designed and constructed a magnificent new building that exceeded the expectations of both the State and the City of Torrington.

The 188,859 sf regional courthouse and 60,264 sf parking garage features an L-shaped design with a three-story south wing and a four-story north wing. The interior finishes include high-end millwork, tile floors, acoustical systems to achieve sound absorption, and a sophisticated security system. An additional 180 spaces of surface parking was also provided adjacent to the courthouse.

The new courthouse provides criminal courts, civil courts, juvenile courts, family courts, and associated support spaces. The building also houses a law library, a Public Defender’s space, and a Judicial Marshall and State’s Attorney office. 

Kronenberger & Sons Restoration, Inc.
Phase II Old State House Roof Replacement and Exterior Renovations

The Connecticut Old State House was built in 1796 by Charles Bulfinch, America’s first native-born architect. It became Hartford’s City Hall in 1878, was abandoned in 1915, and restored as a museum by 1961. The third floor is the Joseph Steward Museum of Curiosities, a collection of strange objects and mutant animals from all over the world. The first floor is made of Portland brownstone, the second and third floors are brick, the cornice is wooden, and the roof is slate over a wooden frame, reinforced with iron in later years. This Federal style building is also a National Historic Landmark.

Kronenberger & Sons began construction in January, 2015. The site was not unfamiliar, as we previously restored the cupola, as well as the building’s exact replica at the Big E. This new phase was much larger, and the building had to be entirely enveloped in staging - a slow start thanks to constant snow removal. It is a unique urban setting, dwarfed by massive skyscrapers on all sides. On-site storage and access was limited and carefully coordinated. We had to accommodate pedestrian traffic since the museum remained opened, and the safety of the public and our workers remained a top initiative.

After winter snow ended, the next safety obstacle was springtime on-site events, including a weekly farmers market hosted since 1643, and on one occasion, an LGBTQ+ rally. At the project’s conclusion 9,697 hours later, no member of the public was affected in any way.

The building had extensive water damage. Workers hang Christmas lights on the balustrade, and most slates were broken or missing due to their foot traffic. Our full lead paint abatement of the cornice and trim features was aided by the fact that much of the paint was already missing. The balustrade was removed in sections and labeled for exact reassembly. Pieces were transported to our shop for lead abatement and restoration. Copper urn finials required special care to repair dents and cracks. When the balustrade was reinstalled, all anchor points had to be modified to account for the old, uneven roof surface. The cornice consists of moldings and hundreds of decorative hanging mutules, each requiring varying types of scrapers to remove paint from their intricate details. Dutchmen and epoxy repairs were performed as needed. Site work was limited by weather. Temporary coverings were extensively employed and inner-city winds were heavy. The new roof was covered primarily with slate, with a perimeter of copper to prevent ice damming. The copper section also allowed easy attachment for our copper gutters, fabricated to match originals. One feature unique to this project was a safety tie-off line on the interior side of the balustrade. This stainless steel cable was for future rooftop workers to secure their harnesses to. This cable system and new power outlets were placed inconspicuously behind the balustrade, unaffecting the historic façade’s appearance.

The Old State House is known to be haunted, and the famous TV show Ghost Hunters previously visited it. KSR did not experience any suspicious activity, so perhaps these ghosts of former legislators were pleased to see the building restored. KSR has worked on many historic buildings, each with their own unique attributes and challenges. A leaky state house designed by one of the greatest American architects housing ghosts and a two-headed cow is certainly no exception, and we are proud to have been so deeply involved in restoring this important piece of US history. 

The Middlesex Corporation
NHHS Double Track Project / New Haven-Hartford-Springfield RR Line

The Middlesex Corporation was the General Contractor that provided civil, site, and structural improvements to Amtrak for the installation of a second track between Hamden and Windsor, CT and along the existing New Haven-Hartford-Springfield ROW. Construction consisted of the rehabilitation or replacement of approximately 20 bridges and culverts, and an extensive number of retaining walls that Middlesex value engineered to improve schedule, cost, and safety. The project also included improvements at seven grade crossings, the set-up, control and maintenance of multiple Waste Stockpile Areas that were used for the handling of excavated materials generated during the course of construction. The project required maintenance and protection of recently installed Amtrak and Level 3 utilities as well as other utilities during construction.

The vast majority of the work occurred directly on the ROW, which had limited access. While the new track bed was constructed on the east side of the existing rail, retaining walls had to be constructed on both the east and west sides. The limited access required reaching across, crossing, or placing equipment over the existing track on temporary construction pads to access the west side of the ROW.

Middlesex continually pursued ways to improve upon provided design concepts. To reduce risk while improving cost and schedule, pipe casing for soldier piles was changed from a drilled casing to a driven pile with fixed leads using a closed end drive point. The casing was left in place instead of being removed, thus reducing the risk of soil subsidence adjacent to the track. The need for drilling fluid and spoil disposal was eliminated along with the associated risk to the environment from drilling fluids.

A well-thought-out approach was developed for track bed construction that maintained adherence to the safety requirements of the Disturbance Zones. The approach used standard earth moving equipment used on hundreds of miles of road and track bed projects. Work was broken into three steps to maximize available foul time. The efforts of all involved resulted in a highly successful project executed under challenging conditions and constraints. Middlesex work on the project was recognized by CTDOT with the 2017 Arthur Gruhn Excellence in Construction Award, that showcases high quality projects delivered for the public benefit in Connecticut.

Merit Award Projects


Notch Mechanical Constructors
Tree House Brewing Process Piping

In 2017 Notch Mechanical was contracted by Tree House Brewing Company to install the process piping for their brand new brewery in Charlton, MA. When Notch first arrived to the new location, it was an empty building. The bones were there, and the owners were eager to fill in the meat. Their dreams and expectations managed to engulf the entire site; all of the other contractors were there to fill in the big picture. Notch was very excited to be a part of this endeavor. The new construction for Tree House was not only a major expansion of their production capacity as a brewer, but also the creation of a consumer experience destination. Many of the piping systems and tanks would be visible for patrons to see from the viewing balcony in the retail space. Notch worked with the owners to tweak a design not only functional and efficient, but aesthetically pleasing as well.

One of the biggest challenges of this project was the highly compressed schedule. The owners had a firm deadline and were extremely eager to open thedoors of the new facility to the public in July. Notch began this process piping project at the end of February, and was able to meet the deadline and complete the project on June 23rd. We provided a large crew of skilled sanitary welders and pipe fitters and worked extended hours to meet the schedule.

Notch’s scope of work included all of the sanitary welded brew house piping, fermentation cellar piping, steam and condensate for the brew house and hot water tank, and the Cool-Fit chilled glycol piping. Notch made all of the final connections for the GEA (brew house) equipment as well as the glycol piping from the chiller to the tanks in the cellar. Extensive coordination with other trades was required to ensure the successful completion of the piping systems and the overall project. The design evolved as the project progressed and our experienced team provided guidance on efficient routing and layout of pipe runs.

Notch’s strategy to save as much time as possible on this project was to rent two cargo containers to store the crew’s orbital welding equipment directly at the site. Fixtures were then fabricated on site and brought into the building for our fitters to install, creating almost no time wasted on transportation.

This move increased the brewery’s beer production from 270 barrels per week to an astounding 1,000 barrels per week. As of December 2017, according to BeerAdvocate, Tree House landed two spots on the list ranking the top 10 beers in the world. Fans line up not only for the beers, but the experience and surroundings. One might think that this would be able to quench the desire of Tree House beer to all who wanted it, but they are already looking to expand their operation.


SLAM Construction Services
University of Hartford, Gengras Student Union, Additions and Renovations

The success of the University of Hartford Gengras Student Union Addition & Renovations project can be attributed to the S/L/A/M Construction Services’ experienced professionals, exceptional communication, and full commitment to working together collaboratively. The integration of the team allowed proactive communication throughout the design and construction process. Feedback between the method of design and construction was fluid and responsive and priorities between design, cost and schedule were clear.

The team’s longstanding and intimate knowledge of the University spans five other design-build projects on campus since 2004. This prior experience and familiarity with the University’s operations, processes, faculty, and staff gave the SLAM team a unique advantage for project success.

The project included a 3,000-SF addition, which infilled an existing exterior patio space and renovations to accommodate an expanded student lounge, dining, meeting, and office spaces. The project also included a total gut renovation of the existing mechanical tower and a renovation to the existing entry vestibule from the quad. Additional lower level renovations include a new commuter lounge, Muslim prayer room and interior electrical panel replacement in the kitchen. Third floor renovations include new VAVs, lighting and ceiling tiles.

Early in the design process, S/L/A/M Construction Services performed pre-construction estimating, providing options at the conceptual and schematic phases to help establish a project scope that met the owner’s budget and track cost as the design developed. Working with the owner, engineers and several sub-contractors, the team estimated several construction options including adding a second-floor addition versus extending the first-floor footprint into an existing terraced space. The first-floor option proved less expensive than the second-floor addition which would have had many additional structural complications and allowed the programming to be more efficient, thus providing a better value.

With the age of the existing building, the project team was also faced with many existing and unforeseen conditions during the renovation that needed to be addressed in a quick and cost-effective manner. Some of those conditions included additional abatement, piping within CMU walls, lack of above ceiling space and missing roof drains. The building also had severe mechanical deficiencies, which this project was attempting to address, including the existing HVAC issues within the renovation and addition portions of the building as well as other areas, while maintaining the tight project budget. Given the limited space available for new equipment and need to maintain operations during the renovation, a carefully choreographed schedule and phasing plan was created to allow for air handlers to be replaced while keeping the building occupied.

SLAM’s in-house team’s relationship with the Owner aided in the quality and success of the project, as they understood the owner’s expectations, were quick to react, respond and collaborate on solutions to project issues. This team’s effort led to a successful project that met budget and schedule as well as providing additional value for the owner.


LaRosa Building Group, LLC
Kirtland Commons

The Kirtland Commons project included, from the start, a number of “challenges” which needed to be planned for, dealt with, and worked around, that included, but was not limited to:

* Construction of a major addition to an occupied facility.
* Facility occupied by Senior Citizens, some of whom had lived there for 25 years.
* Renovation of fully occupied apartments which included new windows, HVAC, and doors.
* The need to maintain fire egress routes through the middle of the new addition being constructed.
* The need to construct a new elevator pit and shaft in the center of the building after most other construction had been completed.
* Construction within 10’ of a very active stream.
* Construction of addition right up to a property line of a neighbor who did not want us on their property.
* A project budget with less than the recommended contingency funding.

These were all conditions that LaRosa Building Group took into account when we bid this project. What no one had anticipated was the following unexpected challenges that were thrust upon us just a few weeks after start of construction: The Town’s First Selectman, who had been the project’s champion, and had helped coordinate all of the Town’s department’s support, tragically and unexpectedly passed away.

Because this was a relatively large project, in a relatively small town, every single project meeting was attended by both the Building Official, as well as the Fire Marshal. The Building officials requested a larger elevator (and larger shaft) which did not fit into the existing design, and conflicted with existing structural steel.

Almost immediately, it was determined that the design of the sanitary sewer piping and manholes (beneath the parking area and beneath the addition) was unacceptable to the local sewer department. This necessitated the re-design of the sewer and building footings, which delayed the project, and resulted in a cost change which almost fully depleted an already low contingency account. This change also required lowering of the building footings, bringing them below the water table (see proximity to stream above) resulting in the need for extensive pumping operations.

Due to creative differences, the Architect terminated his services on the project during the first couple of weeks. This necessitated the hiring of a new project Architect, along with some re-design. All of these unexpected challenges were encountered during the first couple of weeks of the project. At first, some in the Town, and some within the Housing Authority, believed that the project should be canceled, re-designed, and/or re-bid. LaRosa Building Group’s project team worked with the new Architect to calm nerves, and reassure everyone that we could in fact complete the project, even with these newly discovered challenges. There would be cost and schedule impacts, but the project could and should proceed. The owners agreed.