Some things are worth waiting for.
Cirrus Facility 5 was completed earlier this year in Hermantown, MN, transforming a long-unfinished 38,500 s.f. office building into an aviation manufacturing space, research and development building for the maker of the world’s best selling aircraft. The facility includes a loading dock with leveler doors, overhead doors and a surface parking lot; and is the seventh project KA has completed for the client.
Cirrus Aircraft Corporation employs about 600 people in nearby Duluth, its headquarters and main manufacturing facility; and operates an additional manufacturing facility in Grand Forks, ND. Cirrus Director of Facilities Alan Jusczak and Kraus-Anderson project manager Andy Towner provided some details about the Facility 5 project.
Q: What was the building use prior to the remodel?
TOWNER: – It was an unfinished building; construction had been halted by the developer due to the economy and it hadn’t been used in seven years. Its original intended use was to be a commercial office building. They basically got the building enclosed, all underground work completed, backfilled, and left the project site.
Q: What were the challenges of the project?
JUSCZAK: Taking a partially built building that was started in 2007 and had been sitting cold for seven years; working with a set building layout and getting it to function to meet the demands of Cirrus.
TOWNER: The biggest challenge was performing all the dirt work and concrete work on the interior of a building. All the equipment produces exhaust, so we had to ensure that fresh air was being brought in to be safe.
Q: How did you handle the exhaust issues during construction?
TOWNER: We had indoor air monitors and Lee (Hauble, the superintendent) was constantly balancing keeping the building heated and making sure there was enough fresh air.
Q: The project schedule ran from late October-January. How was weather a factor and how was this addressed?
TOWNER: Weather was a major factor. We battled the cold temperatures as we constructed the loading dock addition. We worked closely with our concrete subcontractor, Home Menders Incorporated, for temporary heat and cover. Also, with the amount of construction work going on, there was a shortage of ground thaw heaters. Our KA Duluth Office worked internally among our jobs to coordinate and schedule which jobs we would use the heaters for. Since one job had them rented for the season, we were able to share – which worked out well and saved on costs.
Q: How did KA help address the project challenges?
JUSCZAK: Getting a loading dock built off the back of this facility and the complication of a 4 ft. or less water table. Meeting our very tight timeline to get occupancy and working in winter conditions.
Q: Were any special measures taken to allow the client to maintain operations in proximity to the jobsite?
TOWNER: No, Cirrus moved in when we were complete. We did have to do a lot of coordination with Cirrus for the owner provided equipment. Luckily for us, Cirrus’s facility manager, Alan, was very detailed and organized.
Q: How overall would you say KA provided good value to the client?
TOWNER: Yes, we had a tight schedule and met the deadlines. Also, we were able to give back over $30K.
JUSCZAK: KA provided a great project foreman to keep all of the subs on time and on budget. Through some value engineering and wise choices of KA and Cirrus, this building is functioning as intended and operational costs are lower than expected.