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April 15, 2021

Early-stage design helps Hermanson with UW center

  • Progressive design-build method delivers UW project on time and under budget.
    Hermanson Co.

    Van Der Veen

    The University of Washington’s Hans Rosling Center for Population Health on the Seattle campus is complete and awaiting the return of students, faculty and staff to the new 300,000-square-foot building.

    The first UW project of its size to use the progressive design-build delivery approach, the building features spaces for collaborative group work, active learning, offices and training spaces for population health sciences programs, including the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the Department of Global Health, portions of the School of Public Health and the university’s Population Health Initiative.

    Rendering by Miller-Hull Partnership [enlarge]
    Hans Rosling Center for Population Health recently achieved LEED gold certification based on criteria set for health, safety and sustainability.

    Under the direction of UW’s associate vice president of capital planning and development, Mike McCormick, the university was already moving toward progressive design-build delivery method when the state Legislature passed HB 1295 in 2019. The bill allows public entities to use progressive design-build as “an evaluation factor that impacts costs which may include but is not limited to overhead and profit, lump sum or guaranteed maximum price for the entire or a portion of the project, operating costs, or other similar factors that may apply to the project” then progress through a design to a contract value with the selected firm. McCormick had previously integrated design-build methods at Brown University to help ensure the lowest total installed project costs and maintain design excellence.

    In progressive design-build, the mechanical and plumbing contractors collaborate with the architect, engineers and owner from the early design stage to provide comprehensive performance, quality and cost information to the owner, enabling them to make informed decisions through a best-value scoring system. Through project completion, the mechanical design-build team works in partnership with the prime design-builder and owner towards common goals for the project. In this method, competing interests are minimized, decisions can be made faster to reduce design time, and an accurate budget can be locked in much earlier, which is important in this volatile time of labor and material escalation risks.

    The Rosling Center recently achieved LEED gold certification based on criteria set for health, safety and sustainability. Hermanson was responsible for the piping and plumbing of the rainwater catchment system that collects, filters and reuses a minimum of 75% of the rainwater that lands on all the flat surfaces of the building. That water is used in 100% of the flushing of all toilets and urinals and is connected to a dashboard that presents data, flow rates and water savings for proof-of-concept sustainability studies. Hermanson and PAE staff worked with the UW campus sustainability group to design the dashboard.

    In response to UW’s desire to incorporate innovative practices in their design, Hermanson facilitated the use of multitrade racks (MTR) between sheet metal, mechanical piping, electrical and ceiling contractors. Hermanson designed MEP coordination and installation by “flying” the rack through the side of building. The MTRs provided safer working conditions in a controlled shop environment, reduced parking and construction activity on campus, minimized the space needed for trade workers on the site, and provided architectural design predictability.

    The use of progressive design-build resulted in a project delivered ahead of schedule, under budget and without overage claims. Transitioning from the traditional MCCM (mechanical contractor as construction manager) delivery, Hermanson partnered with PAE from the earliest design stages to identify and integrate potential efficiencies in the construction process.

    “The university also created a risk-reward incentive program based on achievable project milestones,” noted Ruth Baleiko, Miller-Hull partner. “The program spurred further collaboration and innovation between the project partners and generated an additional level of ‘skin in the game.’”

    The project’s success has resulted in the same design team of Lease Crutcher Lewis, Miller-Hull, PAE and Hermanson being awarded UW’s Health Sciences Education Building once again as a progressive design-build delivery approach.

    Eric van der Veen, Hermanson’s hotel, highrise and office business unit leader, was responsible for securing this project in his former role of account executive.

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