Monday, January 31, 2011

Sage Hall Update

Chris Patti
J.P Cullen & Sons, Inc.
Site Project Manager

Building Construction Start: Fall 2009
Building Completion: Summer 2011
Students move in: Fall 2011
Building name: Sage Hall
Interview by: Christine Dickert, COB Social Median Intern, 1/17/2011

The 187,000 S.F. 4-floor building will house the College of Business Administration & the College of Letters and Sciences and its social science departments. [The 1st two floors will be for business.] 

At the highest point, 145 employees have been together on-site & 17-18 subcontractors/contractors. Most of the crew works 5-8 hr days, however workers from out of town work four 10 hr days.

Q: Is the building construction on schedule?:

We are not ahead of schedule, but have been able to maintain the schedule we re-did because of some of the issues we had on site, such as poor soil.
We were able to accelerate some of the work with the corporation of the state by bring in more equipment and increase the size of the crew--have some of the subcontractors working with us to get the building more enclosed [the roof on, windows and window frames, finishes etc.]
We made up a lot of time we lost last spring and last summer. Without increasing the equipment and manpower we wouldn’t be at the point we are right now.

Patti said the best part of the building is the layout; there is no just one feature-- with the large gradual radius walls and the mainstream construction itself.

“The first time I opened up the plans and just looked at the building the first thing I said is this is going to look really nice when its done, you can just tell.”

Q: What is scheduled for the next two weeks?:

Finishing the roof on the north building --the one-story on the lecture halls [there are 3 lecture halls total; 2 larger and 1 smaller] fireproofing.

1st floor: starting dry wall.
2nd floor: complete taping and finishing, starting to paint.
3rd floor: painting is near completion, ceiling grid, start drop in ceiling boarders, putting in light fixtures & vents
4th floor: mechanical rooms are on-going, just finished dry wall on south half floor, taping and finishing on north side
Courtyard: footings and foundations

Patti said with any construction project, workers start on the top and work their way down. Virtually the 4th floor should be the most complete and the 1st farthest from finished—however Patti mentioned the crew has been a little off with this common plan, which is why 3rd floor is currently the most complete. 

Q: The building is highly eco-friendly—what are some materials you used?:

All the finishes are low VOCs-Volatile organic compounds [VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids/liquids & include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have adverse health effects.]
Paints all water based, solar panels on the roof, radiant heating/cooling in the floor slabs, mechoshades, [] “light shelves” to maximize natural lighting, ability to manage storm water on site

“Virtually everything has been looked at—carpets, what their emissions are, any of the products going into the building to meet LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] goal standards,” Patti said.
(Sage Hall will meet a Silver LEED rating.)

Q: What are some upcoming challenges you foresee?

“Hopefully the weather cooperates,” Patti said with a laugh.

The percent of artwork coming in late-With any significant construction project “two-tenths of one percent of the total construction budget for selected new state buildings or renovation projects is designated by the commission for purchase of artwork.”
According to The Wisconsin Arts Board is the agency responsible for administering the Percent for Art Program.
Purpose: “Placing artwork in public settings, helping to beautify our public buildings and urban environments, and draw attention to the wealth of artistic expertise within our region.”

“We had to devise a plan to work around it [percent of art going in the courtyard,] Patti said.
We did the enclosures differently so we can access the courtyard with larger equipment--Change concrete mix designs so we can get the concrete to set quicker and the lobby to set up faster. ”

For more information about UW-Oshkosh’s new building percent of art and other Wisconsin projects visit,HERE

Other possible future problems---utilities on the site weren’t exactly where they were drawn on the sketch—“We’re trying to work around that and get approvals, redesigning, and redrawing them.”
Getting the last of the finishes—as far as the flooring and wall covering.

“It’s been a tough road, but everyone’s been working together and that’s helped a lot,” Patti said.

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