Restaurant Depot, a 59,565 SF pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) with freezer/cooler space, is the first of a future 90+ acre industrial development in Pasadena, Texas. Because of this, Alston Construction was not only contracted to construct Restaurant Depot but to develop much of the site, and when we broke ground, the land was still in transaction and transferring to the correct ownership, all causing a 2 month delay in the schedule. With strong and transparent communication and collaboration between the Alston Construction team and all project stakeholders, Alston Construction successfully completed this project on time and under budget, even with a 2 month postponement.
Not only were there land transfer delays but also permitting interruptions stemming from overlapping jurisdictions for the project site. Restaurant Depot, the City of Pasadena, Harris County, and Center Point Energy were all AHJs (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Each group had different stipulations to permit work. This included the installation of road work, the decontamination of the site’s soil (the site was previously used as a depository for burning waste), and the furnishing of basic utilities to the site. This ultimately caused a schedule delay; however, our team used creative solutions and transparent communication with all project stakeholders to finish the project on time.
During construction, we had further difficulties. These came from the freezer and cooler system intricacies. Both systems were vital to the daily operations of Restaurant Depot for food safety, and both had unique prerequisites for installation including foam insulated metal panels (freezer’s needed to be 8 inches thick and the cooler’s needed to be 5 inches thick), fully sealed penetrations for the MEP and the fire sprinkler systems, high speed doors that were sealed.
Regardless, Alston completed the project on schedule and within budget. This is because of two important Alston practices that helped us catch up, specifically, our trade partner qualification process. Alston’s formalized subcontractor prequalification process, Subcontractor Prequalification, Evaluation and Rating System (SPERS), allows the Alston team to identify trade partners strengths and weaknesses; therefore, we are able to collaborate with our partners and implement mitigation plans early. Because of this program, we were able to choose the right subcontractors with the right experience and ultimately made up 10 days’ worth of lost time.
We made up the remaining time through the freezer/cooler installation process. We created a plan that ultimately didn’t need penetration rework. Also, we provided constant guidance and collaborated with the scope subcontractors on the freezer slab pouring process. This omitted potential concrete rework. Lastly, we established rules for the site that prevented any damage to the concrete. This was a major time saver as the concrete needed to have a pristine appearance since it was the final floor.
With strong communication and transparency, collaboration, and experience between the Alston team, the ownership team, the design team, and our trade partners, we were able to successfully complete this project on time, even with a 2 month delay at the beginning, and under budget.