SUNDANCE APARTMENTS – Bismarck, ND
INDUSTRY – Multi-Family Apartments
BUILDING USE – Luxury Apartment Complex
SIZE – 108 Units; Building: 163,631 sf; Underground Parking: 35,417 sf
GENERAL CONTRACTOR – Consolidated Construction Co., Inc.
ARCHITECT – Kaas Wilson Architects
Sundance Apartments is a 108-unit, 165,000 square foot complex in Bismarck, North Dakota. Featuring upscale features and amenities suitable for young professionals and families, it answers the demand for those flocking to the area in search of new opportunities. That same demand for housing, however, and the shortage of skilled craftsmen presented new challenges for the project team to overcome. Tenacity and ingenuity won out, however, and the team delivered the project on time, and with a 9% reduction in cost thanks to value engineering and steadfast negotiation.
On this particular project the owners had previously engaged the services of an outside architect, and brought Consolidated’s team on board to work with Kaas Wilson Architects to put realistic estimates to their conceptual drawings. To reduce costs without sacrificing unique amenities, Consolidated’s Wisconsin-based project management and estimating team set out to value engineer the project and conduct hard negotiations with subcontractors – subs who had more than enough work and could easily command their going rates. Dozens of phone calls were made to subcontractors to clarify and pare down costs. The final contract amount after value engineering and negotiation there was more than a nine percent reduction in costs.
Initial geotechnical testing reported what the team already knew: soils in the region contain some of the largest deposits of surface lignite coal in the United States, and beyond the surface contain varying amounts of fine, clayey sands and silty sand. To accommodate the four-story building and below-grade parking, engineers recommended excavation to 2’ below footings and floor slabs, and replacement with more cohesive non-expansive fill over the 35,000 square foot building footprint.
When times are tough in construction, we pull up our boot straps and make the impossible happen. We’re resourceful and our survival depends on it. However, are we willing to do the same when the market has recovered and projects are plentiful? Are we willing to take on the jobs that no one else can, or will? Will we say ‘How can we?’ rather than ‘We can’t’? Will we look closely at costs to pare them down in the customer’s best interest? Will we question test results that just don’t seem quite right? Will we make over 100 phone calls to help a subcontractor be successful? Will we think creatively to make the schedule happen, when all odds are against it?
In the case of Sundance Apartments, we will. And we did.
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