Renovation or expansion of an occupied building often presents significant challenges to the Owner as well as other project team members. Allowing the building to remain occupied and in use during construction almost always has cost impacts associated with planning time, additional internal moves, more complex safety procedures and extended construction schedules.
The role of the Owner’s Representative is critical and must begin early in the planning for the project. Planning must carefully consider minimizing the construction impact on occupants or tenants, potential challenges of disruption to everyday operational procedures of the occupants, added construction safety precautions, and establishment of detailed communication procedures between occupants and the construction team. Projects may need to be phased to work around the occupied portions of buildings and often involve multiple moves for occupants, tenants and clients.
It is important to communicate with the building staff and occupants beforehand to prepare them for potential construction impacts such as dust generation, construction noise, fire alarm testing, electrical and plumbing outages, impact on parking availability because of construction staging areas and need for hard hats or other protective equipment if access to the construction space cannot be avoided. Some limited occupant schedule changes may be necessary to accommodate specific construction activities.
Synthesis’ successful experience on projects involving occupied buildings is obvious when one reviews the assistance we provided to the Maryland Science Center, the Baltimore Museum of Art, various hospital projects and others.
Below are some of our Occupied Buildings projects: