Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Completion of Public Safety Building in Scituate Part of a Trend in Municipal Construction

We’re proud to announce that we’ve completed construction on an important project for the town of Scituate: a brand new Public Safety Building which will be home to Scituate’s police and fire departments. This structure will house the personnel, equipment, and resources needed to keep local residents safe while saving the town millions of dollars per year- an increasingly popular model for municipalities across the country.

For Scituate, the story of this project begins several years ago, when the town decided it was time to modernize their aging police and fire infrastructure and reduce emergency response times. The contract to build the facility was put up for bid under the Design-Bid-Build model, which we have often promoted as the superior method for commissioning construction projects. CTA Construction was awarded the contract to build the facility and began work on January 4, 2016.

Work progressed very smoothly on the project as a result of strong collaboration between CTA, the project’s architect Dore & Whittier, the owner’s project manager Vertex and town officials. Its completion this week means that we will have finished the facility according to the schedule laid out at the beginning of the process. Much of the credit for the smooth development process and on-time completion goes to CTA Project Manager Jared Dugan and Superintendents on site Brian McCourt and John Dillon, who oversaw this project from beginning to end.

We’re proud to turn over this facility to Scituate’s police and fire services, both of which should have everything they need to do their important jobs well. One feature of note is the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the building- a combined “mission control” hub for dispatchers and police and fire officials to jointly manage crises and coordinate response efforts.

The EOC is a great example of why more and more municipalities are turning to Public Safety facilities like this one instead of the traditional model of separate police and fire stations. Combining these services under one roof allows police and fire services, which typically work hand-in-hand anyway, to more closely coordinate their efforts and to respond to emergencies together. From a budgetary perspective, uniting their services under one roof is a big cost-saver for towns, which are constantly on the lookout for ways to utilize tax dollars more efficiently.

Our own experience confirms the reports that these types of facilities are growing more popular. We have noticed more municipalities commissioning the construction of combined public safety buildings, and have been at the forefront of delivering on them for towns across Massachusetts. In fact, we’ve also finished construction on a similar public safety facility in Lunenberg. Expect to see more of these structures in the coming years as towns seek to save money while better coordinating their emergency services.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Modular Construction Delivering Great Results in Allston

Creating a new residential apartment community in a crowded section of Boston’s Allston neighborhood has presented a number of challenges.

Building apartments at the site – located between the Massachusetts Turnpike to the north and a crowded neighborhood to the south – has required a different approach to be more successful.

Many people think of modular construction and envision seeing single-family homes on double-wide tractor trailers. But with advances in technology and building process, modular has evolved over the past few decades to become an important technique for all types of construction – allowing for high quality design and terrific finishes. At the Allston construction site, our crew is busy setting 136 modular units in place to create 80 new apartments, which will feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Each unit arrives on site with many of the finishes already complete – cabinets and backsplashes set in the kitchen, pre-painted drywall and resilient flooring installed, and bathroom fixtures in place with tiling laid out but not yet grouted.

The units are staged offsite, individually trucked over to Braintree Street, lifted into place using a crane, and set by workers. After they’re placed, construction workers move through to complete corridors and common spaces and install HVAC, plumbing and electrical. The building has a concrete foundation and units are anchored in place with steel. With the right planning, our teams are able to place up to 20 units in a single day.

It’s the second modular project for CTA Construction. In 2010, we completed a 95-unit, four-story senior housing facility for the Somerville Housing Authority. At Capen Court, we installed 95 prefabricated one-bedroom apartments and support spaces, foundations, water and sewage systems, HVAC, fire protection, site utilities and improvements, and landscaping within the project site.

Modular construction provides a cost savings to developers – units are built offsite, providing for greater quality control because units are built in a factory environment. Projects can also save money by minimizing the amount of time spent on site.

All methods have their challenges and every site is different, but modular construction can be a useful tool for a number of buildings. Hotels, apartment buildings, college dormitories and school classrooms often use the exact same layouts and features for each unit.

At CTA Construction, we have enjoyed solving project challenges by using modular units as a solution. Modular construction requires planning and collaboration and a high level of execution to ensure a great project. We’re problem solvers and engineers at heart, so we look forward to new challenges in new methods of construction.