Auburn Mechanical Uses Innovative Techniques to Approach its Largest & Most Complex Project to Date

August 7, 2020

MCAA members are constantly innovating and trying new techniques on their projects. Auburn Mechanical is just one example. The MCA of Western Washington member has been building through the COVID-19 pandemic, using a lean approach and specialty systems to meet the Washington State Convention Center Addition Project’s sustainability goals.

Planning and constructing a massive civic project like Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center Addition (WSSC) is no small feat. After nearly 10 years of design and planning and 2 years of preconstruction, the $1.6 billion project is in the middle of construction. Once complete, the new convention center will include a 150,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 100,000-square-foot flex hall, meeting rooms, a ballroom, an outdoor terrace and three levels of garage parking.

The project, a joint venture between Clark Construction Group and Seattle-based contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis, is the largest project in Auburn Mechanical’s 42-year history. It is also one of the most complex.

A Lean Approach

When Auburn Mechanical was selected as the plumbing contractor for the 570,290-square-foot addition in 2016, team members immediately implemented lean principles, including co-locating with the engineering team to support design, constructability review, and to explore opportunities for pre-fabrication. Auburn Mechanical’s detailers contributed to building the project’s massive federated model, which was completely designed in Revit.

With a plumbing contract worth over $40 million, Auburn Mechanical’s team will have installed 36 miles of plumbing, including six miles of underground piping, on the eight-acre site by the time the project is complete.

Focus on Sustainability

The project, which focuses on sustainability and long-term functionality, involves several specialty systems, including a heat traced and insulated stainless-steel Blucher grease waste piping system. Two 24,000-pound grease interceptors were successfully flown, landed, and installed on site. Additionally, stormwater recycling and reclamation systems will be used for the restroom toilets, reducing water consumption.

A Somewhat Unique Methodology

The convention center is being erected using “billboard construction” methodologies, a technique that is somewhat unique to Seattle-area construction. This technique involves building vertical sections simultaneously instead of floor-by-floor and creates greater efficiencies on sites with limited laydown area.

For their part, Auburn Mechanical is executing layout for systems on the slab-on-metal decks with a fast two-day turnaround between each deck. For added efficiency, Auburn Mechanical’s pre-fabrication shop has built almost 500 toilet and urinal carrier banks and prefabbed additional components to support just-in-time deliveries to the congested site.

Essential Status Requires Exhaustive Safety Protocols

Deemed an essential project at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction never stopped as a result of Washington State’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. With over 2,000 construction workers on the project, exhaustive safety protocols were put in place, including custom portable handwash stations designed and fabricated by Auburn Mechanical.

Project Completion Schedule

Construction is scheduled to complete in early 2022, nearly doubling the capacity of the current convention center.

Related Articles
With a combination of planning, clear policy, and common sense, your business can use social media to engage with its target audience and achieve its goals. MCAA's Management Methods Bulletin: Guidelines to Using Social Media in Your Business is intended to provide necessary advice and insight to businesses that choose to use social media platforms to promote their products and services and connect with their customers.…
Since 1996, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has presented their annual Industry Partner Award to individuals or organizations who are allied with the electrical construction industry. This year, NECA presented and recognized MCAA with the 2021 NECA Industry Partner Award at their annual Convention in Nashville.…
Each week, MCAA will highlight one or more of the educational resources that are free to MCAA members as a benefit of membership. This week, we focus on MCAA's Accident Investigation for the Mechanical Trades Safety Training Video. This video provides your supervisors with step-by-step instruction on how to conduct a thorough accident investigation. It also helps them understand why accident investigations are so valuable.…
The Manufacturer/Supplier Training area of MCAA’s website connects our contractor members with training opportunities available from the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.…

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program kicks off tomorrow, September 15. Each of the 17 presentations is meant to help guide students through the proposal and bid process for the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition project. Don't forget to register! http://ow.ly/w63v50BqCSg

MCAA is excited to announce REGISTRATION IS OPEN for the PCA Virtual Education Series! This year, attendees will virtually walk through seven workstations at JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Service, Inc. as representatives speak about the various aspects. http://ow.ly/DHGK50Bgm0C

Register today for MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program starting September 15 through November 17! Each presentation is meant to help students navigate the proposal and bid process for the annual Student Chapter Competition project. https://t.co/7aHJmLEgKE

Registration is open for MCAA’s GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program! From September 15 through November 17, MCAA will host 17 presentations aimed at guiding our student chapters through creating a bid for the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition project. http://ow.ly/mfbe50B7SZd

Load More...