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
MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show connects our contractor members with the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.…
To upgrade four restrooms for PHC—Waterford Clinic, J.M. Brennan, Inc. installed Zurn’s new universal lavatory carriers, saving time and material “without sacrificing support,” said Justin Sherman, J.M. Brennan project manager. The Zurn Z1231EZ Universal Lavatory Carrier is designed to simplify installation. It includes arms that can be adjusted in the field, an independent bracket system that positions horizontally or vertically, and two foot-anchors per upright, instead of four—ultimately saving material, time, and tool wear. Zurn is a sponsor of MCAA’s 2021 Virtual Education Conference. …
EVAPCO, Inc. is an industry-leading manufacturing company with global resources and solutions for international heat transfer applications. Since 1976, they’ve been dedicated to designing and manufacturing the highest quality products. Through research, innovation, and partnership with leading organizations like MCAA, they’ll continue to be the team you can count on—for life!…
MCAA's 2021 MEP Innovations Conference provides more than just education towards BIM and VDC, it approaches every aspect of your operations that interacts with digital information. With the construction process adopting digital workflows, it is important to understand the impact on your business, including productivity gains and time saved due to new tools.…

Some of the SWAG arrived for the MEP Innovation Conference already. For those participating in the @TrimbleMEP social event on Monday, this nerdy custom Glencairn glass is one of your choices.

With the construction process adopting digital workflows, it's important to understand the impact on your business, including productivity gains & time saved due to new tools. MCAA’s 2021 MEP Innovations Conference, April 26-28, does just that! http://ow.ly/kZy250El2vQ

Tauhira Ali is more than a speaker at MEP Innovation Conference this year. She is helping to coordinate the conference from a NECA perspective with breakout sessions, roundtables and participation. Great speaker, better peer. https://www.mcaa.org/events/calendar/2021-mep-innovation-conference/

Load More...