Photo by Roberto Zeballos
Photo by Roberto Zeballos

Along with the complex new Outpatient Specialty Clinic at the existing 50-acre V.A. Medical Center campus in Vancouver, Wash., came concerns over scheduling and supply deliveries for the intricate pieces of the $5.9-million building.

The two-story, 20,000-sq-ft steel facility expands services for veterans within specialty labs and clinics, including for prosthetics and eye and dental care. Daylighting, wood-veneer paneling, stainless-steel reveals, decorative metal fabric and a brick veneer exterior provide aesthetics. The building's performance is efficient thanks to low-voltage electrical systems, an extensive HVAC system, a steam-fed hot-water system that includes steam-to-hot-water converters.

Despite one of the rainiest winters on record in the Pacific Northwest, the contractor, Kevcon, Escondido, Calif., was committed to reaching early completion. The team embraced flexibility and adjusted plans on a daily basis to ensure work would continue.

Dave Scott, Kevcon's project superintendent, says using scheduling software to run "what if" scenarios significantly improved planning the job.

"Instead of trying and then waiting weeks or months to see the results, we were able to move activities around, change the predecessor and successors and let the software tell us whether it would cut our critical path time down," he says. "As the weather got progressively worse as the winter wore on, [the software] allowed us to isolate work that could continue unimpeded, as opposed to work that would be in harm's way by the rainfall and freezing issues."

By using three-week look-ahead schedules augmented with longest-path filtered schedules, Scott could keep an eye potential weather impacts or material shortages.

One forecast revealed that a modification to the timeline only allowed a 12-week lead time to complete a challenging decorative metal-fabric installation. Kevcon then had the metal fabric subcontractor visit the site to take measurements, confirming the product would be in order when needed.

The strategy paid off, as the project completed six months early.

Key Players

General Contractor: Kevcon Inc., Escondido, Calif.

Owner: U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Seattle

Design Firm: PKA Architects, Portland

Submitted by Kevcon Inc.