Photo by Lawrence Anderson

Resident Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Pearl District, Portland, Ore.

The team working on this six-story, 223-room hotel implemented an aggressive safety program that included a "flex and stretch" program; a sharing of ideas and feedback during lunches; and a recognition program that included barbecues and safety awards for individuals, crews and companies.

The condition of the soil, which was contaminated, was among the challenges on this project. The team's work included implementing and monitoring soil removal for the foundation construction as well as the capping of the remaining soil on the site. Crews had their blood screened for contaminants, underwent special training and wore protective clothing to perform the work.

There were zero lost-time accidents on the project, which posted 140,000 hours of labor.

Based on the soil report, the team chose to use driven grout piles because they do not produce soil spoils and have less of an impact on the environment, the general contractor says. Driving the grout mandrel is also faster and more efficient than driving steel or concrete piles, and it results in less noise, the contractor adds. Other benefits the firm lists for this method include a reduction in material waste because piles can be installed at varying depths with no material wasted above foundation grade. Such benefits resulted in cost savings for the project, the firm adds.

The first piles installed revealed that the required depths were significantly deeper than originally engineered. The team worked together to identify methods to work around emerging budget and schedule challenges. Alternate means of reaching the load bearing capacity were examined, and the team developed a solution that mitigated schedule risk, met the overall project budget and came in under the original exposure estimate.

Judges applauded the project's safety recognition and incentive program, calling its overall safety performance "noteworthy."

Key Players

Owner/Developer Pearl Hotel Investors

General Contractor Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty Co.

Lead Design Firm SERA Architects

Structural Engineer KPFF Consulting Engineers

Civil Engineer MGH Associates

Design-Build HVAC American Heating

Design-Build Plumbing MSI Mechanical

Design-Build Electrical Berg Electrical

Concrete Marion Construction

Landscape Lango Hansen