Excellence in Safety & Best Sports/Entertainment: San Jose McEnery Convention Center Expansion and Renovation

Photo by Ben Tanner Photography
The $124-million facility places equal emphasis on interior and exterior space.
Photo by Ben Tanner Photography
Crews worked 350,000 hours without a lost-time accident.

When the renovated San Jose McEnery Convention Center opened in October 2013, many visitors viewed the building as a work of art for the city.

The 127,500-sq-ft project included upgrading the existing convention center and razing a 1960s-era library. Renovating and expanding a fully operational convention center next to three busy hotels was a logistical challenge. To meet it, the contractor broke the work into 15 phases, sequenced around the day and night schedule of convention activities. The strategy also avoiding clashes with hotel operations. In the end, not a single hotel or convention client canceled their reservations due to the construction activities.

The $124-million facility celebrates the local environment by placing equal emphasis on exterior and interior space. A park-like entry plaza along with terraced, native landscaping creates meeting and exhibit spaces that "flow" from indoors to outdoors.

The eco-friendly expansion has plentiful daylighting and incorporates sustainable materials, including more than 26,000 sq ft of reclaimed redwood.

There were no lost-time accidents during more than 350,000 worker hours. The contractor employed rigorous training and enforced 100% fall protection over a height of 6 ft. Extremely strict ladder-use policies included not using the top two steps.

Any construction employee given a notice of a safety violation was retrained and reoriented prior to a return to the project.

Key Players

Contractor Hunt Construction Group Inc.

Owner City of San Jose, Public Works