Clients aren't the only ones satisfied with Turner. "You hear people say, 'Big Turner, they just run over you,' but I've never seen that, and I have been working with them for years," says Joe Diesko, vice president and director of sports architecture for HNTB, which is the architect for the $1.2-billion San Francisco 49ers Levi's stadium under construction in Santa Clara, Calif. (ENR 11/5/12 p. 34).
Jon D. Magnusson, senior principal of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, the stadium's structural engineer, also has a long history with Turner. Several past projects had unusual structural systems, including the first use of 20,000-psi concrete, post-tensioned structural-steel systems, buckling-restrained seismic braces and seismic isolation systems.
"Turner not only stepped up to the challenge of building something different when some contractors would drag their feet, but Turner's project leaders have been great collaborators in the creative process," says Magnusson.
Providing strong collaborators starts at home. Turner began implementing new programs to concentrate on green building, lean construction practices and building information modeling.
Continuing education became a bigger focus. Workers can take classes or share ideas through Turner's Knowledge Network, Turner University, BIM University and Lean University.
Turner's new bi-weekly "Webinar Wednesdays" allow staff members and project teams to present innovations to the entire company. Last week's webinar introduced two Turner-developed plug-ins that will expedite the 3D modeling process and 5D quantity-takeoff process in Trimble's Sketchup software.
"It's a great way to share tech innovations," says Matt Papenfus, senior vice president and general manager of Turner's Texas office, who also is charged with sharing lean-construction best practices company-wide.
Turner's emphasis on innovation extends into safety, as well. Its "Ladders Last" policy, spurred Man Lift Co., a lift-equipment manufacturer, to design a height extension for scissor-lift platforms that Turner views as more secure for its own jobs, says Cindy DePrater, vice president of environmental health and safety.
The day after Labor Day marked Turner's ninth annual "Safety Stand Down." For one hour, all project teams gather to talk about safety.
Davoren has some favorite jobs, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Monument in Washington, D.C., and the 275,000-sq-ft Veterans Administration Clinic, in Austin, Texas, which finished ahead of schedule and is the nation's largest VA hospital.
But not all projects are perfect. In 2009 in Sacramento, Calif., Turner lost the Sutter General Hospital renovation. Further, two Kiewit-Turner joint-venture medical projects, both for the VA, are over their original budgets and in litigation.
James McKenna, who left Turner in 2005 to co-found Hunter Roberts, calls Turner a great company but believes leaving was the best thing he ever did. "I left because I didn't think they were as good a company as I could start," says McKenna, HR's president and CEO.
Matt Emma, who joined Turner three years ago, disagrees. He has no plans to leave and start his own company. Quite the opposite. Emma says he bleeds Pantone 282—the blue color of the Turner logo. "I'm going to the top," he says. "I've already told Peter Davoren."