In-house fabrication capabilities coupled with building information modeling technology enable Brandt to maintain aggressive schedules. And its models live on well beyond the fabrication phase. At the medical center project, Jobe says Brandt assumed the lead role in preparing BIM close-out documents. The contractor maintains a staff of commissioning engineers to ensure systems perform as specified, and it prepares models for owners to use for operations and maintenance.
Brandt recently began work on the $1.27-billion Parkland Hospital replacement project in Dallas. For that project the firm is working at a shared fabrication facility, where it can work with multiple trades to create racks of mechanical and plumbing systems.
In 2009 the firm completed furnishing and installing the $45.7-million mechanical and plumbing systems for the South Texas Data Center in San Antonio for Turner Construction's local office. Brandt fabricated hydronic piping off site, minimizing field assembly.
“What was pleasurable about Brandt was the level of pre-planning they brought and their ability to work with us and the other trades to plan the work in advance and prefabricate a good deal of the materials off site, which was beneficial to the job,” says J. Michael Shook, federal work project executive for Turner Construction.
While committed to its business strategies, Brandt also sees the strength in being agile. To keep up with clients during the downturn, it has pursued a variety of work and contracting methods to meet their needs—including joint ventures, collaborating with experts in other fields and performance contracting. On the $150-million Parkland Hospital mechanical contract, Brandt is in a joint venture with Dynamic Systems of Dallas.
Brandt's decision a decade ago to pursue electrical work is also bearing fruit. The sector now generates about $60 million in annual revenue. The firm is currently working on the electrical system at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. “[Electrical] has allowed us to grow the business, because we have brought additional skills to customers,” Zilbermann says.
Providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing on a new job allows for seamless integration among the trades. Brandt provided all three for a recently completed $21.3-million outpatient clinic project in Fort Worth for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
“We have been able to demonstrate added value to clients when we provide the mechanical, the electrical and the plumbing, because we are able to coordinate in house during pre-construction on ways to share space and optimize systems,” Moore says.