The $72-million Pinellas County Public Safety Facilities and Centralized Communications Center project called for the complete demolition of existing buildings on a 40-acre campus and replacement with new, storm-hardened facilities such as a sheriff’s administrative building, emergency operations and dispatch centers, a 1,248-space parking garage and an energy plant to supply emergency power and cooling. A groundwater-sourced geothermal HVAC system provides long-term reliability and savings in energy costs.

Given the multifaceted scope of the construction activity that would occur for the duration of the project, extensive preplanning proved critical for the Lend Lease-led team. The project team worked with other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive logistics plan that addressed traffic flow, effective communication with the owner and end-users, electronic identification and continuously staffed guard gates.

Additionally, builders applied lean construction principles to their project plan that aided in delivering $1.5 million in cost savings and helped construction finish 95 days ahead of schedule.

A more important accomplishment for the team was zero lost-time injuries, the result of an integrated, team-wide safety culture embraced and practiced by more than 1,250 employees. Builders used input gathered from across the team to help formulate best practices for tasks such as performing deliveries and accessing loads more than 6 ft above the ground.

One innovation consisted of a custom-designed corral-pen that provides guardrail protection for employees working on double T concrete beams. This and other measures helped the project achieve 100% leading edge protection, with personal fall protection as a secondary means.

Simple yet effective tools took the safety culture further. Each employee’s jobsite identification badge, which included “I Work Safely For __,” was personalized with the name of a special loved one, as a way of providing a constant inspiration for caution and care around the workplace.

Also, the project team recognized exemplary safety performance each month by presenting workers with an award that included a certificate, gift card and special worksite parking.

Employee welfare was further enhanced with hand-wash stations and toilet trailers, while misters in the lunch tent helped employees cool off. A hydration initiative helped employees recognize and respond to symptoms of heat illness.

Pinellas County Public Safety Facilities and Centralized Communications Center

Clearwater, Fla.

Key Players
Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners
Lead Design Firm Harvard Jolly
Contractor Lend Lease (US) Construction Inc.
Structural Engineer McCarthy and Associates
MEP Engineer Engineering Matrix Inc.