UVA Inn at Darden – The Forum Hotel

Charlottesville, Va.

Excellence in Safety

Submitted By: W.M. Jordan Co.

Region: ENR MidAtlantic

Owner: UVA Darden School Foundation

Lead Design Firm: Cooper Carry

General Contractor: W.M. Jordan Co.

Civil Engineer: VHB

Structural Engineer: Uzun & Case LLC

MEP Engineer: Barrett Woodyard and Associates

Developer: Matthews Development Co.

Owner’s Rep: Car Cos.

Subcontractors: Moore’s Electrical & Mechanical Construction Inc.; Donley’s Inc.; Faulconer Construction Co.; Liphart Steel; Roof Services Corp.; Campostella Builders and Supply Corp.; Masonomics Inc.; Pompei Inc.; James River Nurseries


For the University of Virginia’s Inn at Darden – The Forum Hotel in Charlottesville, Va., “We had to wrestle with a lot of unforeseen conditions” such as rocks, unstable soil and COVID-19, says Patrick Barbier, senior project manager for construction manager at-risk W.M. Jordan Co., of the 200,585-sq-ft, 199-key boutique hotel that includes a conference wing, main house and residence wing.

The biggest challenge started early and added more than a month to the schedule. During excavation, issues with unstable soil required the removal of rocks from the conference wing slab area. The revised design required drilling down 60 ft to 70 ft to reach bedrock, doubling the number of deep foundations. The project gained back three weeks of schedule when MEP and structural trades decreased the size of concrete placements but increased their frequency from once to three times per week.

Barbier said the team opted for a “different mindset” to safety. During weekly walkarounds with trade foremen, for example, the group kept an eye out for possible safety enhancements. The project underwent a voluntary Virginia Occupational Safety and Health inspection, resulting in no issues found. During the project’s 1.35-million work hours, the team saw no OSHA recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents.