One Common Goal: The Anaheim Convention Center Expansion

One Common Goal: The Anaheim Convention Center Expansion

Located in sunny southern California next to Disneyland, the historic Anaheim Convention Center is set to undergo a major expansion project in 2015 to enhance its size and curb appeal. Undertaking the massive $190 million Design-Build project is Turner Construction, a North America-based, international construction services firm with an esteemed reputation in the industry for quality workmanship.


Expected to be completed in mid 2017, the Anaheim Convention Center project will include a wide range of alluring benefits and amenities for the Orange County epicenter. Turner will be adding 200,000-square-foot of space on two levels, building a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge connecting to the second floor from the existing facility, dedicated loading docks, and replacing 1,364 parking spots. While the convention center is already the largest exhibition facility on the west coast, the new expansion will increase potential exhibit space beyond the one million square foot mark.


One common goal


In March 2014, Turner Construction was selected to provide the design-build service for the $190 million expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center. For the monumental project, Turner enlisted the assistance of top engineering firms, contractors and material providers to ensure the project is not only completed on time and within budget, but to guarantee the project is as impressive as envisioned.


The company teamed up with architecture firm Populous to spearhead the project, as well as brought in MKA as a structural engineer for their experience in designing unique and iconic projects.


“This isn’t just a Turner Construction project,” said Ryan Nordin, project executive for Turner Construction and the Anaheim Convention Center expansion. “It’s a partnership and synergy with Populous, MKA and our design-build trade partners to create a well-defined product that exceeds the expectations of our client, the City of Anaheim. We all have one common goal here and it’s to complete this project to the best of our abilities.


“Our companies have worked together in the past and we know the strengths of each partner.  It’s a good fit for this project because every partner brings something significant to the table,” added Nordin.


The company will construct the project in two phases. The first being the construction of the parking garage, including the connector bridge, and the loading dock, and the second phase being the multi-purpose spaces, interstitial parking levels and perimeter site improvements.


According to Nordin, the project has already involved many innovative ideas.


“There have been a lot of structural innovations informed by Populous’ experience and MKA’s advice to us. We use the term ‘let the dirt do the work’ and that’s why we used a lot of subterranean area from the existing parking structure to help mold the form of the building, making it as structurally efficient as possible. This approach helped us align to the budget expectations of the City of Anaheim.”


The company is expected to complete phase one within one year of commencing construction and phase two within two years.


Ensuring the best outcome


Along with having key partnerships in place, Turner Construction employs some of the most effective technology and processes in the business.


“We implement BIM modeling to find our conflicts early versus during construction,” said Nordin. The software, which is an industry standard, is a 3D model-based process to plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.


“We also use a LEAN process called Last Planner. It’s a process which is a planning measurement where we take the milestones and work backwards.”

The idea is to work backwards with trade partners to build a schedule and to obtain more input.

By using this process, we learn what our trade partners need, what are the true predecessors and successors for activities, but most importantly, you learn the specific ways in which our trade partners rely on each other,” said Nordin.


The company has a weekly percent completion plan in place to monitor and measure everyone’s completion rate.


“We take the weekly percent complete plan and results to measure the success of our commitments,” said Nordin. “It looks at several weeks in advance of all of our commitments to each other, and we measure our commitment completion success.”


“It’s really effective. We capture every party’s needs and designate a responsible party for providing the information or closing the activity. We track results weekly with all the partners.”


Another component Turner Construction employs is ‘nothing hits the ground.’ The process involves having everything on wheels, as well as real-time delivery, to limit inefficiencies of moving materials.


The real advantage for Turner is its employees. The company is employing roughly 300-400 staff members, including workforce, management and partners.


“The biggest asset we have is our people,” said Nordin. “We’re largely responsible for the education of our team members, including internal and external training such as 360 degree training for management and leadership, as well as a web-based learning and resource database.”


Safety is the primary facet that’s very close to Turner’s heart. According to Nordin, the company is always working hard to maintain a company culture of safety and security.


“The most important thing for us is that everyone goes home safe to their families. We’ve always been on the cutting edge of safety but now we’re implementing a new culture called Building L.I.F.E, which stands for ‘Living Injury Free Everyday. It’s a top-down, bottom-up approach; it’s about caring for individuals at every level and about responding to their feedback. It’s a very transparent approach and it helps our tradesman to know we not only care,  but empower them and respond to their concerns.


Civic benefits


According to the Anaheim Convention Center’s website, the expansion project will include an array of benefits to the county.


“With this expansion, the ACC will be able to:

·       Retain existing business and capture larger meetings and conventions that the ACC currently cannot accommodate due to a lack of meeting space.

·       Maximize occupancy by holding concurrent conventions. With an expanded convention center, the ACC will have room to hold multiple large events simultaneously, or have one event being set up while another event is breaking down.

·       Capitalize on economic and fiscal benefits. The total measurable tax revenue to the city is estimated to be $9.5 million annually or $112 million over a 10-year operating period.”

For Turner Construction, one of the more important aspects to the project is hiring locally. The project is estimated to create 1,860 jobs during construction with another 2,043 jobs annually.

“One team goal we have for this project is to hire local people,” said Nordin. “Our goal is to have30 percent of the workforce from the project this area.”

He added, “From day one this has been the common goal for Turner Construction and the City of Anaheim. We’re determined to make it happen.”