Building in the Same Space

What do you do when you are working in the same building as four other general contractors, as well as ongoing shell and core construction?

This was the situation on the recent Polyclinic Ballard tenant improvement project where Abbott superintendent Rory Kelleher and his team had to work in unison with other GCs to maneuver the logistical challenges related to access, deliveries and dumpsters.

Access was a main issue. A noise ordinance in place due to an occupied apartment building next door prevented any outside activities, including deliveries from occurring before 7am. In addition, the loading docks elevator only went to the second floor (Abbott’s floor), meaning other GCs had to enter the central core elevators from the lower parking lot to access all other floors. However, the ramp to the underground parking had a load limit and had to be shored up to accommodate the installation of a new backup generator. This limited access to the ramp for the other GCs for almost a week.


Consequently, it was necessary to hold weekly meetings so that all the GCs and the building owners could coordinate schedules, access and deliveries. This also led to developing good relationships between all the GCs, which facilitated trading time allotments and logistics to benefit each other.

As needed, other GCs arranged access through Abbott’s site in advance, following Abbott’s safety protocol when on the site and vice versa. This worked out well as Abbott had 90+ cores through a post-tensioned slab for plumbing on another GC’s site below.

For deliveries, there was one loading dock available for large trucks and another for pickups/small vans. The GCs set up a shared Google calendar that was color-coded by delivery locations so that they could easily see available time slots to schedule deliveries.

As for dumpsters, there was not enough space for every GC to have a dumpster in the alley, so Abbott shared a dumpster with another GC, with the billing alternating back and forth between the two GCs. Additionally, if one GC used a dumpster more, they would take the billing for that one.

In the end, all the projects were successfully completed as a result of the five GCs willing to work together in order to get their respective jobs done.


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