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Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Hole-through” milestone on NYC’s Second Avenue Subway project

“Hole-through” milestone on NYC’s Second Avenue Subway project

With a loud boom, followed by cheering and clapping, the subterranean wall of rock separating the northern and southern halves of Skanska’s 86th Street Station project was breached earlier this year in what is called a “hole through.” This is part of USA Civil’s work in constructing its portion of New York City’s long-awaited Second Avenue Subway. The Skanska joint venture’s work at this station – which will be about 1,000 feet long, 70 feet wide and 50 feet high – began last year and will be completed in 2014. The hole through involved drilling 125 holes in the rock wall; those holes were then loaded with explosives that were wired together and timed sequentially. As the blast was about to commence, our team stopped cars and pedestrians on the busy street above to ensure the public’s safety. They also carefully monitored the impacts of the blast using seismographs and building instrumentation. Click below to access a link to some great photos of the 86th Street Station excavation.

In New Orleans, topping out at second University Medical Center building

In New Orleans, topping out at second University Medical Center building

Skanska’s team at the $696 million University Medical Center project in New Orleans topped out the 551,000-square-foot, seven-story Inpatient Building in late March. This is the second building to reach full structural height at this 2.2 million-square-foot hospital project just north of the French Quarter; the 747,000-square-foot Diagnostic and Treatment Building topped out in early December 2012. Crews have been averaging 30,000 square feet of elevated concrete deck per week, reaching an incredible 60,000 square feet of pours some weeks. Key to reaching such high production rates was detailed planning, which included not letting subcontractors bid on the project unless they could meet Skanska’s fast-paced schedule.

USA Civil and USA Building management meetings focus on collaboration, innovation, safety and opportunities

USA Civil and USA Building management meetings focus on collaboration, innovation, safety and opportunities

The overall sentiment at last week’s USA Civil and USA Building management meetings was that of optimism: We are taking the right steps to position ourselves for the future. But competition is fierce and we must never be complacent, especially if we are to further enhance our position as innovative leaders in our various markets, as well as with safety, ethics and diversity. Both meetings stressed the importance of the upcoming Diversity and Inclusion Week from April 8-12, and that we need to improve our already-strong safety performance. Key takeaways from the Civil meeting include the need to increase sharing and collaboration across offices, the importance of employee mobility and design-build solutions, and the many opportunities offered by $40 billion in upcoming West Coast transit projects and numerous upcoming energy and industrial projects, the latter driven by lower-cost U.S. energy. From the Building meeting, Building is focusing on differentiating itself by providing unique experiences to its clients, colleagues and communities. Winners of Building’s annual awards include Portland, Ore., for Office of the Year and the Intel D1C 1270 Basebuild high-tech manufacturing project for the Project of the Year Award (over $100 million). Click below for additional meeting information, as well as to access links to videos and presentations from both meetings.

Elizabeth River Tunnels project honored with “Deal of the Year” award by Project Finance magazine

Elizabeth River Tunnels project honored with “Deal of the Year” award by Project Finance magazine

Project Finance magazine gave its highest honors to the Infrastructure Development joint venture that achieved financial close last year on the $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels (formerly Midtown Tunnel) project in southeastern Virginia. The project won in the North American Toll Road Deal of the Year category at an awards ceremony earlier this month in New York City. This annual award recognizes projects with exemplary project financing; Elizabeth River Tunnels features the largest-ever private activity bond, an efficient funding method.

Delicious client appreciation: USA Building team served breakfast by high school students

Delicious client appreciation: USA Building team served breakfast by high school students

The USA Building team at the Western High School renovation project in Parma, Mich., has prioritized engagement and communication with the high school staff and students to minimize the project’s impact. In appreciation of this, seniors at the high school – which is occupied during the renovation – served our team breakfast last Thursday. The Skanska team’s efforts include regularly attending planning meetings with students and staff. Click below for a link to the news article and photos.

With lower U.S. energy prices, Skanska is bullish on U.S. construction

With lower U.S. energy prices, Skanska is bullish on U.S. construction

Mike McNally, Skanska USA’s CEO, recently spoke to Reuters news service about how Skanska intends to capitalize on an expected boom in building related to a drop in U.S. energy prices at a time when European construction activity has slowed. McNally also spoke about the strength of the U.S. market for civil infrastructure projects. Click below to access a link to the news article.

Two Skanska projects win national Build America awards, one of the industry’s highest honors

Two Skanska projects win national Build America awards, one of the industry’s highest honors

Projects from both USA Building and USA Civil were recognized last week with one of the construction industry’s highest honors: Build America awards presented by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). USA Building’s Harvard Law School Wasserstein Hall/Caspersen Student Center/Clinical Wing project in Massachusetts won in the Building New category, while USA Civil’s Indian River Inlet Bridge in Delaware won in the Design-Build Highway and Transportation category. The awards were presented at AGC’s annual convention, held this year in Palm Springs, Calif. Click below to read about the innovations and best practices that helped these projects win. Congratulations!

Rather than just attending college fairs, our Southeast region hosts on-site career days

Rather than just attending college fairs, our Southeast region hosts on-site career days

In the Southeast, Skanska has developed an innovative model for recruiting new college graduates and interns. In addition to attending college career fairs, our Southeast team has recently begun hosting on-site career days, bringing groups of job candidates to our offices for interviews and to let them experience firsthand the Skanska culture (including going out for a jobsite tour). This in-house career fair also improves the efficiency of the hiring process, as managers can conduct interviews back-to-back in one block of time.

Have an idea that could make a difference at your office or jobsite? Apply for USA Building’s Innovation Grant Program

Have an idea that could make a difference at your office or jobsite? Apply for USA Building’s Innovation Grant Program

For a fourth year, applications are being accepted for USA Building’s Innovation Grant program. This program covers the cost of materials and/or resources required to develop and implement innovative ideas that can transform the way we work. Click below to find a link with more information and to apply for the Innovation Grant program. Note that innovation is not just technological developments, such as iPad apps, new building materials or novel products. Any ideas that can improve Skanska’s business – such as improving scheduling techniques, developing an innovative presentation format for clients, creating a time-saving accounting process or researching new approaches to staff development – are eligible for Innovation Grants. Be creative!

By sharing your thoughts on Skanska’s brand, you will help us position ourselves to win future work

By sharing your thoughts on Skanska’s brand, you will help us position ourselves to win future work

To fulfill our Profitable Growth business plan, we need to ensure that our brand is being properly perceived by clients, business partners and other stakeholders. A strong brand will help us be the preferred choice for future work. To help us determine how our brand is perceived among a key group of stakeholders – our employees – please click below to access this survey developed by Skanska AB. Your participation is important, as you will help us gain a better understanding of our brand position and what we need to focus on moving forward.