Conventus

Buffalo, New York

Owner: Conventus Partners, LLC.

Project Value: $125 million

Completed: April 2015

Architect: Kideney Architects

Unique: LEED Platinum core & shell

In the heart of the Buffalo Niagara medical corridor, Conventus (Latin for “coming together”) will connect nearly every facility that comprises the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus through “coatless connections”. Our team signed on as construction manager with a GMP to construct a 6-story for clinical, office, research and retail space.

After demolition of the existing building was complete, workers came in to prepare the site. In December 2012, our team started sheet piling in preparation and support for the excavation. Then, excavation and concrete foundation work. Great detail was taken for safety measures as excavation went 40 ft. below grade, and adjacent to an underground public transit rail route. In preparation, monitors were set up around the site to limit the impact of vibrations from the construction work on neighboring areas.

During this Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), our team worked with both the environmental engineer, C&S Enginers, on Conventus and the Holden Street BCP environmental engineer, GZA Geoenvironmental, due to its proximity to the Conventus site. Our team coordinated with both engineering firms to export clean material to another BCP site under a beneficial use determination. A significant amount of the contaminated soils was sent to Noco for treatment and future re-use. Our team managed the excavation of extremely volatile material, while maintaining community air monitoring within a highly traveled pedestrian corridor in the Buffalo Niagara medical campus. Approximately 85,000 CY of soil was safely removed in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Remedial Action Workplan. In the end, clean-up was performed to a level that exceeded the initial proposed DEC Soil Cleanup Objectives (SCO).

After site work was complete, the erection of steel began. In January 2014, after 3 stories of steel had been erected and two floors of steel were ready for installation after being fabricated off-site, the owner decided to add another floor. Our team collaborated with the owner and design team to quickly determine that the best path was to replicate the steel frame design from the 5th floor. In addition to the steel, several other designs were evaluated and modified to meet the taller structure – including a new roof mounted window cleaning system to better meet the 15 ft. taller building. While changes were anticipated to delay completion by four weeks, our team managed the project to keep it to only two weeks.

The result was a new 7-story, 350,000 sq. ft. building with several features. It includes two levels of underground parking equipped with preferred parking spots for alternative-fuel refueling stations. A convenient patient drop-off at the High Street entrance directs folks into a spacious two-story atrium lobby with illuminated columns and wood ceiling details and adorned with artwork throughout. Additional ground floor space was built for future retail and marché restaurant options ranging from family friendly to white table. Lastly, a mechanical penthouse contains high-end mechanical equipment.

With a large focus on being eco-friendly the building features a 12,000 sq. ft. “green” roof with drought-tolerant plants to decrease storm water runoff and energy use for cooling. More than 80 percent of construction waste was saved from landfills and more than half of the building materials were made from recycled material. State-of-the-art MEP systems ensure the building performs 30 percent better than ASHRAE requirements. Additionally, it is one of only three projects in New York State to have received LEED Platinum certification for core and shell, and the only project in Western New York with the distinction.

The original schedule detailed that floors 1-6 would be ready for interior fit-out by July 2014, with a substantial completion date for the core & shell by April 15, 2015. Even with hard winter, a floor being added amidst construction, our team aggressively coordinated to ensure the completion of the core & shell and the 7th floor fit-out by April 1, 2015.

The original bid came in at $67.4 million and with all the changes the final cost was $73.2 million. With the core and shell complete, fit-out work specific to tenant needs can proceed.