Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Seven Keys to Finishing the Huntsman Hall By Fall 2015

By Ken Snyder
We were in a meeting last week talking about how we are going to finish the building so that we can open for classes in Fall 2015. In the course of the conversation, our construction superintendent gave me a cute list of things he thinks need to happen in order to reach that goal. I am going to share with you an edited version of that list. He offers seven suggestions:

  1. The steel construction must be completed as quickly as possible.
  2.  Footings and foundations must be ready for the steel construction.  
  3. The building must be closed in early enough so that the work inside on Huntsman Hall can continue without delay.  
  4. Only subcontractors who can perform their work in a timely manner should be selected.
  5.  We need to identify steps that can overlap (i.e. be done in parallel) so we can wring time out of the schedule. 
  6. We must constantly look for ways to save time on this project. 
  7. We should pray for a mild winter. 

Clearly faith is not a routine part of a building strategy for all people, but for those of us who wouldn’t mind seeing a little divine intervention, it’s worth a try. I know I am trying it. I just hope the skiers aren’t praying for the opposite.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Staging For Huntsman Hall Presents Some Unique Challenges

By Ken Snyder

For once I wish that William Shakespeare was right. He was the one who started his famous play “As You Like It” with the words “All the world’s a stage…”

That’s because when it comes to Huntsman Hall, space is in short supply and it would be much easier if all the world was a staging area. The staging area, when it comes to construction, is where the contractor puts the tools, equipment and supplies. In our case if you eliminate the area where the actual building is going to be located, there isn’t much space left over for staging.

That’s why we are dividing the building in to three sections and working on the part of Huntsman Hall that will be to the south and west of the building first. We are leaving the middle part that connects the two sides together until later so that we can save that piece of prime real estate for staging.

After we get to a certain point we’ll have to shift things so we can build the part that will connect the two buildings. That’s going to require some heavy-duty juggling and some smart planning.

I just thought I’d offer a little background to those of you who are watching our webcam so you will know why, at first, only two thirds of Huntsman Hall will be taking shape and you won’t be asking yourself if the full building is … “to be or not to be.”

Monday, November 4, 2013

It’s Called “Value Engineering” or ... “Being Just Plain Smart”

By Ken Snyder

We are utilizing a process we officially call “value engineering” to build Huntsman Hall. You might call it, however, “being just plain smart,” and if you did, I think you’d be right.

We get the architects, the contractors, and subcontractors together on a regular basis to examine each step of the process to see if there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Last week, for example, we reviewed nine mechanical issues in one meeting and discovered we could save more than $100,000 by making a few changes. (I’m here to tell you when you can save that kind of money by going to one meeting, it gives you a whole different attitude about your calendar than you might have had before.)

We do it by pooling the collective experience and smarts of everyone involved to discover the most efficient way possible to proceed. The architects are always part of the process so they can tell us why they designed things the way they did. The contractors and subcontractors are represented so they can make their case for course deviations that could save us money, if that makes sense given the master plan.

When this building is done, I’ll be proud not only of the fact it rose from the ground on my watch but I’ll also be proud of how it was done. I wanted to share this with you so that you could feel the same way. 

I’ll leave it to you to decide what to call it.