Insider Insights: Owner Talks Empowered Decision-Making
Woodward Program Manager Jennifer Ray discusses working with Mortenson and Achitectural Engineer Ghafari and Associates on a large project.
In keeping with Mortenson’s drive to build the impossible, they are nearly complete with construction on the Woodward Lincoln Campus in Fort Collins, CO. Upon completion, the campus will house a highly specialized Industrial Turbomachinery Systems (ITS) manufacturing facility—the only one of its kind in the world—in addition to giving Woodward a new company headquarters. Jennifer Ray, a Program Manager for Woodward, shares her perspective on the experience of collaborating with Mortenson and architectural engineer, Ghafari and Associates, to complete the unique and complex project on budget.
What makes this project unique?
We produce gas and steam turbine control systems for the energy market: Liquid and gas control systems, actuators, and electronic control systems. We are the only Woodward facility in the world that is doing this type of design, manufacturing and automated testing. We want to build a facility where our members and customers can collaborate and innovate on what they’re asking us to design and build for them.
What are some of the specific challenges of the project?
As a manufacturer, we design the building from the inside out. We start with our heavy infrastructure and design it in a way to make our lines work as efficiently as possible. Because we are constrained by the city on the size of the building footprint, this challenge has taken quite a bit of consideration. Some of the cost drivers we’re going through include doing a lot of collaborate-to-cost (CTC), or value engineering, and we need to make sure we have enough space to allow the parts to come into one area, be tested and assembled in another area, and then be put out for shipping in yet another area. We also have to make sure that this design will fit with our expectations for at least the next ten-year sales forecast.
What has the experience been like using non-linear review processes, where collaboration happens between designers, the GC and your team simultaneously?
Empowering. It’s helping us make decisions quickly and get information to the design teams to move forward in an efficient, documented, revision-controlled fashion. I appreciate that the team has been open and honest with us during the entire programming experience. If they see issues that need to change, they instantly communicate that perspective. The advice and collaboration with the team continues to help me feel more comfortable in decisions we make.
How does Mortenson leverage Bluebeam Revu to keep up with changing information?
If we are going through mechanical and electrical and an RFI comes through with new requirements and input, Mortenson will email us the link to a Bluebeam Studio Session, and we have a standard meeting around 3D PDFs of the model. Other times, we just give our input and markups back directly through Revu. That way, all the information is saved and archived in the system.
Does your team work directly within 3D PDFs? What has that experience been like?
Yes. All the time. Mortenson will send us snips from the 3D model, showing us what the building image is in 3D. They can show us everything from the underground utilities to where walls are. The team can add markups and comments, and provide feedback to the design/construction team through the Studio Sessions. I’m able to review documents in PDFs and 3D PDFs with comments. It’s funny: Now when I have to go open something in my old PDF program, it’s an arduous task for me, because I like the Revu markups so much. And I like the archives—to be able to just cloud things, drop pictures on top of it, and save it in the way that the view of the room was, how I was zoomed in—that is all very helpful.