CEO sees high-quality building as a key driver of productivity
In Lloydminster, Canada, a town that straddles the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, the petroleum industry drives the local economy. Formerly an agriculture hub, today many farmers in the area are sustained financially by lease payments resulting from oil wells drilled on their land. Given all the oil activity, the need for safe drilling and extraction is high.
Bravo Target Safety LP (formerly Target Safety Services Ltd.), which provides customized safety services to clients throughout Western Canada, carved a niche for itself in the area and capitalized on the recent oil boom. During a 10-year period of growth for the company, CEO Craig Dore leaned on his civil engineering background to gradually develop a design for new headquarters. His goal was to create a great work environment with a strong corporate culture.
A community standout
Dore’s design became a reality when he built a new office and today, employees at the new Lloydminster location enjoy climate-controlled, personalized space and plenty of exposure to natural daylight. In a town with less than 40,000 people, it stands out as an architectural gem within the community. In the shop area, overhead doors bring in natural light, and often the lights remain off throughout the day given the amount of natural daylight that pours into the room. “There really isn’t another building like this in Lloydminster,” Dore said. “We truly have the nicest office in town.”
In October 2015, Target Safety Services merged with Bravo Oilfield Safety Services to become Bravo Target Safety. With the merger, Bravo became a one-stop shop for safety services and safety-related products, with extensive experience in numerous areas, including facilities, industrial turnarounds, maintenance, and oil field drilling and completions. Bravo Target Safety teams provide expertise in well control, emergency response and hydrocarbon firefighting in some of the harshest environments in the world.
Building to attract talent
In response to Target’s pre-merger success in Lloydminster, Dore determined it would be the ideal location to expand and establish a new headquarters for the company after outgrowing its previous location. Creating an industry-leading office and shop experience could serve to differentiate the company from its competitors and help attract and retain local talent during a very competitive period of employment.
Once he made the decision to build, Dore focused on finding a building partner that could work within a design-build contract. Dore connected with Scott Builders Inc., a Butler Builder® of more than 40 years located in Red Deer, Alberta.
The Scott Builders team met with Dore to discuss the building he had in mind, and an internal architect made a quick sketch of how the building could look. They explained how the Widespan™ structural system from Butler Manufacturing™, would be a great option to meet the ceiling height and clear floor space design Dore sought.
A strong team focused on workplace environment
Dore was satisfied with the Butler® systems recommendation from Scott Builders and quickly connected them with local architect George Berry from Berry Architecture & Associates.
“We had always found Butler buildings to be a good choice for projects that require a quick close and good value for the price,” Berry said. “The Butler building met our goals by delivering exactly what we expected based on our design, as well as the potential for a streamlined erection process.”
Scott Builders worked closely with Bravo Target Safety and Berry to ensure building needs were met. Dore set out to build a headquarters that would be aesthetically pleasing, providing functional offices and shop spaces to serve Bravo Target Safety’s clientele. Accordingly, Scott Builders looked forward to the new partnership.
“Our core purpose is to create great workplaces for our customers,” said Dallas Williams, vice president and general manager, Scott Builders. “The earlier a client brings a design-build partner into a project, the more value we can provide, and Bravo Target Safety is a great example of that type of partnership, which built our excitement for working on their project.”
Requiring form to meet function
The design-build process prioritized form and function. Aesthetic aspects of the building only would be included if they served a functional purpose within the new office or shop space.
“In working with Craig [Dore] to design the new building, our goal was to ensure the building met his needs from both a functional and financial standpoint,” Berry said.
“The more function you can bring into a building for the people working inside, the more efficient your building is in the long run,” Williams added. “The upfront cost of a building is the smallest portion of your total life cost, so we leaned on the design-build approach to ensure we provided quality at every step.”
To achieve increased levels of function, the design included plenty of glass windows throughout with the aim of welcoming in ample amounts of daylight. Dore, an outdoorsman, felt it was important to offer a taste of nature to each employee throughout the day, which was achieved by the glass finishes. In particular, the boardroom, located on the second floor, was designed to take advantage of daylight by overlooking the foyer and the outside entry into the building. Today, Dore contends that management meetings are more productive in the new boardroom than they’ve ever been.
“I’m a believer in the idea that a great work space can boost employee production,” Dore said.
Another example of the marriage between form and function lies within the decisions behind the entryway canopy. Originally, the plan called for a design that would achieve the aesthetics of a canopy entrance, without the full function of a finished roof surface above. As the job neared completion, the Scott Builders team looked out from the boardroom at the canopy and felt that the roof would be better suited to have a full finish. By executing this change, they allowed for the aesthetic form as well as the sheltering function of the canopy to work in harmony.
One cool and economical design decision involved adding a wash bay to the building. The bay allows employees to pull their trucks into the building and wash them on-site, eliminating the expense of paying for car washes.
Achieving energy efficiency in a cold climate
Energy efficiency was important to Dore, so Williams recommended the Butler Thermawall™ wall panel system, which included 2½-inch thick insulated panels to meet their thermal performance needs. He also liked the fact that the interior side of the Butler Thermawall panel features an aesthetically pleasing finish. Upon learning about the Butler Thermawall wall system, Dore was convinced it would be worth the upfront expense to achieve long-term efficiency.
“Once the Butler Thermawall wall system was explained to me, I couldn’t be talked out of using it,” Dore said. “It just made too much sense for our environment.”
Additionally, the installed MR-24® metal roof system featured special tall roof clips, which provided more space between the structural frame and the roof panels, allowing for 9 inches of insulation and boosting the effective R-value of the building.
These energy-efficiency decisions came ahead of the new Alberta energy codes instituted in November 2015, but the building exceeds the new code nonetheless. In a building like the one built for Bravo Target Safety, which includes plenty of windows for natural daylight, better insulation in the roof and wall systems is the best way to reduce energy consumption.
During a winter construction season that saw temperatures dip below minus 20 Fahrenheit, the Scott Builders team was happy to be working with the Butler system of factory fabricated and predesigned structural and wall panels. It sped up erection time and allowed the team to conduct more work indoors and out of the elements.
“There have been times when it’s minus 40 Fahrenheit outside and everybody indoors is working comfortably,” Dore said. “That’s all possible due to the insulated shell of the wall panels, and we often don’t even need to heat the building.”
Triangle Community Church opens youth discipleship center
In 1992, churches were closing by the thousands. Aging worship models were just no longer relevant or compelling enough to keep baby boomers and their families as engaged as in years past.
Despite this difficult outlook for religious organizations, two close friends had a grand vision to create a community that would bring families back to church. Triangle Community Church (TCC) in North Carolina is the fruit of their efforts. Founders Doug Humphrey and Buddy Walters, as they completed their studies at the Dallas Theological Seminary, outlined a plan to overhaul the traditional church experience. They wanted to create a casual atmosphere where they’d discuss relevant topics and feature modern music to keep churchgoers coming back Sunday after Sunday.
In its early days, Triangle Community Church consisted of a few couples meeting in rented spaces to worship. Through the years, attendance grew modestly, and in 2002 the organization had enough members to warrant opening a new worship space of its own. In the years that followed, the number of new members accelerated rapidly, and the church quadrupled in size by 2015. Today, 1,300 people attend Triangle Community Church. Humphrey’s and Walters’ new approach to organized religion certainly was resonating.
Planning for the future
From its humble beginnings more than 20 years ago, TCC has transformed into a massive nondenominational worship community, thanks in large part to the very strategic approach church leaders have taken to foster its growth.
For example, it’s no coincidence the church is located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region; Humphrey and Walters chose the area because it was home to a large number of unchurched baby boomers with children.
Today the area continues to grow — 40,000 new residents will move there by 2017 — and TCC has a strategy to continue to grow with the community.
At the heart of its growth plans is its youth ministry. This focus on the next generation stays true to TCC’s commitment to families with children. The burgeoning youth ministry provides a place for teens who were raised in the church to continue their faith journeys and an opportunity to introduce their friends to all the TCC community has to offer. Now it just needed a building to match its vision.
For the past seven years, TCC’s youth groups met in a triple-wide trailer. While the space worked well initially, youth attendance soon ballooned from about 40 students to close to 100 each service, and the trailers became too cramped to be effective for the group’s needs, which limited continued growth.
Prioritizing the teens
At that point church members decided to construct a new space for the youth ministry, officially named the Next Generation Discipleship Center. It was going to be a place big enough to accept new attendees, flexible enough to accommodate multiple needs and cool enough to attract teens who aren’t connected with a church.
Staying true to its method of operation, the TCC team, including Pastor to Students Lanier Ward, Volunteer Director of Construction Projects Bob Donalson and Director of Ministry Operations George Freebersyser, enlisted an outside partner to help them take a strategic approach when sculpting their vision for the new space. They also held focus groups with parents and the high school and middle school-age students the new worship and ministry center would serve.
The result was a 16-page document that outlined teen and middle-schooler preferences for how they like to receive information and how they would use the space, including 24 design goals ranging from being an open and inviting space to having adequate storage and distinct areas for socializing, and even some thoughts on layout and aesthetics.
Relying on proven partners
To bring its vision to life, TCC called on its friends at Bobbitt Design Build, Inc. Bobbitt, one of the most experienced design-build general contractors in the Carolinas, has an extensive portfolio of successfully completed religious facilities. It has been a Butler Builder® for nearly 70 years, so the TCC team knew their new facility would be of the highest quality.
Bobbitt and TCC first worked together in 2002 on TCC’s 17,000-square-foot worship facility (also a Butler building featuring the Widespan™ structural system and MR-24® roof system). The two organizations then continued to collaborate closely over the years on future phase planning for the TCC campus, so Bobbitt was a natural fit to provide design-build services on this project.
“It was easy to defer to Bobbitt because of the quality building and guidance they’ve delivered for us in the past,” said Freebersyser.
Finding design flexibility
Throughout the planning phase, the project morphed several times as the Builder and the customer worked to find the perfect fit for TCC’s budget and requirements. In fact, the original design called for an A-frame structure, but was updated to the current clerestory roof design (where one side of the building features a row of windows because it has a higher roof eave than the other side). The change was made possible in part by the flexibility the Butler structural system offers.
“Using the Widespan structural system from Butler Manufacturing allowed us to create a dramatic aesthetic impact without making a big dent in the budget,” said project architect Michael Huslage, AIA. “Additionally, because of the way a Butler building is braced, we had more flexibility with window placement. With this approach, we were able to easily deliver a structure that draws in a great deal of natural light in a very economical way.”
Huslage pointed out another advantage the Widespan structural system offered this project: its ability to accommodate high open spaces without structural impediments. Similar to how the Widespan system is able to offer wide-open floor space without columns, it can also easily handle plans that call for high ceilings.
Along with working with the TCC team to construct the building they hoped for within the realities of the budget, Bobbitt also identified opportunities to enhance the building’s functionality. For example, the teen worship space features retractable bleachers thanks to a Bobbitt suggestion. The bleachers create enhanced flexibility, so the space can be used not only for Sunday worship services, but also for smaller events or conferences.
The TCC team also appreciated how seamlessly the Butler system integrated with the industrial design it selected for the new space. The industrial look and feel was very appealing to TCC’s teen and preteen members, and it delivered the high level of durability sought by project leaders. Because the structure’s raw materials double as interior finishes, they won’t have to worry about spills on carpets or the walls getting scuffed.
As planning wrapped up and construction commenced, Bobbitt’s dedication to the success of the project remained unwavering. In fact, despite additional challenges encountered from terrible weather day after day during construction, the Bobbitt team was still able to deliver the final facility on time – an important point to TCC because the new building had several events already scheduled and loans were keyed to that date.
“Everyone here is very pleased with Bobbitt. Once the weather cleared up, they held to the original completion date, which really helped us,” said Donalson. “Additionally, many contractors are leery of using new subcontractors because they lose some control. Bobbitt was very open to working with the subcontractors we had selected, and we’re very appreciative of that flexibility.”
A place of their own
The end result is a beautiful space where teens feel at home. From providing a place for Sunday worship to offering space for the younger generation to hang out or do homework throughout the week, it’s no doubt that the completed Next Generation. Discipleship Center has met all the goals the TCC team had in mind for the new facility.
“We are excited to finally have a space that works for us instead of having to struggle against our space,” said Ward. “This building was tailor-made to suit our needs and will be critical to our growth as we move forward.”
In fact, TCC experienced a climb in youth ministry attendance in the immediate months after the building opened.
“We have already seen an increase in both engagement and attendance since moving into the building,” Ward said. “Not only are more students attending, but our students now have a place they feel comfortable gathering in beyond Sunday mornings.”
As more worshippers continue joining the community, TCC is developing plans to grow its campus and meet future needs. And they know exactly which partners are going to help them get there.
“As we continue to plan into the future, we have no hesitation with repeating this process again with Bobbitt and with Butler,” said Freebersyser. “They’re our first choice, and we won’t waste time considering other options.”
Private aviation facility expansion surpasses industry standards
Many executives at Fortune 500 companies, famous actors, athletes and politicians are constantly on the go, taking meetings with business associates all over the country. They lead fast-paced lives that require the use of private aviation. Over time, cities blur together as they fly from one airport to another. Every so often, however, a luxury facility may make them want to stay a while.
Previously, these luxury services were hard to come by in the Pittsburgh area. That is until Voyager Jet Center made the decision to expand operations and build a new hangar and fixed-base operatory (FBO) facility at the Allegheny County Airport, just 8 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Voyager Jet Center Chief Executive Officer Chuck Falce and General Manager Karl Foerster decided that expansion would need to play a major role in their plans if they were going to grow the business and establish Voyager as the leader in private aviation in the Pittsburgh market. A new first-class facility would be an essential component for attracting customers.
“We realized expansion was the best direction for the company,” said Falce. “Since it was the first new building on-site in 30 years, we were committed to getting it right.”
Butler Manufacturing™ made this possible with solutions for unique aviation demands and long-term cost savings.
Designing for total cost of ownership
As the planning process began, Voyager hired architect Dean E. Hess, AIA, to lead the vision. For a design-build partner, Hess recommended New-Belle Construction, Inc., based in nearby Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. Hess was familiar with New-Belle and its status as a Butler Builder®, as well as various Butler Manufacturing systems.
During initial meetings between the Voyager and New-Belle teams, New-Belle sales manager Dean Clark and President Jim Kelly shared examples of Butler® roof systems installed from years past to showcase their durability over time. One example in particular featured the MR-24® standingseam roof system from 1969, still in great condition, which amazed Hess. As an architect, he works with various roof types and realizes that many conventional roof materials only last 10 to 15 years – a far cry from the performance of the MR-24 metal roof system.
The total cost of ownership and The Butler Difference were also heavily discussed, and the New-Belle team explained that the upfront price of a building is only part of the true cost of owning a facility, a point that Voyager leadership was eager to consider.
“Voyager ownership understood The Butler Difference and that the initial investment is not the only consideration when purchasing a building,” said Clark. “They knew that reduced operational costs, as a result of building with Butler systems, would provide a tremendous value well after building completion.”
The Butler Difference
The Voyager Jet Center project called for an 18,000-square-foot hangar capable of housing a Gulfstream G650, as well as an 8,000-square-foot FBO terminal. The FBO would offer a passenger waiting area and amenities, private pilot lounge and quiet rooms, Wi-Fi throughout and ramp-side car service.
Given the nature of an airplane hangar, the Butler design called for a Widespan™ structural system to accommodate varying airplane widths. Additionally, the Widespan system provided ample support for the heavy 150-foot hangar door, as well as the wind load the door creates. The long-lasting MR-24® roof system, a standard for New-Belle, also was selected.
As part of the value engineering process, New-Belle identified opportunities for cost savings that included replacing the planned exterior plaster finish with the TextureWall™ panel wall system for the entryway because it achieved the same look at a better price while also featuring weather-resistant materials to combat tough weather during Pennsylvania winters. The designed front portico drive-through also was modified to include all Butler structural systems as another cost-saving initiative.
“From the onset, Dean and Jim took our project very personally and found cost savings while dealing with any issues firsthand,” said Foerster. “Jim expressed that he’d be involved with the building forever, and we really took that to heart.”
Hangar project heats up
When building such a large hangar space, heating is a utility item that can’t be overlooked. Architects and builders often design to code, but Hess and Kelly collaborated on a wall plan for the hangar that would exceed code, reduce energy use, save money and still be aesthetically pleasing. The solution: the Shadowall™ wall system. The Shadowall system features an architecturally pleasing appearance with exceptional energy efficiency, plus it ties in nicely to the TextureWall system in other parts of the facility.
As Hess and New-Belle worked on the design, they faced a challenge in the building elevation requirement. New-Belle worked with engineers at Butler Manufacturing to tweak the design in order to achieve the correct height of the hangar, so it didn’t cause a risk in the fly zone where planes take off and land.
Voyager also requested the inclusion of the SunLite Strip® daylighting system in the design in order to take advantage of natural light. The improved energy efficiency was an added bonus. The skylights add to the aesthetics of the facility, and many pilots have remarked how nice it is to work under natural light. Voyager realizes increased energy savings thanks to LED lighting and energy-efficient dimmers.
Amenities, amenities, amenities
Success in the private aviation industry hinges on creating a customer-friendly environment, matching and exceeding the standards of a typical airline terminal. Easy access to conveniences is expected. Customers require comfortable lounge amenities, similar to frequent-flier clubs in the commercial airline industry, as well as conference rooms, and kitchen and catering services.
On the other side of the spectrum, Voyager also provides services for the pilots who fly the aircraft. In private aviation, pilots are as important as the passenger customers given their propensity to spend more time at the facility. Daily schedules for travelers flying private often change on the fly, so it’s not uncommon for pilots to spend hours at the facility as they wait for customers to return for the flight back. As such, the Voyager design includes many amenities, such as a pilot lounge and a quiet room in case they need rest.
Another pilot benefit at Voyager is easy access to their aircraft. Trips back and forth to the planes from the Voyager facility are a breeze due to the close proximity of the building to the ramp. Another unique feature within the industry is Wi-Fi access on the aircraft ramp.
Lavish accommodations, convenient 24-hour quick-turn capabilities and close proximity to downtown are all symbols of the significantly upgraded Voyager facility. Aesthetics also play a role in the perception of a top-flight facility, so New-Belle selected TextureWall panels to provide a stucco-like appearance to the insulated exterior walls.
Finished product drives new business avenues
The Voyager Jet Center has garnered plenty of buzz in the area, and many local organizations are taking notice. In fact, Falce and Foerster have been inundated with requests to use the facility as an event space, providing an entirely different and unexpected revenue stream. At one such event for Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Western Pennsylvania’s 50th anniversary, more than 700 attendees successfully raised $300,000 for charity in one night.
“The new facility gave our customers and aircraft owners a morale boost and confidence in our company,” Falce said. “They see our commitment and realize that they’re in business with the right company, and they’re happy to promote us to their friends and colleagues.”
“It’s very important that we provide the best possible facility and services to our employees and customers,” said Foerster. “This new building opened a door for us to be able to do that in a way we haven’t been able to for the last five years.”
$6 million design-build sports complex a first for its community
Getting everywhere you need to be at once is nearly impossible for today’s busy sports moms and dads. One father of three, Fred Burrows, hoped to solve the issue for parents in the Whitesboro, New York, area when he decided to help eliminate the frequent trips to sporting events and build a multisports complex With three boys over the age of 9, sports ruled the Burrows family calendar. Basketball, baseball and running competitions took them all over New York state, and throughout a 10-year period, the extended Burrows family often talked about how great it would be to have one sports complex that could accommodate all sporting needs.
During competitions, Burrows would make mental notes looking at things from the perspective of both a parent and a coach to identify opportunities for improvement.
And as the idea grew, so did collaboration among the larger family. Over the last three years, the idea matured into a plan to build a multipurpose sports complex unlike any in the area.
“I’d been all over the state at different sports facilities,” Burrows said. “I knew that we could take the best elements of them all and put them under one roof.”
Uniting the sports experience under one roof
Ultimately, the goal of building a local sports center focused on accommodating a number of different sports across multiple age groups, from youth to adult recreational and competitive sports. The complex would provide an outlet for every member of the family to get active.
Ideally, children would participate in youth sporting events and leagues, camps and clinics, while parents and family members would be working out in the fitness center in a different area of the complex. Instead of chasing kids all over the place, the complex would cater to busy schedules and give the whole family something to do under one roof.
A business relationship evolves
As a commercial and residential material supplier, as well as site contractor, Burrows had plenty of experience in the development and construction industries. That experience and industry insight drove him to purchase land 20 years ago, hoping to develop it down the road.
Over the years, the Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating company worked on many development projects, executing site work on behalf of various builders, including Gaetano Construction, a Butler Builder® based in Utica, New York.
On such projects, Burrows noticed the great relationships that Gaetano had with its clients and the trust that would be instilled in them to complete quality buildings. Beyond that, Burrows often worked on projects that featured Butler building systems. Given the familiarity, the builder-selection process didn’t take long once Burrows decided to make the sports complex dream a reality.
“Having worked with Gaetano for so long and knowing how much of their business is repeat customers, we knew they would do everything in their power to deliver a quality project,” Burrows said. “We anticipated a few engineering challenges and knew that the Butler connection would be a vital part of the process, so it was a no-brainer for me.”
MVP: Butler engineering
The main design consideration for the project was to achieve clearspans that would accommodate an unobstructed full-size soccer field, as well as basketball courts. To achieve this 155-foot span, Butler and Gaetano custom-engineered the Widespan™ structural system.
“We were excited to work with Fred and his staff on this project,” said David Kleps, vice president of Design-Build for Gaetano Construction. “The design-build process and our ability to tap into Butler’s engineering expertise allowed us to evolve the design in order to meet project goals.”
Gaetano tapped Butler engineering to determine how to frame the mezzanine level to house batting cages, pitching mounds and a running track along the perimeter of the building.
“The track is one of the neatest and most unique features of the building,” Burrows said. “It caters to running and walking needs while providing an elevated platform for viewing the field and courts below.”
“Butler’s engineers thoroughly analyzed the bounce factor and made changes to the design in order to minimize vibrations along the suspended track. Provisions were also made in the framing for ceiling-mounted sports equipment such as the basketball backboards, as well as two full-size dividing nets for the indoor soccer field,” said Lucas Saltsman, project manager/designer with Gaetano.
“The project involved a great deal of custom engineering with Butler to get the right support in place,” Kleps said. “Our designbuild expertise and Butler’s engineering knowledge gave us the right combination to build a secure structure while maintaining a fast timeline.”
Time to play ball
Site work, which was conducted by Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating, kicked off in March 2014, and the foundations were in by June. Gaetano worked closely with Butler Manufacturing to align schedules so that steel arrived at the perfect time, right when the foundations were ready. After that, building erection and enclosure took two months before interior work began. The full project wrapped and opened in November, eight months after it began.
Today, Accelerate Sports is constantly in use by various organizations and teams. Membership is growing each month, and business is going well. Beyond that, Burrows’ mission of providing a one-stop sporting experience became a reality.
“Now we can go to one place and don’t have to divide and conquer as often as in the past to get our kids to their activities,” Burrows said. “We don’t miss many events because they’re all at the same place, and we’re glad to provide that same opportunity for other families.”