In February 2017, the City of Johns Creek purchased seven acres and an existing 75,000-square-foot building with the intention to consolidate their operations and establish a permanent location for Johns Creek City Hall and the Public Safety Complex. Acting as good stewards of taxpayer funds, this decision to move would save the City money and provide an efficient building for City Hall, Police, Fire and Courts to serve residents and businesses.
As the first phase in a larger, more comprehensive plan, the City selected Balfour Beatty to completely renovate the existing three-story building to today’s standards and construct a 20,000-square-foot addition. Balfour Beatty achieved the City’s schedule and budget goals and delivered their vision for this transformative project through early engagement of trade partners, an innovative phasing plan and creative value engineering solutions.
Timing is Everything
To make good on the promise to save taxpayer dollars, the consolidation of City services needed to occur in time to avoid lease renewals of existing spaces. Concerned about the timeline and looking for ways to make the most of every minute, Balfour Beatty went to work immediately, even ahead of the completion of the design, to clear out the existing building.
As plans finalized, Balfour Beatty retained key trade partners, such as Shumate Mechanical, to accelerate start times. In Shumate Mechanical’s case, they went from no design, to design, to procuring materials and starting work in a single week. This deep level of trade partner engagement was critical to getting the project off on the right foot and meeting the owner’s objectives.
Another strategy Balfour Beatty employed was the development of a strategic phasing plan, which allowed teams to work inside the existing building, while also pouring footings to begin structure on the addition. Balfour Beatty approached the job as if building two separate projects by using a temporary partition to separate the two components, which helped maintain positive momentum despite encountering significant delays during one of the wettest winters on record in Georgia. Understanding that the weather impacts would cause unavoidable delays, Balfour Beatty worked closely with the owner to develop temporary occupancy plans to help them meet their original stated move dates.
Efficient and Effective
As the City of Johns Creek planned for this project, they did their due diligence, studying several of the other local cities, which had recently built similar City Centers. Aiming to spend funds wisely and build a facility that would serve their needs well into the future, City leaders focused efforts on maximizing every dollar.
Making the decision to purchase an existing building and planning an addition were the first steps in creating the vision. Balfour Beatty, in partnership with project architect Clark Patterson Lee, brainstormed ways to keep costs down while maintaining budget expectations. Some of the value engineering suggestions adopted were employed on the exterior staircases of the building. Here, we collaborated to reduce the amount of metal cladding and lighting, while still achieving the desired look. Lastly, Balfour Beatty was able to reuse the existing heavy wood doors, metal hardware and as much of the plumbing and HVAC systems from the original building as possible and design around these items to save money. Ultimately, Balfour Beatty was able to give the City a very efficient building with a lower per square foot cost than any of the other facilities noted in their studies.
In March 2019, Balfour Beatty was honored to observe the new Johns Creek City Hall open its doors to the public. At Balfour Beatty, we pride ourselves on being Relentless Allies for our owners. On this project, we were able to do just that by understanding the owner’s goals and developing a proactive plan to help them achieve them.