Committed to the Core
The Lone Star State is practically synonymous with big skies, big steers and big oil. And although Balfour Beatty can’t quite take credit for those piercing cobalt panoramas or longhorns that majestically roam the open range, we are proud to have impacted an industry that has been one of the predominant forces behind Texas’ economic development since black gold came gushing through the ground in the early 20th century.
Recently, our team helped one of Texas’ premier oil and gas companies, Parsley Energy, relocate its headquarters from Midland to downtown Austin’s Colorado Tower. The company, which had grown from a modest, two-person start-up in 2008 to a large-scale operation that produces more than 22,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, targeted Austin—consistently ranked as one of the country’s best places to live and work—for its rich culture and ripe economy. Parsley Energy needed much more than a general contractor to bring their vision for this 75,855-square-foot, multi-floor, first generation finish out to life. They needed a true construction partner—one that understood success often stems just as much from succeeding at the fundamentals like schedule and budget as it does nailing the details.
Creative Solutions for Complex Finishes
The overall Parsley Energy office design could be considered conservative and traditional, but the assemblies and finishes were nonetheless complex. For example, the design called for the use of specialized materials that required vastly different approaches than our team would have employed on a similar commercial project. In addition to collaborating with new manufacturers, our team was tasked with accommodating unusually lengthy lead times that influenced the flow and sequencing of work. In many instances, materials required an eight-week lead time, which in the context of a 16-week schedule, had tremendous upstream impact. Precise field measurements were also necessary to meet the fabrication schedule.
One such highly customized material included in the Parsley Energy headquarters was a prefabricated terrazzo tile. After the tile had been installed during the first phase of this two-phase project, the owner concluded that it did not meet the intended design aesthetic for their countertops. Determined to delight the owner in every aspect of this project, Balfour Beatty—with the recommendations of our architect, manufacturing and subcontractor partners—developed an effective solution that also supported budget and schedule goals. Ultimately, the project team elected to reinstall portions of the countertops and re-polish the bulk of the tile. Balfour Beatty provided the owner with a mock-up of the re-polished tile to ensure it met their expectations, establishing a level of rapport and trust that was replicated throughout the project’s second phase.
But modifications to the terrazzo tile wouldn’t be the only significant change order Balfour Beatty would navigate at critical schedule junctures. With only a few weeks remaining in the first phase, the owner requested revisions to the space that better suited their mode of working, including reconfigurations to the CEO’s office, wall layouts and information technology systems. Despite burning the midnight oil, the project team responded with grace under pressure, delivering each requested change without missing milestones or extending the schedule.
Parsley Energy’s company slogan, “Committed to the Core,” might well have been adopted by Balfour Beatty during this signature project. In fact, while the first phase was awarded through a competitive bid process, Parsley Energy hand-picked Balfour Beatty to be their building partner for the second phase. Of this project, it could be said the “devil was in the details.” But that’s precisely where Balfour Beatty shines. If your project is complex or unconventional or challenges the status quo, look no further than Balfour Beatty to deliver custom building solutions. That’s just what it takes to fulfill big dreams.