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South Bay Construction: A Team Player from Concept to Completion

South Bay Construction (SBC) understands the critical role that “Team Building” plays for a project’s key stakeholders.The architectural design team and general contractor strive to provide the best value and highest quality for the owner’s investment. However, they are often operating within the constraints of an industry where risk is high and profit margins can be low. Given this competitive environment, teamwork in construction is crucial in preventing the breakdown of a timely and cost-effective project.

Team Building through Collaboration

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SBC begins each project with a kickoff meeting, where team members establish relationships, open lines of communication, identify problems, set goals and obtain commitments. Two of SBC’s recently completed projects in California’s Bay Area—“2 Circle Star Way” (San Carlos), and “399 W. Trimble Road” (San Jose)—effectively illustrate the power of collaboration. Each of the project’s architects were willing to work with SBC in a collaborative environment. They listened to and shared ideas, and they made themselves available for communication and site visits during work and off-hours.

Regarding the project at “399 W. Trimble Road,” the design phase had run overtime, and the timeline for completion was tight. SBC worked hand-in-hand with the client and with architect AP+I Design to come up with time and cost-saving solutions. The team identified long-lead items that would need to be reviewed early in the project. They noted high-cost items and suggested alternative materials and selective design changes where possible to maintain schedules and budgets. Working together, SBC and AP+I Design were also able to successfully resolve challenges with the existing building conditions. For example, SBC organized and procured the leveling of all of the slabs and floors in order to ensure the smooth installation of an alternative material used for the walls.

Likewise, regarding the project at “2 Circle Star Way,” SBC worked with the team alongside one of the project owner’s executives during the final hours leading up to move-in. Both parties arrived onsite at 4:30 a.m. to clean windows, vacuum, and put door handles on refrigerators. The stakeholders worked together, and in the end, they came through it and everyone shined.

Team Building through Value Exchange

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Another bedrock of “Team Building” at SBC is the exchange of value among stakeholders through reciprocal teaching and learning opportunities. Millennials and digital natives “teach up” by sharing new technologies, while industry veterans “teach down” by demonstrating tried-and-true methods learned from years of experience in the field.

In an industry that is changing overnight, SBC is quickly adopting cutting-edge technologies and fosters a collaborative environment where these solutions are shared among stakeholders. During the conceptual budgeting phase of a project, for example, architects provide SBC with a three-dimensional set of renderings to accompany the single-line architectural drawings. In another example, SBC utilizes Bluebeam Revu allowing PDF creation, editing and markup in a collaborative online environment. This tool allows SBC to view complete takeoffs 70 percent faster with built-in measurement tools, and to automatically resize documents with different scales and viewports. It also makes estimating more efficient with improved communication tracking through paperless submittals, requests for information, bid sets, punch lists, as-built drawings and manuals.

While the younger SBC team members and partners are sharing these tools, the construction industry veterans at SBC are passing down traditional knowledge and field experience, such as how to manage project managers and superintendents, and how to retain employees and labor in a competitive marketplace by offering company amenities and improved benefits.

Reflection, Relationship and Re-engagement

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The continued communication, supportive partnership, and problem solving approach is critical upon the culmination of each project. A post-project meeting is held, where the SBC team and key stakeholders gather to evaluate the pros and cons from start to finish, as well as identify potential improvements for future projects. This collaborative review process—along with the open teaching-learning environment—builds accountability, consistency, support and Relationships Built On Trust. It is from this platform of proven partnerships that SBC looks to engage and collaborate in future projects.

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