Article - Office of College Advancement

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
Special Supplement
Friday, October 12, 2007
Structures Awards 2007.

Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology.

Turner Construction
Contractor of the Year

Complicated, difficult science project is also fun

By Marv Duan.

It is, quite simply, one of the most complex construction projects taking place in Silicon Valley. Turner Construction Co. is working with the U.S. Department of Energy at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to create research and experimental space at the Linac Coherent Light Source Project. The $400 million project will help scientists understand the movement and change of atoms, molecules and materials that occur within fractions of a second through the use of the world’s first X-ray free electron laser.

Turner’s part: boring through areas more than 100 feet below the surrounding surfaces to construct a half mile extension of an already-existing research tunnel. It will also include multiple research hutches to perform experiments on the most powerful light source on Earth, and features 6-ft. thick concrete walls in areas where radiation is a concern.

In August 2006, Turner received notice to proceed under a firm-fixed-price $88-million contract. Congressional budget limits forced the project to drop a 74,000-sq-ft laboratory and office complex, and SLAC will rehabilitate other facilities instead, according to construction industry publication Engineering News Record.

So while the project is difficult, yes. As Turner Construction vice president Kevin Antonelli puts it, it’s also fun.

“It’s very complicated from the construction point of view (and) its pretty fun from the field perspective. It’s not just an office building and God forbid, it’s not a hospital,” Antonelli said. “And the project is moving fairly well. Inspectors are on site and we are actually ahead of schedule.”

The first concrete was poured on April 5 for the Beam Transport Hall’s 3.5-ft-this slab-on-grade. This area is the owner’s first priority because it connects directly to the Linac building. Completion will allow installation of LCLS line equipment to begin.

Ahead of schedule is phrase that’s music to customer’s ears and Turner’s customers include some of Silicon Valley’s largest high tech companies, including Intel, Applied Materials and Western Digital, to name a few. In business for more than 100 years, the New York-based Turner Expanded to the Bay Area 40 years ago and has offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

The company’s skill in building complex tech projects lays in the fact that it hires very technically skilled people, most of whom are civil, environmental or mechanical engineers.

“We also have good reporting systems. The projects have a tendency to be very fast and you have to be able to forecast where a project will be,” Antonelli said. “You have to be able to react and forecast for the owners will reliability and that’s one of Turner’s strengths.”

One of Turner’s other strengths, Antonelli said, has been building “green” before people really knew what green was. At Ohlone College’s permanent Newark campus, Turner is providing Construction Management services for a 150,000-square-foot new Center For Health Sciences and Technology. The 81-acre site will be the first “green” campus in the nation, designed to achieve LEED Gold level certification when the building opens for classes in 2008.

The LEED rating will be achieved through sustainable building practices, including native plan landscaping and low water consumption, and feature the first Northern California application of geo coils, an insulated system that uses the earth to reduce energy cost.

“You’re always trying to find unique ways to use recycled materials, Antonelli said. “Our biggest inclination though is to have clients for life. 70 percent of our business is repeat business. Some of the biggest projects for the company only come alone rarely, usually it’s building local relationships with local customers and being involved in the community.

Rosendin Electric
Sub-contractor of the year

Solar will power Ohlone’s green college campus

By Danek S. Kaus.

Rosendin Electric’s efforts at The Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology are helping make the community college the first “green” campus in the nation.

Rosendin installed 2,500 solar photovoltaic panels which can provide up to 50 percent of the electrical needs during the day, depending on the weather, for the 120,000 square-foot two-story building set to open next year.

Three Photovoltaic converters convert the DC energy projected by the panels to AC current used in the building.

The building’s many large windows can provide for its lighting needs on sunny days.

When the building does open, it may have a Platinum LEED certification, the highest rating.

Part of what gives the building LEED potential is the fact that the solar power system is incorporated into the building’s management system.

The solar panel project provided challenges, both in installation and control of the work flow, according the Rosendin Senior project Manager Chris Sorauf. The roofing contractor decided to put felt panels on the roof to protect it from the panels, for example.

In all, the project required about 1800 man-hours.

“It took a lot of labor to install but was well worth it for the benefit of reducing energy costs,” Sorauf says.

The exterior and interior lighting systems were also designed with possible LEED certification in mind.

The exterior lighting system has full cutoff fixtures, which eliminate light pollution to the neighborhood and also maximize light in the landscaped and parking areas.

Inside, the lighting is designed to minimize the amount of light that escapes the building.

“In cities there is a lot of light pollution. Peopled don’t get to see the stars,” Sorauf says.

The school has high hopes for the impact of the building, according to Sorauf.

“Ohlone College wanted to make this a showcase building for education to attract students. I think they’ve accomplished that with this unique design. It is environmentally friendly,” he says.

The college will also put its mouth where its money is by offering classes on renewable energy, according to Sorauf.

He believes the project will be done in November.

Rosendin began operations in 1919 as Rosendin Electric Motor Works, installing wiring for homes and business and rewinding motors for wells and pumps.

During the post-World War II boom the company grew to 90 employees.

In 1953 Rosendin was incorporated as an electrical contractor. In 2000, the employees completed a buyout of the Rosendin family and became what they say is the largest employee-owned electrical contractor.

The company has over 1,500 employees and has a five-year revenue average of nearly $300 million, with branch offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Tempe, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Hillsboro, Oregon and Las Vegas.

Among their projects are biotech, high tech, wind farms, data centers, power plants, highway and telecom/data, ranging in size from $1,000 to $50,000.

Ohlone College Newark Center
Green project of the Year

Community college set green for campus goal

By Danek S. Kaus.

The Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology is being billed as the first “green” community college campus in the nation, thanks in large to the work of Turner Construction Co. and Rosendin Electric.

Turner was the Construction Manager at Risk for the project, according to their Operations Manager, Kavinder Singh. The term implies that they’re more than the general contractor and were selected for their project at the same time as the designer.

Rosendin Electric installed 2,500 solar photovoltaic panels which can provide up to 50 percent of the building’s electrical needs during the day, depending on the weather.

According to Rosendin Senior Project Manager Chris Sorauf, the 120,000 square-foot two-story building is set to open next year.

When it does, it may have Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the highest rating.

Several factors will be considered to attain that recognition, including how the constructor handles the construction debris as well as the air quality on the site for the construction workers.

The building’s heating and cooling system will employ a geo coil, which is placed about 10 feet under the ground and take advantage of the fact that at that depth, the temperature of the soil remains pretty constant throughout the year.

In a typical cooling system, which uses electricity, air is passed through a coolant, which cools the air and warms the coolant. Instead of using electricity, the geo coil passes warmed coolant into the ground where it is cooled then cycled back up. During the winter, cold water is passed into the ground where it gains heat.

Another important feature is the use of recycled materials. Recycled cloth material has been installed in the walls for insulation and recycled wood veneers and tiles have also bee installed.

Building green in becoming more popular with the businesses, even though it is not mandated, as is the case for new public buildings, according to Singh.

“Eventually people will realize that a small investment up front has huge benefits in the future,” he says.

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