The brand new Susquehanna Logistics Center was ready for a tenant to occupy the 423,300 SF warehouse, when the building’s owner found a nationally known company interested in the space. The deal to lease the building hinged upon interior office and operations area improvements, and exterior installations being completed within a short time period. The owner contracted with Keystruct Construction, Inc. to meet this tight deadline, which was accomplished through clear communication and careful coordination of the project tasks.
The work was completed in two phases. Phase One was finished in five weeks, turning 2,500 SF of the space over to the tenant, Warehouse Services Inc (WSI), so they could complete preliminary work and begin receiving shipments. Phase Two, the remaining 2,500 SF of office space, was completed in just three weeks. During the hectic schedule, WSI asked Keystruct to complete some additional work to ready the warehouse for full operation, however the additional work could not delay the completion date.
Two sets of steel rail foundations were embedded under the warehouse floor for an extensive conveyor system, an overhead crane system to move batteries to a specialized charging area, and extra cabinetry and workstations were added to the original scope of work. Additionally, WSI has strict safety and security requirements for their operation, which required additional work items, including fencing around the perimeter of the property and construction of a guard shack at the entrance to the facility. Swipe card readers and a turnstile were also included in the additional scope items, to allow WSI’s employees access to the secure facility.
Improvements included relocating over 300 light fixtures and adding over 400 new fixtures to match WSI’s racking plan for the warehouse space. Fourteen new dock levelers were added, which had to be cut into the existing building. Keystruct also installed six 10-feet diameter fans to the dock area, where most of the labor-intensive warehouse work would take place. In order to complete the additional work within the same schedule, the Project Manager and Superintendent worked closely with the subcontractors to coordinate their activities, prioritizing the longest lead times, and scheduling the work to minimize impacts on other trades.
Although the 423,300 SF warehouse is a large area, the actual footprint for the interior office fit-out, at 5,000 SF, provided one of the most challenging aspects of this project. Fifteen to twenty subcontractors were on site daily, working in a small corner of the warehouse. Adding to the challenges inside the tight work area was the distance between the warehouse floor and the bar joist. At 30 feet, a large lift was required for the overhead work, however all of the doors in the finished office space are 3 feet wide, limiting the size of the lift able to access the enclosed office space. After framing the office space and hanging the drywall, a lift capable of reaching the 30 foot high bar joist would be restricted from entering the area. Therefore, a solution to finish all the overhead work had to be found, prior to enclosing the office space.
The Superintendent coordinated with the subcontractors, giving them each two days to place their overhead equipment; the sprinkler subcontractor dropped the threaded rods; the electrician dropped wires for the lighting; the HVAC subcontractor dropped the straps for the ductwork; and the drywall subcontractor dropped the ceiling wire. All of this work was completed within one week, including leaving the pre-hung equipment in a safe state until work resumed on that item. Following the aerial work, the framing and drywall began to enclose the office work spaces.
The completed project provides WSI with a fully functional and secure warehouse for their operation. The building features improvements that allow expedited movement of products, and stream-lined processes for incoming shipments and outgoing orders. The warehouse staff have bright, modern office spaces, conference and meeting rooms, and break areas to encourage productivity and positive morale. Despite the fast-paced construction schedule, the tight interior work area, and the additions to the project scope, the work was completed nearly two weeks early, and under the original construction budget.
This project was honored by the Associated Builders and Contractors Keystone Chapter for Excellence in Construction. Both the building owner and the tenant expressed their gratitude to Keystruct for a job well done.