Category Archives: Construction

The Final Days – looking to the gran terminus

ancient civilizations

Ancient Civilizations A World Apart

Having spent the last week tromping around Roman ruins (the last post was sent to you from Roma), there is a poignant meaning to the final days. The end of an empire, the end of a life style and the end of everything as they knew it before plunging in to a dark period in history. While we are in the final days of our project, it represents not only the end, but also the beginning. The end of a long journey and the beginning of a new building giving life to the region. A celebration of sharing new experiences and adventures. The roots of this project and the culture of the Chickasaw Nation go back in time parallel to the history of the ancient European empires.

We are in fact reaching the final days of the Chickasaw Visitor Center project that we have been tracking for over 18 months. So here’s what’s ahead. Continue reading


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LEEDing to the Finish Line

Think Tank

The Think Tank

We are around 2 months away from substantial completion of the project. I will talk more about substantial completion in the coming weeks, but technically it is the point in the project when the Owner (i.e. Client) can take beneficial occupancy of the facility. We are down to the time of doting “I’s” and crossing “T’s.”

So, some of the I’s and T’s we need to check are where the Contractor is in their LEED due diligence for getting all the needed certification points that fall into their court. So we had a team meeting at FSB’s office to see where we all stood. The Think Tank assembled around the table is: Continue reading

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Tracking LEED Credits – guest post / take one

 Derek and staff

I was recently contacted by a lady named Aundraya Ruse regarding the FSB Blog. She is with a company that provides software advice to clients and shared a recent article her company published about software tools that can help construction contractors track activities to properly achieve each LEED point for their project. I took a look and it was an interesting article. Our continued correspondence led to discussions about having them as a guest author on the FSB Blog.

She introduced me to Derek Singleton/ERP Analyst at Software Advice and we eventually had a telephone interview. He only had one photo of himself, so in order to make it into a collage I took the liberties of taking an Andy Warhol approach to manipulating the singular photo in my possession (sorry Aundraya). So here’s my interview with Derek. Continue reading

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LEEDing the Way – documentation


It’s time to take a look at where we are on the path to LEED Certification. Early in the project going back to setting the goals with the client we collectively discussed the sustainability objectives for the project and it was decided to achieve one of the higher levels attainable. Then as a team we reviewed all the available LEED points and set a target for those points we would and could obtain. We identified the points necessary to achieve LEED Gold Certification. We initially set our sights higher than that but resolved after reviewing certain project constraints that we could handily go for gold.

The worksheet and narrative that we used to document our direction was published in our post “LEED-how green is green.” But you can go straight to the LEED Project Checklist by clicking “here.” So what happens next after you set your LEED point goals? Well at that point we incorporate the requirements whether it was energy efficiency, low-emitting materials or other credits into the design and construction documents; drawings and specifications which were explored in “Blueprints / what are they, what are they for.” Continue reading

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Filed under Construction, LEED ®, Materials

Taking It to the Next Level

cover beam

While the Visitor Center overall is a split level, each of the two levels is basically a one story structure. The level above the floor slab in our case is the roof plane. So taking it to the next level and for us the highest level of the project means topping out the building with the roof structure. Continue reading

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Composite Construction – materials acting in unison


Concrete slabs on grade are one thing, but elevated concrete slabs are quite another.  Concrete slabs on grade are supported by the earth over which they are poured. There is attention given to preparing the sub-grades for proper support and stability. Elevated slabs must be supported by a structural system of beams and columns or load bearing walls. In our case, the elevated slab of the Gallery area is being supported by beams that are supported by a combination of interior steel columns and cast-in-place concrete load bearing walls around the perimeter of the building. Continue reading

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Making the Connection

CN-VC Workmen

The project is in the stages of steel erection and the vertical columns are pretty much in place. As the steel members meet with other steel members or portions of the building, it’s all about making the connections; how the members fasten to one another. The horizontal steel is now going in and the first order of business is installing the floor beams for the Gallery space. In the sketch above, there are workmen that are part of the steel erection team and in the background is the familiar sign for the local business serving morning sweet deights; the Donut Shop. The floor beams are installed and the metal decking is being put into place over the beams. The elevated concrete slab will be poured over the metal deck and will become the floor surface for the Gallery. Continue reading

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The Vertical Ascent – steel rising skyward

Reaching Skyward

The structural steel and its installation at the job site is one of the major construction activities that have been ongoing in recent weeks. The steel pieces had been previously delivered to the job and were being stored in available open areas on the very space constrained site for the Visitor Center. Two groups of steel have been placed first. The vertical steel columns surrounding the high bay Gallery area and the horizontal beams that will support the raised floor slab in the same high bay Gallery area. Continue reading


Filed under Construction, Design, LEED ®, Materials

Glazed Over – a frame of reference

Large North Glazing

Picking back up with the exterior glass of the Visitor Center, we’ll take a look at the shop drawing submittals. The industry term for the glass units that fit in the aluminum framing is “Glazing.” The post on “Transparency-seeing through it all” focused on the glazing portion of the system. This time we will focus on the aluminum framing system that holds the glass in place.

The above image shows the north elevation of the Visitor Center and the corresponding shop drawing submittals for the large area of aluminum framing. Continue reading


Filed under Construction, Materials

Schedule Update – let’s see what’s ahead

Site Sketch 1

Looking Forward

The site sketch above provides some clues to the main activity on the job site.  We’ll take a break from glass research and catch up on what’s ahead. The recent 3 week look ahead that was discussed at the site meeting indicates 8 major activities that will be the focus of construction in the coming days: Continue reading

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