The Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Headquarters renovation project fundamentally began as a major fire and water damage restoration effort, and quickly transitioned into an opportunity to retrofit two entire floors of their facility to meet the demands of the modern office culture. After a brief RFQ process, Chesapeake decided to engage CAM as a repeat client of theirs over the past 15 years. The heart of this project involved the construction of a new central break area, which functions more as a community gathering space with a variety of different seating options, food service offerings, and basic culinary equipment to assist employees who bring their own lunch. The genesis behind this space was to provide a welcoming common area amenity that employees could either utilize individually, with one another, or even with external facing clients. The architect’s goal was to make this a visually distinctive space that will impress upon every visitor and staff member who walks off the elevator into level one of the office building.
The linchpin of their concept called for replacing an old drop ceiling with multiple acoustical clouds, and leaving the rest of the structural slab exposed above. Executing this look required an extensive amount of clean-up within the former plenum, to demo extraneous low voltage wiring, bundle up active IT/data wiring within black corrugated piping, and consolidate electrical conduit runs into specific areas. CAM then sprayed the entire above ceiling area black to help any remaining MEP systems disappear from view, which helps maintain the occupant’s focus on the space in front of them.
Other elements of this job included the construction of an all-new fitness center with connected ADA restrooms/locker rooms, a massive new training room with a folding partition, a variety of small conference rooms designed for brainstorming sessions and zoom calls, and completely new finishes and systems furniture layout within the open areas on either side of the core of levels one and two. On level one, the project also involved shifting many of the building’s main support functions into more interior portions of the floorplate without natural light, etc; as a result, CAM helped create a new mail distribution room, IT support areas, copy/print rooms, and storage rooms.
Some of the most challenging facets of this project pertained to the limited working hours, given the continuously occupied nature of this facility during construction. Certain trades preferred to work off-hours to avoid disruptions to Chesapeake’s employees, and CAM facilitated the accommodation by being physically present on the jobsite for numerous evenings, weekends, and early morning meetings. CAM’s PM also wore the hat of superintendent, spending half of his day working out of the on-site office of Chesapeake’s facility manager, which facilitated immediate communication with the owner, yielded swift answers to questions, and helped approve design tweaks when beneficial to the overall project intent or schedule. CAM ensured that noise would be kept to a minimum during normal business hours, and that life safety systems were sustained over the course of the job. One tricky subtlety of the project involved preserving a large section of the existing ceiling grid on one of the floors, which forced trades to employ thoughtful integration strategies at the connection points and exercise caution for all relocation work above. Lastly, CAM was able to save the owner tens of thousands of dollars by salvaging and re-installing nearly all of the prior doors, frames, and hardware that had been removed and stored on-site during the demolition phase.
The renovation to the “Main-Street” facilities at the Little Sister’s of the Poor – St. Martin’s Home campus required CAM to raise the existing roof structure within the middle of an occupied facility, and provide a new library, salon, community store, coffee shop, formal dining facility, and common areas. In addition, our team renovated all main corridors within the facility and completed a full mechanical and electrical system extension and upgrade.
In similar nature to the previous phases, the building remained occupied and fully functional throughout the project.
Prior to its restoration, the Adoration Chapel below the sanctuary of the Basilica of the Assumption was just one of a number of small rooms. Though certainly a sacred space for contemplation and prayer, the chapel presented less than an inviting space for worship; however, a fisherman at Loch Raven reservoir “caught” a most unusual item – an antique Gothic monstrance – which he gifted to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This restored monstrance sits beneath the octagonal baldachino, with its white Corinthian columns and brilliant blue tiles at the altar within the restored Adoration Chapel.
Belying its small size, restoration of the chapel involved a tremendous amount of work. CAM’s forces completed virtually all of the work themselves, with the exception of the new marble flooring, construction of the altar, and installation of the new lighting. The plaster arches were modified and restored, the brick flooring removed, and the substrate leveled for installation of the marble flooring. The wrought iron gate was designed, custom fabricated, and installed to provide a distinctive entrance into the chapel. Previously exposed conduits were hidden behind new drywall. A new railing mimicking that of the sanctuary above was installed to separate the nave of the chapel from its seating, and new millwork was installed throughout to provide the sense of history that a chapel within America’s first cathedral warrants.
Though very small in size, the renovation of this chapel presented challenges not often seen in a project of this magnitude. The Basilica above remained operational throughout the project, necessitating careful coordination to deliver new materials and dispose of the debris, and noise had to be kept to a minimum so as not to disrupt the frequent masses within the sanctuary above. The work of CAM’s Field Superintendent was often reviewed by the on-site priests and the Monsignor who, after living through two restorations of the Basilica itself, had become quite adept at scrutinizing the quality of workmanship.
In his dedication, Archbishop William Lori acknowledged the anonymous fisherman whose gift inspired the restoration of the chapel, where the faithful come to pray for priestly and religious vocations each day.
Upon its completion, the new Adoration Chapel was dedicated to the great work of Monsignor Arthur Valenzano, vicar of the Basilica, who had originally established the small adoration chapel, but sadly has since passed away after the dedication of the project.
Nearing his retirement as Head of Procurement for Morgan State University, Churchill Wortherly became the Pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in 2009. A fire, originally thought to be arson but later determined to be electrical failure, severely damaged his Church and virtually destroyed the lower level offices, social hall, kitchen, restrooms, and classrooms on the lower level of the building. The sanctuary, offices, and classrooms above suffered damage from both the fire and the firemen as they put out the blaze. What was not burned was either broken or suffered smoke damage, precluding both worship and the pre-school that the building facilitated.
Pastor Wortherly contacted CAM Construction with whom he and his congregation had worked at Morgan State University to restore the Church building and aid them in receiving the appropriate funds from their insurance company. CAM developed the scope of work needed for the restoration, provided pricing for each portion of the project on an individual basis, and then worked directly with the Church and their insurance company to ensure that the Church could maximize the replacement value from their policy.
The lower level social hall, which was most severely damaged by the fire, had both lead paint and vinyl asbestos tile flooring, which needed to be remediated; the heat had severely damaged the walls and ceiling, and the kitchen was a total loss. The windows in the sanctuary had been broken out, the narthex received smoke damage, the handicap lift had been destroyed, and the ceilings and insulation throughout the complex had been contaminated by smoke.
With a very limited budget, CAM was able to completely restore the lower level, restore the wall and floor finishes at the sanctuary, provide new windows at the sanctuary, install a new elevator, provide new finishes for all of the classrooms and offices, and not only restore all the restrooms but bring them into compliance with current ADA standards. Through the efforts of CAM and Pastor Wortherly, all insurance funds were used judiciously Also a challenge was that the Church remained operational throughout the restoration and the replacement of the electrical service.
Very sadly, Pastor Wortherly succumbed to an illness and did not live to serve his congregation in their newly restored home; his loss added to the challenge of the project because of his personal involvement in the design and construction and his relationship with the insurance provider. However, CAM was able to complete the project on time and within the small budget available to them.
It was Pastor Wortherly’s dream that the restored Church be “better than ever before”, and no one doubts that he is smiling down from Heaven now that the project is complete.
Throughout CAM’s history with the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Martin’s Home, multiple, individual, design/build projects have been constructed within the home. One project included the completion of the design/build renovations to the Chapel, its gathering and parlor areas, and the Convent and Postulant residences.
It is important to note that all electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and fire protection work was completed and added to the existing operating systems within the home.
As with the entire project, chapel renovations included full hazardous materials abatement, removal of all but two walls within the chapel space, replacement of the existing glass panels with new handmade art glass, replacing the entry doors, and a new level five finish barrel vault ceiling was added. All of the electrical and HVAC equipment is housed above the ceiling. Lighting is provided by 46 pendant lights, high-hat perimeter, and accent lighting. The lighting system has eight dimming zones to provide multiple configurations for the various services. The high ceiling at the perimeter of the chapel was constructed as a drywall cove that was sprayed with an acoustic treatment.
The newly constructed altar platform, with its ramped entry, consistent with the remainder of the chapel, is finished with specially selected 16”x 32” stone tile flooring. At the altar area, hand-finished plaster accent walls draw the eye to the stone-clad wall behind the crucifix. Niches for artwork and side adorations were constructed, and the arched drywall openings on either side of the altar area lead to the sacristies and celebrant’s restroom. Included in the Chapel renovation project were the renovations to the gathering/parlor area and work to the offices adjacent to the gathering area.
Two of the many unique challenges of the project included ensuring sound attenuation for the air handling units located directly behind the altar as well as matching the marble of the liturgical furnishings, which were removed, protected, and re-installed. The marble was finally matched by using reclaimed and re-cut materials specially fabricated for this project.
Similarly critical to the Sisters were the light level and the comfort of worshipers via the spacing of the pews. These decisions were finalized only after visiting and documenting finished spaces in three similar chapels.
The Postulant and Convent area renovations included a total gut, hazmat abatement, and total systems replacement. Major structural modifications to the roof allowed for a new clerestory on the second floor; new shingle and flat roofs were constructed as well. An elevator was installed within the modified existing shaft, and new windows were also installed on both floors. Further additions include construction of the bedrooms and bathrooms for the Sisters and Postulants, a library, exercise room, laundry, refectory, pantry, offices, archival storage, and a devotional chapel within the Convent. The simple yet detailed finishes provide the Sisters and their guests with a welcome place of respite from the round-the-clock duties serving the elderly residents.
As with each of the previous projects on this site, CAM’s work had to be scheduled so as not to interfere with the ongoing activities of the home, and to minimize disruption to the population, staff, and the Sisters themselves.
This 188,000 square foot renovation and addition project was scheduled for twelve distinct phases and necessitated double shift work for over two years. The tightly scheduled project also remained occupied throughout its duration.
Due to the complexity of the job, the aggressive schedule and the sheer acreage of the facility, CAM managed the renovation, the addition, the site work and the creation of a new pre-treatment waste water facility as four individual sub projects. Each of these sub projects had its own shifts and crews.
For nearly the entire duration of the project, the renovation required that CAM work two full shifts during all times when the school was closed to mitigate any impact to the administration and student population. The day shift proceeded form 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. while the second shift worked from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The second shift included an entirely different workforce and superintendent who worked closely in concert with the day shift superintendent.
This twelve-phased 143,000 square foot renovation included remediation of asbestos and removal and disposal of PCB ballasts. Renovations also included demolition throughout the school, installation of all new finishes and fixtures, new casework and classroom accessories and work to the mechanical, sprinkler and electrical systems. Tightly coordinated phasing mandated that work be completed for the students to return to the renovated classrooms in accordance with the schedule. Parts of the building were vacated during breaks which allowed for unimpeded progress in some areas.
The addition was primarily constructed during the day shift. It consisted of a new three-story, 45,000 square foot building with a cafeteria and STEM science addition. The addition is connected to the existing building via a new enclosed second floor bridge link. The new structural steel, brick and cast stone structure also creates the new feature entry into the school. Upon completion of the new addition and entry, the school moved into the new spaces while the renovations and site work continued.
The addition includes a new cafeteria with a full service kitchen, pantry and serving areas, eleven new Biology classrooms, Chemistry and Physics laboratories with prep and storage rooms, restrooms, offices and circulation areas. Science casework, shelving and fume hoods as well as extensive IT requirements differentiate these spaces from typical high school classrooms. A new HVAC system was also installed that includes a two pipe chilled water system and boiler.
The site work on this 270 acre facility was also primarily performed during normal working hours. Additional night shifts were incorporated during work which required tying in to the existing electrical infrastructure. Site work also included extensive grading, paving for roadways and parking lots, and the installation of utilities and drain fields.
Twelve new storm water management ponds were also installed adjacent to five athletic complexes all of which needed to remain operational throughout the school year and for scheduled recreation programs during the summers and school breaks.
The fourth sub-project represented the construction of a new waste water/pre-treatment facility. The facility has the capability of handling 10,000 gallons/day. In addition to serving the school as a waste water treatment plant, the building also serves to house and care for livestock associated with the school’s agricultural program.
During the entire project CAM managed logistical challenges as well. Since there was only a single entry and exit to the school and site, deliveries were tightly coordinated with the 40 school buses and student and staff vehicular traffic. Materials for the project could only be received during specific windows of time which varied with the school’s event calendar.
Despite nearly three years of continuous construction activity, major school activities including concerts, proms and athletic activities were incorporated into the schedule and proceeded without interruption.
Converting a historic, six-story, inner city office building into 17 condominium apartment units presents many challenges, particularly when the first floor of such a structure remains occupied as a functioning dialysis clinic throughout construction.
When the building was once home to the Baltimore Office of the Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms, complete with lightweight concrete floor topping, surveillance equipment, and reinforced drywall partitions, the task becomes even more challenging.
CAM Construction was employed as the Construction Manager at Risk for the project and aided in keeping the tight budget controlled and constructed many of the units with loft areas, high-level finishes, and appliances.
Storefront windows were replaced to provide operable window units with appropriate profiles, and the common areas were all completed without interruption to the ongoing work of the clinic. The award-winning building provides affordable housing to Baltimore residents and is another outstanding effort for the West Side Redevelopment of the city.
Executives and employees at the six-story, 80,000 square foot facility had several problems. There was a severe shortage of parking spaces for their employees and guests, the interior elevators were older and deliveries needed to be brought through the lobby, the finishes and office furniture were outdated, and most importantly, the HVAC system did not work properly. Specifically, the office areas above the parking garage were so cold in the winter that no one could work in the area.
IWIF employed CAM as a CMaR to aid them in resolving these issues, hiring a design firm and completing the construction within their occupied offices. A new 165-space parking lot was constructed adjacent the building, complete with decorative fencing, retaining walls and a remodeled entryway into the building. The new elevator was construed within a building addition that provides access for both employees and deliveries to each of the floors. The HVAC problem was alleviated by a newly designed system and was installed while the building was being renovated.
The ultimate challenge to this project was that the building remained occupied throughout construction. The lobby and each floor were renovated individually, employees relocated, office furniture deliveries were coordinated to meet the floor by floor renovation, cut-throughs were made to the floors for the elevator access, and the unused first floor auditorium was converted into usable office and conference space. Complex cabinetry and millwork create an outstanding executive and boardroom area. All work was completed without disruption or loss of work time for the IWIF employees.
Renovating the public areas of an occupied building is always challenging, but doing so throughout a multi-story structure occupied by the elderly and their caretakers is particularly so. Virtually every finish material for the renovation was either custom made for the project or purchased from vendors throughout the United States and Europe. The design intent for the renovations was that newly installed entryways into the resident rooms, hallways, and common areas would resemble their former homes and to create “neighborhoods” where the elders reside in a “person first” environment. Seven different pediment entries were all custom fabricated and received a different painted finish to create the appearance of a “neighborhood”. Work was completed to the resident entries and corridors without need for a single resident relocation. Each of the corridors was completely renovated with new wall coverings, new drywall bulkheads, and custom-designed residential-style lighting.
The existing nurses’ stations were converted to gathering areas, and custom built-in charting/med stations were relocated to newly created recesses within the corridors. CAM’s forces completely renovated the two day rooms on each floor, leaving one operational while the other was under construction. Warming kitchens were renovated and a new scullery to serve the kitchens constructed without interrupting meal service. Four bathing facilities on each floor were completely renovated with custom made, onsite cut, European ceramic tile, residential style lighting, towel warmers, and new bathing equipment
Elevator lobbies and common areas throughout the resident floors, as well as the main lobby, with its connecting hallways, were renovated without interruption to the daily activities of the facility. Work was conducted in multiple phases, day rooms were relocated, and the challenge of a schedule was slowed so as not to engender anxiety among the residents; all of these tasks were ably handled by CAM forces.
One particular challenge was the fact that the originally contracted design team defaulted as the project began, making CAM the de facto design/builder for the project.
The second part of CAM’s contract included the construction of the new outdoor pavilion directly adjacent the roadway leading to St Elizabeth’s main entry, which is used for parties and entertainment for the residents and their families. This new custom-built structure provides a sheltered area for entertainment and respite.