Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co. – HQ
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 (40,000 affected square feet) 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.
Injured Workers Insurance Fund – Headquarters
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.
Riva Road Business Center
CAM was contracted by a bonding company, Reliance Insurance, to complete various contracts. One of the largest of these contracts was the Riva Road Business Center. This project was the completion of a 52,500-square foot, Class-A office building in Annapolis, Maryland.
1820 Lancaster Street – Union Box Co. Building
CAM Construction provided construction management and design/build services to Mason Dixon Capital Management for Lancaster Square in Fells Point. Savings of over 5% were achieved by utilizing the Construction Management Guaranteed Maximum Price delivery method. CAM utilized a value engineering process that permitted the project to proceed on a fast track basis to meet the developer’s needs.
The Lancaster Square renovation consisted of a group of five separate structures originally built in the 1880s and varying significantly in construction materials and floor plate elevations. The main building, The Union Box Co., is a timber-framed, three-story, 16,000-square foot brick warehouse. The other buildings are a two-story, steel-framed building, a two-story steel- and wood-framed building, and a 3-story brick townhouse.
Among the main challenges to this project was integration of the five structures into a single cohesive development while completely renovating the existing structures. The project called for major restoration including extensive masonry cleaning and re-pointing as well as cleaning and sealing the wood beams. The integration of the five structures unified 12 different roof elevations all of which were re-roofed and to which several large wood decks were added. Approximately 120 historic windows were replaced as part of the renovation.
Both a new five-story and three-story elevator shaft were installed within the existing footprint of the building. The project also added three stair towers, two of which were steel, and one was a concrete scissor stair.
As a part of the redevelopment, CAM constructed a three-story, light gauge addition between two irregularly shaped brick walls to integrate the structures. The project added another three-story addition that provides space for 10 luxury apartments atop the existing two-story structure.
At the main entrance a railroad motif with asphalt brick pavers, solid maple ties and stainless steel tracks lead visitors and residents from Lancaster Street to inside the Union Box Co. building. Once inside, the building glass walls seamlessly interface with the large wood timbers and provide aisles and office space while maintaining the historical character of the building. The apartment entrance is accessed through a large teak door flanked by tubular steel frames with stainless steel rods and an illuminated barrel vault canopy awning. The teak door gate is electronically interlocked with a secondary all-aluminum entrance at the other end of the courtyard, providing security for the apartment residents.
How-Nor Office Building
Work included design, interior demolition, complete renovation, and tenant fit-up of an existing, 53,000-square foot, three-story masonry structure. The project was accomplished by a “fast track” method of construction over a 90-day period to accommodate the State agency’s requirements.
Located at the very busy intersection of North Avenue and Howard Street, removal of debris and delivery of new materials presented challenges for this renovation project. Constructed in the early 20th century, this landmark building includes both masonry details and historic windows typical of the period
CAM was both construction manager as well as developer for this important adaptive re-use project.
900 S. Wolfe Street – TBC Headquarters
This three-story, 31,000 sq, ft., historically accurate, iron spot and glazed brick office building in Fells Point is home to Trahan Burden Charles (TBC), one of the largest advertising agencies on the East Coast. The design challenge was to provide a structure of this size, capable of being leased to multiple tenants, in keeping with the height and scale of the adjacent structures. The geometry of the site required that the building front on each of the three streets and provide as much natural light as was possible from the narrow ends of the building.
The resulting structure features intricate, articulated, brick facades and corbeling, with incised granite accents at the exterior. Operable windows, exposed 2-by-8 wood plank decking, exposed composite wood/steel trusses, exposed spiral duct and interior brick walls, recycled wood flooring, glass block, rubber tile, and carpeting all create a modern interior belying the more traditional exterior construction.
Spaces constructed for TBC’s work include special audio visual areas, a dubbing/editing room for voice over work, a film studio, arts department, first floor executive lounge, large client conference room, and the computer server room with its separate Liebert HVAC unit.
The third floor clerestory provides natural light throughout the studio space, and interior office partitions include fixed light accents to transmit natural lighting. Private balconies on the third floor are accessed from the conference room and executive office. Core areas for stairways and back-of-house spaces are located along the side walls to assure the fullest impact of the window walls. The 5-foot grade differential between the two ends of the building is barely visible to all but the most vigilant observer.