Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
Sain Associates was honored to receive a Merit Award for the Kamtek K-3 Expansion project from the Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. Alabama Chapter in this year’s Excellence in Construction competition.
We consulted with Kamtek, the City of Birmingham, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide master planning, surveying, traffic engineering, civil design, and environmental permitting to expand a 224 acre automotive manufacturing campus for Kamtek in Birmingham, Alabama. This master plan included the construction of a 144,000 sq. ft. aluminum die casting facility (known as K-3); rerouting truck and employee traffic to improve traffic safety; and roadway improvements to support increased traffic volumes including an industrial access road which Sain designed under a separate project with the City of Birmingham.
This design-build project had a very aggressive schedule and we had to implement a fast-track delivery method. Design and construction were underway simultaneously, and the design and permitting activities had to remain ahead of the construction activities. Because we had so many design activities needing to be completed immediately upon award of the project, our design team required excellent coordination, to minimize field adjustment or delays. The civil/site design was broken into tasks which were performed by separate design groups in collaboration:
- Master Planning the Campus Expansion
- Traffic Engineering & Transportation Planning
- Environmental Permitting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Environmental Permitting with ADEM
- Mass Grading, Storm Pipe Design, and Hydrologic Calculations
- Sanitary Sewer Design and Permitting for Foundations
- Overall Civil/Site and Utilities Design and Permitting
- Roadway Vacation/Campus Traffic Re-Routing
Our capability to provide each of these specialties in-house (except COE permitting) in addition to our civil design staff being cross-trained to work in multiple disciplines enabled us to maintain real-time communication throughout the design process. This aided our ability to maintain the aggressive schedule.
Due to the likelihood that the K-3 Facility would be expanded in the future, the site was designed to accommodate those expansions thus saving on future costs. The employee parking area was master planned and graded so that it can be expanded without difficulty, stormwater management was master planned to accommodate full development of the entire campus, site utilities were designed to avoid the building expansion, and a temporary perimeter road was designed with a less expensive pavement material since it will be removed in the future.
While some components of the design did change during construction, all of these changes were communicated effectively through our bi-weekly meetings and very few field adjustments had to be made. As the respective components of the design were completed, we coordinated with the City for incremental permits to be issued, so construction could proceed. In the end, the overall design was concluded on schedule and the facility was operational before construction was complete.