Evergreen’s Aloft Alpharetta Wins CMAA
At Evergreen, we live by a simple mission: do things right the first time. This is how we built Aloft Alpharetta, which we’re proud to announce has just received the 2018 CMAA Project Achievement Award.
Background: With a hotel shortage in the area, the city of Alpharetta needed a landmark hotel to support local growth and attract prime business. Evergreen responded with Aloft Alpharetta – the first ever ground up Aloft hotel in the state of Georgia. At five stories, this stick built, 120-key hotel features a full bar, fitness center, swimming pool, and cutting-edge technology such as RFID key access (stay tuned for more about that soon). As with any Starwood property, Aloft Alpharetta is plush with comfort and convenience.
Here’s how we did things right with this project:
Organization. We have ample experience in hospitality, which has taught us the importance of clear organization in delivering a speedy and effective project. In many ways, this carefully organized project is a testament to Evergreen’s skill and coordination. Our team held preconstruction meetings with all trades, regardless of size, which let us establish minimum expectations and outline clear paths to the project goals. Our team responded to this project’s challenging 15-month schedule with proper planning and seamless coordination between the various trades. We motivated the trades to preserve momentum and strengthen the drive behind the project, giving each trade contractor ownership over their scope. Our “zero back charge” policy combined with carefully documented changes and precise purchase tracking from manufacturing to delivery allowed our team to take practical steps around every challenge. Our organized efforts also ensured job site safety through safety training and team-building sessions. As a result, we are proud to report that this project had no lost time accidents.
Communication. We’ve seen it repeatedly: good communication builds award-winning projects. Our Evergreen team upheld smooth, transparent communication throughout the entirety of this project. We stayed on track by developing an Overall Project Schedule (OPS) that acted as a roadmap and reference point. The team also staged weekly schedule reviews and held monthly partnering meetings. We created 4-week look ahead schedules that remained posted on the wall as a constant visual reminder of tasks and goals. When we confronted potential issues, our team raised them promptly, which preserved camaraderie and reduced ticket work.
Creativity. We see opportunities in challenges, and this project presented a number of them. Perhaps the most significant challenge was the unforeseen amount of both rippable and trench rock on the job site. Upon discovery of the rock, our team flexed strong creative muscles and navigated on the fly. We immediately quantified the rock to move forward at a swift and efficient pace. With creative, cost-effective solutions in place, our team compensated for the resulting 75-day delay. To better support the budget, we also changed three large site retaining walls to modular block retaining walls. This change impacted 66 percent of the site’s perimeter, which provided substantial savings and stands as another testament to our team’s adaptive creativity.
Budgeting. As Construction Manager, protecting the budget is our responsibility. Joining the team early in the project allowed us to price the drawings as originally planned and work with our trade contractors to identify items and details with the greatest value-add to the project. Through careful evaluation, we were able to save almost $2,000 per key. The team’s innovative change to the modular block retaining walls translated to over $850 per key. In addition to this, Evergreen’s decision to change the roof from lightweight concrete to rigid foam insulation saved $165 per key. Since the Aloft Alpharetta was in design and construction during the Starwood/Marriott transition, the Evergreen team closely monitored and protected the budget to support brand standards and address the needs of a brand change in mid-cycle.
Our skillful, attentive approach to organization, communication, creativity, and budgeting made the Aloft Alpharetta an award-winning destination that meets the needs of growing metro Atlanta. We are excited to add the Aloft Alpharetta to our list of award-winning projects as it stands as another example of how our team works closely and carefully to do things right the first time. In the words of Buck Lindsay, President of Lindsay, Pope, Brayfield, Clifford & Associates Inc., “Evergreen routinely does a great job protecting the budget and generating creative solutions to problems. On the Aloft Hotel, Alpharetta, Evergreen went above and beyond their usual standard … Evergreen is a seasoned team of professional hotel builders. I look forward to our next project in the near future.”
Please join us in congratulating our team on an incredible, award-winning achievement!