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Shannon Campbell Joins SBC as Superintendent

Shannon Campbell Joins SBC as Superintendent

April 4, 2018
by: Audrey Wilson

Our restaurant and retail division is growing! We’re excited to announce we’ve brought on Shannon Campbell, veteran superintendent, to our team.

Shannon Campbell, Superintendent

Campbell began his construction career operating heavy machinery and managing blast operations so naturally his specialties are excavation and demolition. He also has an affinity for floor finishes.

His a client-focused approach and affection for new learning opportunities makes him a great fit our team! It’s possible you’ve already enjoyed some of Shannon’s work, as he was the superintendent for several local and national brands here in Colorado including Maurice’s, Cheba Hut, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, Pizza Republica at the Colorado Convention Center, and the BC Surf and Sport shop.

“My approach is to plan the work and work the plan,” says Campbell. “I work with the subs to ensure the client’s plan comes to fruition.”

Shannon is originally from Georgia. Since now in Colorado, he enjoys all the great things the state has to offer including snowboarding, hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing. His favorite place in Colorado is the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where he lived in Cotopaxi for a few years with his pup Lucky, a 10-year-old American Bulldog.

 

Bars, Restaurants, and Breweries, Oh my! Part I: The Nuts & Bolts

Bars, Restaurants, and Breweries, Oh my!
Part I: The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Restaurant | A Guide for New Owners

A Three-Part Construction Series

January 30, 2018
collaboration by: Audrey Wilson & Matt Redick

Construction consideration begins before you even ever sign a lease. You want people who not only know how to build restaurants but who knows what matters to you and can support your goals. Building a restaurant is a huge undertaking! Our team has over 25 years of restaurant, bar, and brewery experience and we know how stressful and hard it can be. We pride ourselves in being a general contractor that can support you from start to finish from operations tips, to kitchen layout, vendor management, preconstruction, and launch. We are there for you during the whole journey.

If you’re just getting started, this series may be just the ticket! In Part 1: The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Restaurant we dive into a holistic overview considering the big four: The People, The Places, The Budget, and The Schedule. Keep in mind, we’re based in Denver, Colorado so pricing and timeline could vary based on your location and timing—construction pricing changes rapidly every year.

Buckle up and read on!

The People | Get a good team on board early.

“Hire people because you think they’ll give you the best advice and then trust what they say.” – Matt Redick, Senior Project Manager – Snyder Building Construction

Building a restaurant requires a complete understanding of back of house and front of house operations from the very beginning. While the whole process is incredibly cyclical and evolving, having a good grasp on the big picture as well as minute details (like what’s on the menu!) can have a huge impact on the entire project. That’s a lot to ask at the beginning! Thus, choose an architect construction team (and any consultants) who are well versed in restaurants and get them on board early! Choose one who has time in their company’s work load to really serve you well. Consider there are a plethora of health department and unique building code requirements when building a restaurant, you want partners who will get this right for you. The key? The earlier you get your people together in the same room the better.

“Have you hired your head chef already or are you the chef/owner? Get this key player involved in the design process as soon as you can.”  – Rich Snyder, Owner, Snyder Building Construction

If you’re hiring engineers and/or consultants, we recommend you choose ones with lots of restaurant experience. Deciding whether or not to use a kitchen design consultant is an important factor in the design process. The menu drives equipment and the equipment drives MEP drawings. We often see three common pitfalls with restaurant clients: (1) Not allocating enough budget; (2) Not reviewing the restaurant’s equipment requirements and planning for the right pieces of equipment, thus ending up with incorrect or extra items; (3) Not involving the kitchen designers early enough. Kitchen design companies are experts in equipment and kitchen flow efficiency and they provide very specific equipment power/rough-in requirements—crucial information for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing drawings. This information is necessary and critical at the beginning to ensure accurate construction drawings are produced for the construction team.

So I know you’re thinking so far, this sounds fairly simple. However, owners/restaurateurs are responsible for managing a whole slew of additional vendors, from equipment suppliers to security, to audio/visual, point of sale systems, beverage services, beer tap systems, specialized lighting, small wares, menu design, signage (exterior and wayfinding) and furniture. It’s a lot to manage especially when you’re still navigating and planning funding, business plans, operations, weekly construction meetings and staff hiring. Let us help you lighten this workload—as restaurant specialists we’ve managed this for dozens of owners and seek to make the experience for you seamless.

Get folks on board early. We cannot reiterate this enough. With your architect and general contractor and consultants on at the very beginning of the design phase, we have the ability to support you more holistically through the preconstruction process, which includes discovery, site survey, scheduling and budgeting. For helpful tips on choosing your team, check out our other blog post “Building Your Construction Team.” Having expert eyes on existing conditions can save much needed headache and money down the line. Which leads us to the next section: The Place.

Side Note: It’s totally up to you as the owner whether you want that team to work in tandem (Design-Build) during design of the restaurant, or have construction documents prepared by the architect before handing them off for bidding, budgeting, and building with the general contractor (Design-Bid-Build). The word “design” can also somewhat be a misnomer—it really refers to the process of an architect creating the drawings of the restaurant. How will it flow? Where is the front door? Where is the kitchen, dining room, flow of egress? Interior design happens concurrently but is a smaller piece of the “design” process. Your architectural drawings are created in multiple stages rather than all at once such that changes/refinements happen more seamlessly. Once you have Construction Documents (the last stage) or “CDs” then in general you are ready for permitting and construction!

The Place | Conduct a site survey to identify existing conditions.

“Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.” -Stephen Gardiner

Whether you’re preferred restaurant location is a brand new building or an existing space needing renovation, conducting a site survey and understanding existing conditions is critical. At the beginning stages of discovery, it is worthwhile for you and your architect to hire mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers to survey your site.  This will save you money and time during the construction phase. You need to know what your infrastructure is like prior to committing on a space. You’ll likely incur some fees during this phase, but the information gained at this early stage is very important to answer questions about whether or not the space is right for your planned use.

Here’s a handy list of items to consider and check for during your site survey. Not checking for these could add anywhere from $15-$100K right off the bat.

  • Water line tie-in needs to be 1 ½” minimum. ($50K price tag to alter)
  • Electrical capacity to the building needs to be at least 225 Amp service. Most restaurants really require 400 Amp service. (Upgrading service could cost upwards of $15-20K)
  • Is there an existing grease trap to tie into? Are there accurate drawings that show the elevation of the grease trap? (New systems or upgrades may add up to $25K)
  • Most restaurants require a 4” minimum waste line. If not, we’d recommend considering another building or space altogether.
  • Ceiling height & structure (what does roof deck look like if wanting an open ceiling look)
  • Does the building have Landmark Protected status? If so, this adds an extra layer of review and thus, added time before permitting can even begin.
  • If a multi-story building, where are the grease duct and refrigeration lines running?
  • Is there good access for future deliveries to the back of the house?
  • Where will the truck park to pump out and service the grease trap?
  • Will you have a CO2 supplier or a need for CO2 tanks? If so, how accessible is your soda rack for these deliveries?
  • Is there existing storage or space to build in storage?

If your restaurant will be part of a new building, some additional things to consider:

  • Height limitations/code for your roof deck/outdoor patio. This is based on your jurisdiction and considered during the permitting process.
  • Understand what the landlord is providing in their work letter. A lawyer should help review.
  • What kind of HVAC system will work the best for the space? Is there enough flat roof area and structural capacity on the roof for RTU’s (Roof Top Units) or is a Split System going to be used requiring a location outside on the ground for condensers to be placed?

The Budget | Plan for design, consulting, permits, fees, construction, and 10% contingency.

“Cost, schedule, and quality—all three are in play but you can only pick two.” – Age-Old Saying.

A good starting point for restaurant construction costs in Denver is $130-$225/SF for a 2,500-5,000 sf space. However, this can vary a lot depending on the design choices that you make.  Size, for example has an inverse relationship with cost per square foot—the bigger the space, the less cost per square foot. This is JUST construction cost. This pricing does not include architect fees, design, equipment, extensive infrastructure improvements, fine or fancy finishes, training costs, weather/unforeseen conditions or schedule impacts. When you plan your budget, consider all of these costs. In addition, we advise planning a 10% contingency line in your budget—there’s a myriad of moving parts in a restaurant build and it’s just better to be on the safe end.

From an interior design/impact stand point restrooms and interior finishes seems like a great place to spend money. And they are! However, big ticket items during construction are often kitchen equipment, wet areas like the bar, lighting in the space, and mechanical, electrical, or plumbing infrastructure upgrades.

Plan to spend money on all of the following:

  • Construction costs
  • Architectural design services
  • Restaurant consulting
  • Permitting
  • Equipment deposits
  • Long-lead/exotic material deposits
  • Fees for due diligence/feedback from engineers
  • Signage – own permitting process (start early) design fees, etc.
  • Owner items: security, audio/visual, POS, Coke/Pepsi, beer systems, signage, furniture, specialty lighting

Construction costs are usually billed monthly based on percentage of work completed during that month. Thus, you’ll spend the majority of your budget in the beginning and middle of the project as things are gearing up, and then payments begin to taper off as far as design and construction costs are concerned. See the graph below to get a better idea:

Lastly, spending time and money refining design up front before construction starts saves time and money at the end! Changing design elements in the field after construction has begun can easily triple costs for the changes in no time.

 The Schedule | Varies greatly!

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation—a force for construction and destruction.” – Jonathan Haidt

 We’ll dive deeper into scheduling in a separate blog post. For now, we’ll touch on it briefly. For projects roughly 2,500-5,000 SF in size you’re looking at about 12-14 weeks of construction time. You’ll want to add surveying, planning, design, permitting, etc… to get a true sense of your timeline. This could add anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks on the front end. Additionally, the exterior signage process has its own permitting and timeline process outside of the construction timeline through local zoning departments.

The 12-14 week construction portion will run somewhat like this ….. 1-2 weeks for underground plumbing and electrical work (Another reason having solid MEP drawings and information at the beginning is critical! We can’t start without this.); 3 weeks framing/rough-ins; 3 weeks equipment installation/overhead; 4-6 weeks for paint, tile, lighting, and finishes throughout.

Note, permitting jurisdictions will not allow you to move in furniture or train staff in the space until a health inspection, and final building inspections are completed.  If the space is a change of use, or a new space, a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) will also need to be obtained after final inspections. Unfortunately, this is an absolute so you’ll want to plan building your team and training staff for operations accordingly.

Check back soon for Part II for more budgeting, pricing, strong mechanical, electrical, plumbing drawings, and designing for efficient service!

Ready to learn more and get to work with us?? Email info@snyderbuilding.com or call us at 720.900.5082.

 

Water Filtration Systems in Medical & Laboratory Facilities

Water Filtration Systems in Medical & Laboratory Facilities

January 15, 2018
written by: Audrey Wilson

Having just installed a new autoclave at a research laboratory, water filtration systems have been on our mind!

Laboratory sterilizing systems almost always require the use of a deionized water systems. Water that is used to sterilize equipment needs to go through a filtration system—obviously this is an important component for sanitary and accurate lab work. Deionized systems remove impurities from water (specifically mineral ions) through an ion exchange process.

It’s not always as simple as drawings would have you believe. We pulled together some tips to help when installing these types of systems.

Find the right pipe.
First and foremost, you want to clarify the type of piping required by the engineer as there are several types you can use. A quality installer will know to never introduce metallic piping with DI system, because the DI system is removing mineral ions and using metal pipes would reintroduce charged ions back into the water.

 Plan ahead.
Specialized parts for deionized systems can have longer lead times for delivery. Include long lead times with your schedule for procuring/ordering parts and equipment so you’re able to accurately predict installation timeframe. Additionally, in an active lab, it’s important to coordinate demolition, installation and tie in to the system during off-hours. Consistent advanced scheduling with building engineers is a must if you’re working in harmony with regular lab operations. We also had to account for the time required for decommissioning and decontamination of the space to rid the area of residual pathogens.

Install with care.
Avoid overheating the pipe during the fusing process and watch your hanger spacing. Additionally, ensure that proper labeling guidelines are followed. Inspectors want to see these water systems appropriately labeled, sometimes even desiring labels on the walls in the surrounding area in addition to the direct application to the pipe.

Back flow prevention and testing.
Engineered drawings don’t always account for what means of back flow prevention is already in place in these types of spaces. Inspectors may want to see that the existing system is working properly if a new back flow prevention solution isn’t required.

Check your existing conditions.
When improving existing spaces, it’s imperative to know more about the conditions in place. Not only will getting to know the site and systems save you time on the front end, but inspectors may require existing conditions to be upgraded when they come through.

Deionized water systems are just one kind of system you might see in medical facilities. Others include water softener treatments, reverse osmosis filtration, and ultraviolet water purification.

For more information on water filtration systems, deionized systems, medical, dental, or laboratory construction services, contact us at info@snyderbuilding.com.

How to Crush Your Next Tenant Improvement or Interior Construction Project

How to Crush Your Next Tenant Improvement or Interior Construction Project

Tips from Business Owners on the Commercial Renovation Process

May 31, 2017


photo by Becky Dibble, Screen Pilot

A collaboration effort with Screen Pilot (Owners Tom & Becky Dibble)
written by: Audrey Wilson

We’ve been building tenant improvements for a while now. And while we feel pretty strong we know the order of things, the real story is the experience from the client’s perspective. After all, a tenant improvement indicates some type of shift for their business, generally a move toward growth or new experiences–these are moments of celebration!

As a general contractor, our hope is to make the transition seamless, so tenants can focus on their own priorities. However, how do we really know if we are on the right track? What is it like from the client’s perspective? How else can we be preparing and supporting our clients? For fresh perspective, we decided to unveil the other side of the story.

Clients Tom and Becky Dibble of Screen Pilot, graciously agreed to talk with us about their tenant improvement experience. Their hospitality-focused marketing agency recently expanded into an entire floor of a historic building in Downtown Denver and hired us for general contracting.

THE INTERVIEW:

Snyder Building Construction (SBC): Before we dive into your direct experience with the expansion construction, thank you! We had a great time building your new space. We’d love to know more about what takes place inside these walls. Tell us more about Screen Pilot.

Screen Pilot – Becky: We started as a small consulting firm, operating out of a home office, to now, a 20-person, thriving agency who continue to grow their client base. We built Screen Pilot on the desire to create a digital marketing agency that could deliver engaging and enviable client experience with pride and commitment.

SBC: You picked Denver over London, your hometown—I love it.

Becky:  Yes, our roots are firmly in the Mile High City, although we’d like to think an office in London is a possibility, in our future!

SBC: Clearly, the expansion means you’re growing and needed more space. Why expand in a historic building rather than go somewhere new?

Screen Pilot – Tom: Expanding as the only tenant on this floor meant more privacy and a sense of growth that we are experiencing not only in head count but as a business overall. Downtown Denver is burgeoning with new builds left, right and center, and it’s an amazing location on LoDo, we wanted to stay in the thick of it all.

SBC: And you really are so close to everything. 16th street mall, Union Station, some of the most amazing Denver restaurants—having met your team this choice absolutely fits the vibe at Screen Pilot. On the inside, how did you prioritize team needs and decide the floor plan layout?

Tom: We wanted to create a much more open plan space and sectioned off private meeting rooms for client meetings and internal meetings. That way we could accomplish both sense of privacy and collaboration.

SBC: It seems like the finished outcome definitely accomplishes what you were hoping for. On a random note, we were curious, did you have any previous experience with the commercial tenant improvement process?

Tom: When taking the lease in the first place, our initial experience with commercial construction was limited to what the landlord was managing. So very little. On a commercial basis, we had no experience working with a general contractor.

SBC: No way—y’all asked all the right questions! I would have never known. When you started the process, what kind of relationship did you hope to have with your GC? And what were your priorities during the construction process?

Tom: Trust was paramount. If you can’t trust your GC, you may as well do it yourself! We also wanted to mitigate noise for both the commercial and residential tenants in our mixed-use building, but also get the job done to plan, on-time and on budget.

SBC: We couldn’t have said it any better. Trust allows the project to move together smoothly and allows for more conscious decision making when discrepancies arise. This kind of relationship ultimately leads to on-time, on-budget projects.

The construction experience from the perspective of other people and businesses is obviously crucial in a historic, mixed-use building like yours. Commercial tenants are working during the day and families are at home early in the morning and in the evenings.

SBC: Were there any surprises during the process?

Tom: Not really surprises as such, but that’s not a bad thing!

Becky: During the demo phase, pipes and strange electrical wirings were exposed, not a huge surprise due to renovating a building of its age. Thankfully, a quick call from our GC meant an effective and satisfactory outcome so the project was not delayed.

In the end, we had to know how we did overall—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Tom (in his kind, British accent) simply said, “You guys crushed it. Apart from the standard sticker shock of the cost of commercial construction, which is universal I feel, having you guys running the project has been one of the better referrals that I’ve had for a service provider in a long time. The attention to detail and acute attentiveness to our needs but also running the tradespeople on the job from what we saw was fantastic.”

“At the start of our construction project, the whole team helped pack up our existing office and we all headed home to work. Our company thrives on teamwork and collaboration, so getting back together within the same space as soon as possible was paramount. SBC ensured this happened as efficiently as the project allowed,” said Becky.


photo by Becky Dibble, Screen Pilot

Ultimately, their trust in us made for a great relationship and project experience. We had no idea Becky and Tom were unexperienced in commercial construction. They were always so confident and asking great questions.

Tips from Tom & Becky:

  1. 1. “Select your GC carefully and make sure you have your architects start talking to your GC earlier than you think you need to.” – Tom Dibble, Screen Pilot
  2. 2. Your general contractor’s attention to detail, communication, and level of organization will either help put you at ease or add stress to the transition.
  3. 3. Plan your space to include multiple work environments for varied tasks. Think about open space, private conference or work rooms, and relaxing/collaboration areas.

Thank you to Tom and Becky for trusting us to build your downtown space and for your continued partnership. We look forward to continue watching Screen Pilot grow!


photo by Becky Dibble, Screen Pilot

About Screen Pilot:
Screen Pilot is a Denver-based, digital marketing agency that specializes in telling the stories of hotels, resorts and hospitality brands through inspired communication. Learn more at www.screenpilot.com.